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Blog/5 Reasons Why Subscribers Churn (+ What to Do About It)

5 Reasons Why Subscribers Churn (+ What to Do About It)

Churn rate is an important metric to overall business health, but alone, it doesn’t give you much to action on. Digging deeper into your data highlights exactly where and when you’re losing your subscribers, so you can accurately develop prevention plans. 

Let’s dig into some of the top reasons subscribers give for leaving, and the best tactics for countering them.


The Top 5 Reasons Subscribers Churn – And How to Tackle Them

1. Price

Cost is typically the #1 selected reason for churn, but to really understand your customers, it’s critical to break down the price battle even further. A price objection could mean one of two things:

A) Your customer doesn’t think the product is worth the price
B) Your customer’s budget no longer covers their subscription.

Price Cancellations: What To Do About Them

If you’re confident in your pricing strategy, there’s not much you can do about your customers’ budgets. You might consider offering a range of pricing options and plans that cater to a broader audience… or you might need to adjust your targeting to draw the kinds of customers you want.

You do, however, have a little more flexibility on the perceived value. Three pro tips: 

A) Surprise subscribers with a free gift or special discount every now and then
B) Bake in some community elements or exclusive access/rewards for loyalty
C) Make sure you’re educating your consumers via email/SMS on things like your ingredients, your top-tier formulation, and/or whatever else causes your high-quality product to have a high-quality price.

And of course, don’t forget to regularly remind your subscribers exactly what value they’re getting from the product itself. Make sure those main value props are super clear on your email comms, in the customer portal, and on your product pages.


2. Too Much Product, or Lack of Need

If customers aren’t keeping up with their “new year, new me” supplement routine, or realize they’re collecting a stockpile of razor refills in the bathroom cabinet, it’s pretty likely that they’ll attempt to cancel.

“Too Much Product” Cancellations: What To Do About Them

There are a few potential reasons behind this issue, so you’ll have to get to the bottom of what’s causing it in your business, then choose the right action from there: 

A) Adjust your delivery cadence or amount of product per shipment. If a snack box is delivered monthly, but it typically takes 45 days to eat, that excess is going to stack up fast. Offer your customers more flexibility in their subscription cadences to best fit their consumption patterns. 
B) Build the subscriber journey with this challenge in mind, and proactively highlight product swap options, as well as Skip and Delay. Better to see a skip than a churn!

3. Product-Related Issues

If subscribers are leaving because of a negative experience with the product, that’s a strong signal to start actively seeking feedback to find the disconnect. 

This cancellation reason can indicate a number of things – a change in product quality, a change in customer preference, or general customer boredom. And if there’s a particular product that’s seeing higher churn early in the sub journey, that’s really important feedback. 

“Product-Related Issue” Cancellations: What To Do About Them

Understanding which products cause the most churn can help you get in front of it, by:

A) Adjusting the product itself, if there are quality, supply, or manufacturing issues
B) Offering a more customizable program so subscribers get what they want
C) Encouraging SKU swaps or alternative bundle customizations
D) Building exposure to other varieties/flavors/etc., into the experience, by including cross-sells in comms or providing free samples with an upcoming order

4. Poor Subscriber Experience

Frustrated subscribers churn. Top frustration culprits include issues logging in, inability to adjust what’s on subscription, and issues with changing subscription cadence/pausing a subscription. 

Customers want to be able to manage the details of their subscription programs without dialing up your CX team (and your CX folks want that, too!).

“Bad Experience” Cancellations: What To Do About Them

You need a customer portal that makes everything super easy for them, so they can feel like they’re in the driver’s seat with options to skip or delay shipments, swap items, and more.

Of course, there’s no guarantee that they’ll never need support — so when they do, make sure you can deliver a prompt and helpful response. Inadequate or slow support can frustrate subscribers when they encounter issues or have questions.

5. Competitive Options

One of the coolest things about ecomm right now is that we all have access to so many different kinds of products — but if you’re in the business, that also means more competition. 

If you see customers drawn away by your competitors, it could be the messaging or value props, an indication of changing taste or sentiment… or maybe they just want to try something new.

“I Bought From Someone Else” Cancellations: What To Do About Them

Keeping your customers out of your competitor’s crosshairs is a tricky business — if it’s even possible. The bottom line for trying to keep them? You have to make these folks feel special. Some pro tips here:

A) Offer some kind of loyalty or rewards program to long-time customers
B) Create a sense of community and exclusivity with early access, special offers, etc.
C) Make sure to keep those Skip, Delay, and Swap options front and center so they remember they don’t have to outright cancel just yet.

Know Why Your Customers Churn, So You Can Build the Right Retention Strategy

Once you know why your subscribers are churning, you can tailor your retention strategies toward addressing the most critical issues. Being proactive about this — by implementing cancellation surveys and regularly analyzing the data (that part is important!) — can have a massive impact on your business over time.

How Stay Ai’s RetentionEngine Can Help Reduce Subscriber Churn

RetentionEngine makes it super simple to build a dynamic, no-code cancel flow to capture cancellation reasons from churning subscribers. Then, it helps you retain them with personalized treatments that can even include video or, later, reactivate former subscribers.

Plus, you get powerful churn analytics that help you keep track of cancellation reasons over time, identify trends, and hone your strategies to deflect cancellations. 


Supercharge Your Subscription & Retention Strategy with Stay AI

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