8 practical ideas to reduce SaaS customer churn

David Linder

David Linder

MSc in Marketing from the University of Salford. Facebook Certified Planning Professional Facebook Certified Buying Professional
6 min read

Churn is really a growth and revenue killer but it’s not something occurring once the customer is abandoning you.

It is really a customer lifecycle problem, that ought to be tackled during your entire relationships with customers (and also before they start).

In this post, we have been going right to the battlefield and explore low-cost, actionable methods to combat churn and raise the growth of one’s SaaS business.

1. Optimize your targeting

If you’re acquiring clients at an easy pace but aren’t keeping them over time, your offer might not be the proper solution for individuals you’re targeting.

Focus the majority of your marketing campaigns on your own ideal customers – individuals who apriori search for the benefits your product can provide them with.

Study your marketplace and define your customer persona.

  • Who can be your software designed for? For what forms of businesses?
  • What tasks can users complete by it?
  • Where is it possible to find these folks?

Also, don’t capitalize on being “free” and “cheap” in your marketing campaigns as you risk drawing “freebies” collectors. Such customers aren’t looking for the worthiness you provide and so are the most more likely to leave.

2. Entice people right into a longer subscription

Offer an excellent bargain for the annual subscriptions instead of the monthly plans.

If folks have committed to an extended contract, they’re more likely to obtain deeply acquainted with the merchandise or service, put it into everyday practice, and – should they enjoy it – stay with it.

For example, Buzzsumo offers visitors to save 20% on yearly subscriptions.

These are their monthly plans:

Buzzsumo monthly plans

And they are billed yearly. Encouraging, eh?

Buzzsumo yearly plans

3. Personalize your onboarding emails

Segment your users and personalize every message you send them. Employ action-based email promotions, which consider not merely the users’ current time on the trial but their interactions together with your product.

This way, differing people will receive different messages tailored with their current needs (for instance, depending on if they activated your software or not, are employing it actively or are showing low activity, upgraded to a paid plan by the end of the trial or not etc).

An exemplory case of a post-trial email:

Post-trial email example

You may use standard email automation tools like MailChimp or AWeber or choose all-in-one solutions that combine email automation with other communication tools like live chat and help desk (for instance, Intercom, HelpCrunch, or Drift).

4. Optimize your customer service

Multiple studies indicate that poor customer support is the major cause of customer churn. For instance:

A survey by Oracle showed that almost 80% leave an organization proceed to a competitor due to bad customer support experience.

Customer service is really a key player in improving retention. In the event that you can’t differentiate between your product – it is possible to differentiate either with the business enterprise model or with the superior service.

So exactly what is a good customer support in 2018?

  • Be swift, available 24h and multichannel. People can reach you anywhere, anytime – via live chat, email, social media or instant messengers, on the net or via mobile.
  • Be proactive. Don’t wait before users contact you: proactively offer assistance, inquire about their specific requirements, expectations, and experience with making use of your product.
  • Build relationships. Treat your visitors like humans, nothing like success numbers: show empathy and personalize your method of every client.
  • Invite feedback, opinions, suggestions. Make customers feel important and their opinions count.
  • Provide highly targeted tips, free training or perhaps a personal assistant in accordance with client’s specific business nature and needs
  • Follow-up on every interaction. Go extra mile following the customer’s problem has been resolved. Get in contact over time and inquire how things ‘re going.

Follow-up example

To cover each one of these requirements, work with a good all-in-one customer support tool for managing all customer interactions in a single place, like HelpCrunch or Intercom

You’ll have the ability to instantly answer all customer questions in the live chat, trigger automated proactive chat messages if they are likely to need help, organize all of your multichannel communication in a single dashboard, automate your emailing, collect feedback and analyze your teams’ performance.

5. Build useful resources for the customers

The customers which are using your software on the regular basis most likely won’t abandon you.

Teach them concerning the functionality of one’s products, provide content that answers their questions and concerns. This may be:

  • Comprehensive FAQ section or knowledge base – available limited to the paying customers
  • Videos instructions and tutorials, webinars, ebooks, whitepapers, case studies, etc.
  • Company blog addressing customers’ pain points
  • Emails with “Pro Tips” to paying customers.
  • How-to tips, quick guides, connect to any useful resources for high-risk customers
  • A training center or perhaps a YouTube channel
  • A group of high-value personalized educational materials available and then subscribed customers. This is yet another reason behind them to help keep the subscription.

A good and trendy idea would be to apply gamification elements to make using or studying your product fun. Take a glance how Salesforce does it.

6. Show appreciation in a personalized way

Personalized thank-you or “you’re awesome” emails.  People will feel a lot more valued should they get a personal email from the company’s CEO expressing gratitude for sticking to the brand.

Upgrade subscribers which are successful automatically. Surprise your most active customers by upgrading their membership, at no cost, to an increased intend to let them get a lot more bang from your own software.

That won’t set you back much but makes an unforgettable impression and skyrockets the probability that such users won’t slip away.

Incentives like coupons, promo codes, special deals, tickets to a special event or the next conference.

An example from Feedly:

Feedly example

Acknowledge any social mentions. Every mention by your visitors can spur a conversation and provides you a chance to strengthen your relationship. To track those mentions, you should use services like Mention or Awario.

By expressing the appreciation to your visitors in various contexts, you immediately differentiate yourself from other brands that don’t show much fascination with their customers’ success stories.

7. Identify at-risk users

Prevention is preferable to cure. Notice the signs that assist you to identify which customers come in threat of churning.

Look out for the following red-flag metrics indicating a customer might not have the very best experience with this product:

  • low activity
  • incomplete feature implementation
  • poor customer’s results
  • complaints
  • irregular payments
  • a low response rate

A reaction from Siftery


When a user has been identified with a few of these indicators, contact him/her personally (ideally join a call), learn what’s going on and correct it asap.Your solution depends on the problem: from the discount to walking them through making use of your software.

8. Retain customers through the cancellation

Yes, you ought not obstruct canceling the subscription to your software. But it generally does not imply just letting customers go:)

Permit customers to self-cancel but explain what they’re losing. Suggest to them the success data they’ve achieved together with your product, e.g. customer data, sales data, etc.

Look how Grammarly wisely reminds users of these achievement

Grammarly example

Ask what made them cancel, for instance, via an exit survey. It is possible to provide preset options (they’re quicker and ensure an increased response rate) and/or include an open answer field too. Ensure it is obligatory to complete.

An example from Baremetrics


For example, if your software is very costly for them, provide a possibility to downgrade to a lesser degree of subscription or to a free of charge plan because just keeping their account offers you a chance to re-win them and persuade them into subscribing to a paid plan later.

As another alternative, it is possible to put their anticipate hold and postpone the payments for two months.

If customers weren’t in a position to get good usage of your product, provide a free consulting session which will allow them to obtain additional power from the software.

So, what practices are you currently applying to decrease your customer churn rate? Perhaps you have tried the aforementioned techniques? We’ll be thrilled to listen to about your experience!

David Linder

David Linder

MSc in Marketing from the University of Salford. Facebook Certified Planning Professional Facebook Certified Buying Professional

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