Recurring products are items such as memberships, subscriptions, and other products that are billed and delivered regularly.
The following subjects are covered in this article:
- Admin-Controlled Feature
- Customer Experience
- Pricing and Commissions
- Frequency Options
- Billing Failures
- Creating a Recurring Product
- Managing Recurring Products
- Managing Subscriptions
- Related Articles
Recurring products are products with an initial price as well as a recurring price. The customer pays the initial price at the time of purchase, then pays the recurring price at a specified frequency. You can either specify a number of rebill payments after which the payments will be completed, or the subscription can continue until it is canceled.
You set the initial and recurring price, the affiliate commission rate for the initial and recurring price, and the frequency when you create the product. You can also choose to offer a trial period, which lets you offer your customers a short period of time to try out your product at a free or reduced price before the regularly scheduled payments begin. You can specify a trial period when you create a recurring product, and make it a free trial period by setting a $0 initial price. See the Creating Your First Product article for more information.
With rebilling frequency options, you can select an existing frequency such as weekly or monthly, or specify a number of days, weeks, or months between payments. With these flexible options, you can list a greater variety of products and services in the marketplace. To start creating a recurring product, you can skip directly to Creating a Recurring 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 – 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 Reporting feature, allowing you to manage recurring customers with ease. See the Subscriptions Reporting article for more information.
For training on how to effectively add recurring products to your business, see the Continuity Training article.
Anyone can sell recurring products on ClickBank. However, some features are admin-controlled, including semi-annual and annual billing. Contact ClickBank if you want access to these features.
This is how recurring products work from the customer's perspective:
When a customer purchases a recurring product, they pay an initial price, then pay a rebill price at specified intervals. These payments are charged automatically unless the customer requests a refund or cancels their subscription.
The payment types allowed for recurring billing are credit card, PayPal, and ELV (for customers in countries that use ELV).
Before each rebill, ClickBank sends a pre-rebill email notification to the customer, reminding them of the upcoming payment. You can configure the timeframe for this reminder, or decide not to send it if the product's frequency is less than quarterly.
ClickBank also sends an email notification when the rebill is made.
The customer can request a refund on a recurring product.
If the refund is requested within 60 days of the initial purchase, we may refund one or more payments at our discretion. If a customer requests a refund, all future payments are also canceled.
After 60 days, all sales are final.
Recurring productss may be canceled at any time. A cancelation means that no future rebills will be charged to the customer's account. Past payments are not affected by a cancelation.
For most recurring 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 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. You can specify separate commission rates for the initial sale and the rebills.
Here is an example of how commissions would be calculated if you offered a 55% commission for a 12-month subscription with an initial payment of $29.95, and monthly 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
You have a variety of options for the payment frequency.
- Specified Number of Days – The customer is billed every X days, where X is the number of days you specify.
- Weekly – The customer is billed every week on the same day of the week.
- Specified Number of Weeks – The customer is billed every X weeks on the same day of the week, where X is the number of weeks you specify.
- Every Other Week – The customer is billed every two weeks on the same day of the week.
- Monthly – The customer is billed every month on the same date. If the date does not exist, the rebill date is adjusted to the latest possible day in the month. For example, if a customer signs up for a monthly product on March 31, their next two payments will be on April 30 and May 30.
- Specified Number of Months – The customer is billed every X months on the same date, where X is the number of months you specify. If the date does not exist, the rebill date is adjusted to the latest possible day in the month. For example, if a customer signs up for a product that bills every two months on July 31, their next two payments will be on September 30 and November 30.
- Quarterly – The customer is billed every three months on the same date. If the date does not exist, the rebill date is adjusted to the latest possible day in the month. For example, if a customer signs up for a quarterly product on January 31, their next payment will be on April 30.
- Semi-Annually – The customer is billed every six months on the same date. If the date does not exist, the rebill date is adjusted to the latest possible day in the month. For example, if a customer signs up for a semi-annual product on August 31, their next two payments will be on February 28 and August 28.
Semi-Annual billing is an admin-controlled feature. Contact ClickBank if you want access to this feature.
- Annually – The customer is billed every year on the same date. If the date does not exist, the rebill date is adjusted to the latest possible day in the month. For example, if a customer signs up for an annual product on February 29 of a leap year, their next payment will be on February 28.
Annual billing is an admin-controlled feature. Contact ClickBank if you want access to this feature.
Payment failures may alter the timing of a rebill. See the Billing Failures section for more information.
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 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.
- June 15 = 4th attempt. If failed, the rebill is automatically canceled, and a notification is sent to the customer and to you.
When the third authorization failure occurs, we send an email notification to the customer. The email contains the order details and the following text:
Our records show that the credit card we have on file for the order detailed below is no longer processing correctly. This could be for a variety of reasons.
In order to continue receiving your title subscription your credit card information needs to be updated. Please click the following URL to update your payment information: www.clickbank.com.
We will attempt to rebill you in 7 days. If this billing fails, your order will be canceled.
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 subscription terms are:
- $30.00 per payment for 4 months
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
- Subscription complete on Aug. 4 with receipt of $30.00 payment
When a card validation failure occurs, we send an email notification to the customer. The email contains the order details and the following text:
This email is to inform you that your credit card information needs to be updated to continue receiving your subscription. Please click the following URL to update your payment information: www.clickbank.com
If you have purchased with PayPal please update your billing information within your PayPal account to ensure further service.
Creating a recurring product such as a subscription or membership is similar to creating a standard product, but with a few unique steps. See the Creating Your First Product article for the full procedure.
If your recurring product is also a physical product, see the Selling Physical Products article for more information.
You can create as many recurring products as you want, up to a limit of 500 products per account.
NOTE – When you create a recurring product, you should verify that all information about your product is correct before submitting it for approval. Recurring products cannot be changed once they are approved. If you make a mistake in the pricing or frequency for a recurring product, you must create a new product to correct the error.
Viewing Recurring Products
If one of your recurring products has sold at ClickBank, we provide a summary of any outstanding recurring products within your account. To find this information, log in to your ClickBank account, select the Reporting tab, and then go to Analytics. If ClickBank has sold any recurring products for which you were the vendor or the affiliate, you will see a link under a section called Subscriptions.
Modifying Recurring Products
Other than the product description, changes to a recurring 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 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.
You must manage membership access and product delivery for your recurring products. ClickBank will send you an email notification when an existing customer cancels their subscription. You can also see information about your current subscribers by clicking the Subscriptions section of the Reporting tab.
You can manage customer subscriptions through a Master account. See the Managing Subscriptions article for more information.
This section describes how recurring products work with other features.
You can include recurring products in an order bump. The terms are displayed for each recurring product in an order bump. See the Order Bump article for more information.
You can include recurring products in an upsell. If you do, you must add additional code so that the customer can verify that they understand the terms of the recurring product. See the PitchPlus Upsell Flows article for more information.