Retention and Support Teams
Passive churn next steps

Passive churn next steps

Feeling anxious about your involuntary churn?

You're not alone—nobody likes to see their customers quietly slipping away.

This article explains what to do when your Churn Buster "Lost" list starts growing beyond your comfort level.

1. Reach customers

Email is a necessary method for communicating with customers. Churn Buster deliverability is carefully guarded and ensures transactional messages have the best chance of reaching your customers.

If open rates are low or customers aren't seeing your outreach, consider the following multi-channel approaches:

  • Set up a late-campaign escalation for your team to step in.
  • Change up the subject line on a lower-performing email.
  • Reach customers through different channels (SMS, in-app notifications, etc.).

2. Engage customers

Invite a conversation

For customers who are seeing your outreach but are hesitant to renew, invite them to start a conversation to share questions/concerns. Later in campaigns, any movement or response from customers is valuable.

  • This could be as simple as, "Hit REPLY to this email and let us know your concerns." or "Not ready to renew? Please reply to this email and tell us why!"

State the benefits

Make sure at least one of your emails clearly explains what the customer will *lose* by allowing their subscription to expire. A benefit statement reminds customers of what they’ll miss out on by not renewing your service.

  • After successfully delivering to the inbox (Churn Buster delivery rates are extremely high), this is often the highest impact element of a dunning email. While a marketing email encourages a prospect to opt in in order to gain something your company offers, a dunning email reminds customers about what they'll miss out on by not renewing and encourages them to not opt out.
  • This can be as simple as "We'd like to get this resolved so you can continue to access..." or "Don't miss out on: (bullets 1-2-3 of what they get with your service)"
  • Here's an article with email guidelines and examples. (Section #8 shows an effective benefit statement.)

3. Win back customers

Incorporate customer feedback

Active cancellation survey feedback or customer interviews can reveal ways to improve retention. Below are some examples:

too expensive → offer discount

If data shows customers cancel because the product/service is too expensive, consider offering a discount in later emails.

  • This could look like including a coupon code or simply asking customers to reply to the email to claim an incentive/offer.

too much product → let them change order

If it's common for customers to let subscriptions lapse because they have too much product, make it easy to skip/delay orders through the portal interface or from your transactional emails.

confusion about how to update → offer to help

Customers might churn if they don't know how to update their billing. Churn Buster emails make it easy to update, but consider offering personal service to help, or incentivize a response.

Retarget lost customers

Retarget lost customers with a reactivation campaign. This could look like sending an email 20 days after a campaign ends to invite the customer to reactivate their subscription.

Campaign Lost events can be used to automate post-cancellation win-backs, or you can manually reach out to customers when you get Campaign Lost email notifications.

EXAMPLE: Tag passively churned customers in Klaviyo through Zapier, then send a reactivation offer 20 days later to those customers who still don't have active subscriptions.

Look upstream

Passive churn is a function of overall retention. Accounting for "upstream" factors leads to high-impact retention gains that impact recovery in months to come.

Here are some questions to evaluate the overall customer experience:

  • Are you setting the right expectations upon signup (and before) that provide congruency and consistency throughout the customer lifecycle?
  • How do you build value in the first 30 days of a subscription?
  • What pre-defined moments provide an opportunity to continue building a relationship with the customer after the first month or two?

Additional resources

Passive churn is a grim reality for the subscription model. With a strong foundation in place and a focus on the customer experience, you can keep churn to an absolute minimum.