Involuntary cancels — when the subscriber’s subscription ends due to a payment-related issue — can act as a forceful headwind to growing subscriptions. While payment failures are inevitable, it’s possible to chip away at this problem and have a noticeable impact on retention, boosting customer lifetime value and long-term revenue growth.
This is super useful Reid. Thanks. I’m curious about how these tips are being used in an ‘automated’ way by Substack to help us noobs on here who just want to focus on the publishing. Or are there options for us individually to improve things?
Good stuff, Reid. I've run a martial arts gym for almost 20 years now, and this is spot on. Retention is huge in any subscription business! The longer you operate, the more important it becomes as a KPI.
Hello and thanks for this tips! I have a question regarding this point:
For example, when a subscriber approaches their renewal date with an expired credit card, we send an email and dashboard notification asking them to update their payment information (especially helpful for annual subscriptions).
I’m this case how is it possibile to understand when the credit card will expire? I use Stripe and in their API is not possible to get this information? Are there any external tool?
Thanks in advance!
Excellent insight Reid. From my end, I have another perspective to add. Involuntarily paid subs, e.g.
"I never ordered this paid subscription. Please refund. Thx."
I refunded but it was after one month that the person cancelled so I ended up paying the Substack %, i.e. it cost me money. I booked it as a loss and moved on. If that were to happen more often, though, what would be the recommended course of action? Prorated refunds?
do u ever consider reaching out to people who were involuntary cancels after the fact?