Selling subscription products on Sellfy
In this article:
What are subscription products?
Selling a subscription allows you to offer your customers a regularly delivered product file with automatically recurring payments. Ideal subscription products include magazines, exercise plans, software, meal planning, and more!
When you create a subscription, you pick a time interval for the payment collection and the delivery of the product file. You'll update the file that's being hosted or stored, as needed. Then, the customer's payment is collected automatically for you and we deliver the email with their new downloadable product links. You upload your files and then we do the work to collect the payment and send out the new files!
Selling subscriptions is a great way to boost customer engagement and increase revenue. For helpful ideas, you can read more here.
How does it work on Sellfy?
Note: It's not possible to sell storewide subscription access on Sellfy, yet. Selling subscriptions will mean selling access to a single product, although the product can contain up to 50 product files at a time.
Selling subscriptions has both a manual aspect and an automated aspect. Sellfy will automatically collect your customers' payments and deliver the digital download links to your customers. In the meantime, you'll manually update the files for any subscription products. But, don't worry! It's simple and quick to update your product files.
You can create a subscription with weekly, monthly, or annual intervals. These intervals determine when the customers will be billed for and receive their download links. For example, a customer with a monthly subscription will be charged every month and they'll receive their download link every month after their payment has been successfully collected.
Typically, you'll update the hosted or stored files in the same intervals so that customers have access to the new files. Customers will be able to download whichever files are currently added to the subscription product.
The billing cycle for each subscription will be based on your customer's purchase date and time. For example, a customer that purchased a monthly subscription on September 9 will be charged again on October 9 and so on, until they choose to cancel.
Your customer will purchase their subscription and have access to the current digital download links. They'll have 5 download attempts and these download links will be available to use until the next subscription payment is collected. At that time, they'll receive a new email with a new set of download links. The emails containing their new download links are customizable.
Payment collection is done automatically and the subscription will continue until the customer (or seller) cancels the subscription. If your customer cancels their subscription, they will lose access to their download links, immediately.
Adding new product files
Important! Product files can't be stored ahead of time. When you're ready to add new subscription files, you'll manually update the product file. When you update the hosted or stored product file, it will update all existing download links for your subscribers.
To update the files for your product:
- Go to Products > Subscriptions
- Select the subscription
- Add your new file and (if applicable) remove old ones
- Select Save Subscription
Use the Email Marketing tool to update customers (Optional)
Customers will always receive an email from Sellfy with their subscription payment confirmation and their new download links. We'll take care of that for you. But, if you'd like, you can provide your customers with additional information and even add a download button with the Sellfy Email Marketing tool.
To do so, select the Product Update campaign from the dropdown menu and create your Email Marketing campaign from there.
Here's a step-by-step guide:
- Go to Marketing > Email marketing
- Click the Send new email button
- In the Campaign type drop-down list, select Product Update
- Select the subscription product you've updated
- The recipient list is set to automatically include only the buyers of the selected product
- Enter email subject and email content
- Click on the Add download button checkbox below the email content editor to make sure your buyers receive the updated download link
- Finally, click Send emails (you can also send out a test email to yourself first)
Setting up payment methods for subscriptions
Important! To enable recurring payments through PayPal, you need to have a PayPal Business account.
Subscription payments can be collected with both of our integrated payment processors, Stripe and PayPal. But, in order to use PayPal to collect recurring payments, you will need to connect a PayPal Business account.
To connect your Sellfy account to either payment processor, please go to your Account > Payment Settings.
After you've connected one or more payment methods, you can start selling subscriptions!
How to create a subscription product
To create a subscription product:
- Go to Products > Add new product
- Select Subscription
- Upload your files and add your product details
For later updates, you can edit your new product at any time, you'll go to Products > Subscriptions
Managing my subscribed customers
To view the subscriptions that you've sold, you'll go to the Sellfy account > Subscriptions
What happens if I change subscription details like price or interval?
How can my customer cancel their subscription?
Your customers can cancel their subscription from the product download page. Or if your customer has paid with PayPal, they can also cancel their subscription from within their PayPal account. We also have information here to help them.
On the download page, they'll click Purchase details > Cancel my subscription.
How can I cancel a subscription for my customer?
To cancel a subscription for one of your customers, please follow the instructions below.
- Navigate to Products > Subscription
- Identify the relevant subscription via the Buyer Email column
- Click the subscription
- Click Cancel in the top right corner
Q: Can I set the subscription price to Pay What You Want?
Q: Can I sell products for a set time, like a three-month-long subscription?
Q: Can I sell my subscription product at a discount?
A: No. Coupon codes cannot be applied to subscription products.
Q: Can I upload files for my subscription in advance?
A: No, it's not possible to set up scheduled product file releases, yet. Rather, you'll update the file for your chosen time interval. For example, if you're selling a monthly product, you'll update the files once each month.