New Subscription History Data Illuminates Trends

Recurly-Subscription-History-ExportsHere at Recurly, we often talk about how the wealth of data available to subscription businesses is a key benefit of the recurring revenue model. This billing data becomes even more valuable when you combine it with data from subscriber events and marketing events. This broader view helps subscription businesses to better understand subscriber loyalty, campaign effectiveness, and what truly increases subscriber lifetime value.


However, to get the full value from this data, you need to capture the data and synthesize it over the lifetime of the subscriber.

Addressing current state vs. growth state

With visibility into the attributes of your current subscriber base, you can react to the needs of your subscribers right now.  

On the other hand, by tracking subscribers events over the entire lifetime of your subscribers, you can use this data to make more informed decisions about your products, pricing, and the drivers of lifetime value. This type of analysis helps ensure that your business is not just meeting the current needs of your subscribers but is positioned for sustainable growth, with future subscriber ROI in mind.

Information on “Subscriber Events’ requires having insight or answers to questions such as:

  • Which subscribers have upgraded or downgraded their plans? When? How often?
  • When did subscribers convert from trial to paid? How long did you retain those subscribers after the trial ended?
  • Which add-ons are subscribers adding or removing from their subscriptions and when?

Let’s take an example:

Charles Mulligan’s subscription steak club knows that Ron Swanson is on the Gold Plan with the “Saucy Sauce #1” add-on. This tells the business the cut of steak that needs to be sent to this subscriber each month and what additional Gold-level sauces he’s added to his plan.

But, what if Charles Mulligan was also able to view Ron’s purchasing history and easily aggregate that information with other subscribers’ history? In that case, they might see that this subscriber, along with 20% of the subscriber base, all upgraded from the Silver Plan to the Gold plan in April 2017. This was around the same time that Charles Mulligan changed their Gold offering to provide two new, grass-fed beef products.

They might also see that Ron and 20% of their subscribers added their first subscription add-on—the “Saucy Sauce #1” add on—when it was offered at a discount of 20% off during a special promotion. Since then, 40% of those customers have added two or more add-ons to their monthly subscription.

These kinds of data points provide valuable insights to Charles Mulligan about what products or marketing initiatives have increased average revenue per customer (ARPC) or have improved subscriber retention.

New export provides this data

Recurly is happy to announce that we recently introduced a feature that enables our customers to view the history of every subscription over time. Each time a change is made to a subscription, we capture the attributes of the older version and then create a new version of that same subscription. This gives our customers access to data related to every version of a subscription, from the time it was activated.

This data is available in a new export for Recurly customers in the Exports section of the Admin console, or it can be set up via Automated Exports.

Having access to this type of data for every subscriber allows businesses to dig into trends and slice the data in ways that are meaningful to their business. It lets them gain insights that may not be as apparent with a narrower view of the data—a view that doesn’t include the bigger picture revealed by marketing events and subscriber events and how these may intersect with billing events.

To learn more, see our documentation.


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