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Winning Back Inactive Customers With a Win-Back Email Series

A win-back email series is a sequence of emails sent to inactive customers. These emails act as a gentle nudge to get former buyers back into your shop.

The key is to segment your list based on engagement. Focus most of your re-engagement efforts on the blue and purple bars (lapsing best customers or high-frequency buyers). For the red or orange bar, it’s probably too late to win them back.

1. Send Hello or Welcome Back Emails

When you welcome new subscribers or customers, you can use a welcome email to introduce your brand and show that you care about them. You can also use it to share valuable resources or next steps for them if you need to.

Whether you want to welcome new customers or remind them why they subscribed in the first place, your welcome emails should be friendly, concise, and clear. They should never feel like spam or overwhelming.

You can even add a fun, interactive element to your welcome emails to capture the attention of your readers. For example, Hotwire uses a fun video in its welcome emails that encourage customers to browse and save deals.

If you have a more complex product or service, you can also include a product tour in your welcome emails to help your new customers. This way, they will be able to fully understand the value of your product or service and will be more likely to engage with future emails and conversions.

Once your welcome email campaign is over, you can use win-back emails to reengage inactive subscribers. This type of email is similar to a newsletter and can be used to promote your latest offers or update users on any inventory changes. The key is to be gentle and courteous with this type of email, so your subscribers don't become annoyed or unsubscribe.

2. Send Time-Limited Offers or Limited-Stock Alerts

If a customer is on the fence about buying something, you can encourage them to act quickly by sending limited stock notifications. It’s human nature to want what you can’t have, so these alerts will create a sense of urgency in your customers and speed up their decision-making process. You can also use these alerts as an opportunity to upsell products that complement what they’re purchasing, which will increase their average order value.

When sending these time-limited offers, make sure you’re clear about what’s being offered and when it ends. If you say a sale will only be around for a certain amount of time and then it’s still there the next day, your audience will feel like they were misled, which will make them less likely to buy in the future.

This email from Sephora uses a subject line that entices the audience to open it, “Final Hours: Name’s Favorite Holiday Candles Are Back!” The alert focuses on the special offer and emphasizes the urgency of the deal by displaying a live countdown timer. You can also send these limited-time alerts through other channels, such as social media or direct mail to reach a wider audience. Whether you’re reaching out to new or repeat buyers, using time-limited offers is an effective way to win them back and increase your conversions.

3. Send Personalized Reactivation Campaigns

Inactive customers can often be persuaded to return to your brand with a reactivation campaign that is automated and tailored to their purchase history. Using data, analytics and automation tools like Inkit can help you craft an email series that is targeted and personalized to those who have not purchased in a while. This type of campaign is a great way to get back into the inboxes of your past customers and bring in new ones too!

This kind of campaign requires a strong understanding of your customer data to ensure you are targeting the right customers and offering value. The best way to do this is through segmentation, allowing you to pinpoint the inactive users of your service and craft a message that will be relevant for them. Analyzing their past purchases, purchasing habits, and engagement levels is also useful for understanding their motivations and reengaging them with the brand.

Another aspect to consider is adding direct mail to your win-back campaign. Many brands find that the combination of an email and a triggered direct mail piece is more effective than either one alone. Depending on your budget and the size of your target audience, this may be an avenue to explore.

As with any marketing campaign, it is important to continually test and analyze your reactivation campaign. This will help you identify what is and isn’t working, enabling you to improve future campaigns.

4. Send Personalized Win-Back Emails

When it comes to reaching out to lapsed customers, there are a few different types of win-back emails that you can send. Hello or welcome back emails are great ways to remind customers of the reasons they liked doing business with your company, such as your excellent customer service, your wide selection of products, or your competitive prices. You can also use these emails to offer a special discount or promotion to encourage them to re-engage.

A personal and friendly approach is key to a successful win-back email. Keep the copy short and to the point, as inactive customers tend not to want to read lengthy emails. Try to keep the tone of your emails friendly and polite, and don't be afraid to add some humor - it can go a long way!

You can also use these emails to feature customer testimonials or success stories. This can help to build trust with the lapsed customer, and it may also encourage them to re-engage with your company. Lastly, be sure to include a clear call to action in your win-back emails. This will help to ensure that the customer knows exactly what you would like them to do, whether it is making a purchase, signing up for your newsletter, or leaving a review. This is especially important if you are targeting customers who have been inactive for a long time.

5. Send Customer Testimonials or Success Stories

One of the most effective ways to reengage a lapsed customer is with a testimonial or success story. This is a great way to build trust, boost conversions, and show that other people like your product.

Customer testimonials can be in the form of quotes, case studies, and even full-blown videos. But the key is to make sure that the focus remains on the customer and their struggles, triumphs, and emotions. Then, wrap it up in a nice little bow with your business’s product as the solution.

You can find customer testimonials on social media, review sites, and elsewhere online, but the best place to start is by asking your current customers. If you have a strong relationship with your customers, they will be more likely to share their experience and give you a glowing recommendation.

Another way to amplify your customer testimonials is by sharing them with news outlets. This will reach new audiences and increase your brand awareness, potentially attracting a whole new segment of potential customers. For example, last year Harry’s was featured on the BBC and CNN, which helped drive a spike in new customers interested in their zero-waste lifestyle. The company used this momentum to launch its Win-Back campaign, targeting high-value lapsed customers with offers designed to encourage them to try Harry’s products again. It also made sure to follow up with a personalized thank-you note.

6. Send Time-Limited Offers or Limited-Stock Alerts

Sending time-limited offers or limited-stock alerts to inactive customers can be a great way to encourage them to make a purchase again. The key to success here is to be clear and honest about the date when the offer expires or the stock will run out. If you deceive your audience by making it seem like an offer will last forever, they will become frustrated and may never return to your shop again.

One example of this is the ‘friends and family’ sale, where you can send a personalized email to your existing subscribers and their friends and family with a subject line like “Expires in hours”. This creates a sense of urgency that will motivate people to act quickly.

You can also use messaging apps to send these back-in-stock alerts, such as WhatsApp or Telegram. This is especially effective for local shoppers and can help you increase your conversion rates.

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