Rewarding your patrons is a great way to show your fans how much they mean to you, as well as incentivize potential patrons to become your patrons. In short, rewards are highly valuable to both you and your community.
You may be thinking “Where do I even start?” Or “I thought that sharing my work with my patrons was enough of a reward for them already!” Or maybe you’re overwhelmed with your work and thinking “I don’t have time to create and send rewards to all of my patrons.”
Fear not–I’m here to answer all of the questions bubbling up in your head about rewards on Patreon and get you excited about rewarding your patrons with special perks that only you can provide them. Let’s get started!
Patreon is the best way for creators to earn ongoing funding directly from their fans.
Do I need to offer rewards to my patrons?
Absolutely not! In fact, some creators don’t offer any rewards or simply create one reward tier as admission into their community (check out Jimquisition for a great example of a successful creator doing this).
That said, offering rewards will likely drive more interest from fans to sign up and become your patrons. While many patrons simply want to support you out of the kindness of their hearts, we’ve done some research that shows that a creator with rewards on Patreon tends to perform better than a creator without.
Check out this graph from a blog post our data team wrote that’ll give you an idea of how having rewards can help you be more successful on Patreon:
As you can see pretty clearly, the more rewards you offer on Patreon, the higher the likelihood is that you’ll process at least $100 in your first month on Patreon.
What kinds of rewards should I give patrons?
The best rewards tend to be perks that are easy to create and distribute digitally on Patreon and don’t take a lot of your time to make. There are several great tools built into Patreon that you can leverage as rewards to your patrons, so make sure to familiarize yourself with the platform before committing to offering external services or physical goods as rewards.
Here are some great rewards that you can easily distribute with Patreon:
- Access to your patron-only feed
We recommend this as the base for all of your rewards on Patreon, as it requires no work on your part to fulfill. When a patron signs up as your patron, they are immediately given access to your patron-only feed and any content you have previously shared with their reward tier.
- Photos and/or videos of your process
Fans love when they can get a peek behind the scenes into your creative process, so consider setting up a camera or snapping a few photos while you work. When you attach the photos or video to a post on Patreon, you can select the minimum pledge level that can see the content. This is a great reward to offer your patrons paying a bit higher than the minimum reward tier.
- Live chat
Did you know that Patreon has a “live chat” feature built into the mobile app? No need to move your patrons onto another platform for this perk! You can simply click “go live” in the posting tool on the mobile app and chat with your patrons in the post comments. Build up excitement beforehand by telling your patrons you’re doing an AMA (“Ask Me Anything”) and offer your higher-tiered patrons an awesome experience.
Musicians, podcasters, and anyone who makes sound, rejoice! With Patreon, you can attach downloadable MP3s directly to your posts and share with your patrons. Not a soundmaker? That’s cool too! Add attachments of up to 100MB each to your posts for a little extra something to share with your fans.
When creating rewards, feel free to get creative or ask your fans what they’d love to receive in exchange for their support! Be careful not to make them overly complicated or time-consuming, though. We want you to be able to spend more of your time working on your creations—not distracting you from your work to fulfill hundreds of extravagant rewards.
For more inspiration, check out our Creator Guide for even more reward suggestions for musicians, filmmakers/vloggers, podcasters, photographers, gamers, writers and visual artists.
Can I send physical rewards?
You sure can! When you create a reward tier for a physical perk, simply check the box that says “Ask for shipping address during pledge checkout” and your patrons will immediately be prompted to enter their address when selecting the reward. From your Patron Manager, you’ll then be able to view all of these patrons’ mailing addresses as well as download a CSV of your patrons’ data to make reward fulfillment easy for you.
Just be careful when offering physical rewards, as patrons are located all over the world and you may find yourself spending more on shipping costs than they are on their payment to you. Since physical rewards can also take a bit of time to put together, we recommend reserving these for your higher-tiered patrons.
Can I set a limit to how many patrons can receive a specific reward?
When you are creating your reward, you will see a button that reads “Limit Available.” Click that and you will be able to select how many patrons can sign up to receive this reward. Setting a limit is great for those more extravagant rewards (like one-on-one video chats) that you’d like to make more exclusive. Be careful not to set a limit for rewards that are easy for you to fulfill though. If a patron tries to sign up for a reward that has already hit its limit, they may reconsider paying that amount to you (or decide not to become your patron at all).
Will my higher-paying patrons receive all of the rewards that lower-paying patrons receive?
This depends on how you choose to distribute rewards. If you share rewards in posts, then you’ll have the option of selecting the minimum reward tier that can see the reward. If you have your own process for fulfilling rewards though (i.e. via email, external links, etc.), you can opt to send rewards to each reward tier or processed patron separately.
What is the best process for fulfilling rewards?
We recommend distributing rewards through your posting tool at the beginning of each month, after your patrons’ payments have processed.
To send rewards via posts, simply upload/attach/paste content into a new post and share with the minimum payment tier required to access the post. Patrons whose payment declines will not be able to view the reward until their payment processes, so don’t let declined payments prevent you from sharing rewards with your processed patrons.
If you have physical rewards to fulfill, navigate over to your Patron Manager and click into your most recent paid post. At the top-right of the page, click “download CSV” for an easy-to-import spreadsheet that’ll list all of your patrons’ payment levels, contact info and mailing addresses (if applicable).
What if I decide I no longer want to offer one of my rewards?
No problem! You can always remove any rewards you no longer want straight from your page editor. Just make sure to let any patrons attached to that reward know that you’re doing this so they can sign up for another reward. Deleting a reward won’t delete the patrons tied to that reward, so it’s important to communicate the change to your community if you opt to remove any of your rewards.
Can I enter patrons into a raffle as part of a reward?
Unfortunately, raffles, giveaways, or “chances-to-win” are not allowed on Patreon, as they are technically a form of gambling. In order to stay in accordance with our state’s gambling laws, if we catch wind of you offering a raffle as a reward, we’ll kindly ask you to remove it.
Do you have any examples of top creators offering cool rewards?
I’m so glad you asked! Check out Zombie Orpheus Entertainment, CPG Grey and Adam Johnston for successful creators with awesome rewards. If you’re ever stuck on what kinds of rewards you should offer, you can always start off simple and ask your community what they’d love to receive in exchange for their pledge to you.
Still have questions about rewarding your patrons? Ask in the comments and we’ll get back to you ASAP!
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