Retention Of Disappearing Users

Retention of Disappearing Users

What to do when your users are disappearing.

Why Churn Kills Businesses

Why Churn Kills Businesses

Churn is the quickest killer of businesses. Take the business below starting January with 100,000 customers on a $14.95 monthly subscription. Annual recurring revenue (ARR) is $18 million.

  • If this business sees 1% monthly churn, ARR in a years time declines 11% to $16m
  • If that monthly churn is 10%, ARR at the end of the year will have decline 72% to $5.1m
The four states of app users

Disappearing Users

People don’t suddenly stop paying you money or stop using your app. They disappear slowly. After a period, they question why they are paying you money, and even why they paid you money at all. They’ve departed. They’ve churned.

In this blueprint, we’ll jump into “Disapearing” users and customers. Interestingly, of the four states, it is the only verb. Customers are slipping from view right now. It’s happening, not happened. You can do something about it. Consider them pre-churned.

Instrument Your App To Track Users

Instrument Your App To Track Users

Swrve analytics are built to let you visualize the lifecycle states of customers.

Here we can see that this app, has 1.2 million disappearing customers, who were active, but haven’t been active for 31 to 60 days.

Identify Who The Disappearing Users Are

Identify Who The Disappearing Users Are

​First, define what a disappearing user means to your business. Who is a disappearing user?

In this image we’ve created a segment of active subscribers who pay $125 a month, who have used the app a lot (>50 times), but we haven’t seen in the last three weeks (21 days).

Find Ways to Engage More Meaningfully and Frequently

A 'we miss you' is not going to work.

Instead, the most effective way is to mine data to uncover content, products or services that will likely interest the user - content retargeting.

Netflix's push notification retention campaign

What Netflix Knew

​Netflix knew that Barry had not been around recently.

They also have a good idea of what he is interested in from his previous behavior.

A push notification notifying him of a new show of interest stopped him from disappearing.

Pinterest multichannel approach

A Multichannel Approach

Pinterest use a multichannel approach, showing disappearing users boards that will be of interest to them, based on their behavior and preferences - like the email campaign shown here.

Export Data For Ad Remarketing

Export Data For Ad Remarketing

​If your reengagement efforts haven’t worked, you can export user data for ad remarketing.

Combine user properties, for example: has not been seen in 30 days and likes Twin Peaks.

Tell users about features they haven't used to improve engagement & retention.

Tell Users About Features They Haven't Used

Tell users about features they haven’t used - especially if those features are known to improve engagement and retention.

A newspaper app was struggling to consistently engage users (if they are used slightly, are you providing slight value?), so they trigger in-app messages to let readers get alerts when their favourite contributors post.

Find Out What Disappearing Customers Think

One obvious approach. Speak with users. Recently we worked with a magazine app with high churn. Believing price was the reason, the published repeatedly reduced the price, to no effect. Finally they surveyed users the moment they hit unsubscribe. The reason was surprising. With every publication the app grew unsustainably in size. Only 3% of people quoted price.

Use a survey to ask customers why they are churning

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Retention Of Disappearing Users PDF


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