5 secrets to reduce Subscription Churn

~ 4 min read | January 29
Churn Kills Subscription Business

Churn kills Subscription Business

Are you seeing fewer subscription numbers and a higher turnout of unsubscribe notifications for your service? Would you like to see higher retention of customers after they subscribe? Nobody likes to see numbers dwindle after working so hard to get loyal customers signed up for their service, which is why it’s important to take action against subscription churn.

There are ways to minimize that churn rate, all it takes is a little attention to detail and some patience. Having people lose interest in your business and start to unsubscribe means less leads, less business, and then marketing money pretty much thrown out the window. Sometimes people will drop out for reasons beyond your control, but these five secrets can help you keep your subscription churn rate down or nearly non-existent.

1. Focus on the subscribers who stay

Sometimes focusing on the negative is bad for business when you should be focusing on your retention numbers. Instead of asking, “Why are these people leaving?” You should ask yourself: “What is retaining these numbers?” Once you have figured out why people remain subscribed to your SaaS business, it’s time to get to work (and read the four other secrets).

2. Give it all you’ve got

Most services have something to give in turn for the subscriber’s loyalty and time to put in their information and give you money. Sometimes it’s a discount, free trials, and other promotions. Whatever the case may be, use the research you found from the “why” people remain loyal to your business and really ramp up your efforts. Start seriously enticing people with something they cannot refuse.

3. Start using all of that data

Subscription churn can be easily avoided by utilizing all of that data you collect during the subscription process and figuring out the type of segmented groups that are more than likely to churn while figuring out the others that will stay around. For example, people who are attracted to free trials are more likely to unsubscribe from you. Curb the churn by providing more premium services people truly want, using promotions like free trials sparingly.

4. Keep a “premium” edge

Speaking of premium services, asking for more money for better services doesn’t necessarily mean doom for your revenue. In fact, quite the opposite can be done when it is a highly sought after service and you’re providing a high quality version of it. Birchbox and Netflix are great examples. Movies can be acquired for free in “different means,” but people flock to Netflix for their ease of use and unbeatable service regardless. It shouldn’t be a race to the bottom for your SaaS products, rather a race to providing the best all of the time to stay highly competitive.

5. Measure and segment different customers

SaaS businesses have to deal with more than just black-and-white unsubscribed customers, there are also downgrades, upgrades, and people who even come back after a period of absence. Technically speaking, are these really part of your churn numbers? Instead, segment these numbers and track the data of why this is happening. Why do people come back? Why might they be downgrading their service? Use that information to better your products and business overall.

There you have it, five ways to have high retention without (most) of all the churn headaches. Remember to always give what your subscribers need and don’t sweat the small stuff of subscription churn, you have tons of subscription data to help you understand how to truly find why your users are staying subscribed, why they might be turning away, and be able to ramp up your SaaS from there to keep your retention numbers high.

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John Solomon

Marketing Leader / Sales Enabler. Head of India Operations for @Infrascale / @sosonlinebackup.