Everything You Need to Know About Gifted Subs vs Donations

Welcome to the holiday season! Christmas is approaching fast and New Year is just around the corner. It seems like each, and every Twitch channel has a unique way of celebrating this time of the year and that everyone, in general, is a bit more relaxed and cheerful. It’s the time for giving, and your community is probably ready to be more generous than any other point of the year.

Quite often, viewers will feel the intense Christmas spirit around them and they would like to contribute something on their own. They will be active in chat, engaging with you and the community, and they may even pop a very common and equally important question: “What is the best way to support the channel?”

Have you ever actually thought about the answer to that question? If so, that’s great; you probably have a few capital ideas on what could benefit your channel the most and why. But if you didn’t spend any time analyzing the possibilities here, you could potentially make a huge mistake that will cost you not only your revenue but your channel’s long-term growth.

So, will you tell them to shower the channel with gift subs or donate some money directly?

Different forms of support have their pros and cons, and they contribute to various outcomes. Now that you understand that, you need to decide what is the most important thing for you and your Twitch channel. Is it exposure? Cold, hard cash? Followers? Concurrent viewers? There are quite a few options here, so think long and hard. Now, if your goal is to grow your community as much as possible and accelerate that growth during the holiday season, read on, we have some great ideas to discuss here.

Let’s talk about community invitation. You’re going to love this one.

Have you ever noticed that new viewers on Twitch tend to browse a lot, pop in and out of channels, look around for something that catches their attention right here and right now? It’s almost like they have a short attention span and very little interest in sticking around channels they don’t know. If they are not already familiar with you as a streamer, they probably won’t stay in your channel for more than a minute or two.

This kind of new, undecided viewer is what we call a prospect.

A prospect is a person that is a potential viewer. Not quite a new member of the community yet. Someone that is a possible regular viewer, but doesn’t know about it yet. Someone that maybe one day will show up for all of your streams and support you long-term — a real gem.

But in that very first moment when you meet your prospect, you don’t even have his attention. You haven’t engaged him yet in any way. So… How do you go from here to making sure that he sticks around in your channel? Well, there are a few things that need to happen first.

One: Your channel needs to present some kind of entertainment value to our prospect. Is your content worth staying for at all?

Two: If they do decide to hang around for a bit, you need to give them just the right reasons to come back later on. Think about your content, your community, anything and everything you have and be honest with yourself – Is it fun? Is it engaging?

What else can you do to keep them around?

Let’s consider the key question: How do the gifted sub vs donation issue and our prospect fit together? How does it all connect?

Well, if you tell your viewers that you’d rather receive donations than gifted subs, that’s it. Done and done. Did you get a $50 donation? You magically get $50 deposited into your bank account. No worries, no additional work, no hassle, you get all the money that someone donated to you.

With a gifted sub, it’s only around 50% of that, so when you do the math, $50 becomes $25. It honestly doesn’t sound like a great deal, so why would you ever choose gifted subs over donations?

It’s all about a long-term perspective. Because let’s be realistic, streaming only makes sense if you’re in for the long run.

Think about it as an investment – it’s all about the return-ratio on gifted subs. Let me explain. If 50% of viewers who received gifted subs from someone in your channel resub for the next month, you are taking back all the money you ‘lost’ by not choosing a donation. 

Think about the month after that, if you manage to keep all of them engaged and subbed you made it all back.. At some point, you will leave that potential donation in the dust and make more than you ever typically would by choosing it. Now, imagine what happens if those viewers stick around and potentially resub again and again for 6 or 12 months. Sustainable, long-term revenue happens. Sounds great, am I right?

And let me tell you; nothing keeps a prospect engaged and invested into a channel like a brand new gifted sub. Especially when your sub emotes are great, and the community is welcoming. It’s like a free invitation to connect and become a part of something new. With free gifts!

So going back to the viewer that asked you the original “What is the best way to support your channel?” question – Do you know what to answer now? I sure hope so.