Subscription and payment-related notifications are where email becomes most relevant as it’s where users expect to be notified about their accounts.
Seems basic and common, but is the most important when it comes to maintaining the relationship with an on-going customer.
- Membership confirmation - welcome email for a membership highlighting its benefits and providing any user-specific details like term of membership
- Free trial expiration - notifies recipient that their free trial is nearly over and tells them how to become a paying customer
- Upgrade offer - if you offer a free plan, you can let your free members know about your premium options to enhance what they’re already doing
- Auto-renewal - informs customer about the upcoming renewal of their service, which usually also reminds them of the benefits of their service, with options to discontinue service or turn off auto-renewal
- Service expiration - tells customer about the upcoming end of their service and encourages them to renew or purchase another service
- Account ended/cancelled - confirmation of membership having ended or being cancelled
As a new account is on its way to expiring and potentially getting cancelled, consider offering incentives and promotions for users to become paying customers. You can also allow them to extend their trial with an option directly in the email!
If your company bills on a recurring basis, a series of emails may be needed around your service and payment.
- Payment is due reminder - triggered potentially at multiple intervals before and after a payment is due, this message notifies the customer about an outstanding bill
- Renewed/payment received - instead of reminding of a payment, if the customer has opted to renew automatically, you can send them a receipt email
- Payment failure alert - informs customer that their payment method on file for a recurring service has failed and what they should do
You will eventually run into an issue with a payment method. Dunning is the act of notifying customers that a recurring payment has failed, usually because of outdated payment information, insufficient funds, or a lost, stolen, or otherwise blocked card.
Your dunning emails serve to guide the customer through the process of updating their details and solving the problem and should be as frictionless as possible to ensure that a payment is made:
- Most failed payments aren’t due to customers not being willing to pay, so be gentle when notifying them about a failed payment
- Provide step-by-step instructions to let the customer know how simple the process is
- Explain what customers can expect to happen with their account when updating their information, or if they don’t do it within a given timeframe
- Link directly to their account page where they can update their payment info
- Include customer support contact info in case they have any questions
- Multiple reminder emails may be needed if there is no response to the initial one
Most customers don’t instantly know why a payment failed. Expired credit cards are not uncommon, especially when someone has been a customer for a while. There’s also fraud and other issues that could have caused a payment to get canceled. It can help to also make your customer aware of these potential issues in case they need to take additional steps to resolve them.
Ready to put together your subscription and payment email? Download our free subscription and payment email template to use for designing and building your emails. And check out other email types and components you can use for your email design.