Overview of Subscriptions and how to create, edit, access and delete them
A Subscription is a product or service with recurring charges instead of a one-time purchase fee. Each Subscription product contains a subscription definition, which includes:
- Frequency of charges
- Payment amount
- Duration of the payment
Free Trial Periods and discounts are optional features for your Subscriptions. However, all subscriptions with automatic renewals still require payment information, even if the initial payment is free. This way, FastSpring can automatically rebill the consumer for future charges. To collect an additional fee at the start of the subscription that will not be part of the regular billings, use a one-time setup fee.
To offer non-subscription products along with the Subscription, such as Bundles, use the Subscription Add-Ons feature. Consumers manage their subscriptions on FastSpring’s Customer-Facing Account Management site.
For usage-based scenarios, you can create a Managed Subscription. This will allow you to manually trigger additional billings. The subscription definition is configured in the Pricing section of a Subscription's detail page in the FastSpring App.
Create a New Subscription
You can also create Subscriptions, including the subscription definitions, by posting to the FastSpring API.
- Under the Products menu, select Subscriptions, then click Create Subscription in the top, right corner of the page. The Create Subscription popup window appears.
- Under Subscription Name, enter the Product Title. Click the drop-down language selector to enter the Subscription Name in additional languages.
- In the Product Path field, a default value is automatically created based on the product title. Adjust the Product Path if desired. However, you will not be able to change the product ID once the subscription has been saved. It cannot contain spaces, punctuation, or special characters, as it is used to reference the product internally, and is part of the Product Page’s URL.
- In the Summary field, enter descriptive text about the subscription product. This text appears on your Web Storefront, and you can also access it via the Store Builder Library. You can optionally click the drop-down for the language selector and enter the subscription title in each desired language.
- In the Billing Cycle field, click the drop-down and select the frequency at which FastSpring will charge consumers for this subscription.
- In the Price field, enter the amount that FastSpring charges each billing cycle in your Store’s default currency. Select All Currencies to enter specific prices in other currencies. See Subscription Pricing and Currencies, Conversions and Taxes for additional information.
- Click Create. Your page returns to the Subscriptions tab of the Products menu, with a confirmation message.
Edit a Subscription
After a Subscription has been created, click on it to access the Subscription Detail page. The page is divided into sections of related subscription attributes. Click the Edit button in any section to edit the values of the fields in that section.
- Public/Private - Control whether or not the subscription is available to external customers. The selector is set to Public by default. If you select Private, the subscription can only be purchased when offered as a Product Option of another product. Attempting to view the Product Page for a private subscription results in an "inaccessible" message.
- Product Path - Identifies the subscription record internally as well as in a Storefront URL for the product page. This is also known as the Product ID. You cannot modify the ID following subscription creation.
- Display - Edit the Subscription Name or display text shown for this product. Click the language drop-down to enter it in additional languages.
- Summary - Enter a brief description of the subscription. This text appears on the Homepage and the product page in a Web Storefront. Use the Long Description field if you want to provide a large amount of text about the subscription. Note: This field accepts markdown.
- Icon - Click the field label to upload a product image, such as a box shot or screenshot. Click Choose File and browse to and select an image file on your network or your local computer, and then click Save.
- Supported image file formats include .png, .jpg, .gif. Web Storefronts can display an image file with a size of up to 256 x 256 pixels. The Popup Storefront Carts can display an image as large as 46 x 46 pixels. If the image you upload is too large or too small, the Storefront page automatically resizes it to fit.
Pricing and Discounts
- Pricing - Click Edit to adjust the Subscription charges. A popup window with advanced settings appears.
- Standard or Managed - For automatic renewal Subscriptions, click Standard. Managed subscription rebills take place manually.
- Charge Interval - Select how often you want FastSpring to charge consumers for the Subscription
- Free Trial Days - Free Trials are optional features for your Subscriptions. To include one, enter the number of days you want the free trial to last.
- Length - Input the number of rebills for the Subscription. This will include the first charge incurred during the order, unless it was a Free Trial. Free Trials do not count as a rebill. For unlimited rebills, select Rebill Indefinitely.
- Unit Price - Enter the Price of each rebill in your Store’s default currency. Optionally enter the price in additional supported currencies. If you choose to leave these blank, FastSpring automatically converts the base price for you.
- One-Time Setup Fee - Select this radio button to enable a Setup Fee for the Subscription. This fee will appear as a separate, required item when a consumer adds this Subscription to the order. This optional one-time setup fee will not be included in future subscription rebills.
- Default Quantity - Enter the number of Subscriptions the Subscription includes by default. In the radio buttons below, select whether consumers may edit or see this setting.
- Discount - Click the Edit button here if you want to specify a product discount, including volume discounts.
For Subscriptions, Fulfillments may come in the form of a license key, a product download, or additional means of accessing a licensed product. Create and edit these under the Fulfillments section of the subscription details. See Fulfillments for more information.
- Click Add Fulfillment. The Add Fulfillment Action page opens.
- Select the radio button of the fulfillment action you want to add, then click Next.
- Send Email - (Uncommon) instructs FastSpring to send an additional email message to the consumer containing applicable fulfillment details. This legacy option is maintained for backward compatibility, and is no longer necessary since the receipt email message automatically includes fulfillment details. We do not recommend selecting this option unless instructed by FastSpring Support.
- Generate a License - Have a license generated for the customer. Click Choose a generator to select an available generation method.
- Provide a File Download - Upload a product file that will be served to consumers as a download upon completion of a purchase for this product.
- Create a Signed PDF - Upload a PDF file that will be stamped by FastSpring with each consumer's name and order information. The stamped PDF file will be served to consumers as a download upon completion of a purchase for this product.
- Follow the prompts to complete the configuration of the selected fulfillment action.
Notifications & Cancellation
Configure optional email notifications sent from FastSpring to the consumer, and control the timing of subscription cancellation due to a declined rebill transaction.
- Send payment reminder - If this checkbox is selected, FastSpring sends pre-billing reminder emails to the consumer. Enter the number of days, weeks, months, or years in advance of each scheduled payment that reminder messages will be sent. The default value is 1 Day.
- To send multiple reminder messages before each billing, click Add Reminder and repeat this process up to four times. Click Remove to discontinue additional reminders.
- Send payment overdue notification - If this checkbox is selected, FastSpring sends an email to the purchaser when their payment fails. This gives them a chance to resolve the payment issue before the subscription is canceled. Enter the number of days, weeks, months, or years after the payment failure that notifications will be sent.
- To send multiple notices before FastSpring cancels the Subscription, click Add Reminder. You can also control the total number of notices that FastSpring will send before canceling the subscription automatically. The default values send notifications every 2 Weeks for 5 times total.
If Send payment overdue notification messages is not selected, enter the amount of time that the subscription will remain active from the date of the failed payment. If you have selected this option, enter the amount of time that the subscription will remain active from the date of the last overdue payment notification. The default value for both scenarios is 2 weeks.
See Changing Subscription Notification and Cancellation Settings for more information.
Related Offers & Add-Ons
The Related Offers & Add-Ons section lets you set up promotional offers that appear when a consumer selects the Subscription. Click Add New and then select the type of related offer you want to create.
- Subscription Add-Ons - Combine non-subscription items to your Subscription.
- Product Options - Present Single-Choice options, Multiple-Choice options, or Alternatives to the Subscription during checkout.
- Product Offers - Offer Cross-Sells or Upsells to the consumers during checkout to encourage adding related products to the order.
The Advanced section lets you configure advanced options for the selected product. Click Edit to open the Edit Advanced Details dialog, and modify any of these properties.
- SKU - Optionally enter an internal SKU ID or part number so you can identify the subscription using your own system.
- Long Description - Provide additional text about the Subscription in each language. This text can be displayed in a Lightbox that overlays the product page when a consumer selects the Subscription Name in a Web Storefront. This field accepts markdown.
- EDS - Extended Download Service (EDS) is enabled at the Store level. If it is enabled for your Store, it is enabled by default for all Subscriptions that have at least one file download fulfillment action. If the Subscription does not have a download, this field does not appear. If EDS is not enabled for your account, this field does not appear.
- Call to Action - By default, the subscription's action button, which selects the subscription and adds it to the cart, is labeled Add. The Call to Action field lets you provide an alternative button label in each supported language.
- Post Order Instructions - Provide text that will appear next to this Subscription on the Completion Page, following a successful order. This lets customers know what to do next, such as a description of how to download the software or register using the license key. Click the language drop-down to enter the information or instructions in each desired language. This field accepts markdown.
Using the Options button at the top right-hand corner of the product detail page, you can access additional functions related to the selected subscription product.
- Create Variation - Copy the Subscription in product format, and override individual settings to customize it. You can do this to test discounts for holiday offers, or create a cross-sell for a different product from it.
- Custom Attributes - Pass additional information about the Subscription that is invisible to the consumer. Attributes do not appear in reporting, but some Webhook Events and responses to FastSpring API requests include them.
- Delete - permanently delete the Subscription
Access Subscription-Specific Links
To find URLs for the selected Subscriptions in any Storefront, including testing URLs, click Checkout Links at the top right-hand corner of the Subscription’s detail page. The Checkout Links dialog provides a variety of ways to link to the product, including the option to view the product in a Popup Storefront.
For more details, please see Linking to Product Pages.
Delete a Subscription
Deleting a Subscription product record is permanent and cannot be reversed. Consumers' existing subscription instances are not affected, but no new Subscriptions can be created using a deleted product. The product will no longer appear in the FastSpring App or in API responses.
- From the Subscriptions tab of the Products menu, click the tile of the subscription product you want to delete.
- On the subscription detail page, click the Options button at the top right-hand corner of the page and select Delete.
- Click OK when prompted to confirm that you want to delete the subscription.
Access Subscription Variations
If you create variations for your Subscription, you can access them via the drop-down selector at the top, left corner of the parent product's details page. The selector only appears if the subscription product has variations. Click the selector and then choose the variation you want to view or edit, or click Show All.
If you select Show All, the product detail page displays a separate section for each product variation, below the Advanced section of the parent product's details.