We have been putting a lot of work and focus into our Recurring Payments plugin and today we’re excited to announce the next set of improvements. With the release of version 2.6 of Recurring Payments, subscription signups with free trials are now fully supported.
The product edit screen now includes a Enable free trial for subscriptions box that, when checked, allows site administrators to configure a free trial for the product’s subscription.
When a product is configured with a free trial, payment details will be collected from the customer at checkout but they will not be charged until the trial period expires. Once the trial is over, customers are charged automatically and the subscription’s status changes from Trialling to Active.
Offering free trials for your subscription products could dramatically increase your number of paid subscribers. It helps provide a frictionless on-boarding process where customers can safely try your product or service without worrying if they are wasting money.
When asked if free trials are worth it, Forbes said:
Absolutely. A free trial is a great marketing tool and a solid step toward establishing good will with new customers. Trials with products aimed at particular audiences are effective, such as chewing gum geared toward people with dental work, tasty protein bars for athletes or eye shadows that complement certain eye colors.
“Very few people are going to give you a bunch of money to try something if they are already using a product that works,” says Kenn Devane, president and CEO of MineTech, a consultancy that helps companies find patterns in customer data. “I think you have to do a free trial.”
Version 2.6 of Recurring Payments can be downloaded from your account page or through one-click updates inside of your WordPress install. If you’re new to Recurring Payments, the extension can be purchased from the product page.
This is a great update. What would make it even more useful would be to add this to discount codes.
I don’t always want to give everyone a free trial, but this would be super useful for specific promotions (holiday) where I can offer a free month for a limited time if you sign up by x date.
Unless I’m not understanding how this is being implemented, it seems like if I create a product I either have to choose to keep it normal or offer a free month subscription. Adding it to a discount code actually makes it useful.
I apologize if I’m missing how this would work. We offer monthly WordPress hosting subscriptions and already have our products (subscriptions) created. If someone randomly visits our site we want them to be charged right away unless we choose to do a promotion. If it’s turned on globally for each product that doesn’t make much sense. Add this to Discount Codes and you’ve got something great 🙂
Thanks for the feedback! That’s on our todo list to add in another update 🙂
Not working, after my 7 day free trial ends the suscription switches to expired instead of active and didnt start charging the 5$/month
Hi Frederik. Could you contact our support team so we could better assist you? Thanks!
Great to hear and looking forward to it.
Looks great! How does it work with the signup fee? I would assume that would still be due at signup prior to the trial? I’ve run a couple of sites where this kind of thing is used for deposit + payments and the signup fee with a delay before the first payment is very useful.
Signup fees get automatically disabled if a free trial is set up. Since the first “payment” is free, signup fees cannot be applied.
This is awesome. I was on the ropes and about to switch over to woo. This is a great addition. Keep up the great work guys.
This is EXACTLY what I’ve been waiting for for a project I’ve been putting off (because I didn’t want to take time time to learn woo). You guys have been making incredible strides with EDD. Keep up the great work!
I am thinking seriously of offering a 15 day free trial to subscription with multiple price ids. I’m wondering how the base cancellation funnel is designed to work.
I’m not quite clear on what you’re asking so I apologize if I don’t answer your question.
When a customer purchases a subscription with a free trial, payment details (PayPal or debit/credit card) will be collected immediately. Once the trial is over, the customer will be charged for the subscription. If the customer chooses to cancel the subscription before the trial is completed, they can do that and they will not be charged.
Really what I was asking is if there will be a new ‘cancel trial’ shortcode button that will be different from the normal cancel subscription button. Something to put in front of the customer’s face during the trial period.
No, it uses the same cancel option as actively paying subscriptions.
Also is EDD planning to start a free trial option? I really like modeling after you guys.
Not at this time.
Looks fantastic, folks! Is there a possibility in a future release to ask for payment details after the trial expires? This way the user has no barriers to entry initially. There’s research to suggest (https://www.chargebee.com/blog/saas-free-trial-credit-card-verdict/) that it is better for signups if there are fewer barriers.
It’s certainly a possibility!
Any updates on option to collect payment details after trial expires? My customers are less keen to provide a card on file for a trial. I’d like to offer a one year license with a 7 day free trial that is not a subscription (no card required to sign up to trial) so that after trial expires, they need to sign up to continue. when they sign up, they get a one year license that will need to be renewed (auto email reminder). Ideally, they would also have the option to make the sign up a subscription that auto renews (with option for discount for subscription signup.) Or they could just buy the one year at at time for regular price.
We have not made changes to enable that functionality. The use case certainly makes sense but it hasn’t been something we’ve focused on adding because the large majority of our users want payment details collected up front. That is a lot more common and pretty well the standard for free trials.
With All Access Pass + Recurring payments I really need this feature on free trial (no card required to sign up to trial)…
Glad to see this feature.
Does the system do a pre-authorization to make sure that the card is valid when they signup?
+1 for the discount codes option!
Yes it does!
I have been trying so hard to find a payment gateway plugin that supports South African Rands and works with the recurring payments extension. 2Checkout rejected me purely because we sell legal services… Ridiculous! Are there any other payment gateway plugins that support South African Rands and go with the Recurring payments extension?
2Checkout is the only one among our officially supported gateways.
You could hire a developer to build a custom integration for Recurring Payments and PayFast.
Thanks Pippin, I am seeking quotes currently to do that. Thank you!
What happens if you initially set the free trial for let’s say 90 days and then switch it to 30 days a few weeks later? Will the system remember the free trial period for the original purchaser or is it only getting the data from the download (and not user purchase history)? Reason I ask is because I’d like to occasionally offer a longer free trial period and I’d like to avoid creating multiple downloads if I can (since they will all be selling the same download).
Changing the settings will only affect new subscribers. It will not affect existing subscribers in any way.
Perfect, thanks! So I assume the pricing stays with the subscription regardless of how many times we change the free trial then, is that right? So if we start with a 90 day free trial, switch to a 14 day free trial a week later, then end up switching to a 30 day free trial a month later – none of that matters and the trial duration during the time the user signs up is what they will get, right? Sorry, just want to clarify.
Why your plugins are overpriced? I have never seen similar prices elsewhere. You want $147 / year for a single plugin, seriously?
Thank you for the feedback. We genuinely believe our prices are very, very reasonable, and even too low at times.
People can charge whatever they want for their products, that’s their prerogative. If you don’t like the price, don’t buy it. If you think you can develop the same plugin for a lesser amount, then do it… and please let us know when it’s on the market. I’m guessing it’ll be tough to match the quality that goes into each of Pippin’s plugins, but that’s just my guess.
Yes! That was a much needed feature!
is there any way to charge the customer for trial? What if i want to offer $1 trial subscription.
I would like to charge $1 for trial period of 15 days and afterwards charge the regular subscription amount.
If your trial period is the same length as the standard subscription, yes. You can use the Signup Fees option to reduce the first payment to $1. See http://docs.easydigitaldownloads.com/article/1143-recurring-payments—creating-subscription-products
Just curious, how does the free trial work in regards to the first payment? For example we offer a 30% discount for the renewal price, so does the free trial charge the regular product price, or is it discounted renewal price on the first charge?
The first charge will be at the renewal price.
I’m in the process of launching a product, for which I’m offering a reduced version in the meantime. I’d like to offer a free trial to the user until the full product is released. I can manage that using your plugin by reducing the number of days on the trial each day for new applicants. Question is if my release date goes back, is there any way for me to add more time to existing customer’s free trials?
If you’re using Stripe, yes. Stripe is much more flexible than other merchant processors and does allow you to manually edit subscriptions, including the next bill date, for customers.
I need to recur the payment for 90 days. Is it possible to set that? As daily, weekly, monthly, and etc. are not what I want.
At this time, no, we do not support 90 recurring periods.
When you launched this plugin in 2016, discount codes were not supported. I see now that a discount code can be entered when checking out a download with recurring payments.
Could you explain how this works in this situation: if the recurring fee is $10/month and the user enters a discount code for $25. Will this cover the two first payments completely, the first charge will be $5 for the 3rd month, and following months will be charged $10 afterwards?
Thanks for this great plugin.
There are two options available:
1. Apply the discount to every payment
2. Apply the discount to just the first payment
Your scenario, where the first 3 payments are discounted due to the discount being greater than the monthly amount, is not currently supported. In that scenario, the first payment would be discounted to $0 and then the following payments would be full price.
Thanks Pippin. It answers my question.
I want to offer Product A as a 14-day free trial and Same Product A as Offer direct checkout by Easy Digital Downloads.
Example: If the user does not confide in the product, They can try for Free Trial option.
— If the user has confidence then he can direct buy products from Pricing Page.
Is it possible by EDD?
Please guide me here.
My customer didn’t get renewed or auto charged after his free trial expires, what should I do?
Hi Zeke. Could you contact our support team so we can better assist you? Thanks! 🙂
Hi, I am having a problem with my easy digital downloads recurring payment, first the free trial is not working and it is charging the user immediately, which is supposed to be zero. Then when the user paid, it is not registered as a subscription on PayPal but just a one-time payment. What do you think is the issue?
Hi Dennis, Would you mind contacting our support team so we can help you with this ASAP? Thanks! 🙂