Alice Muir podcast: “That’s what CRM is all about, giving people that extra nudge in the right direction”

In this episode of the Sub Club podcast, Alice shares her top lifecycle optimization tip that even the biggest apps are missing.

Sub Club podcast episode with Alice Muir from Phiture
David Barnard

David Barnard

PublishedLast updated

When was the last time you thought about your strategy for re-onboarding already-subscribed users? (And if you’ve totally neglected this… this episode is definitely for you).

Phiture Senior Growth Consultant Alice Muir says a surprising number of top apps “have absolutely nothing in place” for targeted lifecycle messaging.

In her role at the mobile growth agency, Alice works across a number of app categories — from health and fitness to fintech — helping apps improve their retention and customer relationship management (CRM) strategies. 

For more on CRM optimization, read the guide from Alice’s colleague Pierre Neau

Because of Alice’s experience working with so many different apps, she’s perfectly placed to offer insight into the tactics of optimization. After observing trends for a diverse range of apps like Soundcloud in the music industry and Headspace in the health and wellness space, she realized how common it was for apps to lack a subscription lifecycle strategy. 

What even the top apps often miss

While most app developers focus on free user activation, conversion, and onboarding — all important for scaling — few continue communicating with and engaging subscribed users. As a result, subscription apps experience high churn in the face of what’s actually a very straightforward problem to fix.

“We just needed a simple in-app message that said, ‘Hi, welcome to the premium experience,’” followed by brief onboarding with simple navigation, Alice says. You can find out directly from the users about what brought them to premium with some personalization.

To prevent churn with more advanced retention strategies, bigger apps on the App Store can do correlation analysis for meaningful wins. This isn’t always possible for indie apps that don’t have the same amount of data bigger players have access to, but there are still steps you can take.

Email is perfect for long-form content bringing added value to premium users. It’s also great for drip campaigns: Offering discounts that increase the longer they go unaccepted.

Alice noted that there’s not a lot of information out there about using in-app messages as a stand-in for dedicated paywall testing tools, if those tools aren’t available. It works. But there are drawbacks, so any crucial paywalls should continue using native solutions.

Don’t forget the long-term cost of discounts and offers

When it comes to special offers, don’t discount discounts completely, but be careful how you use them. You always need to balance them with re-enticing the high-intent users, because that’s where your growth and retention are going to come from. 

There also comes a point when offering discounts is just losing you money. Depending on the size of the discount, you might end up with a lot of low-intent subscribers on your app. Long-term, you might end up shooting yourself in the foot on strategy with discounts.

Alice Muir’s tips on lifecycle optimization and more

On the podcast, Alice Muir talks about how best to onboard premium users, what lifecycle optimization looks like both tactically and strategically, and how to spot users before they churn. She shares insight into why focusing on CRMs for win-back strategies is only part of the story, and the best campaigns to entice users to stick with their subscriptions.

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