Churn Benchmarks

Finding the Optimal Churn Level for Subscription Businesses: A Balanced Approach

Tzachi D.

Aug 23, 2023

Churn rate, defined as the percentage of subscribers who discontinue their subscriptions within a given time period, is a critical metric for subscription businesses. While it's common to view churn as something to minimize, the reality is more nuanced. Both too much churn and too little churn can signal underlying issues. Let's delve into what constitutes optimal churn levels and how to achieve a balanced approach.

Understanding Churn Ranges

Churn rates can vary widely across industries and business models. Generally speaking:

  • Low Churn (below 5% annually): Often found in B2B, long-term contracts, or highly specialized products.

  • Moderate Churn (5% - 15% annually): Typical for most subscription-based businesses, including SaaS and media subscriptions.

  • High Churn (above 15% annually): Common in highly competitive markets, such as fitness or lifestyle subscriptions.

The Problem with Too Little Churn

While a low churn rate might seem like a sign of success, it can also indicate potential issues:

  • Underpricing: A very low churn rate might mean the product is priced too low, missing revenue opportunities.

  • Lack of Innovation: If the company is not pushing boundaries or taking risks, it may not experience churn but may also stagnate.

  • Not Reaching New Markets: Playing it too safe might prevent the business from reaching new customer segments, limiting growth potential.

The Challenge of Too Much Churn

A high churn rate, on the other hand, is a clear warning sign:

  • Poor Customer Satisfaction: Frequent departures can signal dissatisfaction with the product or service.

  • Unsustainable Growth: Acquiring new customers only to lose them quickly is expensive and undermines long-term sustainability.

  • Brand Reputation Risk: High churn can damage the brand's reputation, making future growth even more challenging.

Leveraging Active and Passive Churn Strategies

To find the optimal churn level, businesses can employ strategies targeting both active and passive churn:

  • Understanding Active Churn: Analyzing why customers are consciously leaving can help in tailoring products and pricing strategies.

  • Tackling Passive Churn: Solutions like FlyCode can optimize payment retries for failed payments, reducing passive churn without negative communication.

  • Experimenting with Pricing: If churn is too low, experimenting with pricing strategies might uncover untapped revenue opportunities.

  • Enhancing Customer Experience: If churn is too high, focusing on improving customer support, onboarding, and overall experience can boost retention.


Finding the optimal churn level is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor. It requires a keen understanding of the market, customer behavior, and the unique dynamics of the subscription business.

Whether facing too little or too much churn, the key lies in a balanced approach that leverages insights from both active and passive churn, coupled with ongoing monitoring and adaptation.

In a market where customer retention is as vital as acquisition, striving for the optimal churn level is an ongoing journey towards growth, innovation, and sustainability.

2023 FlyCode © All Right Reserved.

2023 FlyCode © All Right Reserved.

2023 FlyCode © All Right Reserved.

2023 FlyCode © All Right Reserved.