How to sell magazine subscriptions with flexible renewal periods
As a magazine publisher reading this, there's a big chance that a) you publish an independent title and b) your magazine is not released on rigid timeline. It's hard to push out new issues on specific dates with a small team or with your magazine as a side project (and why do you need to?).
Subscriptions are a big part of the business of magazines. Annoyingly—and quite contradictory to most publishing schedules—they typically need to run on regular intervals, determined by your payment processor. This creates a conflict between your work load and a desire to publish on a consistent schedule.
So what's the deal? Do you work harder to release issues more regularly, or do you forgo selling subscriptions to relax your schedule, but miss out on the recurring revenue they automatically generate?
It's a tough decision to make.
Luckily for you, Subsail has a solution.
Subsail was built around the idea that subscriptions do not have to run on regular schedules.
When you sell renewing subscriptions with Subsail, customers are only charged when you say they do. This is a game changer and unique to Subsail.
You are now free to set up oh-so-valuable recurring payments for your subscribers but will never be rushed to make a new issue. When your next issue is ready, simply make the renewals charge batch.
Let's see how it works.
Understand the mechanism behind Subsail's flexible renewals
When you create a subscription product in Subsail, you aren't asked for a billing period. Instead, you simply specify how many issues the subscription should contain.
With this system you can then state when you want renewals to be charged for future issues, and you will never again be stuck to fixed renewal periods.
You are in charge of when your renewals are made. 💪
Let's go through the process of creating a renewing product in Subsail. There are three steps...
1. Create a renewing product
Create a new product. Specify how many issues you want to sell in the subscription using the "Length" field. (Tip: you can use
1 to create "rolling" subscriptions, which charge subscribers every issue)
You can add a specific start issue or leave it as a "flexi-start" subscription (you should read up about these if you haven't already).
2. Add renewal dates to your issues
To set up renewals, add dates on your issues using the "Recurring charge date" field. This tells Subsail on which day you want to charge those subscribers who renew with that issue.
For example: you have issue 10 coming out on April 1st. You set your "renewal date" on issue 10 around this date so that you charge all renewals at a similar time. In fact most publishers prefer to charge subscribers before the issue is released so those orders are ready to fulfil as soon as you get the magazines from the printers. In this case we choose March 20th.
(You can always change this recharge date if your schedule changes; it's totally flexible to your needs.)
3. Watch as Subsail charges your customers
When your chosen renewal date arrives, Subsail will find all renewing subscriptions which are due to renew with this issue and attempt to charge them.
In our example, on March 20th, Subsail will find all your subscribers who have paid up until issue 9 and charge them all a renewal starting with issue 10.
You'll get a summary in your email and your Subsail account about successful and failed payments. Any failed charges will be attempted again up to four more times (read about Subsail's dunning process).
And there you have it! Renewing magazine subscriptions that you can control. Sign up to Subsail to get started today