Trialing Subscriptions

Offering an option to trial your product or service can be a powerful tool to help grow your business. Trials give your potential subscriber the option to demo your product at little to no-charge. To compliment this approach, Chargify offers many different ways for your Subscribers to experience your product or service.

Here’s a few examples of the types of trials you can offer your Subscriber:

  • Free trial with no obligation to enter a credit card
  • Free trial with Setup Fee charged at the end of the trial
  • Paid trial with setup fee charged at the beginning of the trial
  • Paid trial with Setup Fee charged at the end of the trial

Chargify has provided the scenarios below to explain in detail what charges you can expect your Subscribers to face throughout the trial period. A subscriber’s experience during the trial period depends on how a product is configured in Chargify, as well as the validity of the subscriber’s credit card.

Trial Examples in Detail

In the following examples, all products assume a few attributes:

  1. Recurring period: All Subscriptions within Chargify include a product that has recurring period. Even if the recurring period is 1 week or 1 month, and then expires, this use-case is stil considered to be a recurring period for the sake of documentation.
  2. Trial Period: The examples below are broken into 2 sections, paid and free trials. Within the Chargify application, you can easily define the length and cost of a trial.
  3. Require Payment Method is unchecked under the Product Settings. The following bullet points cover a brief explanation of the column headers describing the various subscription states in trials, charges applied, customer experiences, etc., during a trial period.

Trial examples explained

  • Initial Setup Fee: This fee allows you to specify an up-front or startup fee that is charged once. The Setup fee is normally charged at signup, but if your product has a trial period, the Setup fee may be charged at the end of the trial. An initial/setup fee can be charged before the trial period, or after the trial period. If you are electing to charge your Subscribers a setup fee, you must require a payment method upon signup.
  • Trial Type:
    • No Obligation Trials: If no card is on file at the end of the trial, the subscription will transition to trial_ended.
    • Payment Expected Trials: If no card is on file at the end of the trial, the subscription will transition to trial_ended.
  • Card required on signup: This informational column indicates whether or not a valid credit card is required at the time of signup. This is purely indicative of the charges assessed. If you have Require Payment Method selected for the product, a payment method will always be required upon signup. For more information on product options, please view our documentation here.
  • Charges applied at signup: This informational column defines the types of charges that will be applied at signup for the given scenario. For information on transactions, please see our documentation here.
  • Status at end of trial with failed charge: This informational column defines the status of the subscription at the end of a trial if a failed transaction is encounterd.
  • Status at end of trial with no card on file: This information column defines the status of the subscription at the end of a trial if there is no card on file at the end of the trial.

Free Trials

The following trialing examples contain two types of trials.

  • Free trials that do not include a setup fee
  • Free trials that do include a setup fee

While free trials with setup fees are not “free” in the true sense of the word, we wanted to ensure to illustrate all types of trials for clarity purposes.

Initial/ setup fee Trial type Card required on signup? Charges applied at signup Status at end of trial with successful charge Charges applied at end of trial Status at end of trial with failed charge Status at end of trial with no card on file
Before Trial Period No Obligation Yes Startup fee Active Recurring product fee Past Due N/A
After Trial Period No Obligation No $0 Active Recurring product fee + Initial/ Setup Fee Past Due Trial Ended
Before Trial Period Payment Expected at End of Trial Yes Startup fee Active Recurring product fee Past Due N/A
After Trial Period Payment Expected at End of Trial No $0 Active Recurring product fee + Initial/ Setup Fee Past Due Past Due
N/A No Obligation No $0 Active Recurring product fee Past Due Trial Ended
N/A Payment Expected at End of Trial No $0 Active Recurring product fee Past Due Past Due

Free Trial with Metered & On/Off Components

The following trialing examples contain two types of trials.

  • Free trials that do not include a setup fee
  • Free trials that do include a setup fee

While free trials with setup fees are not “free” in the true sense of the word, we wanted to ensure to illustrate all types of trials for clarity purposes.

Initial/ setup fee Trial type Card required on signup? Charges applied at signup Status at end of trial with successful charge Charges applied at end of trial Status at end of trial with failed charge Status at end of trial with no card on file
Before Trial Period No Obligation Yes Initial/Setup fee Active Recurring product fee + Component Charges Past Due N/A
After Trial Period No Obligation No $0 Active Recurring product fee + Initial/Setup Fee + Component Charges Past Due Trial Ended
Before Trial Period Payment Expected at End of Trial No Initial/Setup fee Active Recurring product fee + Component Charges Past Due N/A
After Trial Period Payment Expected at End of Trial No $0 Active Recurring product fee + Initial/Setup Fee + Component Charges Past Due N/A
N/A No Obligation No $0 Active Recurring product fee + Component Charges Past Due Trial Ended
N/A Payment Expected at End of Trial No $0 Active Recurring product fee + Component Charges Past Due Past Due

Free Trial with Quantity Based Components

The following example contains signups for free trials without a setup fee. Additonally, all of the trials utilize the “no obligation” trial type.

Proration Method Trial Type Total charges applied if component is added at signup Total increase in “Current Balance” if component is added during trial Total charges applied at first renewal State after trial ends with no card on file
Prorate + Accrue No Obligation $0 Prorated cost of component Current balance + cost of product Trial Ended
Prorate + Process No Obligation $0 Prorated cost of component Current balance + cost of product Trial Ended
Full Cost + Accrue No Obligation $0 Full cost of component Current balance + cost of product Trial Ended
Full Cost + Process No Obligation $0 Full cost of component Current balance + cost of product Trial Ended
No Cost Change No Obligation $0 No change in balance Cost of product Trial Ended
Initial/ setup fee Trial type Card required on signup? Charges applied at signup Status at end of trial with successful charge Charges applied at end of trial Status at end of trial with failed charge Status at end of trial with no card on file
Before Trial Period No Obligation Yes Startup fee + Trial cost Active Recurring product fee Past Due N/A
After Trial Period No Obligation Yes Trial period cost Active Recurring product fee + Initial/ Setup Fee Past Due N/A
Before Trial Period Payment Expected at End of Trial Yes Trial period cost Active Recurring product fee Past Due N/A
After Trial Period Payment Expected at End of Trial Yes Trial period cost Active Recurring product fee + Initial/ Setup Fee Past Due N/A
N/A No Obligation Yes Trial period cost Active Recurring product fee Past Due N/A
N/A Payment Expected at End of Trial Yes Trial period cost Active Recurring product fee Past Due N/A
Initial/ setup fee Trial type Card required on signup? Charges applied at signup Status at end of trial with successful charge Charges applied at end of trial Status at end of trial with failed charge Status at end of trial with no card on file
Before Trial Period No Obligation Yes Initial/Setup fee + Trial cost Active Recurring product fee + Component Charges Past Due N/A
After Trial Period No Obligation Yes Trial period cost Active Recurring product fee + Initial/Setup fee + Component Charges Past Due N/A
Before Trial Period Payment Expected at End of Trial Yes Trial period cost Active Recurring product fee + Component Charges Past Due N/A
After Trial Period Payment Expected at End of Trial Yes Trial period cost Active Recurring product fee + Initial/Setup fee + Component Charges Past Due N/A
N/A No Obligation Yes Trial period cost Active Recurring product fee + Component Charges Past Due N/A
N/A Payment Expected at End of Trial Yes Trial period cost Active Recurring product fee Past Due N/A

The following example contains signups for paid trials without a setup fee. Additonally, all of the trials utilize the “no obligation” trial type, but are required to enter a credit card upon signup.

Proration Method Card Required on Signup Total charges applied to credit card when component is added at signup Current balance due after signup Total increase in “Current Balance” if component is added during trial Total charges applied at first renewal Status at end of trial with failed charge
Prorate + Accrue Yes Cost of Trial Period Cost of components added on signup Prorated cost of component Current balance + cost of product Past Due
Prorate + Process Yes Cost of Trial Period Cost of components added on signup Prorated cost of component Current balance + cost of product Past Due
Full Cost + Accrue Yes Cost of Trial Period Cost of components added on signup Full cost of component Current balance + cost of product Past Due
Full Cost + Process Yes Cost of Trial Period Cost of components added on signup Full cost of component Current balance + cost of product Past Due
No Cost Change Yes Cost of Trial Period Cost of components added on signup No change in balance Cost of product Past Due

Past Due and Trial Ended Subscriptions

As your Subscriber nears the end of the trial period, it’s important to understand how/if they will enter the dunning process.

If at any point, your Subscriber’s status is Past Due, they have already entered the Dunning Process. The timeline set by your Dunning Settings takes over from here in an effort to collect any existing failed transactions on the Subscription.

However, if your subscriber’s status is Trial Ended, this is considered a dead state. The Dunning Settings do not apply at this point. The subscription will need to Reactivated in order to proceed. It is especially important to review the reactivation documenation as there are multiple options for reactivation.

Information on Product Pricing

For full information on configuring Product Pricing, please see the following help sections

Information on Subscription States

For a full overview of all of Chargify’s subscription states, we recommend viewing our documentation here. This section of our documentation covers live, problem and end of life states of a subscription.