Re-engaging lost customers the smart way

There’s nothing quite as heartbreaking as seeing your customers lose interest.

You put in all the hard work capturing their email. You wrote an amazing welcome email series. You lovingly nurtured them towards first purchase. Then slowly, the two of you drifted tragically apart.

But before you run to the freezer to fill that hole in your heart with ice cream, remember; not all hope is lost! You won’t need a dozen roses, or truffles, or freshly shucked oysters to relight that burning passion for your brand. In fact, 12% (on average) of your ‘lost’ customers can be easily re-engaged with the power of email.

Re-engaging your lost customers

Ecommerce customers can drop off the radar for a number of reasons.

Sometimes it’s got absolutely nothing to do with your business, of course. People move country. People change interests or needs. Life has a great many ways to take away our decision to purchase from our favourite stores.

Other times, the market might change. Truly disruptive competitors can emerge suddenly and poach a few of your customers – and this often can’t be helped.

However, there is one reason customers leave that is entirely in your control. (Some people even claim it’s the reason a whopping 7 out of 10 customers drop out).

We’re talking about ‘Perceived Indifference’.

Customers generally care about the retail businesses they buy from. Nowadays, we have so many different options to choose from that we only really stick around with brands that align well with our values, sense of humour, and lifestyle. And because of the semi-personal nature of these relationships, if we get to thinking our love is unrequited, we don’t stick around.

In the competitive world of ecommerce, ensuring your customers know you care is paramount. Especially when they seem to be getting cold feet.  

Automation for efficiency and humanisation

Here’s where the beauty of email marketing comes into play:

  • It’s personal. Not only can you personalise each message you send out on an incredible level, thanks to new and improved marketing platforms and technologies, but your emails go direct to your customer. People don’t stumble across your emails in their newsfeed, or see them on the sides of busses. Email is direct. It’s personal. And this makes it the perfect way to reach out when you think a customer might be at risk of leaving.
  • It can be automated. ‘Automation’ is one of those battleship-gray words that makes even the most sunny mum-and-pop shop sound like a cold, calculating corporation. But, funnily enough (as well as radical efficiency-gains) automation can be used to add an incredible humanity to your marketing

While you personally might not be able to detect when one customer out of thousands is beginning to drift away, your computer sure can. So by automating your marketing, you can send super-relevant content at exactly the right time. Just like a human salesman, watching a customer browse the aisles. Just on a much, much larger scale.

So how might we leverage this power to show fading customers we care?

The ‘Win-back’ series

A ‘win-back campaign’ is a campaign specifically targeted to leads who haven’t engaged with your brand or made a purchase after a determined period of time.

For example, let’s say you sell luxury soaps. You know that your regular packs of six soap bars lasts the average customer roughly 4 months. So, you might like to create an automation that targets customers who haven’t bought any more soap in the last six months – two months since they’ve run out of soap.

The campaign reminds them why they chose your soap in the first place. It reminisces, looking back of the times the two of you shared. It tells them you miss them.

If that doesn’t work, maybe it’s time to change tack. Another campaign, sent a further two months down the road of no-purchase, might suggest different products for them to try. If they weren’t so happy with the lemongrass varieties, why not try offering them a eucalyptus or sandalwood? Cross-selling different product types has proven to be a hugely effective way to win back lapsed customers, and can be automated well with dynamic content.


An example from our client, Fae Swim


If this still doesn’t work, it’s time to go whole hog. Really show them you care by martyring some of your profits. Offering a small discount incentive (if you can afford it) is a great way to get them to return. And, once they do get back in the swing of buying from you regularly, you’ll likely more than make up for whatever percentage of profits you may have lost on the sale.


An example from our client, Fae Swim


Win-back emails work. So it’s no wonder they’re becoming a staple in the digital marketing world. If it’s time to implement something similar for your own business, we’d love to help.

Feel free to get in touch with one of our strategists, and we’ll have a chat about a tailor made win-back series for your business, market and customers.

As Andzen's Head of Customer Strategy, it's my job to continue the growth of our great company throughout Australia and beyond. My passion is helping businesses solve problems and reach new audiences through creative digital solutions and clever marketing automation.

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