What are Net Dollar Retention, ARR Churn, and Revenue Churn?

What are Net Dollar Retention, ARR Churn, and Revenue Churn?

In this blog, understand what are Net Dollar Retention, ARR Churn, and Revenue Churn in detail.

What are Net Dollar Retention, ARR Churn, and Revenue Churn?
What are Net Dollar Retention, ARR Churn, and Revenue Churn?

Businesses across all sectors are grappling with instantaneous transformation. We all have witnessed or are still witnessing the changing business sensations, which have greatly impacted how business grows. There are massive global metamorphoses and challenges to compete with. And alliances must learn to hunt oscillations and acclimate accordingly to keep the business growing.

For any business, to concentrate on growth means to yield revenue; after all, that is the foremost objective to make a sturdy footing in the market and vamoose a legacy.

With the growth insanity, business determinations are often constructed based on what would donate to the company’s persistent revenue generation and widespread success.

Three major methods can facilitate how the revenue is being utilized, which we’ll explain more about below –

Remember that factual revenue analysis and strategy are crucial to your business apparatus. Without which, you’re likely to obscure in the veil of darkness, resulting in a shaded target.

  1. Net Dollar Retention
  2. ARR Churn
  3. Revenue Churn

These terms are not alien to any Business person, but this time, apart from basic definitions and formulas, let’s deep dive a little more. But to begin with – let’s revise the definitions and Formulas –

MetricNet Dollar RetentionARRRevenue Churn
What is it?Net dollar retention (NDR) is used to gauge a company’s year-over-year performance. It compares the revenue a company generates from the prior year’s existing clients in a given year. Note that NDR does not factor in revenue from buyers obtained in the current year
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Annual Recurring Revenue, or ARR, is a SaSS metric that shows the Revenue that comes in every year for the duration of a subscription. Additionally, ARR is the value of the periodic revenue of a business duration subscriptions that are standardized for a single calendar year. Note that subscription cancellations or exhausted renewals need to be eliminated while considering ARR.    
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Revenue Churn is derived as the proportion of revenue renounced through cancellations during a provided period versus the revenue available at the beginning of that period.  
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Formula(Starting Monthly Recurring Revenue + expansion — downgrades — churn) / Starting MRR] * 100%MRR * 12(Churned MRR)/(MRR at the beginning of the period)
Average good Rate100% or below – considered low 110%, – median. 120-130% and above – you’re on the right track.  Industry experts consider a Net MRR growth of 10-20% good.               5% – 7% Annual churn – translates to 0.42 – 0.58% monthly churn.
ExampleCompany A starts the month with $10000 in recurring revenue. Over the month, it adds $3000 in expansion revenue, $1500 in downgrades, and $500 in churn. NDR = 110% MRR = $11000  If your subscriber purchases a two-year subscription for $12,000, the ARR would be $6,000 for each year. ARR is predictable revenue that can be counted on every year.   If a customer signs a four-year contract for $4000, divide $4000 (contract cost) by four (number of years) for an ARR of $1000/year. If a customer declines to renew a $6000 contract over two years, divide $6000 (contract cost) by two (number of years) for an ARR decrease of $3000.  If you started the month with $100,000 MRR and lost $5,000 from customers who canceled or downgraded their subscriptions, you had a 5% revenue churn rate.

Net Dollar Retention

All SaaS businesses require repeat customers as their crux of delivery is usually via subscription, which ought to be utilized by a customer continually over time.

Acquiring unique customers is formidable, as well as expensive and time-consuming; thus, endeavoring to retain the old customers comes out as a sounder strategy to render desired numbers.

The reliable manner to do the same is via Customer Engagement & Customer Support

Precisely put, eminent customer service approaches have the dominion to bring unparallel loyalty.

This is where net dollar retention arrives – equipping a conception of user engagement, upgrade counts, and usage frequency, exemplifying your business’s health and viability. Not to miss the valuation advantage it carries for investing conventions.

Straight from the industry’s experts, beneath are three data-driven rationales for why Net Dollar Retention is a significant metric

Investors Choice Metric

Technology companies are assessed and esteemed based on their proficiency in driving robust and invariant revenue retention. Businesses that execute high net retention rates are believed to have low investment risk, yield sustainable revenue, and are additionally competent to out-performing the set margins.

As a result, Net Dollar Retention has evolved as the most transparent metric for investors.

Indicator of Customers Performance

Be it Potential upgrades, downgrades, or churn, NDR gives a transparent portrayal of how much boost a company is able to yield from unique or existing customers. And how many of these Consumers are coming back and continuing to upgrade and abide as loyal customers?

Understand User behavior

NDR furnishes a more authentic version of customer behavior and practices, which results in comprehensive business revenue. This is usually done by determining which products or services are prevalent, fortunate or most used.


Business with a Subscription model does not lean on sales alone but rather on Engagement and Customer loyalty. As discussed earlier, the business manias alter so aggressively that harboring an enduring association with Customers becomes a mission. Often there are junctures when these movements result in inconstancy in subscription actions/behaviors.

In such circumstances, ARR is the considerable and accurate route to corroborate how the changing ties have affected the business by diagnosing –

  • Revenue from unique and renewing customers
  • Upgrades, promotions, coupons, and add-ons
  • Losses from cancellations, downgrades, and lost customers

Apart from the revenue standpoint, ARR also administers in guiding the overall soundness of the business –

Analyze Company performance.

ARR gives you a criterion of how your capital is being utilized and where. And most importantly, how it compounds over a period.

Forecast revenue

By dissecting your churn ratios, acquisition objectives, or potential modifications to pricing, you would be in an adequate form to explore your business revolution and its consequence.

Enables you to set realistic goals

ARR helps in building opportunities in your current business model and understanding impactful actions.

What is Revenue Churn?

Revenue churn, also known as MRR churn, is the portion of monthly recurring revenue (MRR) your firm lost from downgrades and cancellations in a given period of time.

Revenue Churn, precisely put for any business, depicts the lost revenue,

and is often classified based on activities –

  • Churn due to lost cancellations
  • Churn due to downgrades
  • Churn due to competitive defeats
  • Churn due to insolvencies

Revenue Churn helps in –


Preparing for the worst scenarios does no harm; it rather obliges you to organize strategically for your business to survive. And revenue Churn benefits you by providing a fundamental illustration of where exactly your business digits are locomoting.

Pricing Insights

The first thing you notice when there is Churn is – from where does it come?    

When you pay attention to the churn source you can homogenize the Solutions regarding what can be enhanced, if pricing ought sophistication, does the quoted fee requires rationale, etc.

Growth Strategy

Revenue churn visualizes your proficiency to control revenue. This ultimately aids in building your ability to allocate numbers that go into each growth strategy.

There is incredible power in analyzing and learning how the revenue metrics work for your business. Remember, no two businesses are the same. Ensuring you have the right information from the right source gets you halfway through this heated process.

Detailing down a few promising conventions for you to get initiated with –

1. Survey your Customer’s Experience/Health

Do not strand your Customer solely because they converted! Engage with them, and comprehend their experiences – both pleasant and unpleasant to assure that your product is invariably obtainable by them.

Ensuring to follow-up with your Customers can recede churn, stimulate your annual recurring revenue, downsize costs, and aid in faster growth.

2. Find Opportunities

If you are one of those firms with multiple products, it is no brainer to explore cross-sell and upsell opportunities. To explore opportunities, comprehend the fundamental User journey/trends to acquire a basic notion of how they are engaging with your product.

  • Take a Journey-Based Procedure
  • Segment Customers Based on Behavior
  • Perform Predictive Analysis to Feed New Product Suggestions
  • Construct an Omnichannel Customer Stance

3. Onboarding

An old saying first impression is the best one – all start at the inception.

Onboarding is one activity where you build exact expedient association – from materializing the system to adding users, ensuring you hit the right conversation.

4. Ensure you are targeting the right audience for all your products

We all comprehend that not all products are identical; every product has its mode of operating. Make sure you trade only to those who require your product or service. Contemplate redirecting your marketing endeavors to target customer elements more aligned with your offer vs. the need.

5. Interpret in advance the signs that a customer probably wants to leave

When did the Customer last login? This should be adequate information to commence with. Also, verify if they log in, how protracted their sessions are, how frequently they come back, and their engagement frequency.

These indications can periodically tip you off that a customer may be on their path out the gate, so you can foot in with aids and backing to obtain them before.

You might also like:

  • Best Way to Avoid Revenue Churn –  Revenue churn is the process of calculating revenue churn occurred due to customer churn within a given time. Here are tips to avoid negative revenue churn.
  • To see how SmartKarrot helps B2B companies streamline and scale customer success, Request a Demo.

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