Monetise your Discord community: How tiers of revenue reach every fan

Written by Aidan Wilson

Everyone likes options. When you're encouraging fans to spend money supporting your brand, here’s how to provide monetisation opportunities that reach everyone from the most passionate superfans to every level across your community.

When you're driving tangible marketing and monetisation results in a Discord community, you have a golden opportunity to drive ongoing revenue from members. Here we'll suggest some ideas for monetisation tiers so you can give everyone an opportunity to spend money and support the brand, sports team, music artist.

As always, the first thing you need to do is understand your community. There are different types of people in your community, from the most engaged to the least. Even among music communities, different artists might have very different audiences. Communities dedicated to various subjects, from sports or gaming to investing, will have different demographics with different unmet needs and different purchase drivers.

With these insights in mind, here are some ways to create different options and price points that meet the needs of all community members.

Offer genuine value

The key thing is always to offer genuine value to members. When members are happy with their purchase, they'll spread the word within the community and hopefully on their other social channels, bringing in new members. This is called the community flywheel, driving ongoing revenue. Most importantly, engaged community members keep coming back to potentially spend money again.

Keeping members happy is crucial. Your community is not a cash cow. You'll get far more long-term value from an ongoing relationship with your superfans than you will by constantly hitting them up for short-term profits. Make sure your content always provides value and interest to your members, and intersperse any monetisation opportunities amid the conversation so members don't feel exploited.

Exclusive opportunities and early access

One of the most powerful incentives to join a community is the feeling of exclusivity. Fans love to join spaces that give them value they can't get elsewhere. That means community exclusives and early access are massively compelling.

It's great to offer exclusive content for free, but fans are also more than willing to spend money on things that make them feel like the superfans they are. Early access also allows you to test new merch and products. You can even charge a premium for exclusives, but be careful not to overcharge the community.

Merch and products

Exclusive products and merch set members apart from the crowd - literally. Fans feel special when they're at a concert and everyone's asking them where they got their t-shirt.

Whether a product is exclusive or widely available, you know that your community members have signalled high purchasing intention just by joining.

Promote products and retail opportunities organically, for example by posting a link to a webshop while encouraging members to share photos of the merch or products they've bought. For example, Starbucks encourages loyalty card holders to share photos of their drinks in the loyalty scheme's dedicated Discord community.

Paid memberships and subscriptions

There's no greater signal of intention than paying for the privilege of joining the group in the first place. With Discord server subscriptions, the community generates its own sustainable revenue, and gives an even stronger exclusive feeling for anyone signing up.

Yes, a paid subscription will inevitably put off casual fans. But it also weeds out many touts, spammers and bots. If you don’t want to turn away fans, compromise by welcoming members for free access, with a tiered membership system that offers paying members extra value like premium emojis, exclusive channels and subscriber-only content.

Collaboration and affiliate marketing

Collaboration is a win-win because the brands involved gets exposed to new audiences. Choose brands that mesh with your community's goals, interests and values.

Tours, tickets and live events

Live events can be anything from a concert tour to a product launch or meet-and-greet. IRL events give members an opportunity to cement their online friendships, and they give you a double monetisation opportunity: first selling tickets, then selling products and merch to attendees. Exclusive pre-sales for your community are perfect for reaching genuine fans, building buzz and thwarting ticket touts and scalpers through clever layers of verification.

When Fall Out Boy planned a new tour, Levellr suggested an exclusive pre-sale within the Discord server. The pre-sale generated $2 million in sales in just 24 hours, all tracked from Discord.

Turning community engagement into revenue

Ideally, your community will be engaged and growing, creating the opportunity for sustainable ongoing revenue. To maximise revenue options, keep an eye on where members spend their money. Use tools like platform-specific links, third-party integrations and data analytics to monitor what's happening.

If the majority go for cheaper price points, it's possible that your more expensive options don't offer enough value. Try offering more with the higher-priced options to see if members take you up on it. If no-one is buying certain price points, don't be afraid to try different strategies, or drop options that aren't selling. If a certain price point is popular, consider offering more options at that level.

But be careful about changing the prices of popular monetisation opportunities. As always, you don't want to sour your community for the sake of chasing short-term profit.

Expert community managers can help any brand both understand their community and come up with monetisation strategies that members will love. At Levellr we help clients like Fall Out Boy and Starbucks engage fans and loyal customers to drive real marketing and monetisation results from thriving Discord communities.

Contact Levellr today to find out how you can build a community which drives revenue and keeps fans happy at every price point.

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