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Retention

How to Stop Losing Subscribers: Practical Tips to Reduce Customer Churn

Don't let subscribers slip away! Learn how personalized offers, engaging content, and win-back messages reduce customer churn and retain subscribers.


  • Understand Churn Reasons: Identify why customers churn by conducting a thorough analysis of feedback, addressing issues like low satisfaction, pricing concerns, weak relationships, and unattended complaints.

  • Employ Proactive Retention Strategies: Implement proactive measures such as offering subscription pauses, flexible account settings, and exclusive rewards for long-term subscribers to reduce churn and enhance customer loyalty.

  • Engage Subscribers Effectively: Keep subscribers engaged through personalized content, exclusive announcements, subscriber-only offers, and win-back messages. Utse Rebuy for real-time customer rescue, ensuring a strong and lasting connection with your audience.

 


 

Subscribers are like loyal friends. When one drops off, we wonder what we did wrong. And we’re not the only ones.

 

An ecommerce merchant shrugs in confusion wondering how to reduce customer churn

 

No one likes losing their consistent customers. And the data shows many ecommerce businesses are in the same boat: the customer churn rate is going up.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t take steps to improve customer retention (and mitigate customer attrition). If you want to kill it at the subscription commerce game, you can’t just sit back and hope that things will work themselves out. You need to focus on ways to rekindle those customer relationships and reduce customer churn. There are proactive and proven steps you can take to increase subscriber retention and maintain a flourishing business.

 

How to Stop Losing Subscribers In-Blog Image

 

Understand Why (and When) Customers Churn in the First Place

Before you can take effective action, you need to know why customers churn. This way, you can take the best steps to try to reduce the churn rate for your business.

According to Recurly Research, the average churn rate is 5.6% for subscription businesses. Some common reasons existing customers churn include:

  • Low customer satisfaction due to poor user experience or customer service.
  • Pricing is too high, and a competitor offers the same products for less.
  • Weak customer relationships — the focus tends to be more on customer acquisition rather than providing value to current customers.
  • Ignoring customer complaints — for example, when there is no option to change or edit subscriptions or there’s a lack of personalization options.

To discover the leading causes of customer churn for your business, start by conducting an audit of your recently churned customers and look for trends and common themes in their feedback. As part of their cancellation process, make sure you ask customers why they're canceling their subscriptions. That data will be your starting point for understanding when and why customers are dropping off.

The good news? In a Chargebee survey, 96% of respondents believe the reasons behind subscription cancellations can be addressed and resolved. When you have the data, you can then take steps to address these churn-inducing elements.

Offer Subscription Pauses Instead of Cancellations

Giving your customers the option to pause their subscription is better than outright canceling. During this pause, the customer has a chance to reassess their needs before deciding whether to continue their subscription.

For example, maybe they are going on a trip for three months and don’t want to receive your product while they’re gone. Or they could just need some time away to save money before deciding to re-subscribe.

A pause also provides you time to win them back while they’re still on the fence and before they cut ties for good. Here are a few practical tips for setting up a subscription pause option in hopes of eventually winning them back:

  • When a customer selects the cancel button, trigger a popup or new page with a message that encourages the customer to pause instead of cancel.
  • Briefly explain why pausing instead of canceling benefits them. For example, canceling means losing loyalty points or having to set up a new account all over again.
  • Offer tangible incentives to pause, such as throwing in a discount whenever they decide to re-subscribe or keeping them in the loop on new product launches.
  • Send a feedback request or survey to find out why they’ve chosen to cancel or pause. You can then use this information to segment them into a group in your CRM and reach out again when the time is right.

For example, say a product they like is on backorder or has been discontinued. You offer an alternative product, but they feel it's easier to just cancel and look for a more similar product elsewhere. Instead, you can offer to pause their subscription and promise to let them know when the item or a similar one comes back in stock. You can even take it a step further and offer to automatically restart their subscription when that product is back.

 

Three promotional cards showing how Rebuy integrates with Recharge to grow your subscription business.

Click the image above to see examples of how Rebuy integrates with Recharge to help boost your subscriber count and reduce churn. 

 

Offer Downsell Opportunities So Customers Can Adjust Their Subscriptions

Offering flexible subscription options that customers can adjust themselves helps keep them around for longer.

To make this possible, create a subscription account settings option that is easy to find. This can be on the website navigation, in emails you send to customers, and on the customer order confirmation pages.

In this account settings page, insert a dropdown of options the customer can adjust, including:

  • Change cadence (every one, two, or three months, etc).
  • Change quantity.
  • Add products or discounted bundles to the order.
  • Remove items from the order.

For example, say a new customer started off with a monthly subscription of four cereal boxes. After one month, they still have two boxes left, and before they can even finish those, they get four more boxes in the mail. In this case, the customer would benefit from the option to change the cadence or the amount of the product. They might choose to go from one month to two months or from four boxes to two boxes.

 

"Adding Rebuy was like pouring fire on our subscription program.”

 

 

Offer Periodic Rewards for Long-Term Subscribers (Not Just for New Customers)

Rewarding long-term subscribers can make them feel special and valued for their commitment to your brand. Not only does it improve the customer experience, but it can also increase their loyalty and customer lifetime value. Why? Because consumers are more likely to buy and spend more when they join a loyalty program.

The best way to offer automatic, consistent rewards is to set up a customer loyalty program exclusive to your long-term subscribers.

Start by deciding how many months a customer needs to be a subscriber in order to qualify for this program. Then, determine what perks they’ll receive if they continue to remain subscribers.

You can set up a tiered program in which benefits change and increase over time. For example, a subscriber for six months could officially become part of the program. Then, after one year, they get an additional perk, like a free product every other month.

Once a customer hits the first program-defining milestone, send them a celebratory email to congratulate them and explain what the program is all about. Share the perks and benefits they’ll get as a reward for being a part of this loyalty program. Make sure to highlight and explain the compound effect of being a subscriber for longer. This could include incrementally more elaborate gifts, a free product for every third month of delivery, or exclusive access to products from a partner company.

 

Ecommerce Personalization: The Complete Guide for Founders, Merchants, and Marketers

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Share Personalized Offers, Discounts, and Content to Keep Subscribers Engaged

Providing additional value to your subscribers outside the products helps keep your customers engaged and excited about your brand. This is especially important for subscribers who typically don’t get as much attention as leads or new customers.

Here are some examples of content that is valuable to your subscriber customer base, especially if there is a churn risk:

  • Tutorials or webinars about how to use your products. Depending on what the product is, you might offer ideas on how to wear it, cook with it, or travel with it.
  • Exclusive announcements. Ensure they’re the first to know about new features or new products through email before others have access to that knowledge.
  • Subscriber-only giveaways and special discounts. Highlight the fact that these are only available for emails associated with subscribed accounts, and share these offers through social media to make subscribers feel special.
  • Subscriber-only product bundle offers. Recommend product bundles via email, in their cart, or on landing pages the next time they visit your site.
  • Personalized post-purchase product offers. Use recommendation widgets to display relevant product offers to subscription customers.

To keep subscribers engaged, segment your customers into groups so you can easily send them this type of customized content. If you notice subscribers who are at risk of churn, flag them as at-risk customers and pay extra attention to your communications with them.

Use Win-Back Messages to Re-Engage Churned Customers

A win-back message can convince your customers to give you another shot. Just because they decided to cancel their subscription or stop purchasing from you doesn’t mean you’ll never entice them to return.

Win-back messages, whether in the form of an email, SMS, or a support chat window, can help you increase customer engagement and get more sales. Lean on your customer support and customer success teams to be proactive and find out if there’s anything else the customer might need help with. According to Chargebee’s report, a “leading growth strategy involves enhancing the quality and responsiveness of customer success and support services.”

You should also be leveraging your email marketing to win back your subscribers. According to Klaviyo, win-back emails with subject lines including language like “It’s been a while,” “We miss you,” and “Discount” earn average open rates between 20% and 27%.

Here are some examples of effective win-back email types and their subject lines:

  • A discount: “We miss you. Here’s $20.”
  • A reminder of your existence: “Let’s get reacquainted.”
  • A request for feedback: “We’re listening.”

Reactivate Landing Pages 🎬

Another great way to to instantly win back churned subscribers is through Reactivate Landing Pages by Rebuy.

These pages make it easy for customers to revive their cancelled subscription with a single click. You can offer attractive incentives, such as a complimentary gift or a discount, to encourage customers to resubscribe. Additionally, it allows them to manage and update their preferences, including shipping frequency and desired quantity. Make sure to personalize the page and embed the URL in your preferred marketing automation tool, such as Klaviyo, Attentive, Postscript, and more.

Note to Rebuy users: Please enable your integration with Recharge before creating your Reactivate Landing Page(s).

 

reactivate LP

Bokksu's Reactive Landing Page helps them win back churned subscribers. 

 

Whatever customer retention strategies you go with, the key is to personalize them for the individual customer and make them feel valued.

Save Your At-Risk Customers in Real Time

The best time for churn prevention is right now. But your support team can’t be everywhere all at once to reel each at-risk customer back in. And your automated emails might reach customers too late or be ignored once they’ve decided to leave.

What you need is to rescue your customer in real time. Through a retention-focused platform like Rebuy, you can increase your customer retention rate while accelerating sales. With Rebuy, you can personalize every customer touchpoint and re-strengthen your connection with your subscribers before they second-guess their relationship with you.

 

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