Retaining Your Subscribers

Choosing the right incentive and creating the right subscription enrollment experience on the PDP will help you acquire new subscribers and grow your program. Equally important are the steps you take to retain your subscribers once they join the program so they continue to receive recurring orders over time. 

>>Learn More about Choosing the Right Incentive

Establishing the Right Incentives

We recommend creating both initial and recurring order incentives for your subscription program. An initial incentive rewards customers for their first subscription purchase through your checkout, but you need to continue to reward subscribers for their loyalty over the course of their subscription lifecycle.

If you set up a 10% incentive on all subscription orders, your customers will receive 10% off on every order. Over time, you may find that your own sitewide promotions can drive down subscription program retention as customers are enticed to shop in other ways with deeper incentives. One way to combat this is to make a recurring order or specific order incentives unique. 

A few examples of recurring order incentives include:

  • Nth Order Promotions
    • You can add a deeper discount on a specific order (i.e. get 15% off every third order vs. the standard 10% off)
    • You can make a specific order free (i.e. every 4th order free)
    • You can add a special gift with purchase to a specific order (i.e. receive a branded tote with your 3rd order)
    • If you'd like to use Nth Order Promotions, please reach out to Ordergroove support to discuss adding the functionality to your store. 


  • Gifts With Purchase
    • Add a GWP to all orders or specific order numbers and/or months
    • This GWP could be something that is not available to standard shoppers
    • Highlight the GWP through marketing efforts
    • If you'd like to include Gifts With Purchase promotions, please reach out to Ordergroove support to discuss adding the functionality to your store. 


  • Loyalty Points
    • You can increase the number of loyalty points or benefits a customer receives per subscription order. For example, each subscription order could receive 2x loyalty points
    • Loyalty is handled downstream of Ordergroove by you.

>>Learn more about Loyalty Program Best Practices

Instant Upsell

Instant Upsell is an Ordergroove feature that allows subscribers to add additional items to their upcoming subscription orders either as a one-time addition or a new subscription. We suggest offering the same promotion you have in place for subscription orders for Instant Upsell items, meaning if you offer 10% off all subscription orders you should also offer 10% off all Instant Upsell items added to an upcoming subscription order. This turns subscription into a membership experience where your subscribers consistently receive benefits in exchange for their subscription. 

Subscribers who add an Instant Upsell item during their lifetime have increased LTV and subscription length compared to those who do not.

  • Instant Upsell usage metrics by vertical:
    • Beauty: +168% LTV and +46% subscription length
    • Health and Wellness: +201% LTV and +64% subscription length
    • Food and Beverage: +51% LTV and +41% subscription length
    • Pet: +110% LTV and +49% subscription length


bareMinerals promoted a new launch to subscribers
by suggesting they add the item to their next Auto Delivery shipment


KIND Snacks promoted Instant Upsell through a marketing email to all subscribers

Program Marketing and Visibility

It should be clear to all customers that auto-replenishment/subscription is the most rewarding and convenient way to shop your site, and you should be highlighting that in all of your marketing efforts. 

Your marketing efforts for program awareness and acquisition also serve as a reminder to existing subscribers of the unique benefits of the program. Marketing that includes high visibility website placements (homepage, subscription landing page), social media, emails, and more will ensure that both subscribers and non-subscribers alike are aware of the unique and rewarding benefits of your subscription program.

Additionally, customers who are aware that they can easily control and update their subscriptions are more likely to remain in the subscription program long-term. You should always make it clear in your marketing efforts how easy it is for the customer to control their subscription.

>>Learn More about our Suggestions for Subscription Program Marketing


The Vitamin Shoppe’s subscription landing page tells the customer they are in control.


bareMinerals includes a video tutorial about
subscription management on their subscription landing page

Understanding Why Subscribers Cancel

Understanding why your customers cancel their subscriptions should guide subscription program changes/updates and how you can win those customers back into the program. 

Within Ordergroove, you can use the “Cancellations” export to pull cancellations by date and see their provided cancel reasons. The top cancel reasons and how to combat them are as follows:

  • "I have too many of this product" 
    Overstock is the number one cancellation reason across all clients. Sometimes customers choose the wrong frequency or they don't know that they can skip, pause, and change the date of their order.
    • How to combat?
      • Set up product-specific frequencies to get customers on the correct frequency from the start
      • Educate customers about how to manage their subscriptions
      • Set up the Anticipate AI Churn email in Ordergroove

  • "I no longer use this product"
    • How to combat? 
      • Do a win-back campaign (see below) on customers who canceled due to this reason with product recommendations 
      • Ensure that you have SKU swap enabled and customers are aware of how to manage their subscriptions

  • "I didn't mean to join the subscription program"
    • How to combat? 
      • Review your subscription enrollment on the PDP for clarity, making sure that the details of enrollment and program are clear to the potential subscriber
      • Make sure that the frequency dropdown for subscriptions is displayed on page load for the PDP enrollment - this both increases conversion to subscription and improves customer retention

Optimizing Your Transactional and Anticipate AI Churn Emails

Update transactional emails, in particular the Order Reminder, to highlight the benefits of the subscription program, the ease of changing your upcoming shipment, and the perks of Instant Upsell.


Kiehl’s Order Reminder emails remind the customer of their unique benefits,
the ease of subscription management, and Instant Upsell

Additionally, if your transactional emails are hosted within Ordergroove, make sure you turn on your Anticipate AI Churn email. Ordergroove’s Anticipate AI predicts the probability of whether or not a customer will receive their next order. Customers that are predicted as having a high risk of churning due to being overstock will be sent an email prompting them to postpone or skip their next order instead of canceling it.

>>Learn More about Anticipate AI Churn Emails

Using Win-back Campaigns

As customers churn out of your program, it is important to periodically reach out to them with a unique offer to resubscribe. These customers understood the benefits of subscription at some point and, with the right outreach, are primed to rejoin. Often these win-back campaigns are executed by cancel reason, meaning if a customer canceled because of cost, the win-back campaign could include a higher promotion/offer for subscription.


Kiehl’s win-back campaign to previous subscribers, introducing a new subscription promotion