Tactic: Frictionless Stop Initiative
Large U.S Publisher

A large U.S. publisher wanted to improve subscriber experience and build long-term customer relationships by allowing digital subscribers to cancel their subscription online. 

Audiences who may start and stop based on seasonal needs such as election coverage or to follow sports teams would benefit from reduced friction in managing their subscription.


  • Mather consultants worked with the client to install Listener and integrate with the publisher’s tech stack.
  • A test group of digital-only subscribers with less than one year of tenure were given the ability to stop their subscription online, along with a “business as usual” control group. 
  • A response tree was mapped for the test group with key interaction points:
  • They were first asked if they were sure they wanted to stop.
  • If they continued to unsubscribe they were then offered a significant temporary discount if they stayed.
  • If they declined the discount they were then finally asked why they decided to stop in a short survey.

  • The restart rate (restart within 6-months of stopping) improved 45% for the test group (restart rate of 1.91% for the control vs. 2.77% compared to the target group).
  • The stop rate improved 2.32% for the test group (the monthly stop rate of 15.03% in the control vs. 14.68% compared to the target group).
  • The online cancellation response tree saved 42% of attempted stops.
  • As expected, online cancellation is an effective method to encourage subscribers to restart their subscription.

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