SaaS Sales

What Is the Average Churn Rate of SaaS Companies and How to Reduce It?

Toni Koraza
May 8, 2024
What Is the Average Churn Rate of SaaS Companies and How to Reduce It?

Let’s get straight to the main point – the average churn rate for SaaS companies is around 3-8%. 

Churn occurs due to factors like poor user experience, lack of perceived value, or better alternatives. While churn is part and parcel of doing business, especially in the SaaS industry, there are strategies SaaS companies can deploy to reduce the percentage and impact. 

As a SaaS SEO agency, we know our stuff on all things churn. In this guide, we share the 10 best ways to reduce SaaS churn.

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What We'll Cover:

What Is a Good SaaS Churn Rate?

As stated in the opening, the average SaaS churn rate generally falls between 3-8% annually. 

A ‘bad’ churn rate, i.e., a high churn rate, means you’re losing lots of customers due to them being unhappy or there are market problems. A good rate, i.e., a low rate, shows the product fits the market well and customers are happy. 

Industry benchmarks vary by sector, but generally, lower is better. High annual churn rates can hinder growth and profitability, increasing customer acquisition costs. Low churn reflects customer loyalty and revenue stability.

Figuring out your ideal churn rate is essential for SaaS success. Put it this way: avoidable customer churn costs businesses $136 billion a year. That’s a serious number.

Graphic showing a woman using here laptop. The word "SaaS" with some gears, all in a green background

How to Calculate Churn Rate?

First things first, you need to calculate your churn rate. Here’s a simple step-by-step guide you can use to calculate your SaaS churn rate.

  1. Define the period: Choose a specific timeframe (e.g., monthly, quarterly) for analysis.
  2. Count the customers: Determine the number of customers at the beginning of the period. (C_start)
  3. Count lost customers: Identify the number of customers lost during the period. (C_lost)
  4. Calculate churn rate: Use the formula: Churn Rate = (C_lost / C_start) * 100%.
  5. Interpretation: The churn rate represents the percentage of customers lost during the specified period.

So, if you begin with a customer base of 100 individuals, and within a month, 10 customers discontinue their service, this results in a monthly churn rate of 10%.

This is calculated as follows: 

Churn Rate = (C_lost / C_start) * 100%

Churn Rate = (10 / 100) * 100% = 10%

5 step by step process on how to calculate churn rate

What Factors Impact Average Churn Rate?

Several factors can influence the average churn rate in SaaS companies. These include;

  • Company size
  • Industry dynamics
  • Contract lengths
  • Average revenue per user
  • Company funding

Understanding these factors is pivotal for devising effective churn reduction strategies. Let’s look at them in more detail.

Some key factors that influence the average churn rate. Some examples like; company size, industry dynamics, contract lengths and much more

SaaS Company Size

The size of a SaaS company, both customer base and revenue, can impact its churn rate. Small businesses struggle with resources, making it hard to invest in keeping customers. They might lack the staff or tools to give personalized support or add new features. 

Larger companies with a considerable customer base may struggle with scalability issues. Handling various customer needs and expectations on a large scale can feel overwhelming. It requires advanced systems and processes to ensure customers stay satisfied and loyal. Each size presents unique challenges that need tailored approaches to reduce churn.


The type of industry a SaaS company works in affects how many customers they lose. Different industries have their own market dynamics, customer behaviors, and competition levels.

In super competitive fields like online shopping, people have lots of choices and are more likely to switch between different services or brands. This results in churn rates that are usually higher. However, smaller, specialized industries lose fewer customers because there's less competition and people are more loyal.

Changes in technology or rules in specific industries also impact what customers want, affecting how many customers a SaaS company retains. To do well, SaaS companies need to understand these industry differences so they can adjust how they keep customers happy.

Contract Lengths

Contract lengths greatly impact churn rates in SaaS companies. Short-term contracts tend to lead to higher average churn rates because customers can easily switch providers without long-term commitments.

These contracts attract customers seeking immediate solutions. However, they are prone to churn due to minimal investment in the service. On the other hand, long-term contracts promote customer loyalty and commitment. This results in lower churn rates, as customers are more likely to stay with a provider they've committed to for an extended period.

This is especially true if they perceive value and gain from the service. Tailoring contract lengths to match customer preferences and needs mitigates churn.

Company Fundings

The level of funding significantly influences a SaaS company's churn reduction capability. Adequate funding enables investment in robust customer success teams, advanced analytics tools, and AI-driven solutions. All are crucial for proactive churn management.

Financial stability underpins the ability to carry out long-term retention strategies. Funding can improve product features over time, create personalized customer experiences, and ensure ongoing support is in place.

Moreover, well-funded companies can afford to offer competitive pricing, incentives, and loyalty programs. This helps keep customer retention efforts. In general, without financial stability, companies may struggle to keep customers.

Average Revenue per User 

In SaaS companies, how much money each user brings in, also known as average revenue per user (ARPU), affects churn. When ARPU is higher, churn rates tend to be lower. This is because users who spend more are usually more involved and committed.

High-paying users depend on the service for their business, making them more committed to using the platform. Moreover, when ARPU is higher, SaaS companies can distribute more resources toward customer support, user experience and product development.

A higher ARPU indicates a more committed user base. It enables companies to invest in strategies that build lasting customer loyalty, reducing the number of customers who stop using their services.

10 Ways to Reduce SaaS Churn Rate

Reducing churn rates impacts revenue, profitability, and long-term sustainability. Implementing effective strategies is crucial to retaining customers and fostering loyalty.

Here, we present ten effective strategies to help SaaS companies reduce churn and thrive in a competitive landscape.

A check list of 10 ways to reduce churn rate

1. Analyze Churn for Improvement

Studying churn data helps SaaS companies understand why and when customers leave. Finding patterns in customer behavior shows what needs fixing, whether the product, service, or customer experience.

Practical steps for thorough churn analysis include:

  • Collecting comprehensive customer data
  • Segmenting customers based on behavior or characteristics
  • Analyzing churn metrics over time
  • Conducting qualitative research through surveys or interviews
  • Using data visualization tools to identify correlations or anomalies.

This analysis guides targeted strategies for better retention.

2. Prioritize Customer Support

Exceptional customer support reduces churn, as providing quality assistance builds loyalty and trust. To improve support:

  1. Accessible Channels: Offer diverse channels like live chat, phone, and email.
  2. Quick Response: Aim for prompt responses to customer inquiries.
  3. Personalization: Tailor support interactions to individual customer needs.
  4. Proactive Outreach: Expect issues and reach out before they escalate.
  5. Continuous Training: Regular training of support staff to enhance skills and knowledge.
  6. Feedback Loop: Collect feedback and use it to refine support processes.
  7. Empowerment: Enable support agents to make decisions and solve problems on their own.
  8. Transparency: Keep customers informed about the status and resolutions of their issues.

3. Get Customers Seeing Benefits Fast

Delivering value quickly is crucial as it fosters customer satisfaction and loyalty. Rapid value realization strengthens trust and encourages repeat business.

To optimize onboarding for faster value; 

  • Focus on simplicity and clarity
  • Streamline processes to reduce complexity
  • Communicate benefits and provide easy-to-follow guides
  • Ensure swift resolution of any hurdles encountered
  • Simplify steps to help customers achieve immediate success
  • Offer personalized assistance where needed
  • Emphasize ongoing support to maintain value perception

By prioritizing simplicity and clear communication, customers can swiftly grasp benefits. This leads to enhanced satisfaction and loyalty.

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4. Make Onboarding Easy

A seamless user onboarding process is crucial for customer satisfaction. Simplifying it involves clear instructions and user-friendly interfaces.

  • Reduce paperwork by streamlining online forms
  • Provide easy-to-reach help options for quick support
  • Offer tutorials or video guides for visual learners
  • Personalize the onboarding journey based on customer needs
  • Use automation to speed up routine tasks
  • Ensure transparency towards expectations and timelines
  • Gather feedback to refine the onboarding experience

Simplifying onboarding not only enhances satisfaction. It also fosters positive initial impressions, nurturing long-term customer relationships.

5. Invest in Your Best Customers

Invest in your best customers by focusing on maximizing recurring revenue, and fostering loyalty. To achieve this goal;

  • Conduct customer segmentation, and identify high-value segments based on revenue, engagement, or growth potential.
  • Then, offer personalized incentives, exclusive access to features or support, and dedicated account management. This ensures these customers feel valued and appreciated
  • Maintain regular communication to grasp their evolving needs and goals. This enables tailored solutions and proactive support.

Implementing customer success programs and conducting regular business reviews are recommended steps. These actions reinforce the partnership, foster trust, and drive mutual success – leading to increased retention and revenue.

6. Communicate Proactively

Proactive communication significantly reduces customer churn. By reaching out to customers before issues arise, you show attentiveness and care, and build strong relationships with customers.

To achieve this, maintain open lines of communication across various platforms. This can be possible through email, social media, and chat support.

  • Establishing clear and consistent communication channels is key
  • Ensure messages are clear and concise to avoid confusion
  • Regular updates of customers about your products or services. This can address any potential concerns
  • Provide various channels for feedback, such as surveys or feedback forms. This will encourage open dialogue
  • Respond to inquiries and complaints, showing customers their opinions matter
A graphic of 3 people in a conversation. 2 of which are females, and 1 presumably a male

7. Lay Out a Path for New Customers

Crafting a clear customer journey is vital for SaaS companies. It sets the stage for positive user experiences and boosts retention. During initial interactions, showcasing value, addressing pain points, and building trust is key.

Clear onboarding processes, intuitive interfaces, and proactive support are crucial. These elements guide users through their initial experiences, impacting adoption and satisfaction. Personalized onboarding experiences tailored to specific user needs can enhance the onboarding process.

It helps to offer interactive tutorials, video walkthroughs, or live chat support during onboarding. This can also aid in addressing any immediate concerns or questions users may have. Getting feedback during onboarding helps companies make things better. They can make changes to enhance the user experience and make their product better. 

8. Offer Incentives

Incentivizing customer loyalty is vital for nurturing long-term relationships. Effective incentive programs encourage repeat business and reward customers for their loyalty. Loyalty points systems let customers earn points when they buy things. Then, they can use those points to get discounts or free stuff. Similarly, tiered loyalty programs offer increasing benefits as customers spend more.

Examples of successful incentive programs include Starbucks' rewards program. They offer free drinks and birthday treats based on purchase frequency. Amazon Prime provides fast shipping and streaming services for members.

These incentives not only keep customers but also boost engagement and revenue. Introducing rewards like loyalty points and tiered programs can keep customers coming back.

9. Seek Feedback and Surveys Regularly

Getting feedback from customers is often very important. It helps us understand what they need and how we can make our products or services better. Implementing frequent surveys enables direct insight gathering from your customer base.

Keep surveys concise, focusing on specific aspects of the customer experience. This is to encourage participation. Use multiple-choice questions for numbers and open-ended questions for thoughts. Offering incentives can boost participation, and ensuring anonymity promotes honest responses.

Consistently analyzing survey results helps identify trends and areas for improvement. Taking action on feedback demonstrates responsiveness and enhances customer satisfaction. This iterative process fosters a customer-centric approach, driving loyalty and long-term success.

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10. Keep Up with the Market

Keeping pace with competitors is key for SaaS companies to thrive in the market. Adapting and evolving offerings ensure continued relevance and maintain a competitive edge. 

To achieve this, SaaS companies should regularly assess market trends. Then, gather customer feedback and track competitors to identify opportunities for innovation. Embracing agility in product development allows the swift incorporation of new features and improvements.

By demonstrating responsiveness to changing demands, SaaS companies not only keep existing customers. They can also attract new ones, driving growth and market leadership. Continuous adaptation fosters resilience, ensuring longevity in a dynamic business landscape.

Staying competitive entails constant vigilance, adaptation, and innovation. These will make them meet the ever-changing demands of the market and sustain success in the long run.

Final Thoughts

Managing churn rates is pivotal for the success and sustainability of SaaS companies. 

To keep your customers onboard, it’s important to focus on their needs, offer incentives for loyalty, and adapt to industry trends. 

As the market evolves, SaaS companies must remain vigilant, gain insights from their experiences, and adapt their strategies. Most of all, businesses must focus on churn management to foster sustainability and drive long-term growth.

For further insights on SaaS strategies and to stay updated on industry trends, contact us at MADX Digital. Let's learn and grow together.

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