How AllTrails achieved historic growth while maintaining 1% involuntary churn with Recurly

Overview

Since 2010, AllTrails has connected millions of nature-seekers around the world with over 300,000 running, biking, and hiking trails through its website and mobile app. Users can search for nearby trails by activity, navigate and track their adventures, and leave photos, reviews, and tips for their fellow outdoor enthusiasts. AllTrails’ Pro plan, powered by Recurly, lets users take their commitment to the outdoors a step further by enabling them to download maps without service, receive off-route notifications, check real-time overlays including weather conditions, and view 3D maps. 

Expanding a global customer base

Given its close ties to nature, AllTrails has a uniquely seasonal business model and usually sees an uptick in subscriptions in the spring and summer. One of the most effective ways AllTrails has been able to take advantage of this pattern and attract new customers has been through different pricing and promotion plans in Recurly. “We’ve run promotions during warmer months when people are more likely to get outside, or when people are more likely to gift subscriptions to friends,” says Alex McLean, Engineering Manager at AllTrails. The experimentation has paid off: to date, the company has seen nearly one million coupon redemptions. 

In the last couple of years, AllTrails has also expanded to new markets, using Recurly’s multi-currency support to accept eight different currencies across North America, Australia, Asia, and Europe. This global expansion was especially helpful during the COVID-19 pandemic, when the company saw a sharp increase in subscribers as more people were inspired to get out of the house and explore the outdoors during restrictive lockdowns. 

“Recurly made it much easier for us to achieve quick wins like accepting different currencies and integrating with additional payment gateways such as Apple Pay and Paypal.” — Alex McLean, Engineering Manager, AllTrails

Increasing efficiency through powerful integrations

With Recurly, AllTrails processes payments through different gateways including Stripe, Amazon Pay, and PayPal, providing flexibility for both its business and its customers. The company also uses Recurly’s advanced reporting from these gateways to help close its books faster. “I use the Stripe and PayPal reports from Recurly for my month-end accounting,” says Ben Liepman, Accounting Manager at AllTrails.

McLean has also single-handedly built new features around Recurly’s API. “We used Recurly’s self-serve links to help customers manage their payment plans before we had the resources to build out our own implementation of that,” he says. “But, of course, we still use Recurly’s API in our own solutions.”

Recovering revenue automatically

Using over a decade of transaction data, Recurly’s Revenue Optimization Engine helps customers like AllTrails curb involuntary churn, which occurs when customers stop paying for your product due to payment failures and not due to dissatisfaction with your product or service.

For example, Recurly’s advanced dunning features enable AllTrails to create targeted campaigns to combat churn. Though AllTrails sells its Pro subscription on its website as well as through the iOS App Store and Google Play, the company can only run effective dunning campaigns for customers acquired through Recurly. 

“There’s just more customizability and communication with Recurly,” says Ben Liepman. McLean explains how: “Through Recurly’s dunning process, we’re able to have more touch points with customers. We know when and why someone actively cancels their subscription.” 

The results are staggering. From one year ago, AllTrails has seen a significant increase in recovered revenue, and its involuntary churn rate sits below 1%.  

Conclusion

As AllTrails continues to experience impressive growth, it has its sights set on expanding to new markets and experimenting with new offerings, like gift cards, to inspire more people to explore the great outdoors—and Recurly will be by its side every step of the way.

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