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How to Win Back Lost Subscribers


How to Win Back Lost Subscribers

Robbie Kellman Baxter shares an insightful and useful post on how to win back lost subscribers. She also includes customer exit survey questions to help you maintain and improve your customer service. 

Most “retention teams” focus on keeping customers from canceling in the final days of their subscription term, trying to save them at the moment of cancellation, and then trying to win them back once they’re gone.

It’s much easier to build good habits with customers just after they’ve subscribed, in the “onboarding phase.” 

But if you find yourself with a lot of lost customers, it might be worthwhile to develop some systems to win them back.  

After all, they know you already. And their needs aligned with your offerings, at least at some point.

If this sounds like your organization and you want to win back lost subscribers, here are some tactics that will help.

  1. Understand why they left. 

Most organizations have an Exit Survey, but the reasons on the survey usually aren’t that actionable or useful. For example, most customers will say things like “I can’t afford it” or “I keep forgetting to use it.” What they really mean is, “I don’t see enough value relative to the cost,” or “I don’t find it valuable enough to make time.” To build a good survey, start with qualitative Exit Conversations and really probe to understand their rationale. (See below for more details on this)

  1. Determine how to plug the leaks. 

For each reason, there is a solution. For example, if they don’t see enough value to justify the cost, you can offer a lighter, less expensive tier focused on that segment.  Or if they “used up” the product, figure out if they really used it up, in which case you’d add more content, or whether they just weren’t aware of all the categories of content, in which case you need to improve communication and onboarding.

  1. Communicate the plugged leaks. 

Once you fix issues, ensure subscribers who have left because of those issues know you’ve improved them.  Let them know that your service is faster, or you’ve added new content or fixed annoying bugs, and maybe sweeten the deal with a “we-want-you-back” offer.


Key points include:

  • Aligning needs and offerings
  • Cost justification
  • Learning vs. selling


Read the full article, How to Win Back Lost Subscribers, on LinkedIn.