How to Allow Members to Pause their Subscriptions Instead of Cancelling

Ben Denny — 

Part of owning a membership site or selling an online course with a monthly or annual fee is that members will inevitably cancel.

Sometimes they’ve gotten all the value out of the site and simply don’t see the benefit of continuing to pay (keep adding content to avoid this). Maybe they’ve lost interest or changed their goals since they initially signed up. Other times, they’ve run into temporary financial hardships.

In the last case, it’d be much better to provide an option for members to pause their subscription rather than flat out cancel it. If they cancel, it’s unlikely they’ll come back as by the time their hardship has passed they could have forgotten about your site and course.

Instead, you can offer members a way to pause for 3 months and then after that time their subscription will start back up automatically. During the paused period, they won’t have access to any content.

If you’d like to see how to set this up, keep reading and each step will be clearly explained.

Create an Action Set to Cancel the Subscription

The first thing you’ll want to set up is an Action Set in Infusionsoft. This will be used in a campaign we’ll create in just a minute.

Now it’s not possible to actually pause a subscription in Infusionsoft. Instead, what we’re going to do is cancel their subscription and then after 3 months (you can change the length), we’ll create a new subscription.

The member won’t see any of this behind the scenes work taking place, so for them, it’ll seem like their subscription was truly paused and unpaused.

Create an action set that applies the membership in question’s SUSP tag. This will prevent the member from accessing any content while paused…

Then, click the dropdown to add a new action and select “Cancel a Subscription”

You’ll then select the subscription in question. This would ideally be a month to month or quarterly subscription.

Keep in mind that this will cancel all instances of that subscription. For example, if a member has two of the same subscription – both will be cancelled.

The final result should look something like this…

Create Your Campaign

We’ll use a campaign to run all the actions and time them as we want.

Here’s an overview of the campaign…

Triggering the Campaign

The campaign will be triggered whenever a trigger tag gets applied. You’ll want to create a tag named “Trigger – Member Requested to Pause [name of subscription]” or something similar.

On your site, in WordPress, you’ll add this shortcode to the page: [memb_actionset_button button_text=”Pause My Subscription for 3 Months” tag_ids=123]

You will, of course, modify the button_text as needed, but more importantly, change the “123” to the tag ID of the tag you just created.

This way, whenever someone presses the button generated by that shortcode, it will trigger the campaign we’re creating.

First Sequence – Cancelling the Subscription

Inside the first sequence, we’ll immediately remove the trigger tag that started the campaign. This ensures it can be triggered again in the future.

Next, we’ll run the action set we created earlier that actually cancels the subscription. Then, we’ll apply the CANC or SUSP tag for good measure. The action set was also set to apply this tag, but we’ll do it here, too, for good measure.

Next, we’ll run an Update Contact HTTP POST. This ensures Memberium sees the new tags and cancelled subscription immediately.

Lastly, we’ll set delay timers that wait for however long you want the subscription to be “paused”.

In the example above, we wanted to remind members that the subscription will unpause a week in advance. So first, we’re waiting for 2 months and 3 weeks – then sending the email, and then we wait for the final week.

If you add up all the delay timers, it comes out to 3 months. This can be changed to fit your needs.

Second Sequence – Creating a New Subscription

After the waiting period, this sequence will be triggered. You can use a “Create Order” action to start a new subscription which essentially “unpauses” the subscription.

Next, we’ll apply the membership access tag – this is just for good measure to ensure the member will have access.

And we’ll also make sure any CANC and SUSP tags are removed with the next action. Once again, this is to make the campaign foolproof so that we can ensure there is nothing barring them from access the content they paid for.

We’ll end this sequence with another Update Contact HTTP POST to make sure Memberium sees these updates right away.

Final Sequence – Welcome Back Email

You’ll want to send a final email letting the member know their subscription is active again and encourage them to resume the course or access the site.

In this email, you can include a Memberium autologin link that will automatically log the user into your site and take them straight to the content.

It isn’t recommended to send the member’s password to them in the email as there are increasing security concerns about storing passwords in plaintext – especially when sending them in an unencrypted email.


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