There comes a time in the lifespan of a business when a client or subscriber says goodbye, and for different reasons.
However, most businesses focus on the influx of clients or subscribers and never bother about what to do if and when the client 'wants' to end the business relationship.
Do you have a plan?
What can you do ?
Do you have strategies in place to win-back your clients or subscribers?
In this post, we will focus on subscription models, a common business model for most small business owners.
This includes online courses, retainers for services rendered, software-as-a-solution (SAAS), the list is endless.
For subscription models and services on a recurring basis, losses from cancelled subscriptions can add up overtime.
Now, at the time your subscriber/client chooses to say sayonara, you can persuade them to stay and still retain your status as an expert.
How? Your strategy and execution!
At the time your subscriber decides to leave, opportunities arise for the business owner to:
Why has the subscriber decided to leave? Could it be dissatisfaction with your offers or services, lack of resources, unfulfilled expectations, strategies not working for them?
The reasons provided could be classed into common themes and added to your win-back strategy.
Based on the themes gotten from the subscriber, you can create proactive courses, themed education, or just one-to-one meetings/demos with the subscriber.
For businesses who provide SAAS solutions, hands-on coaching offers for the tech-challenged or ideas on what they could do (affiliate sales and scripts) could be all they need to stay on.
Your subscriber could be frustrated and want to leave due to having not knowing,
Let them know the features and benefits of the present offers
Relative comparisons with other competitors, with emphasis on where you outshine them.
Make clear what they could lose if they cancel. Digital Marketer does this well with their DM Lab subscription. They make it clear that when the subscriber decides to get back, they will have to register at the existing price (usually more expensive than the previous rate).
Sometimes, inefficient or prolonged delay in customer support, bugs in the system, deficient support could be among the reasons why a subscriber decides to leave. A business owner who admits mistakes and makes an effort to rectify it leaves a positive impression on the subscriber.
This move could be an attractive element that could motivate the client to stay on (or think of coming back, post-cancellation), more so, when the highlighted issue is quickly addressed.
The opportunity to receive materials from the business owner, that is not publicly available or a paid item for free may be all the incentive that your subscriber needs to stay on.
This more effective if the 'gift' is related to the feedback provided.
Some subscribers tend to misuse this opportunity, hence the need to test and be ready to let go, if the tendency to misuse is repetitive.
A significant and common reason why subscribers cancel is due to monetary obligations. Where this is the case, it may be best to offer cheaper options if available.
If not feasible, you can offer a maintenance fee for retaining their place, such that when they return, they can fit right back in, 'grandfathered' as it may seem.
This works best for SAAS businesses that involve the use of domain names and storage of contact details.
Do you have services you can bundle and sell to your clients at a discounted price?
In the case study below on Clickfunnels, Russell Brunson offers six months access at a discounted subscription of $997 to the tripartite Clickfunnels bundle (Clickfunnels, Actionetics, Backpack). This bundle is valued at $297/month, and a no-brainer at that price.
There are circumstances business owners can and cannot control, it could be a mismatch in client priorities, your offers or just something else.
Also, there are problem clients, who just cannot be satisfied. That said, where strategies in place fail to win back your subscribers, do let go.
Some do come back, just because of the treatment they receive at the point they try to quit your service. Others stay on for a few more months.
Some do quit and say goodbye.
If the subscriber still decides to cancel, what can you do?
1. Add the canceled subscribers to an automated email segment.
Creation of segments based on feedback is more effective). If your email provider has a label or tag system, like Active Campaign, tag, and segment the subscriber.
Note: If you choose to retain the data or details of the subscriber, it's practical to have in mind the GDPR-recommended best practices for data handling, more so for Europe-based subscribers. Ask the client to tick a checkbox on cancellation, to indicate if he/she wants to be contacted in the future, may help prevent future issues with data handling.
2. Let them know of other events. This could be future releases of value-filled blog posts, flash sales, coupons, events, and others.
3. Friendly updates on business achievements or developments that may provide value to their own business.
4. 6-month followup to know where they are in their business and their needs at that time.
5. Get creative and proactive with ideas that can help your clients. Use the feedback, regular surveys, offers. Most of all, take note of what works, test and use, and then rinse and repeat.
6. Some spring cleaning (list Hygiene) To improve your mail deliverability stats, avoid being classified as spam, save storage space and costs, it may be time to let go and delete the data. When to do this will be up to you, the business owner. It helps to base your deletion on an assessment of the response to your mails overtime. Based on your decided metrics (opens, link clicks), you may just have let go (delete such clients).
Test the feedback received, test the offer (which one worked and did not), rinse and repeat.
Based on feedback received and the need observed, be ready to create targeted solutions or a new service that will address the needs of your subscriber/client.
So tell us, do you have a win-back strategy in place? What has worked for you?
All about top-of-the-funnel marketing strategies.