Set up manual activation

Learn how to manually activate a customer and why that might be interesting to you

Michiel Sikkes avatar
Written by Michiel Sikkes
Updated over a week ago

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:

  1. Go to "Email configuration" in the sidebar

  2. Find the email "Activation confirmation"

  3. Enable the email

  4. 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:

  1. Go to Email configuration in the sidebar under Settings

  2. Find the email Rejection

  3. Enable the email by enabling the option as shown above the e-mail designer

  4. 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

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