Removing paying subscribers that are inactive?

Hi guys,

I run www.nocknock.io a virtual tour creator app. I've been having problems getting traction for a long time and still struggling. Of the few subscribers I do have I'm very grateful, however, I think with any SaaS business you'll get these customers who have subscribed and is paying monthly but is not using the service. They've obviously forgotten about it and don't pay enough attention to their billing statments... I feel really bad about it so have now started removing them by pausing their payments on Stripe... What are alternative ways people handle this?

  1. 6

    I wouldn't go ahead and start removing them, without them knowing. It's possible they still want to use your app, but haven't needed to for a x months and are perfectly ok with still paying the $10/month. I personally have subscriptions that I'm not actively using, but still find valuable and don't want to cancel (especially if prices have gone up since I first subscribed.. hint hint).

    Part of your job is educating your customers to ensure they realize the full value of your offering. For the ones who haven't used nocknock in a while, what features haven't they used when they were using? What new features have you launched since? You should track all of this and reach out via automated messaging (e.g. Intercom) to educate them on features they haven't used - if you're building what your target market wants, some of these may help get them active again. If your customer base is small enough, I'd strongly just recommend personally reaching out and getting feedback.

    1. 1

      Thanks for the perspective and the idea! I definitely need to be better about sending outreach emails. In fact, I'll start typing one out today. Appreciate the nudge to do so!

  2. 3

    My take - possibly controversial.

    These people are old enough to have a bank account. You are not their financial advisor nor accountant. Leave it be.

  3. 3

    Well, you do need to get in touch with them SOMEHOW...email/phone. I'd just email/phone and ask honestly...hey I saw you're paying for X but not using it, was wondering why.

    1. 1

      Thanks, as an introvert, reaching out doesn't come to me naturally. It's so obviously the right thing to do... I guess I just need to hear it from someone.

  4. 2

    @broody! I commented on a post of yours a few months back about improving your landing page, and it's gotten 100x better! 👏

    I had the same dillemma. In my case, I honestly wanted to know why a user would sign up and keep paying, even though I knew that A. they were getting billing notices every month and B. they weren't even signing into my site.

    So I emailed them and asked. That's all ya gotta do ;)

    Is it ethical to keep charging? To me personally, that depends on if you somehow know that they don't realize they're being charged. Do you send email reminders about charges? Did they clearly know it was a recurring charge when they signed up? Do you make it easy to cancel? If you answered yes to all of those, then IMO you're in the clear. It'd be nice to reach out to them and ask them if they want to cancel, but I don't think it's unethical not to. Just my 2 cents.

    On the other hand, I wouldn't just cancel their subscriptions out of the blue. That could acutally be unwanted and so you're inconveniencing your customers by requiring them to sign up again.

    P.S. Would love to hear what you tried for promotion :)

    1. 1

      Hi @yj! Glad to hear from you again! Really appreciate your feedbacks from before as it helped me focus in on issues, it's guided me in many ways.

      I haven't been sending out email reminder, but I do have clear indications once they login on where to update their subscription. I'm hearing loud and clear that I need to communicate to the customer base and the mailing list way more... Which I have started doing just today.

      In regards to promotion, I've been trying Google, Facebook, and Linkedin Ads. At this point Google seem to give me the highest conversions but it's very inconsistent. Linkedin in my mind should be the most effective but no love, and facebook is just all over the place :)

      Taking a step back I see that perhaps there are just too many other providers in this virtual tour space and my offering is not very compelling. So I'm looking to slightly pivot soon...

      Once again, appreciate any feedbacks you may have.

  5. 1

    I have services I don't use, am aware that I pay monthly for, but still pay for "just to have it there in case I use it."

    It's usually cheap enough that the convenience of just having it there is sufficient value for me to continue paying monthly.

    I wouldn't cancel them just yet.

  6. 1

    For my product Watermark.ink if I notice any paid users not using my service anymore I stop their subscription. Maybe a better mechanism is to not charge if they don't use it in a particular month.

  7. 1

    I have a license for RubyMine, it renews every month and I'm very much aware of it. However for the past 6 months, I have barely done any rails code so I've not been using it. However I do get value out of knowing that I can just fire it up should I need it for an emergency. Takeaway is: they might not use your service, but they might still perceive that they get value out of it.

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