feature

In today’s highly competitive customer engagement landscape, it’s a fact of life that some of the new users your brand acquires won’t stick around for the long haul. Brands have a variety of tools and tactics at their disposal to address this issue. One of the most popular? Win-back campaigns.

In today’s highly competitive customer engagement landscape, it’s a fact of life that some of the new users your brand acquires won’t stick around for the long haul. That being said, there’s a difference between being realistic about this dynamic and passively accepting things as significant chunks of your audience walk away. Brands have a variety of tools and tactics at their disposal to address this issue. One of the most popular? Win-back campaigns.

What’s a Win-Back Campaign?

As the name implies, a win-back campaign is a series of communications designed to re-engage users who no longer interact with your brand. It typically uses a cross-channel approach, like a combination of push notifications and email messages, to remind customers why they liked your brand in the first place.

An example of an email that could be used in a win-back campaign.

Is it worth it? Statistics show that it can cost five times as much to attract a new customer as it does to hold onto and nurture a customer you’ve already acquired. Many former customers may still be happy to do business with you, especially if you offer them an incentive for doing so. What’s more, these “resurrected customers” may even become regular patrons who not only do business with you regularly but also encourage others to do so as well.

However, when done poorly, win-back campaigns can turn apathetic ex-customers into angry ones. If, for instance, a customer had a bad experience and you attempt to reconnect with them in a way that ignores that fraught history, you could risk negative app store reviews, angry customer support tickets, and other expressions of frustration with little to show for all that agita.

So Where Should You Start With Win-Back Campaigns?

The first step is identify who to target. This might sound straightforward, but blasting out an email to everyone who hasn’t engaged with your brand in awhile isn’t just ineffective, it risks undermining your email deliverability, potentially blocking even highly-engaged users from seeing your email outreach. The most successful win-back campaigns are targeted and personalized, so decide on specific goals and build your dynamic audience segments accordingly. For example, a food delivery brand might target 30-day inactives in an attempt to drive re-orders, while retailers might want to reach out to people who’ve placed more than five orders but have been inactive for 90 days.

Once you know who to target, it’s time to craft a message that’s going to be relevant and valuable to the individuals receiving it. It’s not enough to tell customers you miss them, you have to offer a compelling reason to come back. Whether it’s simply reminding your consumers why they loved you in the first place, highlighting new website or features, or sharing a discount, it’s all about identifying what kind of connection will land with that specific segment of users.

How Much is Too Much When It Comes to Win-Back Campaigns?

The win-back campaigns you send need to be short and sweet. No one likes getting continual messages from companies they no longer want to do business with. Send out one or two win-back emails, perhaps in conjunction with a couple push notifications letting former customers know about a special sale or a new product or service. If there is no response to your emails or push notifications, a final good-bye email is in order. This email should thank customers for their former patronage, let them know that you’ll remove them from your list since they’re no longer interested in your brand.

It’s okay if you can’t win back every former customer—it shouldn’t even be your goal. You’re looking to foster a life-long customers that advocates for your brand and if someone can’t get excited about you, it’s better to focus time, money, and energy on those who can.

Final Thoughts

It takes data, a cross-channel strategy, and the right consumer engagement platform to achieve the delicate balance of meaningfully engaging former customers without turning them off. To discover the best ways to engage—and re-engage—with your audience, download our Moments That Matter guide or check out the Brand Humanity Study.