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Configuring Trial Subscriptions

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Configure a free or discounted trial period for your subscription. FastSpring will bill the customers the discounted or free price for the number of billing periods that you configure. The upcoming billing schedule is visible to customers under Subscription Terms at checkout, and in their account management portal.  

Add a Free Trial Period

When you add a free trial period to your subscription, you have the option to have FastSpring collect payment information at checkout, and automatically charge the customer when the free trial ends. Buyers will receive reminder notifications before the trial expires, with instructions for providing a payment method if one has not been collected.

  1. Navigate to Products > Subscriptions
  2. Create a new subscription, or select a subscription to edit
  3. In the Pricing section, click Edit
  4. In the Free Trial Days field, enter the trial duration in days
  5. In Trial Price, choose the payment method collection option:
    1. Yes, Collect payment method –  Requires a payment method to complete the order and start the trial. The buyer won’t be charged until the trial expires.
    2. No – Does not require a payment method to complete the order and start the trial. 
  6. Save your changes

Trial Reminders

FastSpring automatically emails a trial reminder to the customer before charging them for the subscription. You can edit the content and type of reminder in the Subscription Notifications and Cancellation section of the subscription details page. To customize trial reminders, see Customer Notifications

Add a Discounted Trial Period

If you configure a product discount on a subscription with a free trial, the discount applies after the free trial period ends. To discount the trial period, add a temporary product discount instead of a free trial.

  1. In the subscription details page, navigate to the discount section. Click Edit
  2. Select Use Volume Duration. In the corresponding field, enter the discount percent you would like to apply to the trial period. 
  3. Below Discount Duration, enter the number of billing periods that you would like the trial to last. 
  4. In the Reason field, optionally enter an explanation for the discount. 
  5. Save your changes. 

Repeated Free Trial Sign-Ups

If you detect that a customer has signed up for a free trial multiple times, you can use the webhooks and API to determine who the customer is and cancel future subscriptions. 

  1. Subscribe to the subscription.activated webhook event. FastSpring will provide the account ID for each new subscription. If the customer enters a known email address, FastSpring will associate the order with the account ID. 
  2. Use the account ID and the product ID to search for previous orders.
    • Using your external database: Design your database to detect duplicate trial orders. The script will check your database for previous orders with the same product and account IDs. 
    • Using the API: Send a GET request to the /accounts endpoint to include a list of orders associated with the account. Then, send a GET /orders request to return all completed orders. Search the orders for the subscription ID. 

If you find that a customer has used multiple free trial periods for the same subscription, you can design your script to automatically initiate a DELETE call to the /subscriptions endpoint. Include the new subscription ID and the parameter &billingPeriod=0. FastSpring will send a subscription deactivation message to the customer.