Workflows by Recharge is a powerful tool that automatically applies changes to subscription rules and parameters after checkout or between recurring orders. One of the more popular use cases for the Workflows feature is to offer a free trial or welcome kit to your customers.
This guide explains how to configure a 14-day free trial workflow, however, the lessons here can be applied in many other ways to modify your subscription products.
Step 1 - Create two products through your eCommerce platform
Offering a 14-day free trial requires two products: the $0.00 product that customers initially check out with, and a second product that the subscription switches to for the remainder of the subscription.
You will need to create two products in Shopify. A 14-day free trial workflow works by swapping the original free product or variant with a new distinct one, modified to the desired subscription price.
The first product is the one that customers will check out with, which should have a price of $0.00.
The second product is the one that customers will stay subscribed to after the actions of the workflow occur.
Alternatively, merchants using the Shopify Checkout Integration may want to consider creating one product with two individual variants, as this allows you to change the product name so that the swap is visibly noticeable in Recharge, including when customers access their Customer Portal.
Step 2 - Add the products to Recharge
Both products need to be added to Recharge as subscription products once they’ve been created in your eCommerce platform. Products must exist in Recharge as subscription products to be included in a workflow.
We recommend setting the subscription type to be subscription only. This will prevent customers from checking out with a one-time version of the product for free.
Both products must be added to Recharge and configured to reflect the subscription rules that the product should follow once the free trial is over. Refer to the following articles for more information on adding a product to Recharge:
- Creating subscription rules for the Recharge Checkout on BigCommerce or Shopify
- Creating subscription rules for the Shopify Checkout Integration
- Creating rulesets for the Recharge Checkout on Shopify
Step 3 - Create the workflow
Now that the product is set up in both your eCommerce platform and Recharge, we can create the free trial workflow.
Step 1 - Access the Workflows by Recharge Tool
Select Integrations from the Recharge dashboard.
If you have not created a workflow before, you will need to find the Recharge Workflow integration from the All integrations tab. Select Get, which will enable the integration in your store.
If the integration is enabled, select the Workflows by Recharge integration through the Enabled integrations tab.
Step 2 - Set up your workflow
Select Create new workflow to begin the process of building your workflow.
Set a name and description for your workflow to make it easier to reference in the future.
Step 3 - Configure the workflow trigger
Begin your workflow by selecting the necessary trigger. The trigger is used to determine which charge the workflow properties should apply to. You can either set your workflow to trigger after a customer's checkout order is processed, or a specific recurring order has been processed.
Since we want to offer the free trial on the customer's first recurring order, we can keep the trigger as a checkout order.
This means that when an order goes through the checkout with a product that meets the workflow properties, the workflow will be initiated, and the actions for that workflow will apply to all of the customer’s remaining recurring orders.
Step 4 - Set the workflow conditions
The workflow Conditions need to be set next. The Conditions are what need to be met for the properties of the workflow to apply. Our system checks each checkout order processed against the specified conditions to determine if a workflow should be applied or not. Only orders that meet the defined conditions will have the workflow actions applied.
For this example, we recommend using the Original product id as the condition. The product ID can be found in the URL of a specific product page from within the Product page in your eCommerce platform.
Once you’ve determined the correct product ID, use the "is equal to" option to ensure that the workflow only applies to the one specific product ID mentioned. Save your conditions to move on to the next step.
Step 5 - Configure the search and actions
The Search option is used to identify which objects in the order are updated by the workflow. You’ll want to search for the free trial product that should be updated on the recurring order. Typically, the search option you set matches the condition set in Step 3.
When configuring a 14-day free trial workflow, use the same original product ID that you used for your condition.
Next, Actions are used to update various aspects of the order. These actions will only apply to products that meet the search criteria you just set up.
For a 14-day free trial workflow, we will need to use at least three actions: original variant ID, price, and charge delay.
- The original variant ID is used to swap the product from the free trial product to the product the customer should permanently be subscribed to.
- The price is the new price that the customer will pay for each recurring order.
- The charge delay is the amount of time between the customer checking out with their first order, and when their first recurring order occurs. All other orders after the first recurring order will follow the order schedule you set when configuring the product rules. For example, setting the charge delay to 14, in this case, ensures that the customer receives their next order 14 days after they received a free trial product.
- The Product Title / Variant Title can be set if you are using the Recharge Checkout on Shopify or BigCommerce. The new title will be updated for all future orders in both Recharge and your eCommerce platform. This change ensures customers can differentiate the product swap when viewing their orders and Customer Portal.
Step 4 - Enable your workflow
After you’ve finished setting up your workflow you will need to head back into the Workflows Integration main page to turn the workflow on.
Change the status of your workflow to enabled by moving the slider into the green position underneath the Status column.
Step 5 - Test your workflow
Perform a test transaction to confirm the workflow is working as expected.
- Running a test transaction on the Recharge Checkout for BigCommerce or Shopify
- Running a test transaction on the Shopify Checkout Integration
After you’ve placed your test order, head back to the Recharge dashboard, and open up your test customer profile.
Confirm the success of the workflow by checking the History section. You should see the name of the workflow displayed, as well as the actions the workflow performed.
One product with multiple variants
If you are using the Shopify Checkout Integration, you may want to consider creating one product with two variants. With this method, one variant represents the free trial product, and the second variant represents the full-priced version that customers are automatically swapped to when the workflow occurs.
When configuring your workflow, you can use use the Original Variant ID of the $0.00 variant as your Condition and Search, and the Original Variant ID of the full-priced variant as your Action. This ensures customers check out with a $0.00 free product, and are charged for their subsequent orders.
This method is recommended as it ensures that the product name is updated on future orders for the customer after the workflow occurs. At this time, only the variant title can be updated for a product.
By swapping from one variant to another, you ensure that the new name of the product is displayed in Recharge, including on queued orders listed in the Customer Portal. This helps customers identify that the product swap was successful.
If you do not use this method, the product title is updated on Shopify orders but retains the original product name in Recharge, including when mentioned in the Customer Portal.
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