We know how bad a feeling it is to lose a subscriber (Trust us, we’ve been there.) It’s not your fault all the time. Sometimes your subscribers just don’t see the value in continuing with your product. Sometimes they aren’t able to pay the subscription fee, or they just found someone better than you.
Whatever the reason for a subscriber canceling their subscription, it doesn’t pay to be ungrateful about it. Instead, you should try to the last, to make the subscriber not leave you. But, if they don’t want to continue, then happily part ways with them by sending a cancellation email.
A cancellation email doesn't spell the end of your product. It means you can learn the reasons for unsubscription and ensure that you improve your product.
In this blog post, we will discuss what cancellation emails are, the reasons for subscription cancellations, and how you can write the best cancellation emails that don’t burn bridges.
In the domain of SaaS, cancellation emails are sent to subscribers after they have put in a cancellation request for their subscription. Cancellation emails make it official; a person can no longer enjoy the perks and benefits of using that product.
Sending a cancellation email doesn’t mean you become an enemy of the requestee. Instead, see it as an opportunity to invoke feelings that made them subscribe to your product in the first place.
For example, take a look at Youtube’s cancellation email. Youtube informs the recipient that they acknowledge their request for their subscription cancellation. But also points out the benefits the recipient will lose if they don’t renew their subscription.
Also, for the recipient's convenience, they have added a CTA “Renew Now” that redirects the recipient to the subscription page if they change their mind.
Hence, you should always strive to convince the churning user to re-subscribe. You can throw in a discount or access to premium features to sweeten the deal.
Following are some of the reasons why users cancel their subscriptions.
Some users may churn at the start of their journey just because they need a better onboarding experience. User onboarding should be about guiding the user on how to use your product to get the best possible experience and see the inherent value it.
Make your onboarding responsive and self-serve. Responsive onboarding helps in churn reduction. Don’t make the users reach out to support every time they hit a snag; instead, provide them with in-app tooltips to help them. Also, send them valuable content like video walkthroughs and feature guidelines to make their onboarding seamless.
Not all of your users will be able to handle your product the way you intend them to. Therefore, there will always be a need for a customer success team to guide them.
A significant reason users churn is that they don’t have adequate access to a customer support person.
Make sure that your customer support team is adequately trained and knowledgeable enough to handle all the queries that come their way. Also, provide your support team with content that they can refer the customer to so that they can solve their issues.
Some of your users may churn because they don’t find the features they were looking for. To win back churned users, ask them about the features they were looking for. If you don’t have those features but instead have alternatives that can get the job done, then highlight those and guide the users about them.
No one likes an app with many bugs, glitches, and crashes more often than not. This can cause users to get frustrated and switch to alternative apps.
If you don’t want that to happen to you, ask churned users about all your app's bugs and glitches. Involve your Quality Assurance team to investigate and resolve all these issues before the user churns.
Even if you have a bug-free app that runs seamlessly but is still seeing unsubscriptions, you need to look into the pricing of your subscription plans.
More often than not, the price plans cause users to churn. Use your product's analytics data to determine how many users have churned. Reach out to them and ask whether they churned due to the pricing.
If the answer is affirmative, offer them a lower-price plan. If that still doesn’t work, give them discounts, but keep them valid for a limited time to create FOMO.
If you don’t ask, you’ll never know. That should be the mindset you need when responding to cancellation requests. Here are a few ways you can respond to cancellation requests and then craft the perfect response:
Whenever a user churns, it’s best to ascertain the reasons before they are gone. One way of doing it is to use in-app surveys.
Design your in-app survey to ask the most critical questions:
Once you know the reason for the unsubscription, you can provide suitable fixes to retain the user. Also, by asking these questions, you can better understand what your product lacks and how you can improve the customer experience.
If the reason for users churning is expensive price plans, then you can offer a few downgrades to retain the users and keep them engaging with your product.
By offering a downgrade to a basic or a free plan, you can give users time to consider whether they are happy with the plan they got or want to upgrade to a premium one.
Here’s an example of a subscription plan downgraded to a free plan from Bonsai.
You can attempt to entice some churned users by offering them special offers for resuming their subscriptions.
First, start using your in-app analytics to ascertain how many users have unsubscribed. After identifying them, create a re-engagement workflow with time-based triggers that send out re-engagement emails bearing your discount offers. Set an expiration date to create a FOMO effect.
Here’s an example from Typeform to illustrate the point above.
Users who churn because of bugs, glitches, or lack of features in your app can be won back by updating them about the improvements you made in your product.
Send them emails regarding all the new features you added and all the fixes you made. Also, you can add a discount or special offer as an enticement.
Here’s a product update email from Mercury to inspire you.
If all else fails and your user wants to churn, you need to swallow the bitter pill and let them go. It’s nice to part ways on a positive note; you never know, your user might change their mind and come back.
Send a thank you email and appreciate the user for being a valued customer. Say that they are always welcome back whenever they want to come back.
This example from Hulu does a great job of exemplifying the above point.
Cancellation emails are nothing if they don’t have a subject line that compels the recipient to open them.
Keep your subject lines generic and straightforward. Personalize them and make sure that they are straight to the point. Here are a few subject lines for your cancellation emails:
Here are a few cancellation email templates that you can get inspired by.
You can harness the power of email automation to identify and send cancellation emails to churned users.
Here’s how you can do it using AppFlows, a low-code email automation tool:
The first step in setting up cancellation automation is integrating AppFlows with your product. As a low-code tool, you must involve your engineers, who will integrate AppFlows within your product’s codebase.
After the integration, you can pass unlimited APIs and create unlimited events.
Now that AppFlows is integrated with your product, you can pass an event called “unsubscription” or “cancellation.”
This event will be triggered whenever a user unsubscribes, and an automated email will be sent to them confirming their cancellation. Here’s how you can do it:
With AppFlows, you can create more sophisticated cancellation email workflows with multiple triggers. You can design cancellation emails in the automation builder with an intuitive and user-friendly drag-and-drop-email builder.
Below is a cancellation workflow that triggers when a user unsubscribes from a product. You can see the first email goes out immediately when the event is triggered. Afterward, an email is sent to the user based on their engagement with the email.
If they give their feedback about unsubscribing, then an email thanking them for their feedback is sent. If they choose to ignore the email, then a reminder email is sent to them asking them to provide their valuable feedback.
Unsubscriptions are common. They happen in even the most successful of products. Therefore, they shouldn’t make you hate the unsubscribing user. Still, you can end your relationship with them on a good note by acknowledging their importance to the growth of your business within your email and also trying, till the end, to entice them to resume their subscription.
Also, you can make sending cancellation emails easier with AppFlows top automated email templates. Moreover, you can create automation workflows unique to your product.
Content writer by day and a book nerd by night, Ammar Mazhar has been writing for 3 years for B2B and B2C businesses. As a wordsmith, Ammar knows how to write SEO-optimized content that your users will find insightful, igniting results for your business.