Kauppalehti’s FOMO page proactively reduces churn, saves 30% of subscribers entering flow

By Laura Tuomela

Alma Media

Helsinki, Finland


Activating both new subscribers and existing ones is the best way to prevent churn. Creating habits for new subscribers and showing them the value of the product is a challenge, but it can also be hard to maintain those habits, especially within a target group of busy professionals.

At Kauppalehti, Finland’s leading business media, we measure the activity of our whole subscriber base with an FRV calculation (frequency, recency, volume). Together with our data team, we take advantage of historical data to determine if the subscriber’s recent activity is going up or down, and if it’s a significant change.

Kauppalehti has embraced several strategies to reduce churn, including sending activation e-mails with articles and personalised recommendations.
Kauppalehti has embraced several strategies to reduce churn, including sending activation e-mails with articles and personalised recommendations.

Based on that, we trigger an automated activation flow. The aim is to act proactively to prevent certain segments from becoming passive if they have recently been active.

Kauppalehti’s activation e-mails include articles and personalised recommendations from our AI-based recommendation algorithm. The results have been very good. For example, the opening rates for these e-mails are, on average, higher than 60%. Plus, we’ve seen improvement in those subscribers’ overall activity.

Retention as an editorial opportunity

We started raising awareness of the importance of retention and churn prevention in our organisation a few years ago. One of the most important aspects in this regard is working together with the editorial team. We meet regularly (at least twice a month) to discuss what’s going on in the newsroom, how churn rates are evolving, and what new ideas we could try out next. And, of course, we closely follow all the good examples from our INMA colleagues!

We have launched several successful new newsletters, promoted our content in new ways to our subscribers, renewed Kauppalehti’s onboarding process, brought new subscriber insights to newsroom dashboards, and launched new subscriber surveys.

Optimising the moment of cancellation

We believe that making it easy to cancel pays us back in the future. If the cancellation flow’s user experience is pleasant and easy, the likelihood of getting those subscribers to return someday increases.

But, that said, it shouldn’t be too easy. We still need ways to try to convince the subscriber to stay, optimise pricing, and collect data for a better understanding of customer habits and needs.

We renewed our whole cancellation flow and implemented a new “fear of missing out” page to the beginning of the flow. It made the flow only one step longer, but it enabled us to showcase personalised, subscriber-only articles the subscriber is about to miss as well as engaging product features.

The page creates a reason to halt and rethink. The results have been excellent: We now manage to save about 30% of those who enter the flow.

Tackling involuntary churn

Involuntary churn is also definitely a big problem for Kauppalehti.

Earlier this year we migrated our subscriber base to a new payment provider. At the same time, we decided to extend our grace period from two weeks to three weeks. The longer the time, the bigger the opportunity of getting the failed payments to go through eventually; for example, if the reason is due to temporarily insufficient funds or the card is expired but the payment can still be retrieved when updated.

After these changes, we saw a significant decrease in cancellations due to payment failures.

What you can do on a daily basis is contact your customers immediately if there are issues with their payments. You need to make sure your reminder flows about expiring credit cards and payment failures are in shape: You must have the necessary data to trigger them in time and know the flows are up and running on every possible channel and creating results.

We started examining our existing reminder flows. Are we utilising all the data we have? When should we start the communication? Are the flows long enough? Are the flows too long, and do they irritate the customers? Are customers responding to them?

We use several channels in these flows: e-mail, site banners, app banners, and text messages.

One of the changes we made was to the starting point of the expiry flow. Some banks deliver the new credit cards well in advance and some banks don’t. One thing we discovered was that it’s worthwhile to start the reminding process well in advance — 30 days before the card is about to expire. Making the flow longer doesn’t irritate the customers.

Getting results in retention and churn prevention involves a lot of testing, trying out new things, questioning and optimising existing methods, and, of course, learning from them as well as the industry’s own best practices. Some of those tests work and many won’t, but with consistent work, the results will eventually come.

About Laura Tuomela

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