Reclaim Lost Subscribers: Masterclass on Churn Transformation for Subscription Boxes

Reclaim Lost Subscribers: Masterclass on Churn Transformation for Subscription Boxes

Uno reverse card for Sub Boxes

It’s time to stop stressing about your subscription churn and start winning back your past customers.

For the longest time in BusterBox, we focused only on acquisition. Churn was an afterthought, and when people cancelled, we shrugged our shoulders and said that’s just it.

When 2023 rolled around though, along with plenty of suck, we realised that customers are harder to convince and more expensive to acquire. We decided it was time to get creative.

That’s when we turned to a big pile of previously happy customers who left for a variety of reasons, and thought to ourselves this could be a good channel for growth.

If you would like to turn your churn into an opportunity to actually grow your business. This post will show you how to win-back your past customers

In the last 3 months alone, we’ve managed to bring back over 750 churned subscribers using the tactics you will learn today.

Here’s how you can recreate these results for yourself:

  • Find out why they cancelled

In order to begin the process of winning back subscribers, you need to identify why they cancelled in the first place. You can gather this feedback in a few ways:

Inbound feedback

What are your customers telling you? In CS tickets, social comments, reviews and cancellation feedback.

You should have a cancellation saver survey which asks customers why they are cancelling their subscription.

It’s also a good idea here to make them an offer which counters their reason and keeps them subscribed (Subbly has this built-in).

Outbound feedback

Create an automation that fires when they cancel with a survey asking them why they cancelled their box. Ask them would they come back, if not, why not. Ask them if a better price would entice them back.

Personally email some good past customers and ask them why they cancelled. Usually, they will be pretty candid and give you great feedback.

It’s best to choose good (longer term) customers, as someone who stayed for a year will give you better feedback than someone who only got one box.

Armed with this feedback, there are a few ways you can win these customers back:

  • Sweat Winbacks

When you create your survey, on the final question ask responders to enter their email. Now you can sort by this persons email in the responses and get their individual reasons for cancelling.

Find this persons account in your CRM by searching with their email and see if there’s scope to bring them back.

Maybe a cheaper price?

Less products in the box?

Bi-monthly or quarterly delivery?

Email them and make them a custom offer, usually people respond well to a personal touch and you being flexible with them, if you are quite early with your business and have more time than money, this is the approach for you.

Pro Tip: As with everywhere in this game, the offer is the key. If you make them an unbelievable offer EG first returning box free or free gift with first returning box, this will inspire more action than simply asking them to re-join. Another tip is to give a permanent reactivating customer discount. Turning $0 into a subscriber with 20% off forever is still more than $0.

  1. Automated Winbacks

Now if you’re a bit more savvy or your biz is bigger, you’ll have more people to reach out to. Lucky for you I’ve managed to figure out a way to automate this process and it still works!

Here’s what you do:

Step 1: Create a Zap in Zapier which is triggered when someone cancels their subscription. (You can create a condition that it only fires if they have been a good customer – E.G. has made more than 6 orders).

Step 2: For the Zap action > add a tag ‘winbackopportunity’ to the customers profile in your email system (we use ActiveCampaign but this will work with Mailchimp etc.)

Step 3: Trigger an email to fire when someone is tagged ‘winbackopportunity’. In this email make them an unbelievable offwer like we discussed previously. First box free for returning customers and/or secret returning customer price (permanenet discount). Ask them to reply YES to claim and you manually set them back up on your backend.

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Let’s accelerate with these 3 tips:

  • Winback Campaigns

Take the email you just wrote and go back into your email provider. Blast this email to your entire cancelled list and ask them to reply ‘YES’ if you want this deal. Watch as your get a ton of your churned subs begging to give you more money.

  • Payday SMS

On payday, we all get a little loose with our money. Now’s the time to strike. Make the secret returning offer into a landing page, and send an SMS to your cancelled subs telling them for a limited time they can grab this secret deal.

You can download your cancelled subs list + their phone numbers and use any SMS broadcast service you find on Google (we use Textmarketer).

This can get you 100+ subs in a day. I know for sure becuase it has done for us several times.

  • Mailers

Little more expensive but worth it if you’ve been going for a while. You should have a few hundred to a few thousands past subscribers who have cancelled.

Design a mailer/leaflet for your past subs and post it to them. Make them the unbelievable offer and direct them to the same landing page to claim.

Implement even half of these tips and I guarantee you’ll slice your churn and accelerate your growth, all in one fell swoop!

The problem with churn is most people see it as a negative. But in every obstacle there is an opportunity.

When you start winning back past customers, you’ll never stress about your churn again in the same way.

I hope you got a lot of value from this guide, if you would like to get a video walkthrough of this and many other email marketing strategies to grow, retain and upsell your customers – my course Subscription Box Email Secrets 2.0 is open for a limited time. You can join here before it closes in a few days.

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