Ask us: What is metered billing? How do you use it using ChargeBee?

Posted on April 21, 2014 by

Usage based billing is not a new concept, we use it to pay our electricity, water and more recently our phone and internet charges. The normal practice is to charge a monthly minimum and charge the additional fee based on the usage. In other words is also called metered billing.

Let us take an example,

A website hosting company that charges its customers a monthly minimum and the additional charge is based on the number of GB that you use. With ChargeBee you don’t have to worry about keeping track of which of your customer is getting billed when, you can just configure webhooks to remind you when to charge your customers.

To configure metered billing or usage based subscription billing for your business with ChargeBee:
Goto Settings > Site Info > enable Notify and wait to close invoices

ChargeBee-Settings

And Update Site Info.

How exactly does it work?
When a customer need to be charged for the next billing cycle or when they have upgraded or downgraded their pricing plan. An invoice in created with the monthly minimum and is set to the pending state.
Continue reading “Ask us: What is metered billing? How do you use it using ChargeBee?” »

Ask Us: What are the elements in a hosted payment page that help convert better?

Posted on April 14, 2014 by

The payment process or the checkout flow of a website is usually an intricate process and handcrafted with care. In a perfect world, all the prospects who enter the website convert to paying customers. But it does not work that way. Many SaaS and ecommerce businesses deal with prospects leaving the website and payment page abandonment on a day to day basis.

There are a number of elements that can be tweaked to prevent the drop in conversion rates at the payment page level. When it comes to the design and layout of the payment page, the questions that you need to ask are: Is the payment page going to be single page or multi-step? If you have a few fields then a single page should suffice. If you have a large number of fields on your payment page it must be spread out to multiple steps. Letting the customers see how many steps they have to go through is a good option.

The design should be able to accommodate all the fields, as well as the information that needs to go into the payment page. The must haves such as the product details, billing amount, include the taxes and the shipping costs. It is a wise choice to let the customers all the charges from the beginning of the payment process if not the customers will be in for a rude shock.
Continue reading “Ask Us: What are the elements in a hosted payment page that help convert better?” »

Ask us: What are the different types of marketing campaigns that a subscription startup can run in ChargeBee?

Posted on April 10, 2014 by

ChargeBee coupons are designed for the simplest use case of giving away a promotional discount to fellow startups all the way to run those huge marketing campaigns that can go viral and boost your sales funnel.

Here are some ways in which our customers use ChargeBee coupons to run their subscription business.

Configuration & setup of coupons:
To create a coupon: go to Product Config > Coupons > Create A New Coupon
There are a number of fields that you would have to fill based on the discount type, the duration and the validity of the coupon. Also coupons may be applied on Plans as well as Addons.

A few scenarios:
Fee waiver:
Assuming your startup allows customers to try out the product before they convert to paying customers. When a customer is on trial, you generally reach out to customers, this is an excellent way to build relationship, understand your customer better. This is can also be used to encourage your customer to convert sooner. Setup a simple one month 100% off coupon that is applicable on select plans to run this campaign. And share the coupon codes via emails to your trial users.

Run campaigns via market places or channel partners:
Create channel specific promotions, by creating a bunch of coupon codes that can be distributed in certain market places. Any customer who discovers your service using this market place could use the coupon & avail the discount.
Continue reading “Ask us: What are the different types of marketing campaigns that a subscription startup can run in ChargeBee?” »

Ask Us: How does EU VAT work with ChargeBee?

Posted on April 4, 2014 by

As a startup operating in the EU, it is crucial for you to know and understand VAT. VAT is the Tax paid by businesses for the products and services that they provide. If you are wondering where VAT does and does not apply, you can read all about it in our previous blog.

So how does EU VAT work in ChargeBee?

Lets jump right to it!

There are a few important settings that you will need to configure for VAT to work flawlessly:
Under the ‘ Settings’ tab, go to ‘Site Info’, where you need to select the ‘Currency’ you want to charge your customers in and the ‘Country’ your business in domiciled.

ChargeBee - Site Info

Continue reading “Ask Us: How does EU VAT work with ChargeBee?” »

Ask Us: What is grandfathering of prices and why is it important in SaaS?

Posted on April 2, 2014 by

In the world of SaaS, we all strive to constantly improve our products and services that we offer our customers. If your product is consistently improving and your business is improving, but there’s no change in the pricing then you’re most probably undercharging your customers. 

So what will happen to the early adopters if you increase your prices? Do you break your promise of price guarantee to them?

Well the simple answer is…you don’t!

There are numerous examples of companies out there who have gone about changing their pricing plans without a glitch or any furor.

So how did they do it? They did this by “Grandfathering”.  It’s basically changing the price only for the new customers but keeping it the same for your existing ones.

Pager Duty‘s a company who changed their prices without causing a public uproar. You ask how?
Continue reading “Ask Us: What is grandfathering of prices and why is it important in SaaS?” »

Ask Us: Should I enable card verification in my recurring billing system? What are the benefits?

Posted on March 27, 2014 by

Have you ever asked yourself this question while you were hovering your cursor over the tiny check-box ?

Card Verification ChargeBee

The most commonly used method to verify credit card is the Luhn checks. This is a simple arithmetic algorithm can only validate if the 16 digits entered could be a credit card number. It fails to determine if the credit cards are still valid, or if they have a valid credit line or if they were stolen from someone else, and this is where card verification comes into place.

Multiple ways of card verification:
Continue reading “Ask Us: Should I enable card verification in my recurring billing system? What are the benefits?” »

Ask Us: How does proration work in SaaS & why is it important?

Posted on March 24, 2014 by

When a customer changes the subscription plan / quantity in the middle of the billing cycle, we should always pro-rate charges for the rest of the billing period. Depending on whether it is an upgrade / downgrade the appropriate logic should be applied.

Why is it important to prorate charges in SaaS?

Since most SaaS Products allow changes to subscription plans in the middle of a billing cycle, it is important to align usage charges based on consumption. To make this effective, you need a clear & unambiguous way of prorating charges that is fair to your business & customer.

Proration with Upgrades:

When a subscription is upgraded, ChargeBee calculates the amount for the remaining period of the new plan and adds that as a line item to the invoice generated during the plan change.

Current Plan: $100 / month

New plan: $150 / month

Proration logic:
Continue reading “Ask Us: How does proration work in SaaS & why is it important?” »

Ask us: Can I setup simple “no-card free trial” for my SaaS product with ChargeBee? What are the other ways of setting up subscription trials?

Posted on March 22, 2014 by

Yes. It is possible to setup a simple signup flow with or without card using ChargeBee. Card without trial is the most dominant model with most SaaS Products. However, there are various other options that should be considered, to make an intelligent choice that suits your business.

Here are a few things to consider while setting up the signup flow.

  • Trial or no free trial
  • How long should the trial be?
  • Card or no card during trial
  • Setup fee at the end of trial, beginning of trial or no setup fee at all.

Trial or no free trial

There are several pros & cons to each approach.

The most common approach to decide this is to look at competition, to see what they are missing.

  • Are they too closed by not giving away a trial?
  • Is a trial even needed? Can a personalized demo with customer on call help you close the sale faster?

How long should the trial be?
Continue reading “Ask us: Can I setup simple “no-card free trial” for my SaaS product with ChargeBee? What are the other ways of setting up subscription trials?” »

#SaaS Customer Service Doesn’t Have To Be Hard. Read These 6 Tips #custserv

Posted on March 21, 2014 by

Customer Support Primary DifferentiatorWithout a doubt, technology businesses are competitive. However, competition among SaaS providers is at another level given the many players in the industry targeting fairly similar prospects. In a bid to acquire users fast, most SaaS companies concentrate on marketing and sales, forgetting about their existing customers. The result is usually more spending on the cost of acquiring new customers and recurring revenues that do not spur growth or profitability.

To grow your SaaS business, churn must be lower than the cost of acquiring new customers. Below are 6 customer service tips that can help to reduce churn:

1. Contact new customers

Make an effort to personally reach customers to help them get started with your app. This is especially important if the customers have signed up for a trial or have activated their paid accounts. Using a new app can be intimidating no matter how simple the app may be.

Go beyond the traditional welcome email and help the customer get comfortable with the app. Contact users via email and invite them to beginner training webinars. This will help them be more comfortable with your app, and in effect lower the likelihood of churn.

 2. Offer real-time online chat services  

In the competitive SaaS world, users want answers now. Therefore, you cannot afford to be sluggish with your support. When customers are shopping around, you can lose a lead because of a delayed response. Make it easy and fast for users to contact you for support

One of the ways you can improve conversions is to have live chat on your website. This way, users can easily contact you and receive instant responses to their queries. If you have a dedicated support team, having a phone number is important.

3. Have a comprehensive learning center

Most users face the same problems and hence ask similar product-related questions. For example, users may want to know how to use a particular module or perform a specific task. These questions cannot be satisfactorily answered in the FAQ section. However, they can be covered in-depth in a “resource center” or “knowledge base” area of your website.

Continue reading “#SaaS Customer Service Doesn’t Have To Be Hard. Read These 6 Tips #custserv” »

Ask Us: How to Break the Email Jinx?

Posted on March 19, 2014 by

Sales cycles are seldom closed with just website optimization, re-targeting ads are also a great feature but these two alone cannot complete the cycle. The real tool you should be looking at is Email-Notifications! No this is not one of those email marketing phenomenons of the by gone area. But a new method of marketing and up selling from the old mode of communication with a new set of rules.

So what is, email notifications and why are they important to you

Basically email notifications are small set of emails sent out via auto-responders, when the customer walks in on some trigger points inside your application or website. Just like Facebook sends an email when a friend comments or likes your status update, emails ought to be sent out on for some key trigger points such as when a prospect signs up or makes a purchase.

Why is this relevant? In subscription businesses prospects tend to realize that by subscribing they are committing to a long term relationship and hence they try to familiarize themselves with the product before signing the dotted line. Re targeting ads are good to keep the prospect’s interest burning but with some well-crafted emails, you could plan a covert coup from the prospect’s mailbox.
Continue reading “Ask Us: How to Break the Email Jinx?” »


Now that you have read all these, there is more to ChargeBee you will enjoy reading.

Customize your payment pages with themes
EU VAT released!
Email preview, webhook event selection and a new report