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How does inactivity impact churn? (SaaS products, apps, e-commerce, OTA's etc.)
Is inactivity an early sign of an impending churn? How to make users active and engage with them?
Coincidentally I just posted something which will help you out: https://growthhackers.com/articles/why-did-your-users-churn-wrong-question.
As such, inactivity is churn, but it needs a perspective, if your service is seasonal or not frequently used, a users not coming back in 6 months might look like churn, but they may come back in a year. So it is best to have a set timeline, and call any inactivity in that period as churn, and if the user comes back after a lot period it can be called a resurrection. In my post, I call such a scenario a half-life. This is typically true if your products are of large ticket size, a holiday, home furniture etc.
Can anyone share their valuable insight on this?
Generally speaking, yes - inactivity is an early sign of churn.
It's possible that your users don't really have to actively be using the product to get value from it (especially in the case of set-it-and-forget-it products).
But what you don't want to happen is the user completely forgets about your product, sees the charge on their credit card statement, and decides to cancel altogether.
For us, inactivity is definitely an indicator the account is likely to churn.
Inactivity is definitely a symptom, however, of some underlying problem. This could be due to a number of reasons:
- Internal priorities have shifted
- Not enough resources committed to the product
- Are confused by the UI or onboarding instructions
- Don't know what to do first / need training
- Something's broken or not working right
- Don't see the value (this is the absolute worst)
- Discovered the product doesn't do what they thought it did (this also sucks)
And the list goes on.
The key, though, isn't to "cure the inactivity" but to "provide the most value". There are tons of ways to get people back into your product, but to truly make them engaged and really stick to your product, you'll need to have a few 1-1's.
Our favorite way? Pick up the phone.
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