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My app operates under a paid subscription model and I'm deciding whether to send out engagement-oriented push notifications to paying subscribers who haven't used the app in a while or to just leave them be. On the one hand, encouraging currently paying users to reengage may improve retention by reminding them of the value they get out of the app. On the other hand, we may end up just reminding these less-than-active users to turn off auto-renew on their subscription...

  • GR

    Gigi Rodgers

    over 3 years ago #

    I wouldn't say with 'push notifications', but possibly sending them an article they might benefit from, or a tip to produce X results, or even just an email to say, "Hey, how ya doin?". I think they'd appreciate that. An engaged audience is the best audience.

  • JB

    John Barth

    over 3 years ago #

    I think your concerns are valid. Sometimes it's best to try to identify these types of users while they're on the path to becoming inactivity, and try to reactivate them before they're likely to cancel their subscription if they remember they have one. If your app audience is growing rapidly, I wouldn't focus too much worry on losing these less-than-active users, and would try my best to engage the audience without worrying about churning these users.

    The only way to really answer this is to test it. Why not send a push notification to a subset of these customers to see if they reactivate or churn?

  • AP

    Alex Pyatetsky

    over 3 years ago #

    First, to echo previous posters, the only reason to cling to disinterested users is if a) you could care less about growing your equity (this requires solving real problems) or b) you're in a scammy business like credit monitoring, Acai Berry rebills, etc. If you actually want to create equity and a strong brand, solve problems and don't worry about reminding disinterested customers that you're still charging them. Nobody has ever raised a $100MM or gotten acquired because they were the best at making their customers forget they exist.

    With that said, read/listen to everything that Drew Sanocki (https://www.nerdmarketing.com/) has written about retention marketing. He primarily talks about e-commerce, but you can apply all the same priniciples to an app.

    In ecommerce, shopping cart abandonment is something of a holy grail. App developers generally don't give it quite as much attention, even though the principle is the same - if someone starts taking an action and then abandons it, something happened and it's on you to resolve the issue and bring him/her back.

    Think of each major step in your funnel as a "sale." If someone doesn't complete that step within an hour of being prompted, email them and ask them if they need help. Follow up in a day and again in a week. Depending on the nature of your app, you may be able to justify following up every 2 weeks ad inifnitum. Every time you "lose" the customer/user, start working to get them back via automated email drip campaigns, backed by high quality support staff, ideally. Later follow ups should be less about asking them if they need help or if something went wrong and more about proving to them that your product has value. Generally speaking, you can never send anyone too many well-written, successful case studies

    Customers/users who have made it to the end of your funnel and later defect or go silent should go into a win-back/re-activation campaign. Drew Sanocki has detailed these excellently on his blog, so I won't bother here. One article of many: https://www.nerdmarketing.com/25-make-money-win-back-campaign/

    If you haven't done sufficient customer development or don't have much interaction with your users, it may be wise to include a "We need your feedback to serve you better" email somewhere in your drip series (1 week or later). This should be a simple 3-5 question feedback survey covering just the essentials. This way, you can turn some defectors into knowledge to improve your product and reduce future abandoment.

    Once you have the systems in place to successfully onboard and support your customers through key inflection points, don't trip over churning some portion of customers. You'll never be all things to all users, so keep your focus on maximizing Lifetime Customer Value of your best personas (aka "whales") and let things fall where they will with the lesser ones. Some more goodness on figuring out who your "whales" are here: https://www.nerdmarketing.com/16-google-analytics-segments-recency-frequency-monetary/

    Hope that helps.

  • SB

    Stefan Bhagwandin

    over 3 years ago #

    That's a valid concern. Of course, it's only a matter of time before an un-engaged user checks their credit card statement and remembers to turn off auto-renew.

    I'd say it's worth the risk to re-engage these users, even if only because you can't rely on user absentmindedness for long-term revenue anyway. If you've collected enough data, you can try personalizing your messages to offer suggestions to each user based on the type of content they've consumed in your app. Research has shown that personalization will at least get them to open your message: https://www.leanplum.com/blog/personalize-or-bust/

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