By default, a subscription automatically starts after a customer goes through your checkout process. However, Firmhouse offers the option to manually activate subscriptions.
What is manual activation?
Manual activation is a way of preventing the customers subscription to be active right after sign up. Simply put: The customer signs up but no logistics process or recurring billing happens yet.
Why would you want to use manual activation?
Here are some reasons why our customers use manual activation:
You first want to perform a background check on your customer before charging / shipping your product
There is additional setup involved before you can charge your customer / ship your product
How manual activation works
The customer goes through your checkout flow and pays the initial amount
The customer gets added to Firmhouse as a subscriber but its status is set to inactive
No monthly (or recurring) fees get charged yet
Nothing gets shipped out yet
You have to manually activate/reject the subscription in order for any product to ship / any recurring fee to get charged.
How to enable manual activation
By default your project is set to automatically approve any new subscribers. If you want to change that, head to Subscription Model and scroll down to Activation Strategy.
Set it to "Manual activation".
You also have the option to perform background checks first. Read this article on how to set that up
Don't forget to save! Your project is now set to manually activate customers.
Now let's have a look at how you can activate or reject a customer.
Accepting / Rejecting a customer
Once a new customer signs up they will show up in your Customers overview.
You will get the option to either Activate or Reject this customer.
Tip: Set the filter at the top to "Inactive" in order to only see customers that have yet to be accepted or rejected.
If you need more details about the customers, click on the record to go into its detail page. You will also be able to Activate or Reject the subscription there:
Activating a customer
Let's have a look at what happens when you activate a customer
The logistics flow (if set up) will get initiated and the product starts to get shipped
Based on your payment setup, the customer will get charged
The status will get set to "Activated"
Optional: Notify the customer via email
By default, the customer won't get notified about being activated. In case you would like to send an email whenever a customer gets activated, follow these steps:
Go to "Email configuration" in the sidebar
Find the email "Activation confirmation"
Enable the email
Write the email that you would like to send out. Tip: Click on "Load example content" to speed up that process.
Press save and you're done! Now every customer will receive an email once you accepted them.
Rejecting a customer
Let's have a look at what happens when you reject a customer:
The status will get set to "Rejected"
The customer will never get charged with any further payments
After rejecting a customer, these are the steps you have to take:
Refund the initial/first payment for the customer's subscription
Notify the customer about the rejection (can be done automatically)
Refunding their initial payment
*[At the moment, per 21.07.21,] we do not automatically refund payments. We are looking forward to releasing this feature in the near future! For now, you will have to manually refund the customer at the payment provider or from the "Payments" section."
Manually notify your customer about the rejection
You'll need to notify your customer about the rejection. Some of our customers do this manually, to add a personal note or answer perhaps questions the customer might have. A personal approach to this can be very beneficial and customer-friendly.
Send an automated rejection e-mail via the Firmhouse platform
By default, we don't send any automated e-mails to your customer about their rejection. When you don't prefer to send a personal or manual notification, you can set up an automated rejection e-mail.
Setting up your automated customer rejection e-mail:
Go to Email configuration in the sidebar under Settings
Find the email Rejection
Enable the email by enabling the option as shown above the e-mail designer
Design your e-mail using the HTML e-mail designer
Press Save and you're done! Now every customer will receive an email once you rejected them.
Click Load Example content to display a template to customize
Add a simple way for your customers to contact you about the rejection
Mention that the refund for their payment might take a couple of days to arrive