This article will teach you how to set a custom start date for a customer's subscription, which is often used when you want a paid subscription to start on a particular date. Note: The custom start date can only be used to shorten the time period and not to extend the free trial past the anticipated first rebill date.
Free Trial Setup
Before setting a custom date on a customer's subscription, you must set up a free trial of your subscription product because the customer will be in a free trial until the date you set for the paid subscription to start. The process to setup a free trial is different based on whether or not you already have a subscription product created.
Adding a New Subscription Product with a Free Trial
Go to Products and Pages » Create Subscription Product. Enter in a Name for your subscription product, choose the length of the Regular Period, and set the Regular Period Recurring Price. Then choose the First Period Length, which will be the length of the free trial, and select Free as the First Period Price. Click Create.
Adding a Free Trial to an Existing Subscription Product
If you have already set up your subscription product, but now want to add a free trial, go to Products and Pages and select your subscription product. Click Prices and then click Create Price. Click Create. Click Edit Conditions. Select Order Environment Condition, and click Next. Choose First Period under Subscription Period Is, and click Create. Click Move to Active Status. The free trial period will default to the length of the Regular Period. It can be adjusted on the Subscription Product page by selecting Edit » Subscription Details » First Period Length.
Setting a Custom Date
When you link from your website or application to your subscription product in SpringBoard, you can set the end date of the trial period by adding the following to the URL:
For example, adding ?nextPeriodDate=2015-02-20 would set the end date of the trial period to February 20, 2015.
If you set the nextPeriodDate to be the current date or a date in the past, then there will be no trial period and the regular period will begin immediately.
There are various use cases for setting trial end dates using this method. One example is setting a subscription payment cycle to begin on the first of the month, regardless of when during the prior month the customer signed up. It can also be used for giving particular customers a longer trial period.
Note: The custom date will get cached the first time a customer (or you) reaches your FastSpring store's order page. For testing purposes, you may need to close all browser windows and start with a fresh session to see changes when testing live links.
We're Here to Help
If you need any assistance with setting up a free trial or adding a custom date to a subscription, please open a support ticket.