In this guide:
The Lowdown on Subscriptions⚓
Subscriptions, memberships, recurring billing, and payment plans can all be created within Packages, Gift Certificates & Subscriptions. Choose +New Subscription to offer a subscription that clients can purchase.
The Price is what clients are charged each billing period. The first charge will be when they initially check out, then will be charged that every period (for example, every month or every 2 weeks).
The Processors that allow for recurring billing and subscriptions are Stripe, Square, and Braintree, as those processors will vault a client's credit card after their initial purchase. For more information on the features available with each processor, check out our support doc on that.
The billing period can be 1, 2, 3, 4 or 6 weeks; 1, 3 or 6 months; or a year. This is how long after the previous payment clients are charged. For example, if it was set to be $54 per month and the client first signed up on July 7th, then their next payment would be August 7th.
Number of billing cycles is how many times they will be charged that fee. If you had a price of $50 per month, and 3 billing cycles, then clients would pay $50 when they first check out, then in exactly a month pay $50 again, and a month after that pay the final $50 for $150 total paid.
Initial setup fee is an additional charge on top of the price charged when they first check out. In the screenshot above the $10 setup fee would mean that clients are charged $64 the first time they check out, and then $54 each month after that.
Redeemable for a total number of minutes or number of appointments works the same as with appointment packages, learn more about how that works. However, each billing period the balance can either be reset, rolled over, or left as-is according to what is set in the Every Subscription Billing Cycle setting. Appointments are counted against the billing period in which the client books them, not the billing period during which the actual appointment occurs.
Every Subscription Billing Cycle is a setting that lets you decide how the code's value changes when the billing cycle rolls around. You can have Acuity:
- Reset the amount - This will make the customer lose any unused time.
So if a subscription can be redeemed for 2 hours each month, and a client only books 1 hour worth of appointments, then the next month the code can be redeemed for 2 hours. The code itself will show it can be redeemed for 2 hours total, and past appointments won't be deducted from it, so they can start fresh each month.
- Rollover remaining appointments - This will add value to the certificate each month so clients can rollover unused value to the next month.
For example if the subscription is 2 hours each month and the client books 1 hour worth of appointments, then the next month they can redeem that code for 3 hours. The code itself will show that it can be redeemed for 4 hours total (2 hours from the first month plus 2 hours from the second month), but it will deduct the appointments from the previous month, making it redeemable for 3 hours total.
- Leave as-is - This will not adjust the value of the code each billing cycle. In the same example again, a subscription set up for 2 hours will be 2 hours total for the life of the subscription.
So if someone booked 1 hour worth of appointments in the first month then in the second month they can only book 1 hour worth of appointments. That's because the overall value is left as-is and all appointments are deducted from it.
You can watch a recording of our webinar about coupons, packages, gift certificates and subscriptions here.
Adding Subscribers ⚓
Clients can subscribe by purchasing the subscription through your online store. After subscribing they will pay the setup fee plus price of the subscription and be sent the Package/Gift Certificate email and see that same information on the final confirmation page. Included in there is a link to manage their subscription and also a code and link to redeem it for any appointments.
After each period, for example every month, they will be charged again and receive the Subscription Paid email which also includes a link to manage their subscription and redeem appointments.
As the admin you can also manually add subscribers by editing the subscription and click the +Add Subscriber button. Along with entering the name and email address, you can also enter the date the first payment is due. After adding the subscriber a credit card can be put on file, or you can manually email the client requesting them to enter their own credit card.
If payment is due immediately then the client will be charged as soon as the credit card is entered. If you entered a future date for the first payment then clients won't be charged until that date.
Adding Terms and Conditions to your Subscriptions⚓
You can require clients to agree to your terms and conditions before purchasing a subscription, package or gift certificate. To set this feature up, go to Business Settings > Packages & Gift Certificates. Check the box next to Require clients agree to your terms before placing an order.
A new field will appear, which will allow you to enter your wording. You can format your text, including using HTML. And if your terms and conditions are hosted on another site, you can link to that site.
Clients will have to agree to these terms before they can enter their payment information.
Managing and Canceling Subscribers ⚓
Clients can manage their own subscriptions using the link provided to them in each email. This page allows them to cancel the subscription which will stop the subscription and not charge them again. From here clients can also view all of their past payments, and update the credit card on file for the next payment:
You as the admin can find the link to this page under Subscribers by viewing the subscriber and choosing Client's Page. If the client had registered for an account they'll also see this subscription when they are logged in to their account if the email address on the subscription is the same as their username, you'll see a silhouette icon next to the email in the subscription if it is set to show up.
As the admin you can view and manage subscribers within Packages & Gift Certificates then Subscribers.
This is the view after choosing to Edit the subscriber. To cancel the subscription change the status from Active to Canceled and click update.
Editing the code will allow you to manually credit, or reduce, the balance of it. If the balance is set to reset every billing cycle then any changes will be reset the next time the subscriber is charged.
As the admin you can also update the credit card on file, or change the next billing date. If the next payment due date is left empty it will be based on the period for the subscription (for example, monthly) and the last payment. You may also override that to cause the subscription to be redeemed sooner or later. If you override the subscription date then that will be the basis when calculating the due date for subsequent payments.
Below that will show a history of all of the past payments and any changes to the subscription. The View Payment link will take you to the charge within your payment processor so it can be refunded if needed.
Coupons can be created for subscriptions, these affect the initial payment only and are not applied to later charges when the subscription renews. For example, if you had a subscription that was $50 per month and offered a $10 off coupon then when the client first purchases it they would pay $40, but then each month after that would be billed $50.
This can be used to waive setup fees or give a first month fee. If you had a $10 setup fee and gave a coupon for $10 off, that would mean that the client would just pay the regular fee and no setup fee.
Or, if you had a 100% off coupon, that would mean the client would pay nothing initially, but then be charged the full price for each billing after that. With a 100% off coupon clients won't be charged anything, but will still be asked for their credit card to put on file for future payments.
Have a VIP client that earns a permanent discount?
- Create a new subscription with the discounted monthly rate built in
- Set the Subscription as "Hidden". You don't want everyone to have the deal, right?
- Copy and share the direct link to that subscription with your VIP client
When a charge fails the subscription will be canceled and both you and the client will be emailed the Subscription Canceled email with the reason for the failure listed at the top. Clients can go to the subscription management page to update their credit card and reactivate their subscription.
Any owed payment on the subscription will be charged within about an hour of the subscription reactivation, sending both you and the client the Subscription Paid email.
Processors That Can Be Used With Subscriptions ⚓
Stripe, Square and Braintree all support Subscriptions. You can read more about the differences between all of the payment processors in this article.
Some credit card payment processors do not allow for credit card numbers to be vaulted, so not all processors will work with Subscriptions. Authorize.net and PayPal cannot be used to sell Subscriptions. Please switch to a different one under Payment Settings.
How A Client Can Change or Update Their Credit Card Info on a Subscription ⚓
A client can log into their client account on the Client's Scheduling Page, click on the subscription, then click change next to the current credit card on file to change the credit card on their subscription. Click Update Card Info to save this information!
Your Plan & Billing⚓
This feature is available on Growing Business & Powerhouse Player plans for no additional charge.
Note: If you signed up before October 16, 2017 you are locked into lower plan pricing, however, there is an additional fee to use Subscriptions. To see if you are on legacy pricing, visit your My Account page; you will see Legacy Pricing next to the plan pricing.
There will be an additional 2% fee for each charge processed up to a maximum of $15 total per month (this fee is in addition to any fees your credit card processor may charge). These charges are added to your next monthly bill. So if you charge $100/month for each subscription and have 10 subscribers you will make $1,000 and be charged $15 fee on your next payment to Acuity Scheduling.