This post originally ran in May 2018. I’ve added updated analysis near the end.
I hated Bonjoro.
I discovered it during a Patreon video conference, Hang Time. They were pushing it hard, and I decided to give it a shot.
Bonjoro is an app that you can pair with Patreon to enable you to record a personalized greeting when a new backer makes a pledge. (You can also pair Bonjoro with other services such as Shopify, WooCommerce, Slack, MailChimp and Stripe.) It works like this:
- Backer pledges to your Patreon account
- You get a notification on your Bonjoro app
- You record a greeting to the person
- You have a “Call To Action” button on the bottom that you can use to link wherever you want
- Send the video greeting and you’re done
Interesting? Sure. But when I tried it out, I found that I couldn’t stand the way I looked. I sounded dumb. And I couldn’t imagine that anything could be worth this amount of trouble. On top of that, the app costs $20 per month.
I didn’t like it at all. In fact, I ridiculed it on ComicLab.
Then something happened…
“Hey, Brad, this is Matt from the Bonjoro team…”
Matt, from Bonjoro, sent me a welcome video. And you know what?
He was talking to me.
I felt special. I felt important. I felt significant.
And — in an instant — I got it.
Video is powerful. And personalized video is doubly so.
But still… was it worth $20 a month? I was doubtful.
However, my ComicLab co-host, Dave Kellett, was intrigued. So he linked Bonjoro to the ComicLab Patreon account and began sending out personalized greetings. And, on his first video, a person who had pledged $2 increased their pledge to $10 after seeing the video.
I assured him that this amazing return on investment (R.O.I.) was a fluke.
Then he sent out a second video, and a $2 backer suddenly became a $5 backer.
He immediately paired Bonjoro with his other Patreon accounts — as well as with his Shopify and eBay account. And these videos have encouraged an impressive average of backers and buyers to increasing their buy-in.
Part of the reason Dave was happy with his results was the increased pledges. The other part was a result of the Call-To-Action (CTA) button that Bonjoro enables you to code into the video. You can write a call to action — “buy my book!” — and link to your store, for example.
Dave sent me a copy of the first video he did with the CTA button, and we discussed it.
“I don’t like the message, ‘buy my book,’” I told him.
“Why not?” he asked.
“Everything about this video is friendly. It’s personal. That’s its power,” I said, “But ‘buy my book’ removes the friendliness and turns it into a sales pitch.”
We batted that idea back and forth for a little while, and then it hit me:
“How about instead of making a sales pitch, you give them a special just-for-you discount?”
So Dave’s CTA button became 20% off your next Sheldon book. It linked to a special page on his ecommerce site that automatically added a 10% discount.
By the end of the week, between the increased pledges and the additional sales, he had made enough more than enough money to pay for at least two years of Bonjoro.
That was enough for me. I signed up and immediately started sending out Bonjoro greeting to new Patreon backers featuring a CTA button that offered a discount on items in my estore. I’m still not thrilled with how I look in the recordings, but I’m getting better.
Update: One year later
It’s now one year after this post originally ran, and I’ve used Bonjoro to reach out to every single Patreon backer — for my own Patreon as well as the ComicLab Patreon — as well as every new Webcomics.com subscriber during that time. I remain convinced as its effectiveness in on-boarding new members, establishing a sense of community, and spreading a sense of specialness to becoming a backer/subscriber.
Patreon says that their research show that backers who received a Bonjoro message tended to maintain their pledge for several months longer than those who hadn’t received a video, and my own results don’t offer anything to refute that.
Since this article was originally written, Bonjoro has made several improvements. One of the most important of these, for me, was the ability to easily create several different Call-to-Action buttons to use in different situations. Each of these may be branded distinctly, as well. Currently, I use four
- Discount from the Evil Inc online store / branded Evil Inc
- Discount from the Evil Inc online store / branded Evil Inc After Dark
- Discounted “Webcomics Handbook” eBook / Webcomics.com
- Discounted “Webcomics Handbook” eBook / ComicLab podcast
Message templates, too, have sped up the recording process.
Be sure to set a follow-up notice. You can do this in the desktop version of Bonjoro under Settings / Resend Workflow. Here’s why. The general public on the Internet is very jaded, so when they see a message that you’ve recorded a video “just for them,” they roll their eyes. Several of these go unopened at first. When they get a follow-up message that says, “Just checking you received the video message I recorded for you a few days ago,” they tend to become curious.
When they realize you’ve created a special message just for them? That’s when you’ll (often) get a thank-you message from an amazed backer! I currently have mine set to send a reminder 7 days later.
As far as getting better at recording the videos goes, all I can say is my old stand-by: “It’s hard to get worse at something you do every day.” The more I recorded Bonjoro videos, the more comfortable I became. Today, I can sit down and rattle off a half-dozen of these (if needed) in a few minutes.
*Full disclosure — the links in the post above are affiliate links, so I will get a free credit on Bonjoro if you click them and sign up. However, I would have endorsed Bonjoro with or without the affiliate reward. If this is something you find disagreeable, please click this non-affiliate link to —> Bonjoro.