First things first: to save your subscribers, you first need to understand what a churn rate is.

It’s the annual percentage rate at which customers stop subscribing to a service or product.

Churn is an extremely important metric because it directly affects the profitability of a company. Some businesses believe that in order to increase their profitability, the rate at which the company gains new customers should exceed the churn rate.

However, this is not always true. Researchers at AT&T say that “maintaining existing customers is more profitable than bringing in new customers."

I’ll say that again — maintaining your current subscribers is more profitable than bringing in new ones.

With that in mind, here are six tips to ‘save’ your existing customers who are thinking of churning:

1.  Have a user-friendly unsubscribe process

Difficult unsubscribing processes online can make the customer want to unsubscribe — and not consider resubscribing.

Some companies make customers call to unsubscribe to allow for one-on-one wrangling. But all of us know that there is nothing worse than being hounded by someone who wants to change your mind. 

It actually makes you more stubborn, and the same will happen to the customer.

2. Give subscribers a reason to stay on your web page

When customers go to their ‘manage my subscription’ web page, your goal is to get them to stay on that page and not to churn. To do that, you need to entice them by:
  • offering them a way to change their online subscription
  • tempting them with relevant offers
Additionally, showcase your other products. Why? Because some customers may not be aware of your other product offerings and may be interested in one of them (as opposed to the original product) instead of churning.

Showcase perks exclusively for subscribers — some may not know or will have forgotten about the perks previously offered.

3. Show readers you respect and care for them

Personalised messages about why that customer specifically should not churn can be a very effective way to show that the company cares and respects its readers. This message can be put together using customer relationship data collected from their profile. 

If they do churn, try contacting them shortly afterwards with a receipt from the editor, complete it with a regret button allowing them to resume their subscription. This can make the reader think twice about canceling their online subscription.

4. Stay away from subscription discounts

When a customer is not happy with a product or service online, many companies go straight to offering a discount on their subscription.

But customers are actually less likely to renew a subscription if they are given a discount on their monthly payment. This is because, when the time comes to renew the subscription, they get a shock by the original full price compared to its discounted price. This can lead to them unsubscribing.

You need to consider the effect that putting a discount on your product/services might have on your customer’s perception of the company. Adding a discount could be perceived as though you are not confident in what you are selling.

Cognite Marketing says it can also appear as if you don’t trust your own brand, which could lead to a loss in online subscribers. When it comes to selling a product/service confidence is key.

Instead of offering a subscription discount, you could: 
  • offer a renewal discount
  • extend or upgrade their existing subscription
  • offer the customer extra benefits
  • regularly remind customers of the normal, full price of a subscription so that, when it’s renewal time, the full price is not a shock

5. Increase prices gradually

If your company offers a lower price for the first month, it would be wise to consider gradually increasing the price until you reach the full online subscription price.

This is because if you, for example, offer a customer a subscription for the first month at R20 but then bill them R80 for the second month, it will seem highly expensive. This may lead to customers unsubscribing early on as they have not used the product/service long enough for it to be essential to them.

Instead, gradually increasing the price per month won’t seem like such a big shock to customers, and therefore, they’ll be more willing to stay on and pay the small increases.

6. Learn from your feedback

A very handy thing to do is to ask customers who unsubscribe why they decided to churn. By gathering this data, you may very well be able to identify a trend of why people are churning.

Once you know why people are leaving, you can then change the way your online subscription works or the services you offer. By really looking into the data that your churners have provided you with, you can make sure the same reason for churning does not keep occuring. 

What makes you think twice about unsubscribing? Let us know in the comments section below.

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