Retention Charts

  • 20 July 2022
  • 1 reply

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I am using “active subscriptions” segmented by the first purchase month to look at blended retention (all product duration). I find it very convenient. What I realized recently is that if you compare:

  • yearly retention chart
  • active subscription chart filtered yearly and segmented by first purchase month

You get a different result. In particular, the yearly retention chart initial value for a cohort is around 10% higher than the active subscription chart initial value. I am trying to understand why.

1 reply

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Hey Matthieu! Great question. There are a few reasons why you might see different data between those two charts with the setup you described, such as due to refunds or product changes. I’ll detail some examples below, but if you’re looking for a deeper dive for your data I’d recommend contacting our Support Team.

First, it’s important to note that the Active Subscriptions chart is measuring subscriptions based on the end of a given period. That means if you’re segmenting by first purchase month and look at the subscriptions whose first purchase month was January 2022, the January 2022 period for that cohort of Active Subscriptions is measuring the number of active subscriptions from that cohort which were still active as of January 31, 2022.

So, for example, if an annual subscription was started in January 2022 but was refunded before the end of the month, by January 31, 2022 it would have been expired/inactive.

Subscription Retention, on the other hand, includes all subscriptions started within a particular month (if you’re using the default segment of Subscription Start Month), regardless of whether they remained active by the end of the month.

Second, there are some cases like product changes that could cause some unexpected effects here. For example, if a customer with an active subscription changes their product to a new one, the count in the Active Subscriptions chart doesn’t change; but in the Subscription Retention chart the original subscription will expire and a new subscription will be counted for the new product so that the retention period can be properly calculated. This is to make sure cases like new product having a different duration are properly handled.

In the case of these charts you’re looking at, if you see frequent cross-grades from a monthly product to a yearly product (maybe from a CRM campaign?), that might cause each month’s number of new subscriptions for Subscription Retention to be higher than what you see in Active Subscriptions.

But with all that being said, if there are specific cases you’d like us to take a closer look at we’d be happy to! If you send our support team screenshots and data exports of the specific chart configurations you’re looking at, that’ll help us dig in and confirm why the data differs in those specific cases.