Subscriptions let you charge a recurring amount for access to a stream of content. You can charge $4/month to let your readers subscribe to a book being released chapter-by-chapter, or start a fan club with exclusive content released sporadically. It's up to you.
For the full nitty-gritty rundown on creating a subscription, please refer to this article.
Creating a subscription
Subscriptions just need a name and amount (for example, $5/mo, $5/6 months, or $12/year) to get started.
You can not currently offer "free trials" on subscriptions. We currently offer monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, and annual installment plans. Once you choose a model and publish your product, you can not change the billing timeline.
Subscribers have the option of creating a Gumroad account at checkout. If they choose to create an account, they can access all of the updates made during their subscription period through the Gumroad Library. You can also resend them updates if they need them/have lost them.
Give 'Em Options, Harry!
Once you've created the subscription you can set up alternate payment plans for your customers. Create discounts and incentives to drive your sales ever upwards!
Fixed-Length or Forever?
On the Options tab of your product, you can establish whether or not your subscription is fixed-term, or continues until the subscription is either manually cancelled by you or your customer.
After a customer's subscription has automatically ended, they will still be able to view all of their updates in their library. This is a terrific feature to take advantage of if you are selling e-courses or annual magazine subscriptions through Gumroad. Learn more about fixed-length subscriptions here.
Updates and Workflows
Updates are simple—they're emails that only go out to your current subscribers. You can send them immediately, or schedule them to be sent out later.
You can choose to have new subscribers receive files immediately, or they can wait until your next update.
If you need to, you can include multiple files in your updates. If you upload a video file, you can offer streaming only options for videos as well as the ability to include subtitles in your videos. Your subscribers will receive an email with a download link. If they have not received this email, they can still access the file through their library at any time.
You send updates (we highly recommend sending your subscribers something at least once a month) from the Customers tab. From here, you can select your subscription, create an update, and send an email to all of your current subscribers
Your customers can create a Gumroad account upon purchasing your product, and see all of your updates in their Gumroad Library.
Learn more about sending updates here.
Workflows are messages (they can be a simple "thank you message" or hundreds of messages) that are sent out at a specified time after the time of purchase. If you were going to sell, for example, a six-month course, you would use workflows and the fixed-length feature to:
- Offer two payment options - $120 up front, or $25/month for six months
- Send out all your course lessons in an organized manner for six months
Learn more about using workflows here.
Your customers are charged initially, and then every month, 3 months, 6 months, or year afterwards (on the day they began their subscription).
You and each subscriber can cancel a subscription at any time. They'll continue to see old updates they received when they were subscribed. Cancelling a subscription does not mean a customer is refunding themselves.
Only you can refund a customer for a payment - and this is done through your Customers tab.
If your customer needs to change their email address, they can do so through the Settings menu in their account. They can also update their billing information there.
Finding active subscribers
If you have a subscription product and need to know who is still paying for subscriptions, the best way to find out is through your Customers tab, and downloading a CSV of your customers.
First filter your subscription product, then export your customers to a CSV file. Set the date range for your product to go to the date you published the product.
On your CSV, you can scroll over to Column S("Recurring Charge") to find the customers who have cancelled their subscriptions, marked by a big fat FALSE.
How Cancellations Work
The first thing to be aware of is that cancelling a subscription does not refund a customer. You must manually refund them through the Customers tab of your Gumroad dashboard. Learn more about refunds.
If a customer cancels their subscription, they will still receive updates up until the next payment installment of their subscription. For example, if I'm paying for a monthly subscription that renews on the 15th of each month, and I cancel my account on April 16th, I will continue to receive updates until May 15th.
Cancelling Your Subscribers' Subscriptions
To cancel an individual customer's subscription, simply head to your trusty Customers tab, search for their name or email, and click Cancel Subscription.
However, you also have the following options as a seller:
- Prohibit All New Subscriptions From Starting
- It's an all-too-common problem - especially for us here at Gumroad HQ: You're just too darn popular! You've created a subscription product, and now you've got everyone on Earth and their mothers-in-law wanting to buy it!
If you're looking to keep all your existing subscribers and not accept any new subscribers, simply Unpublish the product. Any possible new customers will not be able to buy or find the product, and existing customers will continue to be charged.
- End The Subscription Entirely
- Time to send your product to the big subscription playground in the sky? Go to your homepage, hover over the product's name, and click the X to its left.
This option will cancel all of your current customers subscriptions. They will no longer be charged, or able to access your product. Your product will no longer be public.
- Set a limit on how long the subscription lasts
- Forget about manually cancelling anything by setting your product to automatically expire after a certain number of months!
Restrictions & Creating Subscriptions
There are several features not present in the current Gumroad subscription product. to learn more about those, please see our article on getting started setting up a subscription