How to Crush Churn and Use Retention to Fuel Growth with Andrew Michael


If you’ve got a subscription business, you probably know that churn is your worst enemy. It’s also the biggest lever you can pull for growth.

Andrew Michael of Hotjar and host of his his own podcast, Churn.FM, sits down with Ramli on the Growth Marketing Today podcast to talk churn and retention.

Lessons learned

  • Battling churn and retaining users is the hardest thing for subscription business
  • Churn is the anti growth in a subscription business. Goal is to try and grow and expand company and biggest lever for growth is retention. It drives acquisition loops, drives monetization, accelerates payback of money invested into paid channels.
  • Churn rates vary wildly by business, market, stage etc. Difficult to benchmark.
  • It's a great north star metric because of influence across other SaaS metrics.
  • Lowering friction at point of purchase or onboarding might not be a good thing - you want customers that are going to stick around so don't skip steps. Get onboarding right - you're not just optimizing for "Aha!" but making sure they know how to use the product inside and out.
  • Finding the right customer profile - who are the ones not churning? Find more of them.
  • Find out why customers are churning. Ask them.

In the real world tackling churn and increasing retention is one of the hardest problems a subscription business faces. It is a company-wide effort across multiple roles and requires a team to come together with a coherent strategy to tackle the problem head-on. In this episode, Andrew Michaels, Business Intelligence Manager at HotJar and Host of the podcast, shares lessons he's learned from his experience and discussion with growth marketers from HubSpot, Wistia, Basecamp, and more.

In episode 85, you'll learn:

  1. Why churn is a big problem for companies and how to identify its symptoms
  2. How to align different teams to tackle the churn problem
  3. How retention is often more important than customer acquisition

This episode is brought to you by Referral Rock, a SaaS that helps businesses like yours unlock ALL the referrals you are missing out on. Stop waiting for word of mouth to just happen while letting those precious referral opportunities go to waste. Find out more at to start a free trial or get a consultative demo.  
Support this podcast on Patreon to get an ad-free version of this podcast, access to our private Slack group, monthly group video AMAs with me and more at

Key Discussion Points

  • 9:05 – How churn affects SaaS companies
  • 14:52 – The importance of retention for SaaS comanies
  • 19:29 – Why you need to reduce friction and how that impacts churn
  • 24:08 – How to improve churn metrics, customer acquisition, and retention
  • 29:48 – How to align teams to tackle churn
  • 34:25 – Andrew's one piece of advice to marketers

★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★