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What is Monthly Recurring Revenue?

Ruben Buijs

Founder & Digital Consultant

Written on Aug 10, 2023

2 minutes

Product Management

Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) is a key metric used in product management and subscription-based businesses to measure the predictable and recurring revenue generated by customers on a monthly basis. It provides valuable insights into the financial health and growth potential of a business by tracking the revenue generated from subscription fees or recurring charges.

Examples

Let's consider a few examples to better understand Monthly Recurring Revenue:

  1. Software as a Service (SaaS) Company: A SaaS company offers a monthly subscription plan for its software product. If they have 100 customers each paying $50 per month, their MRR would be $5,000 ($50 x 100).

  2. Membership-based Website: A membership-based website charges $20 per month for access to premium content. If they have 500 active members, their MRR would be $10,000 ($20 x 500).

  3. Subscription Box Service: A subscription box service delivers curated products to subscribers on a monthly basis. If they have 1,000 subscribers paying $30 per month, their MRR would be $30,000 ($30 x 1,000).

Importance

Monthly Recurring Revenue is a crucial metric for product managers and business owners. Here's why it's important:

  1. Predictable Revenue: MRR helps in forecasting revenue streams as it focuses on recurring revenue rather than one-time sales. This predictability allows businesses to make informed decisions regarding budgeting, resource allocation, and planning for future growth.

  2. Business Valuation: MRR plays a significant role in determining the value of a subscription-based business. Investors and potential buyers often evaluate the MRR to assess the financial stability and growth potential of a company.

  3. Customer Retention: By tracking MRR, product managers can identify trends and patterns in customer retention. A decline in MRR could indicate a high churn rate, highlighting the need to improve customer satisfaction and retention strategies.

How to Use Monthly Recurring Revenue

To effectively use Monthly Recurring Revenue in product management, follow these steps:

  1. Define Subscription Metrics: Establish clear definitions of what constitutes MRR, including which revenue streams to include and exclude. This ensures consistency in tracking and reporting.

  2. Track MRR: Utilize a robust subscription management system or a spreadsheet to track MRR over time. Keep a record of new subscriptions, cancellations, upgrades, downgrades, and changes in pricing to accurately calculate MRR.

  3. Analyze Trends: Regularly analyze MRR data to identify patterns, growth rates, and fluctuations. This analysis can help product managers understand the impact of pricing changes, marketing campaigns, or product launches on MRR.

  4. Set Growth Goals: Use MRR as a benchmark to set growth goals for your business. Aim to increase MRR by acquiring new customers, reducing churn, and upselling or cross-selling to existing customers.

Useful Tips

Consider these tips to make the most of Monthly Recurring Revenue:

  • Track MRR Segments: Categorize MRR based on customer segments, such as different pricing tiers or customer types. This allows you to identify which segments contribute the most to MRR and tailor your strategies accordingly.

  • Monitor MRR Churn: Keep a close eye on MRR churn, which refers to the loss of revenue due to customer cancellations. Identifying the reasons behind churn can help you implement retention strategies and reduce revenue loss.

  • Consider Expansion Revenue: Expansion revenue refers to additional revenue generated from existing customers through upsells, cross-sells, or account expansions. Tracking expansion revenue alongside MRR provides a comprehensive view of customer growth and revenue potential.

FAQ

Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) refers to the predictable and recurring revenue generated by a product or service on a monthly basis.
Tracking MRR helps product managers understand the financial health and growth of the business over time. It provides insights into revenue trends and aids in making informed decisions.
MRR is calculated by multiplying the average monthly revenue generated per customer by the total number of active customers in a given period.
MRR represents the monthly revenue generated, while Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) represents the annual revenue generated by a product or service.
MRR can be increased by acquiring new customers, upselling or cross-selling to existing customers, and reducing customer churn.
MRR is particularly important for Software as a Service (SaaS) businesses as it provides a clear picture of revenue stability and growth potential, helping in strategic planning and decision-making.
Accurately tracking MRR can be challenging due to factors like customer churn, pricing changes, and fluctuating subscription plans. It requires regular monitoring and adjustments.
MRR plays a significant role in calculating customer lifetime value (CLTV) as it reflects the revenue generated from a customer over the duration of their subscription.
No, MRR cannot be negative. It represents the positive revenue generated by a product or service on a monthly basis.
MRR can be used to assess business performance by comparing it with previous months or periods, measuring growth rates, and identifying areas for improvement.

Article by

Ruben Buijs

Ruben is the founder of ProductLift. I employ a decade of consulting experience from Ernst & Young to maximize clients' ROI on new Tech developments. I now help companies build better products

Table of contents

  1. Examples
  2. Importance
  3. How to Use Monthly Recurring Revenue
  4. Useful Tips
  5. Related Terms

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