What are free trial coupons?

Free trial coupons can be used to give new subscriptions different free trial lengths. This is useful to merchants that offer a plan that includes a 1 week free trial, and wants to test how conversion changes when new subscriptions come with that 1 month free trial. When the coupon is redeemed upon creating a new subscription to that plan, the new subscription will have a 1 month free trial instead of the normal 1 week free trial.

Free trial coupons can also be used to test shorter free trial periods (e.g. testing a 1 week free trial on a plan that normally comes with a 1 month free trial).

Free trial coupons can also be redeemed on new subscriptions to plans that don’t normally have a free trial, although merchants will not be able to use Recurly’s Trial Ending Reminder email to remind customers when their free trial is ending.


A few additional details about free trial coupons:

  • They must be redeemed when a customer is creating a new subscription
  • If you are explicitly setting a trial_ends_at date when also redeeming a free trial coupon in the subscription sign-up, the free trial will follow the trial_ends_at date, not the coupon rules
  • Redemptions expire immediately and therefore no Discounts Applied notes will appear on the free trial invoice, and the redemption will not appear in the invoice exports
  • The API does not return detail on free-trial coupon redemptions. This also applies to the redemptions by invoice API request. See documentation here
  • The free trial invoice line items will correctly display the length of the free trial associated with the coupon
  • The coupon exports include information about the free trial length associated with the coupon and the redemptions
  • Merchants can create free trial coupons as either single use or bulk coupons