How do I offer a complimentary subscription to a reader on Substack?

You can offer complimentary paid subscriptions to readers from your publication's Settings page.

1. Scroll down to the Payments section and next to "Give away paid subscription for free", select "Add subscribers".


2. Enter the email address of the reader you'd like to give a complimentary paid subscription to and select the length of their subscription trial. You can also add a list of emails to import multiple subscribers at once.


Note: At this time, there is no option to comp founding member subscriptions.

3. Click "Add" and they'll be automatically added as a subscriber to your publication.

Can I offer complimentary subscriptions to multiple existing readers?

On your Subscribers page, scroll to the All Subscribers section.

Select which readers you'd like give a paid subscription to and click on the three dots in the banner that appears after you've selected at least one reader. Select "Comp".


From the drop-down menu, choose how long you'd like the reader's complimentary paid subscription to last for. You'll have a choice of 7 days, 30 days, 90 days, 6 months, 1 year, or forever.


Tip: To extend all of your paying subscribers' benefits, first apply a filter where "Subscription type is Paid" to locate all your paid readers. Then follow the steps above to extend their paid status.

What happens at the end of a complimentary subscription period?

The subscriber will receive reminder emails from your publication one week before and the day before the complimentary subscription ends with the option to continue as a paid subscriber. This email is not customizable.


Once the complimentary subscription ends, the subscriber will receive an email letting them know that their paid subscription has ended. However, you can customize this email by following these steps.

1. Head to your publication's Settings page and click on Payments in the left navigation bar. 

2. Next to "Subscription expired email", select "Edit".

3. What you see on this page will be the default message subscribers receive when their paid subscriptions end. Change the copy as you'd like and when ready, click "Save".



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