🥗 RE: Your order has been canceled

Cure these 3 pain points to optimize cancellation surveys

Hey there,

Welcome back for another bite to chew on.

Cancel culture is here to stay

But I’m not talking about celebrities saying weird shit.

I’m talking about the fact that your customers are canceling their subscriptions left and right

And you’re failing to do anything about it.

How are you failing?

Because you're not treating cancellation surveys like the gold they are.

They hold the secret sauce to your business.

All I hear marketers talk about is acquisition

But if you get them into a subscription and they’re canceling after day 7…

There’s something wrong.

In this newsletter, we wanted to talk about managing the lifecycle of your retention and subscription program

But, there are a lot of factors that go into that…and only so much to fit into one newsletter.

So, we’re focusing on cancellation surveys – and how to use them to your advantage.

Listen Up!

Before we start, if you’re more of a visual or audio learner

We’re talking acquisition, winbacks, and more 👀

Now back to the topic at hand – why cancellation surveys are gold + why you should even care.

They’re crucial for understanding why customers leave. 

But this type of information highlights any issues that are going on in your business like subscription offers or issues with the actual products.

It’s data on what REAL customers are dealing with within their subscription plan and ways to improve the customer experience.

Overall, keep your surveys regularly updated and grab the most relevant data.

Oh! And pay attention to that “Other” section – if customers are living in it, you want to use what they’re saying & optimize everything

…We’re getting ahead of ourselves though, so let’s talk pain points.

When Did I Get That Bruise?

There are 3 main pain points that you’re probably not even aware of on why someone cancels

We certainly weren’t.

We were way too focused on top of funnel activity.

But why fill the top of a bucket if it just springs a bunch of leaks?

Pay attention to these 3 things:

  1. Too much product

  2. Financial strain

  3. Lack of education

Reality Check

One of the highest reasons for unsubscription is people have too much product.

Let’s say you chose the “1 bottle of collagen a month” subscription


It actually took you 45 days to go through it

Now what?

You probably cancel your subscription and say “Oh I’ll just grab another one when I’m done”

Pfft…The odds…

You have to focus on the actual consumption of the product because while some take 30 days to finish it, others take 45.

The biggest problem is that a lot of founders are not willing to accept that people aren’t turning their product into their daily routine

Tell me – you honestly think if you’re hungover on a Sunday, you’re gonna wake up and take collagen? 

Probably not…

So if they’re not consuming it within 30 days like they’re “supposed to”

Then why does every product have the same cadence?

It’s time to face reality – figure out how much of your product people are consuming within a certain amount of time

How do you do this? You can include this question in 2 areas

  1. In your email flow halfway through the month 

Keep a flow marked midway through their subscription program 

And ask allll the questions you want

  • How much product do you have left?

  • Are you on track to finishing it?

  • Do you want to change your date?

Get the answers straight from them.

  1. In your cancelation survey 

Let’s say they miscalculated in that email flow and they’re still struggling to get through.

Here you can offer to skip or pause their next shipment or even offer flexible shipment schedules like 45-day or 60-day intervals

Or ones that are more closely related to their own frequency

Because guess what…

It doesn’t always have to be in 30-day increments 

I know the immediate association to subscription is 30 days – but you can customize it to reality

That way you’re saving on losing that person 

AND you personalized their experience


A killer strategy can be to take something a larger item – something that can last months – and make THAT your default cadence.

Forget those small wins of billing someone again in 30 days – no one wants so many containers, they’ll feel overwhelmed, and they will leave. 

Do this, and you’ll already start cutting down on churn

Mo Products, Mo Problems

With this economy, anything is possible

And people’s spending habits can be a huge factor in cancellations

Maybe they can’t afford the subscription anymore

In that cancellation stage, allow them to pause their subscription instead

And if you’re seeing this as a reason popping up often, create a winback flow of a discounted, limited-time offer. 

Like 10% off 3 months or something

That way you can either pause and keep them, or you can get them back and keep them active. 

Lack of Education

So the perfect example for this section is our Collagenic Burn

It’s our most popular product right now

But what a lot of people miss is that we actually have 4 other SKUs 

Ok…they don’t miss it…we just struggle to educate people on it

Both on our website and in our content

But we figured out how to get this into people’s view and add to cart.

There are 2 solutions to this

  1. Highlight these “hidden” products that people can get involved in

Confirm what your most popular item is + showcase complimentary products to increase AOV

An immediate thought is to do this on your landing page, right? 

But you can even do this in an email.

Add a quick action link in an email where you can include limited-time offers to add to their subscription.

We do limited-time offers in our post-purchase flows

So why not do it for your subscription programs too?

  1. Content

Now you’re probably like, “what is social media content going to do for subscription?”

We thought the same

But think about it…

This is another avenue for educating consumers about your products.

Because here is where you can:

  1. Show progress points of how your product benefits someone

You know those red light masks that your girlfriend wears at 10pm that scare the shit out of you… everytime?

She can’t just use it once and it works. She has to be consistent.

So this applies to all of these subscription products.

For Obvi, we show what happens to your body after 7 days, 14 days, 30 days and so on when using Burn or Collagen

Hit people with that education and breadcrumb them along with what’s going to happen

Have you ever seen those quotes like “In 2 weeks you’ll feel it, in 4 weeks you’ll see it, in 8 weeks you’ll hear it”?

It’s basically that, but apply it to your product’s timeline.

We have our amazing Obvi community that does this for us. 

These are trusted customers that have seen actual results that show real-time checkpoints. 

This is why it's vital to have that community, because half the time they’re your marketing and sales team all in one. 

Spread this tactic out wherever you talk about your products

So landing page, product page, checkout, all over social media, etc

If someone’s buying that product, show them what they’ll see happen right below it.

  1. Create accountability

It’ll act as a reminder to consumers where they’re like “Ah I haven't taken my Burn in a few days, let’s get back on track.”

Even when it’s time for payment, change your email to “You’re THIS much closer to your goal” or something along the motivation lines

Rather than “You’ve been charged thanks for your money” 

Because this is a negative reminder – you’re now reminding them they’re paying for something they don’t use

This links into the bonus pain point – and honestly the biggest one.

The Real Villain

The main theme in all these pain points is lack of communication

Because the thing is – people are still under the impression that if they talk to their customers, they’ll cancel

If you contact them, they get reminded you exist, and leave

But we’re done with ghosting in 2024.

Communicate openly to reduce that churn 

Don’t just leave them alone and pray they don’t cancel

The brands crushing subscription are talking to their customers, they’re finding what works for their customers and building sustainable businesses with sticky recurring revenue 

If you communicate, you’ll find the core of the issue 

Because some products maybe aren't meant to be subscription-based, or maybe people just don’t like them

So it can be a product problem

For example: let's say you have 2 items - A and B

A is polarizing – half LOVE it, half HATE it

Do this:

Get the feedback → anytime someone would buy product A → send a sample kit of B, the favored, consistent one 

Make it super clear that if you’re subscribed to one product, you can just swap to the one you like rather than canceling completely 


If those products are all doing well…and you’re still struggling…then I’m sorry to say this

It’s not me, it’s you.

Dive into the cancellation metrics because if you find out it’s a specific SKU that’s causing churn

You can just swap their recurring order and keep them as a customer. 

No More Break Ups

I hope you get the importance of cancelation surveys 

And what you can do to reduce churn and keep your customers engaged within their subscription programs

You need to know what is causing people to leave – to prevent them or get them back

An overall solution to each pain point, and maybe those that aren't pointed out in today’s newsletter…

…is to note the most popular issues and create winback flows for each

Again, someone cancels because they don’t like a flavor, or they can’t afford it right now

These are obviously two very different reasons that require their own messaging

Create their respective winback flows, apply what we’ve discussed today, and I promise you, your churn will reduce

Biggest takeaway: Optimize cancellations surveys, don’t set it and forget it, and LISTEN to your customers

Tool Of The Week

We’ve often used the manual approach to various tasks for Obvi – with one of our biggest ones being the returns process. 

But having our 1 customer service rep solve each return claim, it became extremely time-consuming, lost revenue, and took away from other tasks she had to complete. 

There’s one particular tool that’s helped us with this – Redo.

After going through 3 different solutions – from letting customers keep the products, to trying to automate the return system ourselves, to even using an expensive and known tool…

Redo came out on top. 

They operate on an opt-in system – customers can opt-in and get charged a small price of $1 - $3 to get a free return fully handled by Redo.

Their portal handles it all and with this nuanced system + their alternative offers, like exchanges or store credit, Redo has brought back so much lost revenue.

We got insane results like a +4.65% increase in conversion across 500k website visits and a 40% reduction on our refund rate. 

Just like knowing how to optimize cancelation surveys, managing your returns is just as vital.

Redo completely optimizes your post purchase experience with no upfront cost so you’re not eating profits just so that you can offer free returns. 

Thanks For Reading Along

If you’re able to implement just one thing from today’s newsletter – it’s to talk to your customers.

You take criticism from your fellow founders and mentors, so don’t ignore the people actually buying from you.

We hope this has helped open your eyes to something you may have let slip through the cracks.

Hey, no judgment here!

We did the same so that’s why we dedicated this newsletter to helping you avoid our mistakes. 

Got any questions or want to share a strategy we didn’t cover? 

Reach out and tweet us  â€“ Ron’s Twitter - Ash’s Twitter

We love getting to know what you’re doing for your brand – both the good and the bad.

All the best,

Ron & Ash