Choosing the right Merch program for your Membership

  • Updated

There are so many ways you can offer merch benefits to your patrons. In this article, we’ll discuss different Merch programs you can offer - from limited-time merch drops to monthly merch clubs and everything in between! 

While deciding which merch program is right for you, you might find a few of our other resources helpful.  For details on when current and new patrons will earn merch, visit our guide on patrons' earning period.

You can also learn more about how to delete or retire your merch items in this guide on managing your merch items.

Recurring Merch programs

Loyalty programs

We think our loyalty program feature is best to offer Merch to your patrons. A loyalty program delivers four items you select to a patron over the first year of their pledge.

Receiving a new merch delivery every three months that they pledge gives each patron ongoing value that makes it easy for them to stick around. Even better, since every patron earns the four items on their own schedule after they sign up, you can be sure that everyone gets a consistent, excellent experience without any extra scheduling or tracking effort from you. To make the most of your loyalty program, consider placing less expensive items earlier in the program and more expensive items at the end.

Seasonal recurring merch

What if you don’t want your patrons to earn recurring merch on individual schedules and instead want to promote the same merch product to all your patrons at strategic times of the year? One example may be seasonal merch drops for spring, summer, fall, and winter. You can offer this to your patrons with some ongoing action from you.

To start this program, simply publish a single merch item to your tiers before March starts (the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere), then at the end of May, retire that item and replace it with a new item for summer. Repeat this process again at the end of August and October, and your patrons who pledge for the whole year will earn all four items. When you end each item, ensure that you retire the item instead of deleting it so patrons receive the merch they’re due.

Seasonal recurring merch can be a great way to drive ongoing buzz about your membership. And best of all, patrons are still required to pledge for three months to receive the item, so you don’t have to worry about patrons signing up and then leaving.

Monthly merch clubs

Maybe you’re interested in starting a Poster of the Month or Sticker of the Month club? To offer this program to your patrons, simply publish a new item at the end of every month while also retiring the item from the previous month based on their billing anniversary. Patrons will earn a new item monthly, starting three months after they pledge, based on their billing date. Be sure to create a new item every time you want your patrons to earn something — if you only edit the design of an item, patrons will only earn that item once with the latest design.

Other Merch programs

Merch welcome gift

Not sure where to start? A welcome gift is the simplest way to add Merch to your membership. Simply publish a one-time delivery item to your tiers, and every patron will earn the item once, three months after they start their pledge. Want to update your design? You can edit it at any time without changing your patrons’ progress.

Limited-time merch drop

A limited-time merch drop can be a fantastic way to encourage patrons to join your membership. To offer limited-time merch, simply choose the one-time delivery option, publish the item to your tiers, and then retire the item from your tiers when you are ready to end the offering.

Patrons who pledge while the item is on your tiers will be eligible to earn it, and as always, they are required to pledge for three months to earn the item. Be sure to promote to your patrons before you publish your merch drop, and also let them know when the offering is about to end!

Loot boxes

Merch bundles or loot boxes can be an exciting way to earn swag. Unfortunately, we aren’t currently able to pack multiple merch items into a single delivery. We also aren’t able to randomize which items a patron receives. However, patrons can earn multiple Merch items at the same time!

If your tier is priced high enough to allow it, you can add multiple merch items to any tier, and the patron will earn all the items together. Earning multiple items at once can be combined with any of the programs mentioned here except loyalty programs.

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