Tldr; if you’re building an offboarding experience focus on these 5 ideas:

  1. Loss aversion
  2. Survey the churn reason
  3. Make custom offers
  4. Collect feedback
  5. Let users cancel easily.

In this article, I will dive deeper into each of these topics and share the Offboarding Cheatsheet we use to help our clients.

User offboarding is often neglected - unlike what happens with onboarding.

When was the last time you thought about your churn experience?

SaaS offboarding is often neglected

Why retention matters

Data suggests that about 15-20% of the users who cancel subscriptions can be retained if given the right offer upon cancellation.

Do you have any idea of the impact better retention would have on your sales and profit figures?

Here’s a quick comparison of the compounding effect of churn.

Compound effect of churn
Source - Two companies with the same rate of new customer acquisition but different churn.

How to build an offboarding experience

From what I’ve seen working with a few SaaS companies, users cancel subscriptions in one of two ways:

  1. They email Customer Success / Support saying they want to cancel;
  2. They click a “Cancel Subscription” button.

For the rest of this article we’ll focus on those companies which use option 2. The concepts apply equally to both options but because option 1 typically depends on human interaction, it’s a lot more flexible.

Clicking on “Cancel Subscription” triggers what’s commonly known as a cancel flow.

Effective Cancel Flows do 5 things:

  1. Loss Aversion - show users what they’ll lose if they cancel
  2. Survey the Reason - understand why users have decided to cancel
  3. Custom Offer - make relevant offers based on the reason to prevent churn
  4. Collect Feedback - let users share more details
  5. Process Cancellation - allow users to cancel anyway

It seems like a pretty simple recipe - and it is! But it is effective.

3 Great Offboarding Examples

  1. LinkedIn

LinkedIn has a pretty simple but effective offboarding flow. Check out our article for a more in-depth review of LinkedIn's offboarding.

Here's a quick offboarding teardown of LinkedIn's cancellation.

  1. Adobe

Adobe has probably the best offboarding experience of the industry. If you're looking for inspiration, this is a great source.

Check out our review of Adobe's offboarding and the video version below.

  1. Spotify

Spotify's offboarding experience is not as effective as the one from Adobe but it's an example of a simpler version that works and is easier to implememt.

Here's Spotify's offboarding review.

If you're building an offboarding experience, check out our Offboarding Cheatsheet as a first step to improve your retention.

Miguel Marques
Written byMiguel Marques
Reviewed byAdam Crookes

📢 Why Listen to Me?I’ve helped dozens of SaaS businesses reduce churn with cancellation flows, customer health scores and winback campaigns.

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