How Subscription Pauses and Trial Extensions Increase Retention and Decrease Churn

How Subscription Pauses and Trial Extensions Increase Retention and Decrease Churn

Increasing customer retention and decreasing churn are essential when it comes to growing your SaaS business. But no matter how many churn-reducing tactics you try (gathering customer feedback, creating effective cancel flows, offering targeted discounts, etc.), there are still going to be those inevitable times when customers hit the cancel button.

When you run into those instances, you essentially have two tactics left in your arsenal before you potentially lose that customer for good:

  1. If they’re an existing customer, you can offer to temporarily pause their subscription.
  2. If they’re a trialling customer, you can offer to extend their free trial.

Let’s talk about both of these tactics and how you can leverage them to decrease churn rates, increase retention, and make customers happierc.

How Subscription Pauses and Trial Extensions Increase Retention and Decrease Churn

Subscription Pauses

Here’s the short-and-sweet explanation for why subscription pauses should be a tactic in your churn-reducing arsenal:

A pause is always better than a cancellation.

Churn is everywhere. Churn is a reality. There will always be customers who need to cancel, even if it’s just to reduce spending during a tough economic time. From our data, if you don’t provide an option to pause subscriptions, you could permanently lose customers who might still need your product one day but simply can’t (or don’t want to) keep paying for it right now.

Broader research has  shown that customers prefer when there’s a pause subscription option available. In a study by MarketingCharts, 51.8% of participants said they would be very or extremely likely to pause a subscription if the option was available. Plus, you can always provide targeted offers or discounts to paused customers to entice them to re-activate their subscription, if they’re now in a position to do so.

Trial Extensions

When you’re dealing with new customers who took advantage of a free trial and now want to cancel, offering to extend that free trial for a set amount of time can be an effective way to increase retention and decrease churn. This additional time may be just what your customer needs to spend more time in your product, explore its features, realize its value, and choose to subscribe once the extended free trial is over.

Providing a free trial extension doesn’t just give your customer more time to choose to subscribe — it also gives you more time to really lean into nurturing a relationship with your customer, providing helpful educational and onboarding resources, and demonstrating your product’s value. Make sure any customers who are using your free trial (but especially ones who have extended their free trial) are reaching key milestones in your product.

Making it easy to increase retention and decrease churn with Churnkey

If you want to take the guesswork out of your churn reduction, try Churnkey’s tracking systems. We’ll help you understand why your free trials cancel so you can use your insights to increase conversions.

Churnkey will automatically present relevant offers to lapsed customers, enticing them to stay, and help you uncover cancellation trends.

You can also use Churnkey Customer Timelines to understand how your customers respond to retention efforts. Customer Timelines will help you uncover customer behavioral patterns, diagnose problems like chargebacks or low offer uptakes, and extend customer LTV.

Find out more with a demo or start combating churn now with a free trial.