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3 keys to Success with Annual Membership

We’re always hearing you ask, how can I grow my membership on Patreon? With Annual Membership, you may have just found the answer. As one of the most requested features from fans, patrons, and creators alike, Annual Membership helps creators reward and retain loyal patrons by offering a discount on an entire year of membership.

We’re excited to announce that Annual Membership is now available to Charge Up Front Monthly creators who have an established payment history on Patreon. Learn more about who’s eligible here.

In this blog post, we’ll walk through the three keys to success, alongside some wisdom from creators who participated in the beta, so you can hit the ground running and make Annual Membership a successful part of your membership strategy.

Reward your patrons by offering a discount on Annual Membership

You may not know it yet, but you have patrons who love what you create so much that they want to pledge for the entire year. In fact, our data shows that 32% of patrons would like to have an option to pay for membership upfront annually. These patrons are the real MVPs (most valuable patrons), so why not give them a discount for their loyal support? Annual Membership gives you the chance to do just that.

As for how much of a discount you want to offer your audience, that’s up to you: with Annual Membership, you’ll have the option to set a custom discount ranging from 0-16%.

When considering how much of a discount to offer your annual patrons, we recommend offering two months free (which comes to 16% off). Not only will this discount incentivize new patrons to sign up for your Patreon, it will help you earn more in the long run as well.

As opposed to monthly membership, which gives patrons the option to rethink their pledge every month or even have a credit card decline, with Annual Membership, those patrons will be “retained” for 12 months automatically — and as you continue to deliver on your awesome benefits — probably even more!

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Enable Annual Membership and set your preferred discount (0-16%)

To dig deeper into your long-term patron retention, check out this step-by-step guide. If, after calculating your patron retention, you discover that a lot of your patrons (more than 84%) stick around for 12 months, then you may want to set your discount lower than 16% — that way, you aren’t losing out on any potential revenue.

Whatever discount you end up deciding on, your fans are going to love that they can support you, get access to your exclusive benefits, and save some money.

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How to get the word out

Once your discount is all set and you’ve enabled your Annual Membership, you’re ready to promote it to your patrons. In addition to following all of the best practices around promoting your Patreon, remember this: the greatest asset you have as a creator is your relationship with your fans. You know them the best, so lean into that close relationship and use what you already know about your audience.

For instance, is your audience asking for a discount on your membership? If they are, focus on the savings in your messaging. For example, if you have a tier that costs $10 monthly, but only around $100 with the annual discount, using messaging like “get 12 months for the price of 10” or “get two months free when you pledge annually” can help your fans and patrons understand the value easily.

Or, do you get most of your pledges at the beginning of the month? If that’s the case, consider promoting your annual membership option during the last week of every month.

Your audience and patrons may want more information, so it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the nuts and bolts of Annual Membership with this support page — that way, you’re ready to answer potential questions in your own voice. That article also includes sample messaging in case you need ideas on how to talk about Annual Membership.

Lastly, we made this step-by-step guide for you to send to your audience and patrons in case they want an official description of Annual Membership from Patreon.

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Tips on budgeting upfront with Annual Membership

Congrats on getting your first annual patrons! Want to send them a special thank you? Track your new annual patrons with the Patron Relationship Manager. There, you’ll see a new filter for Charge Frequency, which allows you to see only your annual patrons.

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Click on the Charge frequency tab in the Patron Relationship Manager to see just your annual patrons

In terms of delivering benefits to these patrons, it’s exactly the same as any of your monthly patrons.

However, while Annual Membership won’t change how you deliver your benefits, it will change how you receive your patron pledges.

As opposed to the pledges from monthly patrons, which are paid to you at the beginning of every month, the pledges of annual patrons are paid to you in one lump sum when they first become your patron.

Learn more about how annual pledges work here.

Since these funds will be available to you all at once, you may want to consider how you budget this income for the future.

When it comes to the budgeting of your new annual pledges, you have two options:

  • Like Dungeons and Daddies, you could use the upfront payments to invest back into your business, hitting your goals for new equipment, merchandise, or people.
  • Or, if you’d rather have your income spaced out over time, you could treat your pledges like monthly payments, dividing them evenly over the next 12 months.

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If you’re eligible for Annual Membership, you can get a breakdown of your annual and monthly earnings at your Creator Home. You can also download the CSV from the Patron Relationship Manager, where you’ll find your patrons are marked as annual or monthly under the Charge Frequency column.

Ready to get started with Annual Membership? Check it out here.

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