How To Set Up PayPal Payment Plans, Subscriptions And Single Payments

This tutorial covers the nine different types of product and subscription set-up that link PayPal Single and Recurring Payments with Infusionsoft products and subscriptions.

SubscriptionsBoss allows you to set up the following product and subscription combinations:

  1. Single Payment Product with immediate payment
  2. Single Payment Product with payment after a free trial period
  3. Payment Plan with a series of payments starting immediately
  4. Payment Plan with series of equal payments not starting immediately
  5. Subscription with equal payments starting immediately
  6. Subscription with equal payments starting today
  7. Subscription with series of equal payments starting after a free trial period
  8. Product Payment and a Subscription with equal payments starting today
  9. Product Payment and a Subscription with equal payments starting after a free trial period

Differences Between Products, Product Plans and Subscriptions

A product is a item that has a defined cost. Infusionsoft produces a single order and invoice for the product.

A payment plan is a means of staging payments for the product. Infusionsoft produces a single order and invoice for the product. The same invoice is reissued as the various stage payments are processed.

A subscription has an open-ended total price as the charge is recurring. Infusionsoft produces an order and an invoice for each billing period. A Subscription may appear a bit similar to a payment plan but is significantly different due to its open-ended nature: it will continue until cancelled.

Product and Subscription Notation

On SubscriptionBoss all Product IDs have a prefix of “p” (stands for for product). See How To Find the Product ID of a Product on Infusionsoft

On SubscriptionBoss all Subscription Plan/Program/CProgram IDs have a prefix of “c” (stands for for continuity program). See How To Find the Progran ID of a Subscription on Infusionsoft

This is for reasons of backward compatibility with subscriptions created before the merge of Products and Subscriptions in Infusionsoft in January 2012.

SubscriptionBoss Setup Notes

The following gives you some hints and tips for each combination of product and subscription.

Method 1: Single Payment Product with immediate payment

  • Initial Charges: Set Id equal to the product ID number on IS e.g p4
  • Initial Charges: Set Name to be the same or very similar to the product name on IS e.g MoneyMaker Course
  • Initial Charges: Set Description to be the same or very similar to the product description e.g MoneyMaker 6 Week Course
  • Initial Charges: Set Amount equal to the amount you want to bill e.g 197.00
  • Recurring Charges: Leave Blank

Method 2: Single Payment Product with delayed payment

Due to the delay this is implemented as a PayPal Recurring Payment Profile with just a single payment and a delayed start. Right now for this to work you need to set up a Subscription Plan for the Product in Infusionsoft with a single billing cycle.

  • Initial Charges: Leave Blank
  • Recurring Charges: Set Id equal to the subscription ID number on IS e.g c20
  • Recurring Charges: Set Name to be the same or very similar to the product name on IS e.g MoneyMaker Course
  • Recurring Charges: Set Description to be the same or very similar to the product description and indicate that there is a free trial period e.g MoneyMaker 6 Week Course with 30 Day Free Trial
  • Recurring Charges: Set Amount equal to the amount you want to bill e.g 197.00
  • Recurring Charges: Set Billing Cycles = 1
  • Recurring Charges: Set Billing Period = Month
  • Recurring Charges: Set Billing Frequency = 1 (every 1 month)
  • Recurring Charges: Set Billing Delay = 30 days

Method 3: Payment Plan – series of payments starting immediately

This is implemented as a PayPal single payment and a Recurring Payment Profile with delayed start. All you need in Infusionsoft is the Product: no Subscription Plans are required.

For example, the $197 product could be offerred as 3 monthly payments of $97 as follows:

  • Initial Charges: Set Id equal to the product ID number on IS e.g p4
  • Initial Charges: Set Name to be the same or very similar to the product name on IS and indicate there is a payment plan e.g MoneyMaker Course with Payment Plan
  • Initial Charges: Set Description to be the same or very similar to the product description and indicate this just the first payment e.g MoneyMaker 6 Week Course – Initial Payment
  • Initial Charges: Set Amount equal to the amount you want to bill immediately e.g 97.00
  • Recurring Charges: Set Id equal to the product ID number on IS e.g p4
  • Recurring Charges: Set Name to be the same or very similar to the product name on IS and indicate there is a payment plan e.g MoneyMaker Course Payment Plan
  • Recurring Charges: Set Description to be the same or very similar to the product description and indicate that there are multiple payment e.g MoneyMaker 6 Week Course – monthly payments
  • Recurring Charges: Set Amount equal to the amount you want to bill e.g 97.00
  • Recurring Charges: Set Billing Cycles = 2
  • Recurring Charges: Set Billing Period = Month
  • Recurring Charges: Set Billing Frequency = 1 (every 1 month)
  • Recurring Charges: Set Billing Delay = 30 days

Method 4: Payment Plan with series of payments not starting immediately

This is implemented as a Recurring Payment Profile with delayed start. All you need in Infusionsoft is the Product: no Subscription Plans are required.

For example, the $197 product could be offered as 3 monthly payments of $97 with the first payment in 30 days as follows:

  • Initial Charges: None
  • Recurring Charges: Set Id equal to the product ID number on IS e.g p4
  • Recurring Charges: Set Name to be the same or very similar to the product name on IS and indicate there is a payment plan e.g MoneyMaker Course Payment Plan With Free Trial
  • Recurring Charges: Set Description to be the same or very similar to the product description and indicate that there are multiple payment e.g MoneyMaker 6 Week Course – 3 monthly payments
  • Recurring Charges: Set Amount equal to the amount you want to bill e.g 97.00
  • Recurring Charges: Set Billing Cycles = 3
  • Recurring Charges: Set Billing Period = Month
  • Recurring Charges: Set Billing Frequency = 1 (every 1 month)
  • Recurring Charges: Set Billing Delay = 30 days

Method 5: Subscription with payments starting immediately

This is an option that aims to prevent buyers ordering and then having the first payment fail. Rather than the first payment being implemented the same day (but usually within a few minutes) as part as the PayPal Recurring Payment Profile, instead it is implemented in real time so both buyer and the vendor get immediate feedback as to whether funds are available. The PayPal Recurring Payment Profile starts its first payment on the next billing period (typically 1 month later)

On Infusionsoft you will need to add a Subscription Plan which will typically bill every month and have its billing cycles set to zero

  • Initial Charges: Set Id equal to the Subscription Plan ID number on IS e.g c66
  • Initial Charges: Set Name to be the same or very similar to the product name on IS e.g MoneyMaker Membership
  • Initial Charges: Set Description to be the same or very similar to the product description and indicate this just the first payment e.g MoneyMaker Membership – First Payment
  • Initial Charges: Set Amount equal to the amount you want to bill immediately e.g 97.00
  • Recurring Charges: Set Id equal to the Subscription Plan ID number on IS e.g c66
  • Recurring Charges: Set Name to be the same or very similar to the product name on IS e.g MoneyMaker Membership
  • Recurring Charges: Set Description to be the same or very similar to the product description and indicate that there are multiple payment e.g MoneyMaker Membership – monthly payments
  • Recurring Charges: Set Amount equal to the amount you want to bill e.g 97.00
  • Recurring Charges: Set Billing Cycles = 0 (unlimited)
  • Recurring Charges: Set Billing Period = Month
  • Recurring Charges: Set Billing Frequency = 1 (every 1 month)
  • Recurring Charges: Set Billing Delay = 30 days (delay profile as the first billing is immediate

Method 6: Subscription with payments starting today

This is a simpler version of the above where you do not expect there to be a problem with a buyer making the first payment, or their access to content is not immediate so you have the time to take action to make sure payment is taken.

All payments are made using the PayPal Recurring Payment Profile which will try and take the first payment typically within a few minutes but it can be a few hours.

On Infusionsoft you will need to add a Subscription Plan which will typically bill every month and have its billing cycles set to zero

  • Initial Charges: None
  • Recurring Charges: Set Id equal to the Subscription Plan ID number on IS e.g c66
  • Recurring Charges: Set Name to be the same or very similar to the product name on IS e.g MoneyMaker Membership
  • Recurring Charges: Set Description to be the same or very similar to the product description and indicate that there are multiple payments e.g MoneyMaker Membership – monthly payments
  • Recurring Charges: Set Amount equal to the amount you want to bill e.g 97.00
  • Recurring Charges: Set Billing Cycles = 0 (unlimited)
  • Recurring Charges: Set Billing Period = Month
  • Recurring Charges: Set Billing Frequency = 1 (every 1 month)
  • Recurring Charges: Set Billing Delay = 0 days (start billing today)

Method 7: Subscription with series of payments not starting today

This would be used where you want to give a trial period to a subscription offering – e.g 30 days free access to my membership site.

On Infusionsoft you will need to add a Subscription Plan which typically bills every month and has billing cycles set to zero

  • Initial Charges: None
  • Recurring Charges: Set Id equal to the Subscription Plan ID number on IS e.g c66
  • Recurring Charges: Set Name to be the same or very similar to the product name on IS but indicate there is a free trial e.g MoneyMaker Membership with 30 Day Free Trial
  • Recurring Charges: Set Description to be the same or very similar to the product description and indicate that there are multiple payments e.g MoneyMaker Membership – monthly payments start at end of the free trial
  • Recurring Charges: Set Amount equal to the amount you want to bill e.g 97.00
  • Recurring Charges: Set Billing Cycles = 0 (unlimited)
  • Recurring Charges: Set Billing Period = Month
  • Recurring Charges: Set Billing Frequency = 1 (every 1 month)
  • Recurring Charges: Set Billing Delay = 30 days (start billing at the end of the free trial)

Method 8: Immediate Product Payment and a Subscription with payments starting today

This option is useful whether you are bundling a product and a subscription: say you have a setup charge and then a monthly subscription.

On Infusionsoft you will need to have one product for the set-up activity and another product for the subscription which has a subscription plan with typically monthly billing and has the number of billing cycles set to zero

  • Initial Charges: Set Id equal to the product ID number on IS e.g p70
  • Initial Charges: Set Name to be the same or very similar to the product name on IS e.g MoneyMaker Blog Setup
  • Initial Charges: Set Description to be the same or very similar to the product description e.g MoneyMaker Blog Setup
  • Initial Charges: Set Amount equal to the amount you want to bill e.g 147.00
  • Recurring Charges: Set Id equal to the Subscription Plan ID number on IS e.g c80
  • Recurring Charges: Set Name to be the same or very similar to the subscription product name on IS e.g MoneyMaker Blog Subscription
  • Recurring Charges: Set Description to be the same or very similar to the product description and indicate that there are multiple payments e.g MoneyMaker Blog Subscription – monthly payments
  • Recurring Charges: Set Amount equal to the amount you want to bill e.g 97.00
  • Recurring Charges: Set Billing Cycles = 0 (unlimited)
  • Recurring Charges: Set Billing Period = Month
  • Recurring Charges: Set Billing Frequency = 1 (every 1 month)
  • Recurring Charges: Set Billing Delay = 0 days (start billing today)

Method 9: Immediate Product Payment and a Subscription with payments not starting today

This option is useful where you are bundling a product and a subscription: say you have a setup charge and then a monthly subscription that has a free trial period.

On Infusionsoft you will need to have one product for the set-up activity and another product for the subscription which has a subscription plan typically billing every month and has the number of billing cycles set to zero

  • Initial Charges: Set Id equal to the product ID number on IS e.g p70
  • Initial Charges: Set Name to be the same or very similar to the product name on IS e.g MoneyMaker Blog Setup
  • Initial Charges: Set Description to be the same or very similar to the product description e.g MoneyMaker Blog Setup
  • Initial Charges: Set Amount equal to the amount you want to bill e.g 147.00
  • Recurring Charges: Set Id equal to the Subscription Plan ID number on IS e.g c80
  • Recurring Charges: Set Name to be the same or very similar to the subscription product name on IS but indicate there is a free trial e.g MoneyMaker Blog Subscription with 30 Day Free Trial
  • Recurring Charges: Set Description to be the same or very similar to the product description and indicate that there are multiple payments e.g MoneyMaker Blog Subscription – monthly payments
  • Recurring Charges: Set Amount equal to the amount you want to bill e.g 97.00
  • Recurring Charges: Set Billing Cycles = 0 (unlimited)
  • Recurring Charges: Set Billing Period = Month
  • Recurring Charges: Set Billing Frequency = 1 (every 1 month)
  • Recurring Charges: Set Billing Delay = 30 days (start billing at the end of the free trial)

Comments

  1. Robert Bartels says:

    It frustrates me that I don’t seem to be able to make a monthly recurring contribution to a charity with a fixed end date, or a fixed number of payments.

    • SubscriptionBoss does allow a fixed number of payments. However SubscriptionBoss is for vendors selling subscriptions.

      The charity you want to donate to can set up a PayPal button with a fixed number of payments. https://www.paypal.com/uk/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_subscr-intro-outside. If your contribution pattern is a common one then they could set it up a PayPal button and put it on their site. Eg. 3 monthly payments of $20 pays for ….

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