The Boomerang Effect: Why We're Resubscribing to Services We Ditched

Rajeev Raman

March 6, 2024

We've all been there. You hit that "cancel subscription" button with a sigh of relief, determined to declutter your digital life and save some cash. But then, a few weeks (or months) later, a pang of longing sets in. You miss that specific workout,, the convenience of ready-to-eat meals, or the thrill of the latest shows on that streaming service.

There's a new trend emerging: the boomerang effect of online subscriptions. People are canceling services, only to find themselves resubscribing later. According to our friends at Antenna, 10% will come back within a month and 30% will be back within six months. If you can impact these numbers by even a little, the payoff can be tremendous. But first let’s breakdown why this might be happening:

  • The Grass Isn't Always Greener: Free alternatives often come with limitations. You might miss curated playlists, exclusive content, or seamless integration with other services.
  • FOMO: Social media and friends' conversations can reignite the desire for a service you canceled. You might feel left out of the loop on the latest shows or trends.
  • Improved Features and Promotions: Services are constantly innovating, adding features, and offering enticing discounts to win back lost subscribers.
  • Subscription Fatigue vs. Service Value: Sometimes, canceling feels good in the moment, but later you realize the value a specific service offered in terms of convenience or entertainment.

What can you do help a canceled subscriber that might be going through some or all of the above?

  • Map behavior into intent: Use tools like Redfast to connect their actions to intent. If they’ve watched three seasons of a show, use the fourth season in your prompts to remind them why they should come back.
  • Offer flexibility: Even better use their behavior to anticipate a cancellation by offering the flexibility to pause their subscription for a few months - seasonal services take note!
  • Explain your value: One like marketing catch phrases aren’t great at being specific to  returning users. Take the time to create prompts that enumerate, in a personalized manner, everything new since they were a subscriber and lay it out in simple terms.
  • Make it easy to restart. Use Redfast’s 1-click Resubscribe prompt to offer a friction-free, instant restart option for returning users on your homepage and marketing pages.

Ready to see more?

Our sales and technology experts can answer all your questions and help you explore the easiest use case for a no-code proof of concept test.

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