Campaign Monitor

The Art of the Customer Win-Back Email

A customer win-back email is a carefully crafted message sent to inactive customers. Inactive customers are those who haven’t purchased or interacted with you in a set period of time.

Timing is everything for these kinds of emails. Now, most businesses will recommend six months before you start implementing your win-back strategy.

But that’ll vary depending on the vertical you are in. If you’re selling subscription gourmet pet food your window might be shorter than someone who’s selling bespoke garden tools.

What makes a good win-back email?

You put a lot of time and effort into building your email list. 

And all because some of them have gone quiet doesn’t mean it’s the end of the road. Adopting a good win-back email strategy can help get your customer buying again.

There are several components to a solid win-back email strategy:

  • Reach out and remind them you exist
  • Craft an email title that’s impossible to skim over
  • Make sure the copy is on point
  • Incentivize them to buy with a discount or coupon
  • Ask for feedback on where you went wrong with survey emails
  • And finally, goodbye emails

Let’s dive right into some of the types of win-back emails you can send.

The survey email

Sometimes a win-back email is as simple as just asking, “Hey, what’s going on?”. You can send a form asking them questions relevant to your business, and hopefully, get them to re-engage. This kind of email can also be sent when customers are unsubscribing.

Even if it’s an exit survey, it’s always important to have accurate data explaining why customers are unsubscribing so you can make business decisions about how to handle it. 

Source: Really Good Emails

Take a look at this email by SeeSo.

  • They kept the tone right, balancing on-brand humor well
  • They kept it simple and on message with concise copy, and a clear CTA
  • Plus they blended visuals seamlessly to support the message of the text

For more tips on the importance of survey emails, check out our guide here.

The reminder email

The world is a busy place these days.

Things come up and customers forget about your product. Don’t take it personally—with some smart marketing you can get them back on board. Set up an automation to target these customers after 3-6 months of inactivity.

Win-back email from Busuu.

Source: Really Good Emails

Sometimes as little as reminding them you exist is enough. And other times you might want to offer them a discount. Let’s take a closer look at this email by language app Busuu.

  • Busuu offers discounts to incentivize a customer’s return to the service
  • They also target FOMO by making it a timed 24-hour offer
  • The image chosen reinforces that message well.

The end of the line

What happens when that’s not enough? You tried everything and they’re still not engaging? Well, you just have to accept it and move on.

But with your final email, you have a chance to gain some benefit.

Winback email from Atlas Obscura.

Source: Really Good Emails

This email by Atlas Obscura ticks a number of boxes—they sincerely wish the customer well, and then offer them another option. Why not subscribe to a list with less frequent emails, which might well have been the reason they unsubscribed in the first place!

It’s important to note that if you still are getting ghosted or left on unread at this stage in your customer win-back automation, it’s best to cull them from your list—which is easy to do with the latest Campaign Monitor updates. There are disadvantages to having ghost subscribers, like:

  • Emails getting filtered to spam
  • Emails may simply get blocked by the service provider
  • Your sender reputation ranking might be damaged

For more on factors that affect your deliverability and how to navigate them, consider enrolling in our free course on deliverability best practices!

Wrap Up

Now you know what makes up a smart win-back strategy. You’ve learned how the various types of emails to send, and when. And you know how to tempt them into interacting with your brand again.

But there’s still a lot more to learn about emails. And for more tips on how to get the most out of your email list, check out our modern guide to email marketing.

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