UX Fail: Email all patrons by default when making a pledge

It’s extremely frustrating that Patreon has these two boxes checked by default.

I would never – under any circumstance – expect that my personal support of another creator would result in an email going out to my entire community.

This is a pretty big strike and a total trust buster moving forward… I never opted-in to share my pledges and didn’t even know this existed until several patrons pointed out the email notification.

I strongly encourage Patreon to default to permission-based messaging across the board.

It’s shit like this that makes me reconsider supporting creators in the future and continuing to use Patreon in general.

UPDATE: I’ve had a few deleted pledges within 20-minutes of the notification going out… good job, guys.


Oh god this is terrible. Off to check my settings…

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I do not like that the default is always ON, especially for something like this where we’re not notified that it even exists. I noticed it recently when someone I pledge to pledged to several other creators and I got several emails. I think some patrons may be put off if they think the money they’re pledging to you is just being given to someone else or if you pledge to something nsfw or political or anything of a personal nature. Where my money is going is not anyone’s business unless I choose to share that business.

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some patrons may be put off if they think the money they’re pledging to you is just being given to someone else

^ This exactly.

This is horrible. I can’t believe this is a thing. Absolute total privacy violation.

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I don’t know why this option is even included in notifications. If I wanted my patrons to know I’d pledged to another creator, I’d probably just mention it in one of my daily posts, instead of sending it out as a separate notification.

And the whole “when a creator you pledge to makes a pledge to another creator” sounds a lot like the Circumlocution Office of notifications. Too many BS notification options!


I am absolutely flabbergasted that this would be implemented in a defaulted state of ‘on’. I understand that Patreon survives on Patrons supporting Creators, and I understand their motivation for this feature - but having it active by default, when most Creators were not even aware such a thing existed… This is a bad user experience for both patrons and creators, and as Matt said - this likely does far more harm than good.

Patreon - please fix this before more creators shoot themselves in the foot with this.

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Oh, dear! Happy you alerted me to this! Ooof.

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Further, it’s very unclear who is being notified on the Email Settings page. For instance, let’s dissect this:

The first one seems obvious: it gets sent to you.

The next two are ambiguous. The fourth appears to be sent to you.

And then “When you make a post” reads like a fucking trap. Why would I want to be notified of the post I made, which leaves me to make the assumption: When you make a post notify all your patrons. If that’s what Patreon means, then just say.

Creators calling Patreon Product Managers… Perhaps add some clarifying information in a hover-only icon? You know, UX 101 shit.

We’ve already discussed the last two…

The Reason This Shit Is Infuriating: I need to add a goal and update another ahead of a community update/announcement, but don’t want to blast my community with THREE email notifications today. There’s no clarity anywhere about what happens when you edit or add a new goal. My assumption would be that no email would go out, but fool me once, shame on me…

Hey all,

Thank you so much for the thoughtful responses here. It is very clear to us that we did not properly communicate this feature to you when you signed up and for that, I am very sorry. The product manager in charge of this feature has been shared on this feedback and is looking into additional places to inform creators of this feature upon sign-up.

Here is a bit more info on the email notifications settings:

  1. Everything is defaulted to “yes” in email settings, which you can toggle off/on at any time.

  2. We don’t send the email on private pledges, NSFW pledges, or anything else that we wouldn’t show on the creator’s profile.

  3. We give patrons the option to turn off the notification from any emails they receive (as well as from their own email settings page).

As always, please continue to share feedback and I will continue to route it to the teams who can make changes to these features. It is so incredibly appreciated, so please keep it coming.

Wait a second–just noticed the ‘When I make a post’–so if I turn that OFF then NO ONE is alerted when I make a post?

Is that correct?

I’ve been looking for that feature.

And Ellie, this isn’t a “we’ll look at this’ thing and 'inform you better”. Aside from the UX catastrophe (do you have UX experts?) – listing WHO is getting the messages (EITHER you OR your Patrons), the breach of trust here is so big that the CEO should say, “We are shutting this off NOW.” It’s like having FB mail your entire address book when you create a profile without you asking.

Trust from users is vital and when it’s gone, the whole system can collapse (or just move to a competitor). Remember MySpace? Or when Yahoo was the #1 search engine?

Hey Ryan,

Totally hear you here! I agree that the lay out of the notifications can be a bit confusing and I know that our team has plans to give the design a refresh in the future.

In the meantime, I just sat down with the product manager in charge of this feature and went through all these concerns with him. We originally rolled out these email notifications about new creator pledges after seeing a significant increase in pledges to creators. And since getting creators paid is the entire reason we exist, it seemed (at the time) like the right thing to do.

Now that it has been some time, we are looking into this data again and exploring alternate ways to help increase creators earnings. I will keep you updated on all this as I learn more.

One more quick update for everyone following along here:

We just included the following email to the onboarding emails that creators get when they join, so any new creators to Patreon will have more insight into email settings.

As always, please continue to share your feedback so that we can use it to make Patreon better. :slight_smile:

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