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Maximize Subscription Revenue: Acquire, Upsell, Reduce Churn and Win-back

In the competitive world of mobile apps, sustaining and growing recurring revenue is crucial for the success and longevity of any subscription-based app. To achieve this, developers must consider and strategize around four key states of monetization: acquiring more net new customers, maximizing upsells, reducing at-risk customers, and winning back churned customers.
Henning Heinrich
October 2, 2023
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By effectively navigating and optimizing these states, app developers can boost subscription revenue and ensure a thriving user base.

1. Acquiring More Net New Subscribers

The foundation of increasing app subscription revenue lies in acquiring new customers. Here are some effective strategies to attract a broader audience and convert them into paying users:

Offer Value through Free Trials and Freemium Models

Providing a limited-time free trial or a freemium version of the app with basic functionalities allows users to experience the value before committing to a subscription.

Leverage Targeted Marketing

Employ targeted advertising and marketing campaigns to reach potential users who are likely to be interested in your app’s offerings. Utilize data analytics to understand your target audience and tailor your marketing efforts accordingly.

Optimize App Store Presence

Enhance the visibility and appeal of your app in app stores by optimizing keywords, improving user reviews, and showcasing compelling visuals and descriptions. A well-optimized app store listing increases the likelihood of attracting new users.

Let Your Paywall Shine

Design and optimize paywalls that convert. Clearly communicate the benefits of subscribing and ensure that the payment process is user-friendly and efficient.

You may also like: Top 5 Ways to Drive User Acquisition to a Mobile App

2. Maximizing Upsells

Once you have a solid user base, maximizing upsells - encouraging users to upgrade or purchase higher-tier subscriptions - is critical for revenue growth. Implement the following strategies to achieve this:

Tiered Subscription Models

Offer different subscription tiers with varying features and benefits. Clearly communicate the added value users will receive by upgrading, enticing them to choose a higher subscription level.

In-app Promotions and Discounts

Temporarily offer discounts or promotions within the app to incentivize users to upgrade their subscription or extend their current subscription period. Limited-time offers can create a sense of urgency and drive conversions.

Personalized Recommendations

Utilize user behavior patterns to offer personalized recommendations for upsells. Understanding their preferences allows you to suggest relevant features or subscription plans that align with their needs and interests.

3. Reducing At-risk Customers

Preventing subscription cancellations and reducing the churn rate is crucial for maximizing subscription revenue. Employ the following strategies to retain users and minimize customer attrition:

Enhanced User Support and Engagement

Establish proactive communication channels to address user concerns and provide assistance. Engage with users through email campaigns, in-app messages, and regular updates to keep them informed and engaged.

Analyze User Feedback and Behavior

Collect and analyze user behavior and feedback to identify potential issues or reasons for dissatisfaction. Use this data to make necessary improvements to the app and enhance the user experience.

Regularly Update and Improve the App

Keep your app fresh and relevant by regularly updating it with new features, improved performance, and enhanced user interface. Providing continuous value to users encourages them to maintain their subscriptions.

Swiftly React to Auto-Renew Off

Recognizing that there’s a time gap between a user switching off auto-renew and the actual subscription end, developers can employ targeted strategies. For instance, they can implement automated emails / push notifications / SMS that trigger when a user initiates the cancellation process, offering incentives or discounts to entice them to reconsider. Timely and personalized communication during this critical period can significantly impact a user’s decision, potentially persuading them to maintain their subscription and contributing to increased revenue.

Did you know? With Glassfy Watcher Mode you can easily set up this automated process or simply get notified when someone switched off auto-renew. All in real-time and cross-platform. Watcher Mode is installed within 20 minutes. Try for free!

4. Winning Back Churned Customers

Re-engaging users who have canceled their subscriptions is a valuable opportunity to recover lost revenue. Implement the following strategies to win back churned customers:

Reactivation Offers

Offer special reactivation offers, such as discounted subscription rates or exclusive features, to entice churned customers to return to your app and renew their subscriptions.

Engage through Targeted Campaigns

Develop targeted re-engagement campaigns to reach out to churned customers via email, in-app notifications, or social media. Highlight updates, improvements, or new features that address their previous concerns.

Collect Feedback and Make Improvements

Request feedback from churned customers to understand their reasons for leaving. Use this feedback to make necessary improvements and address their concerns effectively.

You may also like: 9 Simple Strategies to Win Back Customers in Subscription Apps


In conclusion, increasing subscription revenue for app developers involves a strategic approach that considers the four states of monetization: acquiring more net new customers, maximizing upsells, reducing at-risk customers, and winning back churned customers. By tailoring strategies to address each state and leveraging data-driven insights, app developers can optimize their revenue streams and maintain a thriving user base.

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