The Insider: Edition 2 - Nov 2019

Welcome back to the second edition of the The Insider, where we share an inside look at what we’ve been working on and what we’ve learned to keep you in the loop, hear your thoughts, and help you make your membership the best that it can be.

We have a shorter update this month with some learnings to share from our ongoing quest help you get and keep more patrons. Make sure to also check out this preview of the upcoming features and tests we have planned in December after you read through this update.

Product Updates

Creator Landing Page Test: Tier Display

  • We ran a test on the creator page that showed all the tiers, rather than hiding higher priced ones, using clickable buttons. The goal was to see if we could increase average pledge amount by displaying all tiers.
  • Unfortunately, the test did not increase average pledge amount compared to the control in our A/B test.
  • While we decided not to release this change widely, based on the positive feedback from you on how this design presents tiers with a higher price point, we’ll continue to test strategies to make higher tiers visible.

Creator Page Test: Showing info about your posts

  • We ran a test to display a summary of your posts on your creator landing page above the posts feed. One variant showed icons of the type of content you have posted (audio, images, video, livestreams, etc.), while another displayed the number of posts you’ve made of each type. The hypothesis here was that by giving prospective patrons a better idea of the type and/or quantity of content you post, we might boost conversion.
  • While the test found that the new information on the page did not boost conversion compared to the control (the original page without the new section), patrons who saw the “Number” variant were less likely to delete their pledges by 5.8% in the first 7 days.
  • This is a huge deal in helping creators retain patrons by simply continuing to do their thing, so we went forward with this addition. We heard feedback about making this more customizable, so we want to continue to improve this feature in the future.

Limited Release, Merch for Membership now has T-shirts

  • T-shirts are now available to a limited number of creators who are eligible for merch. Creators can choose to offer unisex t-shirts in different 10 colors, upload their designs, and we’ll handle gathering and storing patron T-shirt sizes and shipping addresses. Shipping is available in US, Canada, and Australia. (See if you’re eligible for merch.)


Retaining patrons

  • Our research with patrons indicates that patrons want content that is consistently delivered. In an ideal world, 80% of patrons said they would want content at least once a week. But what is really important is to set expectations with your patrons for a regular cadence of content releases or updates (“ a new episode every week”, “monthly tutorials”) and be honest and transparent about your timeline and potential creative slowdowns. Your patrons will feel more connected to your creative process and you’ll keep them around for longer.

Our head of Data Science, Maura, shared data insights to help creators in November’s Hang Time. We wanted to make sure you all see these insights, so we summarized them below:

Smash through the Plateau with a Special Offer

  • Have you been struggling to grow your membership? Our data shows that on average, creators who ran a special offer saw upwards of 50% growth in their yearly earnings. Running an offer on a regular basis can create a cycle of growth, so don’t worry about losing some of the new patrons you will acquire from the Special Offer.

Tier Pricing

  • In our research, the data showed no significant difference in conversion rate between $1 tiers and $2 tiers. The average pledge on Patreon is $7, so you could be leaving money on the table and your time and art undervalued. Take this in to consideration when refreshing the pricing on your lowest tier and check out this webinar for more details.

Don’t Underestimate Social Media

  • Our research shows that 23% of fans heard about a creator’s Patreon through social media. Whether it’s Twitter, YouTube, or Instagram, making sure a link to your Patreon is easy to find at the top of your bio will maximize the amount of fans who check out your page.

That’s all we have for this edition, be sure to check back next month to stay in the loop with the latest product updates and insights. As always, reply with any feedback or questions.


I’m very interested in learning the status of any “Featured Tier” testing. That was mentioned very early on (pre-A/B testing even) but has seemingly taken a back seat while the foundational changes have taken place. Essentially what myself and a few others have surmised is that a nice compromise with the display of tiers and only having three visible by default would be the ability to select those three tiers to highlight.

Essentially this would allow us enough wiggle room to determine our three key value points (entry level, mid level, high level) while keeping those extra options on deck. I don’t like having everything behind a show more button, a lot of people don’t, even if the analytics show improved conversions. So rather than saying BOOOO THIS SUCKS (albeit, I did indeed say that lol) maybe there’s a way to leverage this change into an even greater win.

For me, if I was able to display my $5, $10, and $20 tiers I’d be able to highlight the core tiers of what truly makes my campaign run. It would knock off my $3 tier, and keep my two highest tiers tucked away still, but that’s a compromise I would take any day. This also allows creators to do some of their own experimenting in terms of presenting their tiers. I’ve considered simply eliminating those three additional tiers, but that’s a HUGE leap. This would be a baby step that lets me dip my toe in the water, and there’s a lot of functionality in that regard for all creators.

On top of that, my special offers run at the $20 tier, and getting that special highlight on the highest tier would probably do really wonderful things for my conversions when special offers run, with the highest immediately visible tier getting that extra little spark.

So…is that a thing that’s still on the table? Or has the “featured tier” idea taken a backseat?

Also I really like that “Plateau Smasher” caught on (I was the user in the Hangtime that said that and Jack got all giddy over the phrase) because Special Offers are Patreon’s unintentionally best kept secret. Please push it. Push it like crazy. It works. Interview your most successful special offer users and make a guide, tell people all about it, annoy the hell out of them. It genuinely can have life changing results and I’ve had to tell creators WAY bigger than me about it and explain it to them in great detail. That shouldn’t be the case! It’s so good. Features and product like that with TANGIBLE, REAL IMPACT are the exact thing people want and even if people haven’t caught on yet, pound the table (like the creator success mini-camp series going on! VERY GOOD!) and they’ll come around. Currently I’ve opted to utilize more Special Offers in lieu of Merch for Membership which probably isn’t a positive thing for some members of the team, but frankly, Special Offers is free, results are more immediate and data is presented conveniently, it’s built for promoting your Patreon as a whole, and it’s free…just throwing that out there twice for emphasis. Merch needs several coats of paint and additional features for it to really feel valuable to me and I hope Merch evolves into a whole branch of Patreon that’s about recognizing continued support because that’s the part of it that works. I don’t want to be so critical of Patreon’s Merch system, and I’m hoping a little more time to bake turns it into something really cool!

On the topic of social media and promoting your Patreon, I’d love to eventually see Patreon offer some a la carte services in terms of graphic design and such to equip creators with unique, effective branding to use in their promotional efforts. A lot of those things that we have to invest time and money into can be hit or miss, and if we could do all of that here on Patreon, that would be really cool. That’s more of a lofty daydream but as Patreon looks for a few more ways to make money, that’s one way that would actually feel good to me versus something like the current iteration of Merch.

Also wow I did not want to dunk on Merch like this so hard, I apologize if it reads harshly, I just feel really strong about that subject!

This is a great recap and I look forward to where Patreon is heading in the new year!