For most businesses and non-profit organizations, Chargify supports the pricing model and schedule they need.

Here are just 6 examples of different recurring billing scenarios that Chargify merchants are using:

1. Flat-Rate Billing, Every 17 Days
2. Flat-Rate Billing, Monthly & Yearly, with a 30-day Free Trial
3. Metered Billing, Every 3 Days
4. Billing for User Licenses, Monthly
5. Allowing Donors to “name my price” for Recurring Donations
6. Billing All Customers on the Same Day of the Month

Here are details of each example…

1. Flat-Rate Billing, Every 17 Days

Let’s say you have a business that charges for access to data in a database you’ve compiled from many sources. Your customers are professionals who save a lot of time by accessing the data you’ve compiled. For whatever reason, in your business, you charge a fee every 17 days. You charge them $50, $100, or $200 every 17 days, depending on what level of access they want.

To do this, you will set up 3 Products in Chargify:

  • Plan A: $50 per billing period. Period = 17 days.
  • Plan B: $100 per billing period. Period = 17 days.
  • Plan C: $200 per billing period. Period = 17 days.

2. Flat-Rate Billing, Monthly & Yearly, with a 30-day Free Trial on Monthly Plans

Starting with example #1, let’s add a yearly plan that gives the buyer a better deal if they pay for the whole year, and let’s add a 30-day free trial to all the monthly plans.

To do this, you will set up 4 Products in Chargify:

  • Product A: $50 per billing period. Period = 1 month. Trial period = 30 days, trial cost = $0.
  • Product B: $100 per billing period. Period = 1 month. Trial period = 30 days, trial cost = $0.
  • Product C: $200 per billing period. Period = 1 month. Trial period = 30 days, trial cost = $0.
  • Product D: $999 per billing period. Period = 12 months.

3. Metered Billing, Every 3 Days

Let’s say you have a real estate business that allows your customers to buy sales leads. The leads are worth $100 each, so you want to bill every 3 days for any leads taken. If no leads were taken, then there is no charge. This is a pure metered billing model.

In Chargify, your customer must be subscribed to at least 1 product, but that product can have a recurring fee of $0. You will use “Metered Components” that are added to the product subscription to bill your customer for any leads they got. If they didn’t take any leads in the current billing period, then their bill will be $0 and there will be no charge to their card (or invoice sent, if you’re using invoice billing).

You will set up 1 Product and 1 “Metered Component” in Chargify:

  • “Sales Lead Club Membership” (Product name): $0 per billing period. Period = 3 days.
  • “Sales Lead” (Metered Component name): $100 per unit

Chargify will assess the charges to your customer every 3 days because of the free membership subscription they’ve got with you. When we do that assessment, we will also count up the sales leads they bought and add the appropriate charges (qty x $100). The number of leads is automatically reset to zero for each new billing period.

Metered-Usage Components are perfect for items that are consumed by your customer throughout the billing period, and then billed when each new period starts.

Great examples are: minutes or hours, text messages, gigabytes, sales leads, shipments of cookies, etc.

4. Billing for User Licenses

Let’s say you have an online accounting system. Your customers are other businesses. You charge each of them $100/month, plus $20/month for each of their staff members who have access to your accounting system. It does not matter if those staff members actually use your system… merely having access in a given month is what your customer is paying for.

You will set up 1 Product to collect the base fee of $100/month, plus 1 “Quantity Component” to capture the fees for your customer’s staff members:

  • “Acme Online Accounting” (Product name): $100 per billing period. Period = 1 month.
  • “Gold User” (Quantity Component name): $20 per unit

Chargify will assess the charges to your customer each month because of the base $100/mo membership subscription they’ve got with you. When we do that assessment, we will also check the current count of “Gold Users” and add the appropriate charges (‘a’ x $20). Note that Quantity Components are *NOT* reset to zero; they are never changed unless you call our API and change the quantity. This makes sense for the kinds of things where businesses charge for a continuing quantity of something.

Quantity Components are perfect for items that are continuously used by your customer and billed by you on a regular schedule.

Think of software licenses sold to a single company (the example above), students in a class (paid by one household), employees in a benefits management service (paid by one employer), etc.

5. Allowing Donors to “name my price” for Recurring Donations

If you have a charity or non-profit organization that collects donations from people, you may want to allow your donors to enter any amount, and then have that amount repeat every month or every quarter, etc.

Chargify is designed around the idea that product prices are predefined in Chargify, so how to allow each donor to enter the amount they want may not be obvious. But there is a way! You’ll set up a free recurring product and then add a “Quantity Component” to capture the recurring donation amount from each donor:

  • “Sacramento Animal Shelter” (Product Family name, which appears on hosted signup page)
  • “Monthly Donation” (Product name): $0 per billing period. Period = 1 month.
  • “Monthly Donation Amount” (Quantity Component name): $1 per unit

Here’s how this works: your donor will sign up for a free recurring product, but there will also be a Quantity Component added to that subscription. A Quantity Component rides along with a product and bills whenever the product bills. Your donor enters the amount they want right on the Chargify hosted signup page, by entering a quantity for the component. Each unit of the component is $1, so by entering “17”, the donor will pay $17 per month.

Now, the hosted page usually wants to display more info than you’ll want in this case. For instance, showing your donor that the product is a $0 product will be confusing. So here is Javascript that you can upload in your Chargify hosted page settings to make the form perfect for donations:

function hideRecurringLineItem(){
  $('#summary-recurring-charges').hide();
  $('.component-info').hide()
  $('.line-item_component').each(function(){
    var txt = $(this).text();
    $(this).text(txt.split(":")[0]);
  })
}
$(document).bind("afterSummaryRefresh", hideRecurringLineItem);

Here’s the result…

recurring monthly donations Chargify

6. Billing All Customers on the Same Day of the Month

We actually have a whole blog post on this topic: Want Chargify To Bill All Customers On The 5th Of Each Month?

Please check it out to see how you set this up in Chargify.

For more information on the wide variety of pricing models Chargify supports, check out “Common Billing Scenarios With Chargify” or contact us directly to discuss your subscription business’ unique recurring billing scenario.

[UPDATED] Additional recommended reading: