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Blog/6 Red Flags in Your Subscription Performance Metrics (+ How to Fix Them)

6 Red Flags in Your Subscription Performance Metrics (+ How to Fix Them)

It’s so important not just monitor your subscription program performance, but to optimize it based on the insights in your data.

Unfortunately, we know a lot of subscription apps don’t make this particularly easy.

In this article, we’re focusing on a few key performance metrics warning signs, and some actionable steps to consider if you find a certain metric trending in the wrong direction. Let’s dig in.

Let’s dive into your metrics, identify some warning signs, then drill down into some potential actions you can take to start optimizing some of your problem areas.

Looking to boost your subscription retention rate, or scale up your subscription program’s profit margins? Stay Ai’s out-of-the-box tools are designed to boost your subscription revenue, while delighting your VIP customers.

1. Your first-time subscription revenue is down.

If you’re seeing a drop in your first-time subscription revenue, that could be a sign of a problem. Here are few ideas for optimizing towards boosting new subscriber acquisition revenue:

– Optimize your product display pages. Check out an article on 4 PDP best practices here.
– Email current customers a compelling intro offer highlighting your subscription program’s value props.
– Implement a referral program for existing subscribers to earn discounts or free gifts.
– Tweak your first-order offer, whether it’s a discount or free gift.

This pop-up example from V-Dog prompts email capture with an added subscription benefit — and also gets their shoppers thinking about subscription from the jump.



2. Your add-on revenue is down.

Add-ons are a great way to increase AOV and expose subscribers to more of your product catalog. Top optimize towards boosting your add on revenue, try:

– Emailing add-on product offers at an exclusive subscription discount. (Stay’s ExperienceEngine makes this really easy & enables robust A/B testing.)
– Change up the products featured in your customer portal upsell carousel to find what resonates the best.
– Use customer portal banner ads to nudge add-ons through announcing sales, new product drops, and more.

We love this eye-catching banner ad from Magic Spoon, which nudges subscribers to try two newly released SKUs – the Marshmallow & Chocolatey Peanut Butter Treat bars.

💡 For more ideas on how to use in-portal banner ads, check out this blog article.

3. You’re seeing high skip or pause actions in the customer portal.

Worth noting – skips and pauses are better than cancels, so whether this is really a red flag is going to depend on trends over time and your goals. That said, if you see something trending in the “wrong” direction, it’s worth digging in.

If you’re hoping to decrease the volume of those skips and pauses, test:

– Setting up an email flow triggered by the Skip or Pause action, and include a survey asking subscribers why they’re delaying their order. This could bring some great feedback in-house, plus once you’ve hit on some significant insights, you can change that email flow to one that speaks to those most common reasons.
– Nudging customers to gift their upcoming order to a friend, rather than skipping it.
– Offering more subscription order frequency options beyond just the standard 1 order per month.

Stay Ai’s no-code customer portal allows you to both provide gifting nudges and create flexible subscription order frequency options with just a few clicks! Check out this example from OLIPOP’s customer portal.

4. Your same-day cancellation rate is up.

Same-day cancellations are a good indication that those customers were just deal-hunting. Some ways to approach this one:

– Check out your ad creative and the messaging you’re putting forth. Are you attracting the right customers to your subscription program? Is there a way you could tweak that to bring in more of the right customers?
– Make sure you have a cancellation survey in place. Segment the data from your same-day cancellers, and confirm that they’re cancelling because they’re price shopping. Then implement rebuttal flows to encourage them to stay on subscription. Examples: let them swap their products for the following month, offer a discount for staying on, or offer them a free gift for sticking around.
– Consider your subscription program benefits. Are there extensions of your intro offer to keep customers coming back?

Beekeeper’s Naturals has strategically built their subscription upsell email flow to highlight a special subscriber benefit – a free gift on order 2.

In addition to implementing this upsell flow, Beekeeper’s Naturals has leveraged a variety of other out-of-the-box revenue-boosting features from Stay Ai, resulting in 62% growth in monthly recurring subscription revenue. Click below to read the full case study.

5. Your cohort-based retention rate is down.

If you see a trend downwards in the subscribers you’re retaining by cohort, that could be a sign of a few different issues. We recommend:

– Looking for patterns in acquisition sources, subscription plans, products and demographics
– Revewing your cancellation survey data and look at what kinds of treatments tend to save the most customers
– Tweaking your cancellation flow follow-up treatments to be more persuasive. Consider adding video to make the message feel more personal.
– Offering a free gift right before the point of highest churn in the subscriber order cycle. Mind your profit margins by only offering the item for free to those at highest risk of churn.

Noonbrew, for example, offers their subscribers a free storage container for their superfood organic tea with their second subscription order.

By leveraging Stay Ai’s ExperienceEngine promotions and out-of-the-box customer portal upsell features, Noonbrew has seen an incredible 72% increase in recurring revenue. Click the button below to read the full case study!

6. Your subscription save rate is trending down.

If your cancellation survey rebuttals seem to be losing their efficacy, you might just need to make a few tweaks. Try:

– Re-tooling the messaging on your rebuttal messages to more directly address the subscriber’s reason for cancelling.
– Leverage RetentionEngine’s AI powered rebuttals to serve the most effective, personalized treatments to each subscriber (We see this give way better results than with just human intervention)
– Try incorporating a video message for a more personal feel, or a GIF for something a little bit more lighthearted but still eye-catching.

Psychedelic Water has incorporated video into their cancellation flow rebuttal treatments, offering a personal message and subscriber discount from the brand’s CTO.

Since implementing Stay’s RetentionEngine, Psychedelic Water has boosted their subscription save rate to 14%. Read the full case study here:


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