5 Tips to Write Subscription Cancellation Emails for SaaS

  • Written By:
    Rochelle Williams
  • Published On:
    December 28th, 2021
  • Read Time:
    5 Mins
  • Category:

 It’s not over even when you think it is! Writing a subscription cancellation email might seem like bidding goodbye to a perfectly good client relationship, and for the most part, it is. But, write these emails a certain way, and you stand a chance to boost customer retention instead.

Now there are several reasons why a SaaS subscriber might move on. Perhaps your offering didn’t sit well with their requirements. In such a case, your sales and marketing teams can derive precious insights from such cancellations. Or, maybe it was a pricing issue as your team failed to show them the true ROI your product could have garnered.

Whatever the case may be, staying friends with your customers during and after subscription cancellation is key to bringing them back or retaining their account info. Why do you think several SaaS companies offer a way to pause a subscription rather than canceling it altogether?

Circling back to what we said earlier that even though a subscription cancellation email might look like losing a customer, there are ways to make it about holding on to them. Let’s find out how. 

Tips + Examples to Write a Subscription Email Strategically

Countless SaaS brands use email marketing to grow a subscriber base. But, they fail to see this medium as an opportunity to retain subscribers who have clicked on unsubscribe. When clients cancel a subscription over email, you must use this very medium to strategically retain them. How? Firstly, by not hard selling your product at the time of unsubscribing, but by offering them an easy way to come back on board. 

Here is how you can write a subscription email that encourages retention more than un-subscription:

1. Make Re-subscribing Easy

Sure, your customer has canceled their subscription, but what if they develop second thoughts? This is why when you write a subscription cancellation email, always leave subscribers with a clear path to come back to you. You can do this by fashioning CTAs or Calls to Action buttons in a way that promotes continuing membership rather than ending it. 

For instance, by using the Paykickstart app, you can craft a cancellation email that suggests a clear path back to the subscription at the time of ending it. As you can see below, by using CTAs like “Reactivate Now,” you will not only suggest a re-subscription but make it easy to search this keyword in a customer inbox in the future. 

Besides the CTA, the content of the email is short and crisp. There is no resell, cross-sell or upsell pitch. All it contains is the correct CTA and links to your customer care center to help subscribers even as they are leaving the show.

2. Offer a Subscription-Pause Instead of Cancellation

A ridiculously simple strategy that often goes unused while writing subscription cancellation emails is the option for pausing subscription rather than ending it. You know you have a well-informed and winning sales team if they include this feature in their emails.

Studies are also conclusive that among the at-risk subscribers, more than half (51.8%) admit they would rather pause their subscription instead of canceling if the option was presented to them. Incorporating this option within your SaaS subscription regime should not be that difficult, and it passively retains subscribers rather than losing them for good. 

Providing a subscription pause also gives you a way to nurture passive customers by deploying engaging email marketing campaigns replete with discounts and offers to get them to un-pause subscriptions. 

3. Suggest Subscribers to Your SaaS Tool’s Free Version

Maybe your subscribers have forgotten the quantum of value your SaaS offering provided, or perhaps you’ve increased your subscription rates a tad. In both cases, you may experience a higher number of un-subscriptions. Fret not about losing customers by asking them to switch to your product’s free version if you have one. 

You can do this either by providing a CTA button next to the unsubscribe button at the time of sharing the un-subscription email or by specifically approaching the latest un-subscribers in your next personalized email marketing campaign. We recommend you do both!

Also, at the time of suggesting customers to switch to the free version, highlight the services they will no longer receive from your end. For example, look at how effectively this template lets the un-subscriber know that by leaving, they would lose access to 50 GB of cloud storage they have.

4. Offer a Deal or Discount

Here is an age-old technique that still works! Whether you like it or not, deals and discounts are behavior modifiers, and more often than not, they help retain subscribers. However, you must personalize your pitch as best you can for the subscriber. You can either place a discount on the screen that appears right after a person clicks “unsubscribe” or send the offer in a separate email. 

Further, try to combine the said discount with a referral incentive. Often a customer might not be the right fit for your SaaS service, but they may help you tap into a lead reservoir by referring your tool. But, you will need an incentive here since the customer is nearing un-subscription.

Look at how the template below. It provides a to-the-point deal that comes with a compelling CTA that singularly focuses on retention.

5. Always Ask Why They Unsubscribed

Sometimes you can do everything in your power but still can’t stop a customer from hitting unsubscribe. That’s okay! You cannot retain all customers forever, but you can reduce your un-subscriber churn by improving your services for future subscribers. How? By asking the ones exiting your service domain what didn’t work for them.

Maybe it was your pricing plan, or the app had a steep learning curve – whatever the reason, it can help you pitch a better product during your next email marketing or email drip campaign. The more you learn from your erstwhile subscribers, the more new customers you stand to gain in the future. So, never let them go without asking why? 

Here is an automated survey template to gather feedback that should appear right before the final subscription CTA. It is concise but have asked the leaving subscriber for all relevant info. Remember, an individual hitting unsubscribe is likely not interested in giving you feedback, which is why you should keep things extra crisp. 


Even though some of your customers clicked unsubscribe doesn’t mean you can’t approach them again. There are several ways to extend a connection after they cancel. Use their contact info and deploy a re-engagement email marketing campaign informing them of new feature launches. 

You can also offer them valuable content resources free of cost, send invites for a virtual event, or craft other unique staying-in-touch marketing strategies.

Why do all of this over email? There is no other medium that provides the level of personalization and one-on-one time with customers and prospects the way email does. And what’s more! A whopping 4 billion people actively use emails today.

So, don’t lose heart if your customers hit unsubscribe. Use the last-minute retention tips mentioned above to write a cancellation email for sustaining your subscriber base.

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Rochelle Williams

Rochelle Williams is a Senior Marketing Manager at Span Global Services. She comes with a strong marketing and advertising industry exposure of over 8+ years and has a deep understanding of SEO, SEM, SMO, branding, and allied marketing strategies.

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