ClickBank Knowledge Base /Vendor Help/Setting Up Your Vendor Account

Recurring Billing, Subscription, & Membership Products

posted this on January 2, 2013, 10:15

Recurring products let you sell memberships, subscriptions, and other products that are billed and delivered regularly.

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ClickBank recurring billing is a fully automated system that makes listing, promoting, and managing recurring transactions easy and profitable. ClickBank recurring billing subscriptions provide you with the flexibility to list and promote a wide array of products and services.


Subscriptions allow you to list and promote products and services, such as software licenses and membership sites, in which customers receive ongoing value. ClickBank recurring billing subscriptions allow you to customize your regularly scheduled customer payments with features like:

  • The ability to have a lower initial price
  • The ability to offer a trial period
  • The ability to select from new rebilling frequency options

The ability to suggest a lower initial price gives you flexibility when designing your recurring billing product or service, since you can increase the payment for subsequent rebills. A trial period allows you to offer your customers a short period of time to try out your product at a reduced price before the regularly scheduled payments begin. With rebilling frequency options, you can select bi-weekly, monthly, and quarterly billing. With these flexible options, you can list a greater variety of products and services in the marketplace. To start creating a recurring billing product, you can skip directly to Creating a Recurring Billing Product.

Why Use ClickBank Recurring Billing?

  • Recurring Revenue Streams – Have a product or service idea that provides continuous value over time? ClickBank recurring billing can help monetize that idea and provide you with predictable and repeatable revenue.
  • No Monthly Fees – Unlike many of our competitors, ClickBank does not charge any additional fees or any monthly fees for using recurring billing. If you already have an account, you can get started today.
  • No Integration Required – When implementing ClickBank recurring billing there is no software to install. Recurring billing integrates seamlessly with the current ClickBank system and is easy to implement.
  • Guaranteed Payments – ClickBank has never missed a payment since we started in 1998. Our proven tracking and payout process means that you get paid for every sale. Plus, our tiered markup structure means more money in your pocket on lower priced rebills.
  • Reporting and Analytics – The information that is gathered throughout the recurring billing process is summarized in our Subscriptions Reporting feature, allowing you to manage recurring customers with ease.

For training on how to effectively add recurring billing products to your business, be sure to check out our Continuity Training.

How Recurring Billing Works

Recurring Billing Product Fields

Recurring billing products utilize the following fields.

  • Pitch Page URL – The URL where you will offer the recurring billing product to your customers.
  • Thank You Page URL – The URL where the vendor provides instructions on how to retrieve the product. In most cases, the product is also delivered immediately on the Thank You Page URL.
  • Item – Each product is assigned an item number between 1 and 500 that determines where to send the consumer upon completion of a successful purchase.
  • Product Title – The vendor selects a title, limited to 70 characters, for each recurring billing product. This title will appear on the ClickBank order form, not in the ClickBank Marketplace.
  • Product Description – The vendor selects a description, limited to 250 characters, for each recurring billing product. This description will appear on the ClickBank order form, not in the ClickBank Marketplace.
  • Initial Price – The suggested retail price the customer pays for the initial purchase of a recurring billing product.
  • Rebill Price – The suggested retail price the customer pays for each subsequent payment for the duration of a rebill product.
  • Frequency – The timeframe for which rebilling will occur.
  • Duration – The number of times a customer is billed (ex. 2-99).


Commissions range from 1% to 75% and are determined by the vendor of the product. The minimum commission for a single sale is $0.25, and the maximum is $150.00. If you are listing a recurring billing product, affiliates will earn commission for the initial payment and all additional rebill payments. If a recurring billing product or subscription is canceled, no future commissions will be awarded. 

Recurring Billing Vendor Charges\Pricing Model

For most recurring billing products, ClickBank purchases the product from the vendor at a wholesale price equal to 92.5% of retail, less a $1 stocking charge. However, for rebills associated with a recurring billing product where the rebill is less than $40, ClickBank purchases the rebill product from the vendor at a wholesale price equal to 90.1% of retail. For affiliate directed sales, the commission percentage is subtracted from the net sale price. Here is an example of how commissions would be calculated if a vendor offered a 55% commission for a 12 month subscription where the initial payment is $29.95, and the rebill payments are $9.95: Initial Payment: $29.95 55% Commission on Net Sale: [($29.95 x 92.5%) - $1.00)] x 55% = $14.69 Rebill Payments: $9.95/month for 11 months Net Sale Amount for each rebill payment: $9.95 x 90.1% = $8.96 55% Commission on Net Rebill Payments: $8.96 x 55% = $4.93 Total Earned by Affiliate for this Subscription: $14.69 + ($4.93 x 11) = $68.92


Weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, and quarterly.

Payment Types

The payment types allowed for recurring billing are credit card and PayPal.

Product Approval

Every recurring billing product must go through the product approval process.

Payment Process Timing

This section describes a. normal timing, b. unavailable date timing, and c. payment failure process timing for recurring billing.

a. Normal Timing

The following is an example of normal payment timing: The recurring terms are:

  • $30.00 for the first month
  • $10.00 a month for 11 months

The Customer signs up on May 1, and is billed as follows:

  • May 1 = $30.00
  • June 1 = $10.00
  • July 1 = $10.00
  • ...and so on through April 1 of the following year

b. Unavailable Date Timing

If you have a subscription payment scheduled for a day that does not occur in a given month (e.g. the 30th does not occur in February), the bill will occur on the last available day of the month. Thereafter, the payment will occur on the newly established day of the month

The following is an example of unavailable date timing: The recurring terms are:

  • $10 per month, for 12 months, billed on the 30th

The customer signs up on Jan. 30, and is billed as follows:

  • Jan. 30 = $10.00
  • Feb. 28 = $10.00
  • Mar. 28 = $10.00
  • ...and so on through Dec. 28 of the same year

c. Payment Failure Timing Unlike many of our competitors, we don't give up after one payment failure. ClickBank understands that scheduled payments may fail for several reasons, including insufficient funds, so we have optimized our recurring billing process to reduce authorization declines and increase your revenue.

Authorization Failures

In the event that the customer's credit card cannot support the payment request, we will attempt authorization again three days after the first failure date. After a second failure, we will reattempt four days after the second failure date. After a third failure, we will try once more seven days after the third failure date. A fourth failure will lead to an automatic cancelation of the subscription purchase. We send notifications to the customer and vendor on the final two attempts. The following is an example of payment failure timing due to an authorization failure:

  • June 1 = 1st attempt, failed due to insufficient funds
  • June 4 = 2nd attempt, failed due to insufficient funds
  • June 8 = 3rd attempt, failed due to insufficient funds (notification sent to the customer and vendor)
  • June 15 = 4th attempt, if failed the rebill is automatically cancelled (notification sent to the customer and vendor)

Card Validation Failure

In the event that customer's credit card becomes invalid, we will deliver the customer up to four notifications requesting new credit card data. The notifications are delivered once a week. If there is no response after the fourth notice, the subscription purchase is automatically canceled. In order to keep the vendor informed, we also send them each notification. If updated credit card data is received from the customer, the rebills from that point forward are executed from the date of the successful authorization. The following is an example of payment failure timing due to a card validation failure: The Customer signs up on May 1, and is billed as follows:

  • May 1 = $30.00
  • June 1 = $30.00
  • July 1 = Failed attempt to receive payment due to invalid card information, email notification sent to customer
  • July 4 = Customer provides updated billing information, and the second 2nd attempt is executed, which is successful for $30.00


The return policy for recurring billing allows for the most recent payment to be returned. Multiple payment returns can be provided as long as they are within the standard 60 day return period. A refund results in a cancelation.


Recurring billing subscriptions may be canceled at any time. A cancelation means that no future rebills will be charged to the customer's account.

Subscription Modifications

Other than the product description, changes to a recurring billing product will not be permitted. If you wish to change the price of a product for future sales, you will need to create a new product in the My Products section of your account. If a change is made to a recurring billing product, it will not affect any subscriptions that are currently in progress. All subscription terms are captured at the time of purchase and preserved for the life of the subscription.

Membership Access

Membership access and product delivery will be managed by the vendors.

Creating a Recurring Billing Product

For everything you need to know about setting up a recurring billing product, see the article Creating a Recurring Billing Product.


Q: Is the return policy any different for recurring billing products or subscriptions?
A: No, the return policy remains the same for all products. ClickBank's return policy for both standard and recurring billing products is as follows: ClickBank will, at its discretion, allow for the return or replacement of any defective product within 60 days from the date of purchase. For recurring billing products, returns for more than one payment may be provided if requested within the standard 60 day return period. After 60 days all sales are final. However, keep in mind that once a refund is processed for a recurring billing product, the remaining rebills are canceled and no further charges are made to the customer.

Q: When can a customer cancel their recurring billing subscription?
A: Customers can cancel their recurring billing product at any time during the rebill schedule. Canceling a recurring billing product does not generate a refund.

Q: Once a customer cancels their recurring billing product, how will I know to stop sending them the product?
A: ClickBank will send an email to the email address listed in the vendor's account for every cancelation. Within your account we provide a summary of any recurring billing products. To find this information, log in to your account, select the Reporting tab, and then go to Subscriptions.

Q: Will ClickBank deliver my recurring billing products for me?
A: Recurring billing products are handled no differently than any other ClickBank product. The vendor is responsible for product delivery based on the terms of the purchase.

Q: Can I view all of the recurring billing products in my account?
A: Yes - If one of your recurring billing products has sold at ClickBank, we provide a summary of any outstanding recurring billing products within your account. To find this information, log in to your account, select the Reporting tab, and then go to Analytics. If ClickBank has sold any recurring billing products for which you were the vendor or the affiliate, you will see a link under a section called Recurring Billing Subscriptions.

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