Blog / Paid Member Subscriptions / Subscription Cancellation Survey Questions and Best Practices

Subscription Cancellation Survey Questions and Best Practices

Last Updated: 09/07/24

When you run a subscription or membership site, one of your main goals is to retain your current users. However, cancellations are sometimes inevitable. That said, effective cancellation survey questions can help you improve your business and even reduce your churn rate.

When you send a survey to users who’ve just canceled their subscription (or are about to), you can get valuable feedback. This can help you improve your content or subscription offerings.

In this post, we’ll start by explaining what cancellation surveys are, and why they’re important. Then, we’ll go over six useful survey questions you might want to ask. Finally, we’ll discuss some best practices for creating a cancellation survey for your online business. Let’s get to it!

What Is a Cancellation Survey?

A subscription cancellation survey is a list of questions that users can fill out before unsubscribing from your membership site.

It enables you to ask users important questions so you can better understand why they ultimately decided to leave.

Since membership and subscription sites have a strong sense of community, it’s essential to take care of users who were once fond of your content but have now decided to cancel their subscription plan.

The Importance of a Subscription Cancellation Survey

Now, let’s dive deeper into some of the reasons why you need to use a subscription cancellation survey:

  • Improve user experience and brand image. A subscription cancellation policy will help you improve the user experience. It lets customers know that you care about their opinions and helps promote a better brand image.
  • Better understand your member’s needs. If you’re asking the right questions in your subscription cancellation survey, it can help you better understand your members’ needs. As a result, you can make improvements that matter to your audience. You might even encourage lost subscribers to give your brand another shot.
  • Enhance marketing campaigns. If you know the common reasons why users cancel their subscription plan, you can enhance your marketing campaigns. When you better understand the pain points of former subscribers, you can address these issues and then advertise your new membership benefits.
  • Reduce churn rate. A subscription cancellation survey can provide vital information to help you improve offerings so that they’re more suitable for your target audience. As a result, this can help you retain members and boost your profits.

As you can see, there are plenty of benefits to creating a cancellation survey. You just need to make sure to ask the right questions.

6 Subscription Cancellation Survey Questions

When creating a subscription cancellation survey for your membership site, there are some essential questions you want to ask users. These questions can help you better understand what went wrong and how you can improve your offerings so it doesn’t happen again.

In this section, you’ll want to go over a few effective cancellation survey questions that you might want to consider. Keep in mind that it’s best to convert these into multiple choice questions (MCQs) since outgoing members may not be very motivated to answer open-ended prompts.

That said, it’s likely a good idea to include at least a few optional open-ended questions for users who have strong opinions about your product or service.

Now, let’s go over some of the most useful subscription cancellation survey questions.

#1. When did you first subscribe?

The first question you might want to ask your customers is about the time they first subscribed to your website. You can give users a list of answers so it doesn’t require any additional effort from them.

For instance, you can create an MCQ question such as “When did you first subscribe?” Then let users select their answer from multiple choices like “Less than a month ago”, “More than 6 months ago”, and “Over a year ago”.

This helps you better understand the user’s situation. For example, if a seemingly loyal subscriber cancels after a year, you might draw the conclusion that your recent price increase was the cause. In that case, you might want to consider a tiered pricing strategy to accommodate varying budgets.

If a lot of your members cancel their subscriptions around the same time period, this might give you some insight into the limitations of your current product. For example, if you see lots of cancellations around the time that you start using a new membership plugin, you might conclude that the change hasn’t gone so well.

Additionally, this question can help you more effectively segment canceled subscriptions. This way, you can customize your marketing efforts when trying to win back these subscribers.

#2. How often did you use the subscription?

You can create another MCQ question that inquires about how much people used your subscription service. For example, you can ask “How often did you use the subscription?” Then, you give users a list of options like “Daily”, “Once a week”, and “Once a month”.

This way, you can better understand each user who cancels their subscription and separate seriously interested customers from those who barely spent time with your membership program.

If most of the users who unsubscribe aren’t using your services very often, it’s probably because they were expecting something else. But, if a significant amount of your frequent users cancel their membership, that should raise some questions. In that case, users might be finding your service useful but are unsatisfied with other aspects, such as customer support.

#3. What caused you to cancel the subscription?

Asking users the main reason why they canceled their subscription plan is crucial. While you can ask a simple question like “What caused you to cancel your subscription plan?”, it’s best to give users two different ways to answer this.

First, you can include a list of multiple choice answers like “Not interesting anymore”, “Don’t have time”, “Too expensive”, or “Found a better alternative.” This way, users who don’t want to put much effort into answering the question may be more inclined to provide a response.

Meanwhile, for those who do want to answer in detail, you can make the last option “Other.” This gives users the choice to provide a different reason and elaborate if they’d like.

The answer to this question is very useful for any membership site as it’s the main reason why a user decides to cancel their subscription. Once you have this insight, you can better understand your users and make improvements that help reduce the churn rate on your website.

#4. How likely are you to give us a shot again?

You may also want to ask users if they’re willing to give your brand another shot if you make some improvements.

You can ask something like “On a scale of 1 to 5, how likely are you to use our service again?” Then, give them five options to choose from.

This requires minimal effort and subtly encourages customers to re-consider your brand as a future solution.

#5. Will you recommend our subscription to others?

It’s also a great idea to ask users if they’ll recommend your membership program to others. You can ask something like “On a scale of 1 to 5, how likely are you to recommend our service to your friends and family?” 

Or, you can include a question like “Will you recommend others to try out our service?” Then, give them a list of predefined answers to choose from.

This can help you get accurate answers. It also lets customers know that you care about their views.

#6. How can we improve? (Optional)

As mentioned earlier, it’s a great idea to include one or two open-ended questions in your subscription cancellation survey. For example, you can ask “How can we improve?” and let users give a detailed response in a text box.

For users who want to explain their reasons, it’s the perfect option. They can describe what went wrong and help you understand how your business can improve its offerings.

Cancellation Survey Best Practices

When creating your cancellation survey, you’ll want to get the maximum value by asking the right questions. A strong survey might even prompt customers to reconsider their decision.

With this in mind, let’s go over some best practices for creating the ideal cancellation survey:

  • Understand your audience better. When creating your brand’s subscription cancellation survey, it’s important to understand your audience and create segments. So, always keep this in mind when creating questions. 
  • Ask short and concise questions. You don’t want to annoy your customers with lengthy questions, especially when they’ve decided to cancel their subscription. Keep questions concise so it encourages more users to answer and submit the cancellation survey form before leaving. Otherwise, they might just skip it.
  • Keep offering value. When a user cancels their subscription, it doesn’t always mean you’re losing a valued customer forever. If you show users who decide to cancel their subscription that your brand still cares despite their choices, it not only promotes a better brand image but encourages them to reconsider their membership.
  • Leave the door open. Assure your unsubscribing users they can always come back. You can do this by making it easy for them to re-activate their plans, and remind them of this upon cancellation.
  • Take action. Make sure not only to listen to responses but also to analyze them and take action. Take a good look at these opinions and actively try to better your service accordingly.

When you keep all of these best practices in mind, you’ll be able to make the most out of your cancellation survey.


Using a subscription cancellation survey can prevent users from leaving your membership program on a negative note. What’s more, it helps your brand better understand what improvements need to be made to reduce the member churn rate.

To avoid any big mistakes when creating a subscription cancellation policy, you may want to go over our guide on the worst subscription cancellation policies.

And, if you’re looking for an easy way to manage your membership site and its subscribers, the Paid Member Subscriptions plugin is the perfect solution.

The easiest way to create and sell subscriptions on your WordPress membership site.

Get Paid Member Subscriptions

It enables you to configure subscription plans and earn recurring revenue by creating restricted content for your members. Plus, it offers intuitive member management and subscription management features.

Do you have any questions about which subscription cancellation survey questions you should be asking? Let us know in the comments section below.

From the blog

Related Articles

Sell Group Memberships in WordPress

How to Sell Group Memberships in WordPress using Paid Member Subscriptions

Author: Lyn Wildwood
Last Updated: January 25th, 2024

Selling group memberships on your WordPress site is a great way to increase revenue by making subscriptions purchase more convenient to certain customers. You don’t even need to completely reinvent the wheel if you already have a membership site of your own. In this post, we’re going to walk you through the process of using […]

Continue Reading

How to use AffiliateWP & Paid Member Subscriptions together

Author: Patricia Borlovan
Last Updated: October 27th, 2022

We're excited to announce a new integration between AffiliateWP & Paid Member Subscriptions. Paid Member Subscriptions is our WordPress Membership plugin that enables you to create and manage member subscriptions, grant and revokes access to posts, pages, categories as well as custom post types based on the subscriptions your users have purchased. AffiliateWP is an affiliate […]

Continue Reading

A free WordPress Membership plugin – Paid Member Subscriptions

Author: Cristian Antohe
Last Updated: October 27th, 2022

Sometimes, finding the right WordPress membership plugin can cause issues even for experienced developers. "A really steep learning curve" "Could not figure out how to set access levels" "Paid for the premium and got half ass support" "After activating this plugin, the speed of my site dropped dramatically" "Not developer friendly" These is all real […]

Continue Reading

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.