Creators log

Switching Membership Software from Memberful to Patreon

26 February 2024

TL;DR: The Artifact International membership hub is moving to Patreon due to price hikes in my previous software.

I recently got an email from Memberful, my membership service provider. It said they’re increasing their fees.

I was on Memberful’s free tier, which had a 10% transaction fee. The fee was high, but I was willing to pay it because Memberful didn’t have a monthly subscription on top of it.

But now, they’re asking users to upgrade to $49 a month with a reduced transaction fee of 5%. This math might be ideal for some high-earning creators, but the math doesn’t work for many low-earning creators.

From what I understand, doing nothing will result in a transaction fee increase to 12.5%. Who knows how long this will last until they force users into the $49 plan?I emailed customer service and they replied that the 12.5% rate “might go up in the future, and certain features like sending emails and custom domains will not be available.”

This is bad faith business.

I went to Memberful from Memberpress, my previous membership program, precisely because they didn’t require a monthly service fee (and because it wasn’t tied to Wordpress).

But Memberful’s shifty business practices and its price increase has forced me to return to Patreon, which is where I should have been all along.

I had an active Patreon account back in early 2019, when it was simply a tool for supporters to help fund the expenses of the podcast. At some point in early 2020, I stopped sending people to Patreon (I don’t remember why).

But I’m now seeing that Patreon has a lot of new features. It has a Twitter-like feed, where creators can publish text/image/video/audio posts that only subscribers can see and interact with. It also has a private RSS/podcast feed for subscribers, a shop, Discord integration, and more features.

I was pleased to learn that I’m locked in at a 5% transaction fee (the “Founders Plan”) because I’ve used the service before their pricing update in May 2019.

Now that Patreon offers better membership management features, and has low transaction fees, I’m switching everything back to Patreon.

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