5 Not-So-Obvious Metrics That Every Creator Should Track

Straight from the Patreon Data Science team, we bring you 5 metrics that you should be paying attention to as you grow your page.

1. Patron retention

What it is: The percentage of your patrons that keep their pledge to you over time

Where to find it: Your creator dashboard

Why it matters: Retention metrics help you track what portion of your audience is staying with you over time. So if you have 100 viewers of a video, and then only 95 of those viewers watch your next video, you have a 95% retention rate (which, by the way, is great!). You can easily track your patron retention from the Patreon creator dashboard. In the “pledge growth” section, the red bar chart will show how many pledges are deleted or decreased.

Pledge retention over time

Want to know even more? In the “Patrons” section of your creator dashboard, you can read patron delete surveys. These surveys, which are shown to patrons if they delete a pledge, give you a great idea of why patrons are leaving. Often, patrons leave for financial reasons, but in the off chance they have constructive feedback for your page, the pledge delete surveys are a great metric to keep your eye on.

2. Engagement

What it is: How many people comment, like, and share your content

Where to find it: Your creator dashboard, and analytics platforms on other sites that you use

Why it matters: Ok, maybe this one is a bit more obvious. Engagement can help you gauge how interesting your content is. You can get a great feel for your overall engagement on the engagement section of your creator dashboard, which looks like this:

Engagement over time

Take note of the ratio of likes to comments. If you’re seeing way more likes, it might be worth encouraging your patrons to comment! Tell them you’ll be replying to comments or hanging out for a bit to answer questions, and see if that improves engagement.

Also, if you’re getting way more engagement on another platform (YouTube, Snapchat, Tumblr, etc), it may be worth asking what better facilitates engagement in those platforms. Are there ways you can tailor your content to encourage engagement?

3. Click Through Rate

What it is: The percentage of viewers who click through a link on a post, video, or other piece of content you’ve shared

Where to find it: Analytics products from social platforms (Facebook, Youtube, etc.)

Why it matters: Click Through Rate, commonly abbreviated as CTR, tells you what percent of an audience that views your content actually engages with links you post in it. You can track CTR on your Facebook posts, YouTube descriptions, or even on your email newsletters to see what percentage of your audience is influenced by the links you share, whether they’re links to buy your merch, check out a related work of yours, or more!

Why is CTR useful? It can help you determine your most influential platform. If your CTR on Facebook is 5% but your CTR on your personal website is 10%, you should focus on driving patronage from your personal website.

4. Size of audience on each platform

What it is: The number of people interested in your work

Where to find it: Usually on the front page of any platform you’re on

Why it matters: As a creator, the best thing you can do to grow your audience is to fuel your growth engine. “What’s a growth engine?” you may be asking. A growth engine is the way that your audience and your fanbase grows. Some creators are grassroots: they grow slowly, person by person, over time. Other creators might get a particular press mention that brings a ton of attention to them. For them, in that moment, that press outlet is their growth engine, and they should channel energy into fueling it and mentioning it. To understand the source of your growth engine, you need to understand where your audience lives. Feeling the most love from your fans on Twitter? Throw your energy there. Engaging with most of your audience on your own personal listserve? Share special content and updates to that group. As a creator, the best thing you can do to grow your audience is know your audience. Knowing your audience allows you to understand the content they like best, and then push the edges of that content to attract new fans.

5. Non-patron viewers to your posts

What it is: How many people view your post that aren’t already pledging to you on Patreon

Where to find it: Your creator dashboard

Why it matters: For your public posts, it’s useful to track what percentage of viewers are non patrons. In the “Recent Posts” Section of your posts overview dashboard, click on “Viewers” to see views of your posts. This metric lets you know the reach of all of your posts, and shows you the potential to convert post viewers into patrons. If you have zero non-patron viewers, consider promoting your public posts more widely. If you have a higher percentage of non-patron viewers, provide invitations for viewers of the post to join your community on Patreon!

I hope this little list offers you some help as you grow and retain the fans that matter most. Questions? Comments? Tracking another metric that you find useful? Let me know in the comments! Need some help with analytics on Patreon? Check out our analytics FAQs in our help center.

Patreon is the best way for creators to earn ongoing revenue directly from their fans.