Prevent App User Churn: Creating the Perfect Win-Back Strategy

At risk of stating the obvious, retaining customers who are likely to churn is really important. By re-engaging everyone from your one-time users, to those completely new to the app, to long-term customers who are gently slipping away, you’ll be unlocking new opportunities for new purchases, upsells, and more. And, from a cost-savings perspective, acquiring a new user costs 5 to 25 times more than retaining an existing one.

Traditionally, brands have not been great at retaining soon-to-churn users on mobile. After all, it’s much more tempting to go all in on user acquisition, spike your total number of downloads, and pat yourself on the back for doing such a good job at growing your brand. But if your brand is not investing in strategies to retain or win back users once they start to lose interest, your quarterly revenues, and other core KPIs, will be put in jeopardy. And even worse, if your users start to disappear in large numbers, your brand’s survival is at risk.

Let’s look at a quick example to show how harmful churn can be. A subscription business has 100,000 customers on a $14.95 monthly subscription. Their annual recurring revenue (ARR) comes to $18 million. If this business sees a 1% monthly churn, their ARR in one year will have declined by 11% to $16 million. If that monthly churn is 10%, ARR at the end of the year will have declined by 72% to $5.1 million. That’s a major difference.

Recognizing this decline early on, and taking action to reverse it, is essential to grow, or even save your brand.

Start Winning Back Customers as Soon as You Can 

At Swrve we have a saying: if your win-back strategy starts at Day 30, you’ve already lost. We firmly believe that identifying the signs of a lapsing user early on, and acting immediately on it, is the best win-back strategy you can have. 

If an active user has been inactive for more than a couple of days, they are at risk of churn. Segment these users into an automated win-back campaign, with a relevant push notification to re-engage them. For example, a special offer on a product they’ve searched for, or a reminder that their favorite show is returning for a new season. Swrve also helps you identify who is at risk of churning through our churn propensity feature, the most flexible implementation of propensity scoring on the market.

One Swrve customer sent the same message to seven different recency segments based on the number of days that customers had been inactive, ranging from Day 1 to Day 90+. The results were conclusive. Customers who were sent a re-engagement message between Days 1-3 of being inactive saw a response rate of 10%, which was by far the highest rate of all the segments. The rest of the segments saw a sharp decremental decline in response the longer that customers had been inactive. Days 4-7 saw a response of 5%, Day 30 just 2%, and Day 90+ was practically 0. 

If you haven’t begun perfecting your win-back strategy, it’s time to start now. To learn more, schedule a demo with Swrve to embrace retention and start winning back customers as soon as you can.