Are Renewal Automation & Auto-Renewal the Same?


Are auto-renewals and renewal automation the same thing? The short answer is – no – they are not. However, as the terms are often used interchangeably, we’re here to clarify; it’s a dirty job – but someone’s gotta do it. 

So how exactly are they different?  

Auto-renewals, by themselves, just trigger a transaction and send a “thanks for your payment” email. If the payment fails, having a solid modern dunning system in place helps recover the payment. Otherwise, say hello to involuntary churn, also called passive churn. Passive churn can make up 50% of your total churn. Additionally, it loads your team with users who ‘never signed up for this’ and adds workload for customer service and your finance department with chargebacks. While auto-renewals come with risks, as we’ve outlined, they can help increase your revenue. You can, however, leverage all the benefits of auto-renewals while minimizing the risks. How, you ask? 

Renewal automation, my friend. 

Renewal automation engages your customers through a journey instead of only communicating after a payment failure. Using automated tools and processes along with strategically placed human off-ramps, renewal automation identifies and engages customers at optimal times throughout the customer lifecycle, which has proven to improve retention. Gallup research found that engaging B2B customers regularly reduces customer attrition by 63%, earns 55% more share of wallet, and sees companies being 50% more productive. So how do you tap into these benefits? Renewal automation, as you might have guessed.  

Renewal automation- done right - starts with retention marketing and builds towards the renewal transaction. Ideally, you provide your customers with a seamless experience that includes a built-in transaction functionality. During this journey, you can provide insights into new product features or functionality, promote other products that would be a benefit, upsell the existing products, or expand the number of licenses in line with their company growth —all individually tailored to each customer. By providing the link to renewal throughout the journey, customers can renew early, reducing churn risk and reducing your time to cash. 

Simply put, renewal automation allows you to effectively scale your growth without additional headcount. 

High-Level Renewal Automation Benefits: 

  • Support cross-sell and upsell 
  • Reduce time to cash by making early renewal an easy option 
  • Improve product and brand reputation 
  • Improve digital experience 
  • Reduce chargebacks (no more, “I never ordered this!”) 
  • Scale growth without additional headcount 

It’s clear renewal automation is important. So, drop a quick line to our experts at to get started. Chat to ya soon!