How to Decrease Your Subscription Churn Rate

by Allen Burt
October 7, 2020


Are you trying to reduce the churn rate on your subscription program?

Today I want to talk to you about 3 strategies that have worked well to reduce the churn rate of consumable product brands with subscription programs or subscription boxes.


1. Pre-Arrival Expectation Setting

Pre-arrival is the time between when someone buys the subscription and when the first product actually arrives at their door.

This is the time to deliver content or information that’s going to set their expectations appropriately so that when they get the product they’re not disappointed.

Your subscription rate drops (or churn rate increases) when the expectation of the customer has not been met.  So you can set the expectation of what exactly is coming in that box through email flows or SMS campaigns. 

You can also send free samples or add a free gift. These are the things that will over deliver on their expectations and get them excited to use the products and continue the subscription. 


2. Post Arrival Nurturing

This is the time after the customer has received their subscription box. 

Now you should send them information that they need in order to actually use the product. This will increase the adoption rate and help reduce the churn rate on the next month’s subscription. 

You can do this by sending video content, inspirational content, instructions etc via email flows or SMS flows. 

Make sure that you get the highest rate of somebody opening the box, opening the product and adopting the use of it.

If you increase adoption that will increase consumption. So when that next subscription comes around, they’re going to run out of the product and they’ll be ready for the next one to come versus unsubscribing or canceling. 


3. Identifying Peak Churn Times

 Use your past six months data to identify the timeframe when customers are most likely to churn, or unsubscribe. This will depend on the frequency of your deliveries or types of subscription plans.

You can set up email automations, or SMS automations to deliver high quality content which will keep them engaged and excited leading up to that peak churn time.

For example, let’s say you noticed that the peak churn period is 60 days. So customers receive their first month’s subscription and they receive their second. And by the third, people are canceling and leaving the program.

Here you can set up a series of email campaigns that are firing for a full four weeks prior to that normal peak churn time.

In these campaigns, you can use educational content, social media content or social proof to help validate their decision. The idea is to make them affirm to themselves that this was the right purchase decision. 


If you have questions about any of this, or you realize that the churn rate on your subscription program is too high, and you want help -> book a strategy call.

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