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Reactivating Subscriptions: Resuming Metrics for your Subscriptions

by Timothy Ware. Last updated on December 13, 2023

What does it mean to reactivate a subscription? There are several reasons a customer would cancel their subscription. It could be that the customer got no return on investment, had technical difficulties, or they may have canceled because they achieved their set goal. Reactivating the subscription could mean many things, but primarily it means the customers decided to activate the subscription and make payment for another billing cycle.

Before thinking about reactivating disengaged customers, preventing churn is super important to any company. The reason for churn usually stems from the product, but there are other subtle reasons, including involuntary churn.

To learn more and stay ahead of your customer churn, you should sign up for the Baremetrics free trial and start monitoring your attrition rate accurately and efficiently.


What is reactivation MRR?

The Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) from reactivated subscriptions measures the revenue received from previously canceled subscriptions that were reactivated in that month. Customers may reactivate their subscriptions because they suddenly find value in your service or because they believe you offer more value than the available alternatives.

Reactivation MRR is a metric that tells you why your customers decided to reactivate their subscriptions. This metric gives you the most information when you combine it with strategically asking them why they wanted to cancel their subscription and what brought them back.


Reactivating your subscription monitoring in Baremetrics

When a customer deactivates their subscription and signs up again, Baremetrics can continuously monitor the whole lifetime of the client, from before cancellation through to reactivation.

As a Baremetrics subscriber, you have essential insights at your fingertips; you can monitor your customer sign-ups and cancellations on your dashboard while using emails and drop-in forms to collect feedback.

With personalized email sequences, you can target customers who cancel their subscriptions. These emails will prompt customers to pick a reason for their cancellations and also share additional feedback.

Using drop-in forms, you can collect cancellation reasons in real-time. The drop-in forms pop up when the user wants to cancel. On your Baremetrics dashboard, you can customize the form to reflect your company’s growth phase. Even the in-app widget in Baremetrics is fully customizable and offers a more convenient way to collect cancellation reasons. You can utilize the in-app widget and email to capture every possible reason for cancelation.

Cancelation insights inform you on which features you can add to your product. By analyzing all the data you’ve collected from reactivated subscriptions, you can find out if the effort you’re putting in toward reducing churn is paying off. The insights go further to show you which of your competitors are costing you the most money.

Using Baremetrics, you can create automated follow-up email sequences based on the cancelation reason. Inside these emails, you can offer discounts and send personalized messages that will help you gather even more feedback concerning your attrition.


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Reactivation of plans with common payment gateways

In the most popular payment gateways, subscriptions and billing will continue until cancellation. Besides a customer voluntarily opting out of a subscription, a customer’s subscription may also be canceled automatically after four to five attempts to bill the customer. Here’s how reactivation works on some popular payment gateways.


1. How to reactivate with Stripe

On Stripe, if a customer’s subscription is canceled by updating the command function “cancel_at_period_end” to true and the subscription has not yet reached the end of a billing period, it can be reactivated. Subscriptions canceled instantly cannot be reactivated.

To reactivate a subscription on Stripe, the customer can also use the reactivate subscription option on the client dashboard. If a customer has completed their cancelation and their subscription becomes inactive, a new subscription would be the only option if the customer wants to reactivate their account.


2. How to reactivate with Chargebee

Similar to Stripe, a subscription in Chargebee may be canceled voluntarily or after a few attempts to bill the customer. To restart the billing cycle, the customer would need to reactivate their subscription.

Chargebee lets you reactivate through their API as well as their web interface. The customer can specify the date and time that they want Chargebee to consider the subscription reactivated. If you are interested in Chargebee, you should read our recent review.


3. How to reactivate with Chargify

Customers reactivating a previously canceled subscription on Chargify have a couple of scenarios to consider.

  • Existing coupon code: Coupon codes offer discounts to customers to encourage them to reactivate.
  • Calendar billing: Calendar billing simply means that, whenever the customer wants to reactivate their subscription, they will be billed on the date when their canceled subscription was first activated.

To reactivate on Chargify, the customer simply navigates the subscriptions tab on the platform and clicks on the reactivate button.


How to get your customers to reactivate

When customers cancel their subscription, you don’t just fold your arms and watch them—you do everything in your power to encourage them to reactivate. Winback emails are beneficial when it comes to getting customers to resubscribe. There are several reasons a customer cancels their subscription. By strategically employing Winback email campaigns, you can get some of your customers to engage with your business again or, at the very least, find out why they opted out of your service.

Types of reactivation campaigns

The reactivation campaigns that businesses employ will mostly depend on the type of product or service sold. The most successful reactivation campaigns inspire curiosity, display new concepts, and ultimately remind the customer why they signed up in the first place.

For retail brands, an excellent reactivation campaign could display limited offers. This type of email serves a dual purpose of reminding the customer that your brand exists and, hopefully, triggering them to make a purchase.

If your SaaS product has an inbuilt trial period, your reactivation campaigns can produce even more value. Here are three reactivation campaigns to explore.


1. Freemium to trial

This reactivation campaign is primarily used to lure the customer into exploring a part of a product for a limited time in exchange for personal information. Some companies use this type of reactivation email to trigger customers who went halfway in performing actions on their platform, such as filling out a questionnaire or leaving a product in the cart.

Suppose a customer signs up on your platform and receives a quiz designed to learn enough about them to ensure that you create the right pitch for a free trial of your product. That is all good and fine, but what happens if a customer starts answering the quiz and stops halfway? You can employ a freemium-to-trial reactivation campaign to reignite their interest.


2. Trial to paid

Once a customer signs up for a free trial, that event marks a big part of the customer acquisition process. The trial period could last from one week to over three months. The company should have ample time to show the customer that the product is a good investment during the trial period. However, the customer may abruptly stop using the product during the trial period, thereby missing out on the chance of deriving maximum utility from the product.

You’ll need creative ways to remind customers to continue using your product to enjoy all its benefits. You also want to artfully show your trial customers the benefits of the paid version of your product—nothing cheesy, just campaigns designed to show your customers that you care and that there’s more untapped value in your business. This type of reactivation campaign doesn’t just stop at encouraging free trial customers to continue with the service; it also shows them the benefits of the paid version of your product.


3. Winback campaigns

This type of reactivation campaign targets customers who canceled their subscriptions for one reason or the other. The reason for cancellations should be taken into account because it would impact the details employed in the winback campaign. The customer may cancel a service because they no longer have the funds for the service, they may have found a cheaper alternative, or it could simply be that the customer forgot to update their payment details.

With Baremetrics Cancellation Insights, you’ll know precisely why a customer’s subscription was canceled. With such information, you’ll be able to fashion the best winback campaign that will make your customers feel like you are a mind reader. 

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Timothy Ware

Tim is a natural entrepreneur. He brings his love of all things business to his writing. When he isn’t helping others in the SaaS world bring their ideas to the market, you can find him relaxing on his patio with one of his newest board games. You can find Tim on LinkedIn.