The SaaS Marketer’s Guide to Reducing Churn

Kit Fox

It’s a universal truth that your cheapest clients are the ones you already have. While your marketing strategy should chase new business, it’s vital that you simultaneously focus on messaging and tactics to protect your existing revenue.  SaaS B2B companies that rely on long-term partnerships, using a proactive marketing strategy to fight against churn is essential for healthy, consistent revenue.

SaaS businesses with low churn rates often enjoy a competitive advantage, as they demonstrate strong customer satisfaction and loyalty, which creates a feedback loop–enticing new customers to enter a stable and lengthy relationship. Here, we examine 5 proactive steps your SaaS marketing team can take to ensure your existing clients stay exactly where they are.

Feature image for reducing churn in SaaS companies.

A Guide to Reducing Churn

What is Churn?

Churn, in the context of SaaS (Software as a Service) businesses, refers to the rate at which your clients cancel their subscriptions or cease using the service within a specific period. It is a crucial metric for SaaS solutions companies as it directly impacts revenue and growth.

Churn can encompass various actions, including subscription cancellations, non-renewals, downgrades to lower-tier plans, or simply the discontinuation of usage without formal cancellation.

Two main types of churn include:

Voluntary Churn

Involuntary Churn

  • Voluntary churn occurs when customers actively decide to discontinue their subscription or usage of the SaaS product. This decision may stem from factors such as dissatisfaction with the service, changes in business needs, budget constraints, or the availability of alternative solutions.

  • Examples of voluntary churn include customers canceling their subscriptions, switching to competing products, or abandoning the service due to a perceived lack of value.
  • Involuntary churn refers to instances where customers stop using the SaaS product or cancel their subscriptions due to circumstances beyond their control, such as payment failures, expired credit cards, or technical issues.

  • Unlike voluntary churn, involuntary churn often occurs unintentionally and may be preventable with proactive measures such as payment reminders, card updating mechanisms, or automated troubleshooting.

How to Calculate Churn

The churn rate is typically expressed as a percentage and represents the proportion of customers or revenue lost during a specific period. It is calculated using the following formula:

Churn Rate (%) = (Number of Churned Customers or Revenue Lost / Total Number of Customers or Revenue at the Beginning of the Period) x 100

Key Strategies for Reducing Churn

Churn in SaaS

1. Improve Onboarding

By making the onboarding process personalized, easy to follow, and proactive, SaaS companies can build trust and satisfaction from the start, reducing the chances of customers leaving early. Marketers can support this by building simple UX and supplementing the process with thorough, engaging educational content. A successful onboarding experience should include:


  • Customize the introduction to match each customer’s needs and goals.
  • Assign a dedicated guide to lead customers through the setup.
  • Offer tailored demos or training sessions focusing on their interests.

Keep Setup Clear and Simple

  • Make setup instructions easy to understand and follow.
  • Use step-by-step guides, videos, and images to simplify the process.
  • Provide self-help resources like FAQs for independent problem-solving.

Ensure Your Customer Support is Proactive

  • Reach out to customers to address concerns and offer help proactively, rather than waiting for them to come to you.
  • Provide multiple channels like live chat or email for timely assistance.
  • Use automated messages or reminders based on customer progress to guide them through.

2. Release Regular Product Updates and Enhancements

By prioritizing regular product updates, actively soliciting and acting on customer feedback, and providing robust educational resources and tutorials, SaaS companies can continuously enhance the value proposition of their product, strengthen customer satisfaction and loyalty, and ultimately reduce churn rates. Tactics should include:

  • Continuously improving the SaaS product through regular updates and enhancements is crucial for maintaining its relevance and value to customers. For example, Salesforce regularly updates its functions and informs customers of any changes.
  • Schedule frequent updates to introduce new features, functionalities, and improvements based on market trends, technological advancements, and customer feedback.
  • Communicate product updates effectively to customers through release notes, emails, or in-app notifications, highlighting the benefits and value they bring. Create wonderful content for SaaS customers.
  • Encourage user engagement and adoption of new features by providing guidance and training materials to help customers leverage them effectively.
  • When customer feedback arrives, actually act upon it–rather than simply listening.

3. Build Strong Customer Relationships

A solid relationship starts with proactivity. Leveraging engaging content and a communication style that presents solutions before the problems arrives egenders loyalty. Here are strategies that help grow healthy client partnerships:

Conduct Regular Check-Ins

  • Regular check-ins and touchpoints involve proactively reaching out to customers at predefined intervals to assess their satisfaction, address concerns, and offer support.
  • These interactions can take various forms, including phone calls, emails, video conferences, or in-app messages, depending on the customer’s preferences and the nature of the relationship.
  • During check-ins, focus on understanding the customer’s goals, challenges, and experiences with the product or service. Actively listen to their feedback, address any issues promptly, and provide guidance or recommendations to help them achieve their objectives.
  • Establish a consistent schedule for check-ins, whether it’s monthly, quarterly, or annually, to maintain regular communication and demonstrate ongoing commitment to customer success.

Implement Customer Success Programs

Customer success programs are proactive initiatives designed to help customers achieve their desired outcomes with the product or service, thereby maximizing their satisfaction and long-term value. Promote these success programs through a SaaS Marketing Strategy.

These programs typically involve a combination of proactive outreach, personalized guidance, and value-added services aimed at driving adoption, retention, and growth.

Key components of customer success programs may include onboarding assistance, ongoing training and education, strategic account management, and performance monitoring.

4. Provide Excellent Customer Support

Key features of a rock solid customer support initiative include:

  • Responsive Customer Support Channels: Offer a variety of responsive customer support channels to cater to diverse customer preferences and needs.
  • Live Chat: Provide real-time assistance through live chat support, enabling customers to quickly get answers to their questions or resolve issues without waiting for a response.
  • Email: Maintain a dedicated email support system for handling inquiries, feedback, and troubleshooting requests. Ensure prompt and personalized responses to customer emails to demonstrate attentiveness and professionalism.
  • Phone Support: Offer phone support with dedicated support representatives available to assist customers with urgent or complex issues. Provide clear instructions for accessing phone support and minimize wait times to enhance the customer experience.

Effective customer support builds trust, enhances satisfaction, and ultimately reduces churn by addressing issues promptly and effectively.

5. Monitor and Analyze User Behavior

By monitoring and analyzing user behavior, implementing customer feedback surveys, and using data-driven approaches to predict and prevent churn, SaaS companies can gain valuable insights into customer needs, preferences, and behaviors. This enables them to make informed decisions, optimize product performance, and proactively retain customers, ultimately reducing churn and driving long-term business success. Key data points you should track include:

  • Engagement Metrics: Track metrics such as active users, session duration, feature adoption rates, and frequency of use to assess user engagement levels and identify areas for improvement.
  • Usage Patterns: Analyze usage patterns and behavior flow within the product to understand how customers navigate and interact with different features and functionalities.
  • Product Performance: Monitor metrics related to product performance, such as uptime, loading times, and error rates, to ensure optimal user experience and identify potential issues or areas for optimization.

Gathering that data is only the first step. Once you’ve implemented tracking systems, you should:

  1. Leverage data analytics and predictive modeling techniques to identify early warning signs of potential churn and take proactive measures to prevent it.
  2. Analyze historical customer data, including usage patterns, engagement metrics, support interactions, and billing history, to identify common characteristics or behaviors associated with churn.
  3. Develop churn prediction models that use machine learning algorithms to forecast the likelihood of individual customers churning based on their historical behavior and demographic attributes.


Churn directly impacts revenue and growth potential. By retaining existing customers, SaaS businesses can maintain a stable revenue stream, reduce customer acquisition costs, and foster long-term profitability.

Personalized onboarding ensures that customers have a positive initial experience with the product, increasing their likelihood of continued usage and satisfaction. Tailoring the onboarding process to individual needs helps minimize confusion and accelerates time-to-value, reducing the risk of early churn.

Regular product updates demonstrate a commitment to innovation and customer satisfaction. By addressing user feedback and introducing new features or improvements, SaaS companies can enhance the value proposition of their product, increase user engagement, and reduce churn by keeping customers excited and invested in the platform’s evolution.

Conclusion: Fight Churn for Future Growth

Reducing churn in SaaS is paramount for sustaining a healthy and thriving business. By prioritizing these strategies and maintaining a customer-centric approach, SaaS companies can effectively reduce churn, foster long-term customer relationships, and position themselves for sustained growth and success down the road.

Kit Fox

Kit Fox is Altitude’s lead internal brand storyteller and content creator. Before joining Altitude in 2024, Kit spent a decade in the publishing industry, where he served as an editor for, Runner’s World. Men's health, and Men’s Journal, special projects director for Hearst Magazines, and director of membership for Lehigh Valley Public Media. He is the co-author of “Mighty Moe: The True Story of a Thirteen-Year-Old Running Revolutionary.”