If your business relies on recurring, subscription-based revenue from customers, it is critical to your business to retain those customers for the long term. How can you improve subscriber retention? Let’s look at an example.
We’ve used Carbonite backup on our various computers for years. We had an old desktop computer for which we had a Carbonite backup service. After retiring that old desktop, it was shortly forgotten in a corner of our home.
Our computer, however, was not forgotten to Carbonite. They methodically sent emails reminding me that my service was about to expire. I knew this and ignored the emails.
The service expiration date came and I thought nothing of it.
Then my phone rang. It was someone from Carbonite reminding me of my subscription and that it wasn’t to late to reactivate my plan.
I’m not sure of their conversion rate on those phone calls but it has to be higher than without, or they surely wouldn’t be making the calls.
The pattern displayed here is one that you can mimic in your business.
Remind as Subscription Expiration Approaches
You know that the customer’s subscription is about to expire. The customer, however, may not remember that date. Remind the customer of the value they’ve gotten from your service and that it is time to renew.
Your customers will likely need multiple reminders, but please don’t bombard them with daily emails.
Call the Customer
Carbonite didn’t just rely on email. Even though their service can be purchased without a customer ever speaking to a company representative, they weren’t afraid to reach out by phone to improve retention.
Calling customers will cost you more than automated emails. So use this tactic sparingly and be sure to measure its effectiveness in improving subscriber retention rates.
Let the Customer Come Back
Give customers a grace period where they can come back and restart their subscription. Hold on to their data or let them pick up where they left off. If you make a customer start from scratch it will be too much friction on your journey to improve subscriber retention.
Subscriber Retention Requires a Strategy
Lay out a calendar and plan how and when you’ll contact customers around the time of their subscription expiration. Don’t be afraid to venture across channels (email, phone, mail, etc.) to encourage a customer to renew. Revisit your customer retention strategy and refine it based on how customers respond to your efforts.
What tactics have you used successfully to help with subscriber retention?