Maximizing Subscriber Retention: Case Study of America’s Top Publisher

The Client

This prominent digital and print publisher, with a impressive base of over 200 million subscribers, stands as one of America’s largest. Through their innovative content, they empower and inspire subscribers across 40 brands. Despite their significant influence in the media industry, they recognized the need for guidance in effectively handling payment failures.

Optimization Benefit Realized

7% Increase
in Customer Retention

This is a substantial uplift given the vast subscriber base of over 200 million.

The Challenge


Payment failures are one of the most common challenges recurring revenue organizations face.

Whether it’s due to a technical error from your payment processor or a customer-related issue, like insufficient funds – the result is the same, you can’t process the payment and risk involuntarily losing a customer.

Our client, like many recurring revenue organizations, encountered significant challenges in managing payment failures. Despite the critical nature of timely retries, they found themselves unable to efficiently address failed payments.

Their retry process was manual and lacked automation, making it prone to errors and delays. Moreover, they were not systematically retrying certain error codes, overlooking potential opportunities to recover failed transactions. These inefficiencies not only jeopardized their revenue streams but also risked straining their customer relationships due to prolonged payment issues and disruptions in their subscriptions.


The Solution

To address these challenges, our team implemented a comprehensive solution tailored to the specific needs of our client.

First, we conducted a thorough review of their existing retry strategy, identifying areas for improvement and optimization. We then implemented targeted data retry rules, allowing for more precise and effective retry attempts tailored to the nature of each payment failure.

Additionally, we implemented our analytics platform, Harmonize, to enable real-time monitoring and measurement of the retry process’s efficacy, providing valuable insights for ongoing improvement. Crucially, this solution was designed as a continuous process, ensuring that our client could adapt and evolve their retry strategy in response to changing circumstances and emerging trends in payment processing.


The Results

The implementation of a refined retry strategy led to significant improvements in managing payment failures, directly impacting subscriber retention rates. Notably, there was a 7% increase in customer retention, a substantial uplift given the vast subscriber base of over 200 million.

Detailed Impact Analysis

Revenue Recovery


Enhanced payment recovery efforts have measurably reduced involuntary subscriber churn. For instance, improving retry success rates on transactions that previously failed due to common errors like insufficient funds or technical issues has directly bolstered the bottom line.

Operational Improvements


Automation of the retry process reduced manual intervention, minimizing errors and delays which previously affected customer satisfaction and operational efficiency.

Customer Experience


Streamlined and more effective payment processing has decreased service interruptions, thereby maintaining the continuity of access to content for subscribers, which is crucial for customer satisfaction and retention.

Customer Feedback

Post-implementation feedback shows higher satisfaction rates among subscribers, who appreciated fewer disruptions and more reliable access to content.

Business Impact

Cost Efficiency


Reducing churn through improved payment retries significantly cuts down on the costs associated with re-acquiring customers or engaging in additional marketing efforts to replace lost subscribers.

Strategic Advantages


The data insights provided by the Harmonize platform enable proactive adjustments to the retry strategy, allowing the publisher to stay ahead of potential payment issues and adapt to new challenges as they arise.


Future Projections

Scalability of Strategy


The ongoing adaptation and continuous improvement cycle of the retry strategy are expected to further enhance subscriber retention and satisfaction.

Long-Term Financial Health


With fewer payment failures and improved customer retention, the publisher is better positioned to invest in growth and innovation, ensuring their continued leadership in the media industry.

These results demonstrate the transformative impact of strategically addressing payment failures not only on revenue but also on subscriber satisfaction and operational efficiency. The success of this initiative has reinforced the importance of agile and data-driven approaches in managing subscriber relationships in the digital age.

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