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How to set subscriptions to auto-cancel?

If you'd want to configure a subscription product that doesn't renew, by using Automations you can set this up. In the following article, we showcase the way to create a one time subscription product that automatically cancels after the first shipment has been created on the backend.

How do I create a one-time subscription product?

Firstly, create an automation. Automations are located and created here.

This is the core part of the workaround as it will auto-cancel the subscription product upon creation.


  • Trigger: Subscription created
  • Action: Cancel subscription
  • Condition 1: Product (key) + is equal to (operator) + choose your one time subscription product (value)
  • Condition 2: Subscription order count (key) + is equal to (operator) + 1 (value)

Secondly, disable default cancelation email template located here.

Subscription cancellation emails are automatically sent out after any cancelation of a subscription. In order to avoid inconvenience and confusion among customers of the one time subscription product, it is strongly recommended that this templated email is disabled.

Thirdly, create another automation that will allow sending regular cancellation emails for any other subscription product excluding the one time subscription product(s).

If this automation is not created, then Subscription cancellation emails won't be sent for any regular type of subscription product in the store.


  • Trigger: Subscription cancelled
  • Action: Send email
  • Delay: Choose how many days/hours/minutes after the event took place the action will occur.
  • Action's Data: Write down the message.
You can find an example of the text suggested in the screenshot below.
  • Conditions: Product (key) + is not equal to (operator) + choose your one time subscription product (value)
If you're offering more than one one time subscription product, add a new condition within the same automation, that'd exclude those products as well.

Use cases

Next you'll find situations where you will find very useful to have this kind of setup.

Attaching a survey to a one time product

Why would you even bother using one time subscription product while you can use a regular one time product?

As a merchant, you have more means to extract detailed information from customers if using a one time subscription product. Regular one time products have variants that allow extraction of very specific information related most of all to the ready-made options your customer can choose from, whilst one time subcription products can have surveys, which are completely customizable and offer greater flexibility for merchants to acquire detailed information about the customers' needs or preferences.

In order to attach a survey to a one time subscription product, follow instructions on this article.

Using a subscription product as a one time gift

If you want the product to be a gift but wouldn't want your customer to be able to choose how long the subscription should last (ie. the number of shipments) because it must always be one, then you can configure a one time subscription product. In order for this to work, please go here and disable the toggle Ask the customer about gift duration.

Disabling this toggle will prevent the customers from choosing more shipments since it will always be one shipment per purchase by default as per the automation setup.

One time product without shipment

Subbly offers a solution for subscription products without shipments, also known as Membership subscription products. Currently, what's not present on the platform are one time products that won't generate orders (digital content, online service, etc.) By using the one time subscription product method, you'll be able to create a regular membership subscription that will cancel itself automatically.

How to create a one time product without shipment?

Firstly, create a membership type of subscription product.

Secondly, create an identical automation to the one above but that doesn't have the Subscription order count condition, since this type of subscription won't generate any orders. Just add the specific product(s) that'll act as a membership one time, and they'll be automatically cancelled after the subscription is created.

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