Churn Buster
vs ProfitWell Retain

You’re facing a key business decision: what’s the best way to manage failed payments?

As two "dunning" solutions, Churn Buster and ProfitWell Retain are sometimes compared with each other.

The Churn Buster difference comes from a core belief…

Nobody knows your customer better than you.

We don't expect all companies to use the same process when payments fail.

Churn Buster leverages billions of data points to implement best practices. To give your company high performance out-of-the-box. But that's just a starting point.

The customer experience is matched to your brand and business model. This increases subscription renewals, and won't erode valuable customer relationships over time.

Because of this, customer-centric businesses like these trust Churn Buster:

Ready for a deep dive? Read on for 3 reasons why the best companies in the world choose Churn Buster.

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Focus on fundamentals, not misleading metrics

Churn Buster charges a flat rate based on revenue growth.

ProfitWell Retain charges a commission based on Recovery Rate.

Recovery Rate is the percentage of customers who fail a recurring payment, then go on to issue a successful payment.

There's a problem with this approach:

Recovery Rate doesn't measure the specific impact of dunning.

What impacts Recovery Rate?

Payments Volume

With ~10% of customers failing payment each month, even big companies see big swings in Recovery Rate.


Regional holidays, annual promotions, random surges in signups...these all impact Recovery Rate in months to come.

Price Points

Recovery Rate is often calculated based on dollar amount. When high-paying customers fail payment, Recovery Rate will move more.

Billing Cycles

Annual subscribers renew less often than monthly. A surge in annual billing issues will impact Recovery Rate in a big way.

Customer Acquisition

Customers who sign up with a discount, or are opted into a subscription without noticing, are more likely to churn later.

Service Quality

Improvements to the quality of your product, support, and onboarding will reduce churn and improve your Recovery Rate.

Example 1: COVID-19 Spike

A meat subscription sees a big improvement in Recovery Rate after COVID-19 leads to a surge in demand, with no change to their dunning process.

Example 2: Natural Variance

A smaller beet subscription sees overall churn moving up and down all year long. Small sample size leads to higher monthly swings in Recovery Rate.

Recovery Rate is a great way to monitor how well you're retaining customers with billing issues.

You'll see it front-and-center in the Churn Buster dashboard.

However, changes in Recovery Rate are not attributed to the *specific* performance of Churn Buster.

"We switched to Churn Buster after using ProfitWell Retain for quite some time. Our primary concern with ProfitWell was their attribution and subsequent reporting. With Churn Buster we now have better reporting, a more cost-efficient solution, and a fast-improving product."
Adii Pienaar, Founder

ProfitWell Retain charges fees when Recovery Rate goes up.

But Recovery Rate measures more than just dunning tool performance.

Churn Buster is commission-free.

Churn Buster offers simple pricing based on company size.

Focus on customization, not one-size-fits-all

Churn Buster clients have full control over the customer experience.

On day one, they launch ready-made recovery campaigns specific to their industry. They then have the custom tools needed to improve—based on data reported by Churn Buster.

eCommerce companies are not forced to use the same campaign as software companies. This is a limitation of ProfitWell Retain, where email templates and settings are shared across accounts.

Some examples of customization with Churn Buster:

  • Variable length campaigns to match the business model
  • A mix of branded and text-based emails for better deliverability
  • Enhanced retry scheduling that compliments, rather than competes, with payment processor settings (see Reason #3)
  • A seamless card update experience with real-time payment processing, while the customer is still on-page
  • Escalations for high-value customers, including SMS, bounced email alerts, and help desk integrations

Churn Buster is built to support the unique aspects of the brands we work with.

"We switched to Churn Buster and saw a fast improvement in failed payment retention. Beyond that, we were able to set up bounced email alerts, enabling our team to manually recover at-risk customers."
Sean Percival, CMO

Our team is focused on solving this one problem—subscription billing issues.

Our philosophy is that customer experience is where brands differentiate online.

And our approach is designed to retain more customers by supporting a positive experience with subscriptions.

Focus on customer outcomes, with no funny stuff

But what about when a customer email bounces? When a point of contact has left their company? When a high-value customer is at-risk?

Without tools to make these problems visible, customers churn.

With Churn Buster, your team can retain these customers. Real-time alerts bring visibility at just the right time to make the save.

Could machine learning take the place of your team?

These days, what is marketed as "machine learning" payment processing falls into two categories:

1. Results without business value

Tracking a "win" behind the scenes is easily done by sequencing events in a certain way.

Here's an example without "machine learning":

In this scenario, the payment processor was allowed to do its thing. The customer's card-on-file was retried and the payment cleared.

Churn Buster prioritizes simple outcomes like these.

But when ProfitWell Retain layers "smart retries" on top of Stripe "smart retries," this is the outcome:

profitwell retain smart retries

Positioning a retry a few hours before another one can look like a win. But it's rarely improving business outcomes long-term.

For this reason, Churn Buster layers scheduled retries to compliment payment processor settings. This allows companies to front-load "smart" retries, leveraging much larger datasets, while ensuring retries throughout the full length of a campaign.

Scheduled retries have a real impact on long-term retention.

2. High-risk tactics

These tactics change frequently to stay ahead of restrictions and regulations—often coming from the card issuing banks themselves.

It could mean breaking larger payments into multiple smaller ones, and trying to get the smaller payments to clear. This can litter up a customer's bank statement and cause serious concern.

It can also mean when one payment processor declines a charge, you run the charge again in another payment processor.

Or it could simply mean being too aggressive with retries, spamming them too often.

Aggressively forcing payments with banks is a recipe for disaster. Churn Buster has helped companies recovering from bad experiences, and it's not fun when a bank decides to put a red flag on your business.

At Churn Buster, the reputation of your business is safeguarded with results you can see and trust.

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