SaaS Tattler Issue 60

October 14, 2015 Matthew McLaren

Issue 60 – Re-Engaging Your Almost Churned Customers

Losing a hard won customer is like dropping your ice cream cone, it hurts. Unlike your ice cream cone, you can’t just go back into the store and pick up another customer but just like your ice cream cone, you can take precautions to reduce the chances of it happening again. Sadly, we live in a world where ice cream cones will drop and customers will churn. As a business, your only hope is to understand why your customers churn and implement strategies to remind them why they fell in love to being with. In this issue of the SaaS Tattler we look at some strategies to re-engage your almost churned customers.

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Churn, Retention, and Re-engaging Customers

In an effort to tackle churn, Intercom has started using automated emails to re-engage customers who have stopped using their product. They have found that in all cases, sending a well-timed personalized email has left them in a better position than doing nothing. With that being said, it’s important that these emails are timed effectively and not misplaced. In this article, Des Traynor, Co-Founder of Intercom, discusses five guidelines to creating successful re-engagement emails.

Activity Churn_SaaS

1. Target the right customers

There is a difference between someone who didn’t convert after a 30 day trial and a year long user who hasn’t started to slip away. The difference results in two different jobs, conversion and recovery. Don’t let them both fall into a naive “we miss you” bucket. Treat them differently.

2. Be personal

Don’t auto-mail a customer who has several open support issues to remind them to login and don’t begin your mail with “Dear Customer”. Such activities do more harm than good. Introduce yourself in the email, and make it clear that you’re a real person who really wants to hear what they have to say about your application.


Why Marketers Need to Think About Churn

Sam Brennand, Director of Customer Success at Uberflip, said it well, “churn is very, very bad”. At Uberflip, they believe that marketing naturally goes hand in hand with customer success. Marketers are the first layer of customer success and can help reduce churn by (1) setting the right expectations, (2) develop amazing customer-focused content and (3) help the customer success team master automation. Similarly to Intercom, Uberflip uses automation as one of their tactics to address churn. In this article, Sam digs deeper into their marketing automation strategy.

At Uberflip, we use Amity as our customer success management tool and HubSpot as our marketing automation tool. We’re still fine-tuning our processes, but over the last few months the marketing automation experts on our Marketing team have worked with our Customer Success team to develop automation rules that allow our team of six to do the work of a much larger team.

For example, we developed a HubSpot workflow to automatically engage an at-risk customer through HubSpot-driven emails, all based on information about their health status that’s pulled in real-time from Amity. We’re also working to understand for the first time how marketing content consumption (i.e. blog posts read, webinars watched, eBooks and whitepapers consumed) influences the health of our customers.

Needless to say, it’s been an exciting few months for us.

Stop the Churn: 3 ways to get more value out of the customers you already have

Although the average iOS and Android app only retains 4% of its users after the first year, Neej Gorefrom Boomtrain isn’t going to let that get them down. They have come to accept these high churn rates and learn from their mistakes. They have turned their learnings into actionable items and share their three best practices for reducing churn.

3. Know they’re leaving before they do

The best time to save a relationship is long before the breakup. Talk out your issues before they become problems. The same logic applies to customer relationships: once a user gets to the point of breaking up with you (churning), getting them re-engaged can be almost as energy-intensive as acquiring them in the first place. But, how do you know?

Just like with a relationship, there are subtle cues that indicate a trend towards churning, and our algorithms are sensitive (pun intended) enough to pick up on them. We look at trends in behaviors at both a macro (all users) and micro (individual behavior) level. We can help you identify customers that are giving off signals of diminished interest before they fully disengage, so you can take steps to re-engage them.

8 Proven Triggers to Retain App Users and Reduce Churn

In an ideal world, every app would have high engagement and loyal customer base. Unfortunately, this is not the world we live in and not every customer is going to be loyal to your product, so it’s important to target your efforts effectively. When it comes to targeting your efforts effectively, it’s cheaper and easier to retain existing customers than acquiring new ones. In this article, John Tan from Sinch, looks at some of the triggers of churn and what you can do to retain your users.

From pro-active churn, to passive, happy and even fake churn, the different types of churn should help you to understand that not all users of your app are the same, and you should look at what you can do differently for free vs premium users or frequent vs power users.

Some level of churn is natural. You want to iterate your app’s value and communications through a refined onboarding process to keep users and make the app interactions personal, timely and relevant to keep the doors open for engagement and commerce.

Some apps are also naturally resistant to app burnout due to their inherent sense of organic, ongoing renewal. (news apps, daily deal apps, and TV streaming apps)

Including app communications such as what we provide enhances and increases social engagement and clearly helps with the churn rate.

Re-Engaging Inactive Trial Users

A common challenge for all SaaS companies offering free trials is getting users to convert before their trials expire. If a user signs in once and then not again for seven days, there is a 60% chance they will never use your service again. Sadly, a free trial is only free for users, not for the company. In this article, Nico Pena from RevenueWire acknowledges the difficulty converting trial users to paid subscribers but offers three steps to re-engaging existing subscribers.

Step 1: Find Out Who’s Disengaged

Simply put, inactive trial users don’t convert into paid subscribers. To pay for your service on an ongoing basis, potential subscribers need to feel that they are getting value and it starts with your trial. The only way they can realize value is through actually using your product. To this end, you need to know who is not using your trial and understand as much as you can about them so you can figure out how to get them re-engaged. Once you’ve identified your inactive users through login frequency and the amount of time spent using your trial, find out as much other detail as you can about that segment. This can include demographic information, which country they are in or, most importantly, how they were referred to your trial. Did most of your inactive users come from a specific ad campaign, social media channel or a third party site? If you notice a pattern, it may suggest that a certain source may not be attracting the best quality trial users and your customer acquisition dollars may be better spent elsewhere. Or it may suggest that you’re not effectively reaching that certain user segment. The more you can understand about your inactive user segment, the more effectively you’ll be able to re-engage them.

Companies to Help You Better Understand Your Customers

New Relic – Gain actionable, real-time business insights from the billions of metrics your software is producing.

SDL – Unlock customer insights to drive strategic business decisions.

Vision Critical – When you understand the perspectives, needs and desires of your customers, you can make smarter, more confident decisions.

Woopra – Go beyond traditional analytics and truly understand your customers.

Other Interesting Reads

How often do you feel like you’re working for your inbox and not the other way around? Paul Philp knows your pain and offers some tips to help prioritize your inbox – Don’t Let Your Inbox Focus Your Attention!

In today’s digital world filled with so much noise, it’s tough to make your content and brand stand out. Taking on this seemingly impossible task, Olekskandr Ivanov, CEO of Rivalfox, shares his Words of wisdom: how to make your content impactful.

What do Uber, Airbnb, and LinkedIn All Have in Common? Paul Teshima, CEO of Nudge, assess the similarities between these hugely successful companies and their expansion into adjacent markets.

Every week I issue this roundup of relevant articles from the customer success industry so we can learn from each other and share best practices. If you like what you read here, please consider forwarding to others. New reader? Subscribe.

Want something added to the SaaS 2.0 Tattler? Let us know! And let us know your take on the SaaS 2.0 Tattler in general. We’d love your feedback.

#SaaS Tattler - Re-Engaging Your Almost Churned #Customers w/ articles by @destraynor @SamBrennand and more!
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About the Author

Matthew McLaren

<a href="">Matthew McLaren </a>works as a Digital Marketing Manager at Amity. His passion for creative design has motivated him to explore the many uses of technology.

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