9 Best Subscription Management Software in 2024
Disclaimer: Our top picks are based on our editors’ independent research, analysis, and/or hands-on testing. Editorial policy
Please note that because these are not deep-dive reviews, we’ve listed the following platforms alphabetically rather than in order of preference.
Aptitude Software acquired MPP Global — a subscription billing solutions provider to blue-chip enterprises in the media and entertainment sector — in 2021.
Publishers such as Sky and L’Équipe use the platform, which also boasts several case studies with the likes of Times Online, The Daily Mail and The Irish Times.
MPP Global’s flagship service, eSuite, helped digital publishers with customer acquisition, retention, business model optimization and monetization. These features are also present in Aptitude’s offerings, which are marketed with an increased focus on “powering the subscriber lifecycle”.
Aptitude’s many features include recurring and transactional models, identity and subscriber management, payment optimization and churn prevention, and revenue management — to name a few.
Aptitude is certified to PCI-DSS Level 1 standards, the most stringent regulations governing eCommerce companies. Maintaining this standard requires the company to be independently audited every year.
Prospective customers can request a callback to discuss pricing.
Chargebee offers a range of subscription management functions suited for SaaS, PaaS and other subscription businesses.
Scaling is Chargebee’s forte, and it achieves this through several revenue-tapping and automation functions, as well as by synchronizing a business’s accounting and other financial tools.
Chargebee’s recurring billing software accepts payments in more than 100 currencies from multiple payment gateways. The platform also proactively addresses card expiries and problems customers may have with a preferred payment gateway. In addition, Chargebee allows customers to suspend or extend their subscriptions.
From flat pricing to stair-step pricing and everything in between, Chargebee’s subscription management allows businesses to try a panoply of pricing models — a key step in maximizing recurring revenue and uncovering untapped revenue.
Chargebee offers three plans — Starter, Performance and Enterprise plans.
The Starter plan operates on a pay-as-you-go basis. Users won’t be charged on their first $250,0000 of cumulative billing, at which point they’ll be charged 0.75% on billing after that. Features include offline invoicing, calendar billing and usage-based (metered) billing.
Performance costs $599 per month, charged annually, and covers the first $100,000 of monthly billing, with 0.75% charged after that. The plan unlocks features such as advance invoices, gift subscriptions and consolidated invoicing.
Enterprise — which unlocks account hierarchy, contract terms and on-demand discounting — requires prospective clients to content Chargebee directly.
Media sales technology provider Lineup launched its Amplio subscription management product in 2021.
Ampilo allows publishers to segment their audiences using data from both the subscription and ad revenue channels. As such, publishers can estimate total customer value (TLV) within a single dashboard.
The platform has a drag-and-drop interface to streamline the creation and development of audience journeys that include adaptive product offers and packages.
Ampilo has a built-in CRM, finance automation for sales management and marketing automation to support customer acquisition. The platform’s users can also manage their visitors, registered users and subscribers from a single dashboard.
Ampilo’s clients can also leverage its self-service portal, which allows subscribers to update and manage their accounts directly, cutting down on the amount of support a publisher has to provide.
Lineup’s products also come with APIs, allowing publishers to integrate them into their existing tech stacks. Amplio integrates directly with Zuora’s Zephr to leverage the latter’s paywall and journey-builder facilities.
Lineup’s pricing for its various products is not publicly available, meaning interested publishers will have to contact the company for a quote.
Maxio, created through the merger of Chargify and SaaSOptics, is designed as a B2B SaaS subscription management software, offering a host of functions that serve all stages of the subscription lifecycle. From sign-up forms and other templates that serve customized subscription management to sophisticated analytics tools, Maxio has the whole subscription journey covered.
Maxio provides self-service portals where customers can update their credit card details and other info while automating welcome, trial ending and renewal notices.
The platform offers a combined suite of tools covering multi-attribute billing, payment collections, business analytics, automated revenue recognition, comprehensive A/R management and detailed financial metrics.
Maxio also integrates with various third-party platforms, including Salesforce, Xero, MailChimp and Slack.
Maxio has three main plans — Essential, Growth and Scale plans.
The Essential plan, which starts at a monthly payment of $599, offers flexible billing options in various currencies, analytics and customizable email templates and two-way integrations with the Xero and QuickBooks platforms.
While the Growth and Scale plans unlock features such as investor-grade subscription reporting, summary visualizations and a dedicated account manager, pricing is not freely available. Interested parties need to contact Maxio to receive a quote.
Recurly, which is used by the likes of TIME and Paramount+, offers its clients a variety of pricing models, gift cards, coupons and other promotional tools, depending on their strategy.
Recurly’s billing software integrates with various accounting, tax and fraud prevention software, as well as major CRM and payment platforms. Recurly’s analytics provide both a big picture and granular detail on business performance.
As with other options on the list, the software can send out automated email reminders to subscribers ahead of a subscription’s expiry.
Recurly offers three plans — Core, Professional and Elite.
The Core plan, aimed at businesses with annual subscription revenue of up to $1 million, includes quantity and usage-based pricing, as well as integrations with Zendesk and MailChimp.
Recurly does waive monthly platform fees on a total payment volume (TPV) of up to $40,000 for the first 12 months of a new Core plan, after which prices start at $249 per month.
The Professional and Elite plans, which target businesses with annual revenue greater than $1 million and $25 million respectively, feature multiple gateways, payment methods, advanced analytics and tax management. Interested parties need to contact Recurly directly to determine the exact plan fees.
SimpleCirc was created in 2015 by a group of publishers that struggled to find a cloud-based alternative to installed software with hefty up-front costs.
SimpleCirc counts the likes of Circuit Cellar, OYLA Magazine and PI Magazine among its list of clients.
The platform pitches itself as having everything a publisher needs, with none of the bloat. This means it offers the expected subscriber management features such as automatic renewals, data analytics, invoice tracking and the means to upsell and cross-sell merchandise, back issues and other publications to new subscribers.
SimpeCirc supports all major payment gateways, including Stripe, PayPal and PayWay. Platform users can integrate with any software platform thanks to its API and Webhooks.
The company prides itself in offering the best support for publishers in the industry, offering free support in any aspect of the platform including staff training.
SimpleCirc offers a tiered pricing system based on the number of active subscribers a publisher has and doesn’t charge for expired subscribers, which it will store until they can be re-activated.
There are two plans, Essential and Pro, with prices starting at $99 and $179 per month respectively for up to 2,500 users. Pricing increases with subscriber numbers, hitting $599 and $799 monthly for up to 80,000 subscribers. After that, prices need to be negotiated with the platform’s sales team.
SubscriptionFlow is an end-to-end subscription management solutions provider that caters to various businesses in multiple niches.
The platform’s users can offer a range of dynamic customer-centric features such as freemiums, coupons, gift subscriptions, rewards, etc. that can improve customer acquisition and retention metrics.
For businesses, it provides end-to-end subscription lifecycle management and add-ons, such as sales tax management, that increase day-to-day operational efficiencies.
SubscriptionFlow comes with a built-in CRM and integration with tax management tools such as Avalara to help businesses stay tax-compliant irrespective of where they expand geographically.
It also facilitates partnerships with all major payment gateways, including PayPal and Stripe, and allows businesses to provide billing models to their subscribers based on their needs, including flat fee billing, pay-per-use billing, recurring billing, hybrid billing and more.
SubscriptionFlow has four pricing plans — Startup, Rise, Scale and Enterprise.
The Startup plan, targeted at teams of up to three with an annual revenue of $100,000, starts at $149 monthly. The Rise plan, geared toward businesses that need up to 10 users and generate $1 million in annual revenue, costs $199 per month. The Scale plan best suits businesses with up to 25 users and $3 million in annual revenue. It costs $299 per month. All three plans offer discounts for annual purchases.
Finally, the Enterprise plan is meant for businesses with more than $3 million in annual revenue and requires prospective clients to contact SubscriptionFlow directly for a quote.
Verifone acquired 2Checkout in 2020 and is in the process of rebranding the subscription management software. The slow transition — not only is 2Checkout’s website still up but it also refers to itself as 2Checkout — is likely because of the platform’s size: clients range from Fortune 500 companies to startups.
Businesses can manage subscriptions from their first quote for a customer to the customer’s last purchase. Advanced analytics afford insight into recurring revenue on a monthly or annual basis. Verifone also offers tailored subscription solutions for B2B, physical goods and other sectors.
Verifone offers three plans: 2Sell, 2Subscribe and 2Monetize.
The 2Sell plan features recurring billing functions, sales in 200 countries and rapid integration with more than 120 shopping carts. Customers are charged a 3.5% fee and $0.35 per successful sale.
The 2Subscribe plan offers all of the 2Sell plan’s benefits, specific functions for renewals and upgrades, and advanced analytics, among other features. Customers are charged 4.5% as well as $0.45 per successful sale.
The 2Monetize plan offers the 2Subscribe plan’s benefits plus features global tax and regulatory compliance and access to more than 45 payment methods. Customers are charged 6% plus $0.60 per successful sale.
Zuora acquired subscription and paywall solutions provider Zephr in 2022, folding it into its product lineup. Zephr has attracted the likes of Forbes, The Irish Times and The New York Post to its client ranks.
Zephr is a no-code tool, meaning even non-technical team members can create personalized customer journeys. Its dynamic rules builder allows campaigns to be tested and optimized without disrupting existing workflows. This approach should enable publishers to create subscription and retention journeys in minutes rather than days or weeks.
The platform’s Dynamic Offers Module allows users to create personalized offers to convert freemium subscribers and reduce churn with product bundling experimentation. The module also comes with strategic pricing and targeted messaging.
Zephr also offers seamless integration with users’ tech stacks using HTML, JSON or SDK, eliminating the need for complex integrations. It also boasts a rich analytics tool that leverages data to enable personalized campaigns for each user.
Prospective customers can request a demo to discuss pricing based on their needs.
The subscription business is a difficult path to navigate successfully, especially during periods of economic uncertainty. At such times, having the right software running in the background can be the difference between surviving and thriving.
For those reviewing their subscription management software options, the above list shows that automated billing and flexible payment options are common features. Where each platform differs is in offering specialized features tailored to specific business needs.
Choosing from a range of popular subscription management software becomes a matter of finding the right fit between its specialized capabilities and the business’ specific needs. This can take a bit of research to hit that sweet spot.
We’d recommend testing as many different tools as possible. While the features of one might seem ideal, it’s impossible to say how team members might interact.
Investing the time and effort on this front is worth it, as finding the right subscription services will better position publishers to supercharge their monetization strategies.
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