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Blog/4 Strategies for Optimizing Your Subscription Experience to Cut Churn (+ Examples From Top Brands)

4 Strategies for Optimizing Your Subscription Experience to Cut Churn (+ Examples From Top Brands)

Subscriber churn is a make-or-break factor that directly influences the financial health and growth of your business. 

Launching a subscription program is just the first step. To conquer churn and unlock your full revenue potential, you need constant focus on the end-to-end subscriber experience. 

In this article we’ll dig into four strategies we’ve seen have wide success in helping brands optimize their experience.

Build an Engaging Onboarding Sequence

It can be challenging to keep subscribers engaged and subscribed, especially in the early stages of their membership, and brands are often hesitant to try. They might think that, by not communicating with subscribers, they can forget about their subscription and not cancel. 

Truth is, research shows that educating customers on the benefits of their subscription and how to navigate and customize it can significantly reduce churn. So set the right foundation with new customers right away:

– Provide clear instructions
– Educate on the benefits of your subscription offering
– Help them understand how to get the most value out of their subscription

Offer Strategically Timed Incentives and Upgrades

Stage-Based Loyalty Rewards

Automate thank-you rewards for your customers at the cadence of your choice. Free stuff is always great, but discounts also go a long way. These are especially effective after 2 orders, 5 orders, and 1 year on subscription. 

Funk It Wellness uses Stay Ai’s ExperienceEngine to test offering free gifts with orders.

Free Gifts with Purchase

If you’re noticing that customers seem to cancel their subscription at a certain cadence — say, after 2 orders — that’s the perfect time to add in a free gift with purchase. 

For the 3rd order, reward them for staying on sub by adding in free testers, a free product, or some merch. They’ll feel rewarded, and you’ll keep them on sub for longer. 

Being able to offer free gifts to your subscribers is a great feature, and Obvi did the testing to know how those free gifts impact their subscription numbers.

Keep Subscribers Engaged Over Time

Personalize Customer Portal Upsells and Cross-sells

Personalize subscriber offers with tailored recommendations based on prior purchases. Use the real estate on your customer portal to call out new product drops your customer may like, or automate exclusive offers via email for new products to upsell or cross-sell. 

Begin Health offers customers recommended upsells through Stay’s Customer Portal.

Implement Automated Order Reminders and Skip/Delay Emails

This one goes out to the customers who “forgot” they were on subscription. Implement automated email/SMS messages or portal notifications to remind customers of an upcoming order before their card is charged. You can also use these messages to encourage potential churners to skip a shipment or pause their subscription, rather than slamming the cancel button. 

Offer Alternatives to Cancellation

When you find a pattern to understand why customers typically cancel their subscriptions, one solution is to set up customized cancel flows to get them to stay. Giving subscribers more control and flexibility over their subscription can help retain them by aligning with their individual preferences and circumstances.

Ever and Ever uses Stay Ai’s RetentionEngine, which optimizes user actions for the most desirable business outcome.

– When someone goes to cancel their order, they first see a screen with possible alternatives.
– When someone goes to skip, we ask them whether they’d like to gift it to someone.
– When someone goes to pause, we ask them whether they’d like to just skip this next shipment.

Ever & Ever is seeing consistent redemptions on these alternate offers, allowing them to minimize monthly churn and reduce cancellations and skips.

Personalize Your Cancellation Treatments and Winback Messaging

The two biggest things that make a cancel flow effective? Personalization and personality. Customers respond to feeling as if something is just for them, coming directly from a real human.

Thesis uses Stay Ai’s RetentionEngine to personalize cancellation flows, and prescribe personalized winbacks.

Optimize Your Subscription Experience to Cut Churn with Stay Ai

Through the use of data-driven strategies and optimization tools, businesses like Obvi, Grinds, and Ever & Ever have successfully reduced churn and increased subscriber retention. By continuously testing and iterating on the subscriber experience, these companies have not only minimized monthly churn but also unlocked higher lifetime value from customers.


Supercharge Your Subscription & Retention Strategy with Stay AI