This article applies to Classic Commerce. (Looking for Contextual Commerce documentation?)
This article will teach you about the two options for managing free trials for subscription products, and the advantages and disadvantages of each option.
Managing the Free Trial Yourself
The first option is to handle the free trial period within your application, and send the customer to us only when a payment is due to start the paid subscription. The main advantage of managing the trial yourself is that it does not require payment information upfront, so you will typically get more user sign-ups. The disadvantage is that you are less likely to convert the users to paying customers because the user must take the initiative, and go through the order process, for you to make money.
FastSpring manages the Free Trial
The second option allows you to manage the free trial within SpringBoard. You send the customers to us immediately and they go through the checkout process, which includes payment information, but they are charged nothing upfront. At the end of the trial period, the customer is charged for the next subscription period. The advantage of this option is that once users complete the checkout process, they do not have to do anything to become paying customers and for you to make money. Furthermore, they must take the initiative should they wish to cancel the subscription, so a higher percentage of the initial user sign-ups will turn into paying customers. The disadvantage is that the purchase process, with required payment information, causes fewer users to initially sign up. For setup information, see our support article Setting Up a Free Trial Period for a Subscription Product.
While the choice of how to manage the trial period is yours, FastSpring strongly believes that the second option will lead to higher revenues in the long run.