Renewal Reminder and Trial Ending Emails


Changing Renewal Reminder Date

When you change the Renewal Reminder date for your Recurly subdomain, the date will be changed for all subscriptions. If you change the timeframe to be longer than your current timeframe (say you change from 5 to 15 days), certain subscriptions which are renewing in fewer days than the new number may not receive a renewal reminder email (following the example, this will happen if the subscription will renew in 8 days).

If you would like to change the date in this way, Recurly recommends reaching out to these merchants so that you can limit the amount of churn from these customers.

Renewal Reminder Emails

Renewal reminders allow you to automatically notify your customers via email about their upcoming subscription renewal. You have the ability to enable for all plans, and then disable these templates by editing individual plans. You can define when the email is sent based on your business needs, within a range of 1-180 days prior to a subscription renewing.

Pre-Renewal Template

This email template will be sent prior to a subscription renewing, based on the number of days configured. Use this template to message your customers as a reminder of a subscription's upcoming bill date.

Annual Reminder

This template will be sent to customers on an annual basis from the start date of their subscription. There are state and regional specific mandates which require this notification to be sent annually. Add this email template to plans where there is a term renewal less than one year, based on your compliance needs.

Mastercard Reminder Template

This email will be sent only to customers whose recurring payment method is Mastercard (includes debit and credit).

Mastercard has specific rules around when this email needs to be sent, and the information that needs to be included. Be sure to meet the specific contractual obligations of your Mastercard agreement.

Per Mastercard’s regulations:

  1. You can configure your emails to be sent prior to the customer’s bill date.
  2. You will wish to ensure that your email includes clear instructions for how the customer can cancel their subscription.

If multiple renewal reminder emails are scheduled for the same days prior, then the Mastercard template will take precedence over other renewal reminder templates.

SEPA Payment Method

This email will be sent in advance to remind customer of upcoming bill date, based on the number of days configured when an end customer has SEPA as the payment method associated for the subscription. SEPA has specific rules around when this email template needs to be sent, and the information that needs to be included. Be sure to meet the specific contractual obligations of your SEPA agreement.


  1. Adyen HPP users: since the mandate ID is not accessible to Recurly, and is required for the template, you must send your own renewal reminder emails.
  2. End-customers will not receive both the Renewal Reminder and the Expired Card or SEPA template. If the both are enabled, SEPA and Expired Card email will be sent in lieu of the Renewal Reminder email.

Expired Credit Card Template

This email sent in advance to remind customer of their upcoming bill date, when the credit card on file is either expired at the time of the email reminder or will be expired when the recurring subscription transaction occurs. Only credit cards having expired within 1 month of a recurring subscription transaction will have an email sent. This email is useful so that customers can take action to update their credit card on file.

Notes: If the end user does not take action to update their credit card on file, recovery methods from Account Updater and Recurly’s retry logic will take place. Recurly will then attempt to charge the card for the subscription and subsequent dunning settings will take over. If the end user takes action to update their card, and an update is received from Account Updater, the manual update initiated by the user takes precedence over Account Updater.

Trial Ending Emails

Trial ending emails allow you to automatically notify your customers via email that their free trial is ending soon. These notifications are configured and activated on a per-subscription plan basis by checking the "Send Trial Ending Emails?" checkbox when creating or editing a plan. When activated for a plan, subscribers will receive a reminder email 3 days prior to the trial ending for their subscription. If a custom trial period is used, the trial period must be at least 4 days in length in order for the trial ending emails to be sent.

Trial ending emails use the "Trial Ending" email template, which can be customized to fit your needs in the Email Templates section of Recurly.


What happens if you use the API to override the trial_ends_at date?

If the trial_ends_at date is more than 3 days in the future, the email will not be sent.

If I set a future start date, will the renewal reminder be sent?

Yes! As long as the future date is more than 2 days in the future.

If no email address is on file, will the site's default email be used?

Yes. Best practices would be to make sure you collect/pass the email address through to Recurly. You can configure an "email to" as well as a "cc email to" email addresses in the email templates page.

Can you set renewal reminders and trial ending emails via the API?

Not currently. Your only option is to use the admin console but this is something we are looking to add in the future.

If I disable the renewal reminders or trial ending emails within the Email Templates section of Recurly, will that stop the emails from going out?

Currently you cannot disable the trial ending emails globally within the Email Templates section. Reminders are activated on a per-plan basis. You would need to uncheck the option on the plan settings page to disable emails for that plan. The Renewal Reminder templates can be enabled or disabled globally for all plans, or enabled for all plans and disabled on a plan by plan basis.