Push notifications for subscription apps to win lost customers back

The success of any mobile app lies primarily in its ability to retain customers. Sure, customer acquisition is important, but if you can’t keep the users you attract – you won’t last very long. There are several essential app metrics, and churn rate is definitely amongst the most important ones.

According to Statista, the average 3-month mobile app user retention rate is 29%. Meaning 71% of users churn within the first three months of downloading an app. 

With subscription apps, the statistics can be a bit different. Yet, the fact remains the same, as a developer, you need to retain customers, understand why some unsubscribe, and know how to return them.

In today’s article, we will focus on the latter. Read on to find out how push notifications and in-app messages can help you win customers back and boost your revenue. 

What are push notifications and in-app messages?

Push notifications are probably the most vital communication channel used by apps. They are a simple way to alert users of new information and engage them. Push notifications can appear directly on the lock screen and pop up as alerts on mobile devices. 

Over time push notifications have become more and more advanced. There are now personalization features, automation capabilities, and comprehensive analytics that help you better understand and engage with your customers.
Typically, for push notifications to be sent, customers have to enable them in settings or within the app. The average opt-in rate for iOS, for example, is 51.2%. It’s an essential way to communicate with users, especially when you can automate the notifications you send and when.

You may be wondering, “but what about that 48.8% who haven’t enabled notifications?” We are glad you asked. For this subscriber segment, you can turn to in-app messages. 

The in-app messaging option will take your user through the same process as a push notification, but, as opposed to when the user cancels in phone settings, it’ll only appear when entering the app.

As we’ve previously mentioned, while all push notifications and in-app messages are important for engaging customers, those triggered by subscription events are particularly valuable because they can help you win back lost ones.

So, let’s take a look at how you can leverage push notifications, in particular, to win lost customers back!

3 steps to win back lost customers with push notifications and in-app messages

The most successful win-back campaigns are targeted and personalized. There’s no question about that. Hence, sending a notification when a user unsubscribes and identifying why they did it is imperative. It will make the user feel like they’re being listened to, and his or her opinion can play a role in your app development. In addition, if you send an offer tailored to the customer’s needs after the notification, they might appreciate the thoughtfulness and are more likely to resubscribe or leave with a positive impression.

Below are the three steps you should take to win back lost customers, improve your app performance, and increase revenue. Let’s dive into them. 

1. Determine why the user has unsubscribed

To know what offer you’ve got to make for the customer to return, first you need to figure out what made them leave. To get the most accurate response, you need to ask for the cancellation reason right at the time of cancellation. As you may have already figured out, in-app messages and push notifications come into play here. 

The moment the user unsubscribes in his settings, you can set up a push notification inquiring about the reason for cancellation. For those with disabled notifications, on the other hand, an in-app message can appear once they enter the application. The below example illustrates the possible message you can include.

Since the user is already leaving, there’s little stopping them from giving you honest feedback. Chances are, they will open the notification and will see a little questionnaire with potential reasons for unsubscribing. Within seconds they will let you know what made them leave, and you will get a new insight into your client’s behavior.

2. Make an offer that caters to the cancellation reason

Now that you’ve identified why the customer decided to end the subscription, it’s the perfect time to make an offer that’s most likely to get them to return. Of course, the offer has to be personalized to their reason for leaving. If the user unsubscribed because the app was too expensive, it’s useless to offer extra reward points. However, if you propose a discount, they might rethink the decision.

You might be thinking – “Great. Now I need to find a developer to help me set all this up”. That’s not entirely true. With automated push notifications and no-code in-app messages, you can do it all yourself seamlessly. We’ll talk about that in more detail in the end. Right now, let’s cover the final step of successful win-back campaigns via push notifications and in-app messages. 

3. Continuously analyze data and adjust offers

The more data you collect and the better you personalize win-back offers, the more customers will come back to you. That’s why analyzing your findings regularly is of utmost importance. You’ll get to know your customers better and find out the real reasons why they canceled the subscription. After all, the only way to bring them back is by understanding why they chose to leave you in the first place. 

How to start winning old customers back? 

Now that you know the main steps you have to take to win lost customers back, you’re probably eager to find out how to get started quickly.

As you have seen, push notifications and in-app messages are a proven and sure way to communicate with your users. Subscription apps are nuanced and, typically, push notification services like Firebase are simply not enough. High-value events like trial conversions often happen when the app isn’t even running. In iOS, for example, subscription management is done through settings. There’s no need to open the app to end the subscription. However, that’s precisely when you need to communicate with your subscribers.

The steps we’ve outlined above can’t be done unless a subscription server is integrated with a push notifications service.

The good news is – there are ready-made solutions to help you with that. At Qonversion, we provide all the necessary infrastructure:

  • A server to get 100% accurate subscription data even if the app isn’t running
  • The ability for any subscription event to trigger push notifications
  • Email sending function that’s integrated with Mailchimp (in case the user has deleted the app)
  • Paywall building capabilities
  • No-code in-app messages creation function

As you can see, Qonversion can help you improve your push notification strategy and facilitate the seamless creation of in-app messages for those who disabled notifications. With us, you always have all your bases covered.

Read this guide if you’d like to use notifications to handle errors.