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Ultimate guide on Apple Subscription Offers. Part 2

Mstislav Grivachev

Updated: January 25, 2023


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What are Subscription Offers, exactly?

Subscription Offers are designed for upselling and winning back lapsed customers in your app. This article will use the terms “promo offers” and “subscription offers” interchangeably, but make sure to get the terminology sorted by checking out the first part.

Over the past couple of years, the App Store has been enhancing its tools to equip developers with in-app subscription marketing mechanisms. With the recent addition of Offer Codes, Apple has vastly extended marketing possibilities for attentive developers.

The problem remains, however, making Subscription Offers work.

I get it, Apple’s promos are lovely. What’s the caveat?

Setting up these subscription offers is not easy.

You have to prepare your offer first to determine which of your subscribers is eligible for a certain offer and which is not. Note that there is no evidence of whether a promo is available to a user on the app’s side, so offering a fourth introductory offer to the same user could become a new normal.

Therefore, you will need to determine eligibility yourself by analyzing receipts and setting up server-to-server notifications.

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Steps for determining a user’s eligibility and preparing the offer

We’ve already covered difficulties with setting up s2s-notifications and receipt analysis in our article on Integrations, so consider checking it out.

Besides the eligibility dilemma, there are some delicacies when dealing with StoreKit. If your user wants to use the promos to make a purchase, you have to write massive amounts of code, which most developers regard as not exactly straightforward. 

To add discounts or introduction offers to your app, you will need to develop both the client and the backend logic to make things work. Discounts’ signatures – unique strings that your server generates using specified parameters and your private key – have to be generated safely as you should avoid putting any private keys into your app. We suggest that you set up your own server for signature operations.



Steps for creating a payment request with a signed offer, verifying the receipt, and unlocking the service

All of that is messy on its own. Beyond this, your logic won’t work instantaneously, as Apple Documentation on signature generation is truly underwhelming and won’t make your life much easier. Check it out yourself.

Lastly, you need to receive promos and decide when and who to show them single-handedly. Think about segments, who are you showing these offers to? Who should these offers be active for? What about the subscribed users?

Let’s just say setting them up on your own requires a lot of time and enormous effort.

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OK, how are Adapty Promo Campaigns any different?

Promo Campaigns is our tool to deal with Apple Subscription Offers. They provide every instrument you’d need out-of-the-box with no hassle and no code.

Your hands remain free. Set Promo Campaigns once in the Adapty dashboard and they will be delivered to your client through SDK and remain there ever since. Subscribe to notifications and show the promo once it’s available. All you need to do is organize the paywall.

The system decides when and to whom it sends the promo and whether any promo is available to a particular user. It won’t send anything to users who are already subscribed as it keeps in mind Access Levels. 

Apart from that, Promo Campaigns in Adapty also have some additional perks. While push notifications are the standard way to send promos, they are just part of the picture. Imagine a situation when a user ignores your pushes or turns them off whatsoever.

Adapty provides another method: the developer can show promo as a paywall when your customer uses the app. Either way, whether it is a push or an in-app promo, it leads to the promo-paywall. Choose whatever suits your needs.

How to create a promo in Adapty

In the Promo Campaigns section, create a new Campaign. Name and describe your offer: for instance, 60% off for non-subscribed CEA. The description will help you navigate dozens of campaigns in the future, so it would be useful to fill it with the necessary keywords.

Promo Campaigns section in Adapty dashboard

You could also use the Sandbox mode: this allows you to send push notifications to developer builds while also removing the push daily limit. Sandbox simplifies the testing.


Sandbox mode in Adapty Promo Campaigns


Choose a Segment, which is a subset of users that will receive the offer. Segments can be predetermined in the Segments menu.

Segments in Adapty Promo Campaigns


Choose an offer. De-facto, it’s a paywall that can be created in advance in the Paywalls menu.


Offers in Adapty Promo Campaigns


That’s it. Your offer will become available through an internal notification system. On the business-logic side of your app, you’d decide how and when you will show this promo. You can trigger it by tapping push or maybe show it inside the app once a week. It’s up to you, frankly.

Boost your promotional offers game with Adapty

Promos are only gaining importance after the fall of IDFA, so using them is a no-brainer. With Adapty, promos become as easy as pie. Upload your certificates and get started right away. Create and adjust your promos in minutes with a simple interface. With a 14-day trial, Adapty is worth a try.

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Further reading