In today’s episode, I’m going to take a deep dive on Patreon and Email.

Why this is important.

For the Novel Marketing Patreon, there are several rewards that we want patrons to get automatically. The biggest is a series of coupon codes that give them discounts on our courses and plugins.

Right now we send these emails by hand and that means there is sometimes a long delay from when someone signs up and when they get the email.

You would think there is a way in Patreon to craft a custom thank you email that would have all this information, but there is not. That said it can be done and I will walk you through how to do it in this episode.

The other reason this is important is that it gets your patrons out of Patreon and into your email app. That way if something happened to Patreon or you wanted to move away for some reason, you have all your subscribers in a place you control. Also, it is nice to be able to send out emails to all your patrons.


The short version is you setup a Zapier Zap with a Patreon “New Patron” trigger that triggers a MailChimp action to add the patron as a subscriber. Then you create a MailChimp onboarding campaign that has the welcome email. If that didn’t make sense to you, don’t worry I will walk you through the process step by step.


Step 1 Sign Up for Zapier

Zapier is a tool used for connecting online services. It has a free forever plan which is all we will need for this.

Sign Up for Zapier (Free)

How Zapier Works:

  • A “trigger” in one app can create an “Action” in another app.
  • Right now Patreon has 3 triggers
    • New Pledge
    • Updated Pledge
    • Delete Pledge
  • There are thousands of Action apps. For instance, you can setup Twitter as an action so that as soon as someone becomes a Patron, you send a Tweet thanking that person.
  • Zapier has some built-in actions and can send out emails itself, so you could skip all the following steps if you don’t care about building an email list in MailChimp.


Step 2 Sign Up For MailChimp

I am going to use MailChimp as my example in this episode because it is the most popular app. You can do this with nearly any other email service like ConvertKit, Drip, or Active Campaign.

MailChimp is the most popular email marketing platform on the internet.

MailChimp is free up to 2,000 subscribers. After that, it is on the cheap side of the platforms. It’s not the cheapest or the most powerful but it is a solid option for a lot of people.

Sign up for MailChimp (Affiliate Link)

There are many tutorial videos to help you with signing up for MailChimp, and there is a good chance you already have a MailChimp account so I won’t spend too much time on it here.

Here is a guide on How to Sign up For a MailChimp Account.

Step 3 Create a “Zap” between Patreon and MailChimp

To start this step, the easiest thing to do is click the link in the show notes that will take you to the specific Patreon to MailChimp recipe in Zapier. At that point, you will just follow the steps.  

In short, you will verify your Patreon account and Verify your MailChimp account.

Patreon to MailChimp Zapier Recipe


  • You want Patreon to be your “trigger app”
  • You want MailChimp to be your “Action”

Step 3.5 (Optional) Create a “Patrons” Group in MailChimp

Since we already use MailChimp with Novel Marketing, I needed to create a Patrons only group so that our regular subscribers would not get the “thank you” email.

Here is a guide on How to Create a Group in MailChimp.

Once you create the group, you will want to make sure your Zap adds new subscribers to that group specifically.

Step 4 Create a MailChimp Automation Email

Now we want to create the email we want MailChimp to send out automatically.

I’ll have a link in the show notes to MailChimp’s help article on how to create an email automation. Basically, you create this email the same way you would create any other email you just select automation instead of a simple email. Then you pick the trigger which will either be “added to the list” if you are starting from scratch or “subscriber activity added to a group” if you are using my group method.


  • Keep it simple. No fancy graphics
  • Make sure the from name and email are recognizable.
  • Have it send immediately after the trigger.

Here is a guide on How to Create an Automated Welcome Email in MailChimp

Step 5 Write Additional Drip Emails (Optional)

Now that you have created your first automated email, you can setup additional emails to come out after a period of time that you set up. This could be useful if you have a lot of complicated rewards that need explaining. Perhaps each day they get an email explaining each reward.

Step 6 Setup An Auto Unsubscribe Zap (Optional)

Zapier can also automatically unsubscribe people from a MailChimp list or Group if they stop being a patron. This is nearly the same steps as in step 3 but you want your trigger to be “Delete Pledge” and your action to be “Unsubscribe Email.”

Use Novel Marketing’s Patreon Affiliate Link to make an extra $50 for your first 30 backers.

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