Sending billing/invoice emails for memberships

Hi we're trying to send out email invoices for outstanding payments and struggling to do so. I have the custom emails add-on activated and using some of them. If I create a new invoice I am finding that no matter which option, an email isn't going out to ask for payment except for the 'Confirmation of your membership' email saying payment has been received, when I create an invoice and select 'Billed - user can see invoice and needs to pay'.

Also if I try and update a member to 'pending (activate on next payment)' and save, the change doesn't stick.

Please help

  • Lindeni Mahlalela

    Hi Jessica,

    I hope you are doing great today. I am sorry that you are having issues with this and I hope we resolve it soon.

    I have noticed that on your site there is a dozen of members who have active memberships but in the billing tab it appears these members subscribed through the sandbox/testing mode of stripe. Is it these users you are having problems sending invoices to? If yes, please try to send them an email notifying the to unsubscribe then subscribe again on the live gateway.

    In the "Memberships > Settings Automated Email Responses" page I have noticed that the settings for "Payment - Receipt/Invoice" was not activated, I have activated this setting, please verify if after this your members are still not receiving emails or not.

    I have the custom emails add-on activated and using some of them.

    I am not sure if this is related to Membership 2 or not, but I see the custom email plugin is related to BuddyPress instead of Membership.

    Can you try to run a plugin conflict test by deactivating all plugins and see if the issues still occur. I have noticed that there is a couple of plugins with email related features, maybe one of them is interfering, please try to deactivate them and see if the issue occurs with them deactivated, then you can start activating them one by one to see which one causes issue.

    This also applies to the issue about Membership Plugin failing to save settings. Please do the conflict test and test both issues, I could have done this for you but I can't do it without your permission.

    I hope all this helps, please let us know if you have any further issues.


  • Jessica

    Thank you Mahlamusa,

    I have asked for the members to go to their accounts and pay for the pending subscriptions so this may get us where we want as far as billing these people.

    I have just tried to send someone an invoice again by selecting 'Billed - user can see the invoice and needs to pay' from the drop down on the 'edit billing' screen but the email that's being sent to them is 'Subscription - completed with payment message', instead of an invoice.

    Best Wishes


  • Lindeni Mahlalela

    Hello Jessica,

    Thank you for the feedback. With regards to the invoice, I have seen it too, and I thinks that's how it works but I am not sure. In my own setup it does the same too, I just need to dig further and ask the developer if it should behave that way or not.

    I will let you know my findings and the developer's response, but I will start by digging into the code and see what I can find before asking the developer, the developer is always busy and may take a long time to respond.

    I will update here when I have something to share.

    Have a nice day

  • Jessica

    Thank you

    I would argue that it doesn't make sense that selecting 'Billed - user can see the invoice and needs to pay' from the drop down to result in the message from 'Subscription - completed with payment message', instead of an invoice.

    Fundamentally, there doesn't appear to be a way to resend an invoice or assign someone with a level of membership for them to then pay. This is our client's expectation and a reasonable one I believe for running a membership website. If there is an alternative way, please let me know? Our clients are keen to invoice those who have not activated a membership level.

  • Lindeni Mahlalela

    Hello Jessica
    I hope you are doing great today and thank you for the follow up. I believe I should layout to you the flow used by Membership 2. Basically there are two ways to get a user to be subscribed to the membership.

    1. Users subscribe themselves by choosing their preferred membership in the page This is the main method and it is the one with most features as the plugin was built to automate everything from registration, invoicing and payment. Most membership platforms use this method.

    2. The admin add the users manually via the "Membership 2 > Add Member" page. On this page the admin can choose to create a new account or add an existing user to a membership. This method is Manual and hence not linked to invoicing and payment because the user who will be paying must choose the payment method they want to use. This assumes the admin is giving the user free membership. If the membership is a paid one, they will only receive a confirmation and at the end of the initial billing cycle, they will receive a notification saying their membership is about to expire and also when expired they will receive a notification, they have to renew their membership by going to their account page and choose to renew their membership from there they will be asked to pay.

    Below I try to outline the flow from the back and the front end to show what happens if a user is manually added by admin or they subscribed themselves.

    1. Users subscribe themselves by choosing their preferred membership

    The user will go to and choose their membership, they will follow the wizard to go through the registration form after which they go to the Payment Method page where they choose which Payment method they want to use. In my example I have Stripe Subscription and Single Gateway.

    If they choose Subscribe Now they will be put in a subscription plan and their will be automatically billed at the end of each term and they will receive an Invoice with payment confirmation. If they choose to pay with the single gateway, they will pay for the current month at the end they will receive a notification to renew their membership, they will have to pay again from their account.

    After payment an invoice with payment confirmation is sent by email:

    And they are redirected to the Account page where they see their membership details and invoices and history.

    In the admin side the user's subscription will be listed with the payment method and amount they paid.

    That is how it is when users subscribe themselves. This is based primarily on automation and you will not have to do a single thing as an admin because all will be handled by the plugin and the payment gateway. Since subscriptions are processed by the payment gateway, you will not have to send an invoice manually because the payment gateway will be communicating with your website to automatically bill and invoice the user or renew and cancel their subscription if payment was not received.

    2. The admin add the users manually via the "Membership 2 > Add Member" page.

    This is the Manual process of on boarding your members, basically this is a backup method intended for special cases. Membership is based primarily on automation, in the rare cases where someone must be manually added or removed then this method is used. Also suitable for small user base.

    To add a new member the admin goes to "Membership 2 > Add Member" and either add a new user or an existing one, after that the admin chooses the Membership the user is joining.

    [image pos="5"]

    The logs for this user are as follows if member is added by admin.

    [image pos="8"]

    No payment or invoice is generated as the member is added by admin. This assumes a Manual (Offline) Payment or the admin is giving the member access. The membership should expire at the end of the payment term. The member receives confirmation that they have been given membership access.

    [image pos="6"]

    If they click the 'my account' link on the email they are taken to the Account page where they will see the details of their membership. There are no invoices listed here as they were added by admin.

    [image pos="7"]

    That is how it works. The primary function of the Membership plugin, this one or any other, is to automate billing and invoicing and control the content of your website based on memberships. I hope this helps clarify things as to how the membership plugin works. Invoicing from the admin side is not possible for the purpose or scope of the plugin.

    To further clarify, there is a difference between a membership and invoicing system. Usually, in Membership systems the member subscribe themselves on your website and link the account with a profile in the payment gateway, whereas on Invoicing/Billing systems, the service provider manually creates and send an invoice based on the services offered, the customer will choose a method of payment, on the next term another invoice will be sent manually.

    I really hope this helps. Please let me know if I have missed something or if I you have any further queries. We are always here to help.


  • Jessica

    Thank you for the comprehensive response, I appreciate there is a difference between a membership site an invoicing system.

    What I continue to find confusing, however, is the 'create a new invoice' under 'billing'. If you cannot create an invoice to send to a customer, then why is this there? And what do these options mean: Billed - user can see the invoice and needs to pay
    Pending - Waiting for confirmation from payment gateway

    On the page on your website for this plugin, the following is stated: 'Built-in invoice system' this is the reason I chose this plugin over the other membership plugins which are available.

    As I can't go back to my client and explain how they can invoice their own customers, I'm not particularly happy with the outcome.

  • Raylene

    I'm also trying to add a new client to my training subscription on my website.

    "Create New Invoice" didn't send an invoice, so how is the user to know that they have been invoiced? My only option is to send an email to them manually with a link to their account, where they will then have to find the invoice to pay?

    I see that ideally Memberships are meant to be selected by a user himself... but for admin-added users & billing, this is becoming quite cumbersome.

    I had hoped it would be easier to integrate a current client into the membership system by facilitating their signup and payment process. I feel like I'm having to create a lot to make the billing work this way, and expecting a client to click a LOT of links to even be able to pay. If I have to be this hands-on with the whole process, I may as well invoice them through my regular accounting system, and then come back to add their membership separately. This isn't ideal.

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