How to Find Your Savior of Member Churn: Retention Manager Job Description

Who is responsible for retention in your company?

Source: Bigstock

Who within your company is responsible for subscriber or member retention? When I’m working with the CEO of a subscription company who has approached me for help growing monthly recurring revenue, this is one of the first questions I ask.

Want to hear the answer I get 9 times out of 10 from these CEOs? “I am.” Sadly, this means no one is responsible for the most important driver of recurring subscription revenue, retention. As a CEO, you can’t do it. You are spread too thin recruiting talent, creating a corporate culture, raising capital and doing everything else required to run your company.

For decades the nonprofit associations, political organizations and charities have hired a director to optimize membership retention. This team member oversees the editorial, events, marketing and fulfillment of programs; tracks success; and is responsible for membership growth.

Sadly, this position is usually missing from the largest for-profit subscription companies in the world. I’ve worked with several companies to recruit and train internal retention teams once we have built the necessary onboarding communication and retention systems.

Here’s my go-to job description to begin the hiring process for a director of retention, who most often reports to the COO and second most often to the CMO.

Job Description

Director of Subscriber Retention

Position goal:

Be our chief member advocate ensuring members receive what they ardently want, increasing member lifetime value while minimizing fulfillment costs.



  • Develop and implement strategies to decrease voluntary churn, increase renewals and grow monthly recurring revenue.
  • Coordinate marketing, fulfillment and customer service efforts to decrease voluntary member refunds and cancellations, increase renewal rates and hit recurring revenue targets.
  • Report metrics for refund rate, cancellation rate, renewal rate (or churn rate), involuntary churn rate due to billing, member growth, member lifetime value and monthly recurring revenue including tracking retention for relevant subscriber cohorts.
  • Receive and review reports from marketing department on member acquisition costs by marketing channel to examine profitability.
  • Receive and review reports from finance and operations on member fulfillment costs. Identify opportunities to reduce expenses while improving member lifetime value.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of member acquisition and retention strategies including new member recruiting offers, back-end campaigns and ascension promotions to maximize member lifetime value. Provide recommendations to achieve recurring revenue goals.
  • Create and monitor the membership communication plan, balancing the goals of each department while prioritizing member relationship as measured by lifetime member value.
  • Track three-month and six-month cancellation rate weekly, fine-tuning new member onboarding communication to minimize voluntary cancellation, maximizing member lifetime value.
  • Review new member marketing efforts to ensure that new member fulfillment delivers or exceeds expectations created by marketing.
  • Supervise editorial calendar (or fulfillment schedule) to ensure ongoing member benefits fulfill or exceed the brand promise of the membership program.
  • Review customer service scripts, FAQs and email communication to ensure the highest level of membership service and to identify opportunities to improve the clarity of onboarding and ongoing member communication.
  • Track and review member engagement with the benefits delivered to identify members who may not be using what they purchased. Identify the leading indicators of voluntary cancellations.
  • Coordinate with finance and oversee member communications for updating payment information and collections to maximize lifetime customer value by minimizing involuntary churn.
  • Create and oversee implementation of member engagement programs to encourage members to interact with the company as well as with other members.
  • Assist with planning, creating and implementing new member benefit programs to improve member lifetime value while minimizing fulfillment cost.
  • Forecast member retention rates and member lifetime value for finance department.




  • A minimum of 10 years of experience directing membership and/or concierge-level customer service organizations with a demonstrated success in customer retention.
  • Proficient in copywriting and reviewing the copywriting produced by editorial team.
  • Demonstrated leadership growth and success within community-based organizations such as subscription, membership, association, church and/or political movement.
  • Direct response marketing experience to an existing customer list with a focus on program ascension, retention and member lifetime value.
  • Proficient in online marketing techniques communicating with membership including CRMs, websites, email, texting, social media and related technology.

What duties would you include in this position? Were any qualifications left out? Anything you think that’s not important for this position? Let me know in your comments below. I read every comment and respond when appropriate.

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