5 Underrated Tips to Make Your Customer Win-back Emails More Effective

customer win-back emails - email marketing tips

Best email marketing tips for customer win-back emails.

If you’re an online merchant, you’ve had to deal with “inactive customers.” These are customers who once bought something from your site but haven’t come back for subsequent purchases. Moreover, they’ve stopped interacting with your brand in any way.

Customer retention is one of the biggest problems faced by online stores today. When faced with customers who ‘ghost’ you, brands try to desperately reignite their relationship with shoppers using win-back emails.

While win-back emails are a great way to encourage people to make repeat purchases, chances are your competitors are sending them too. This makes it harder for your brand to stand out in a sea of emails flooding shopper’s inboxes.

Fret not! Here are 5 tips that can work back magic into your retargeting emails and help you get your win-back email marketing game on point!

PS. If you haven’t already, don’t forget to first read our complete guide on ecommerce win-back emails to understand them first.

Improve your customer retention with these win-back email tips

There are no set rules when it comes to email marketing. But following a few simple steps will always keep you ahead of the game.

Here are some of our favorite win-back email tips and we will continue to add more to the list here!

1. Grab your subscribers’ attention through captivating subject lines

The subject line of an email is the first thing your subscribers will see. It’s their introduction to your email and it needs to be worth their time or they’ll never open it.

Emailers need to be strategic with their subject lines, always considering what type of business they are in, what type of content is inside, and who their audience is.

Study suggests that ​​35% of email recipients open email based on the subject line alone. Moreover, email subscribers who received subject lines with a sense of urgency opened at least 12% more often than those who didn’t.

Hook your customers with a catchy win-back subject line that inspires them to check out your email further. Personalize the subject lines using language like “We miss you,” “Come back,” or “It’s been a while” – anything that suggests you directly speaking to the customer while reflecting your brand’s voice.

For example, Hunker sends out a very personalized email subject line in its win-back email. The subject line reads “We’ve both been so busy.” feels like a message from a long-lost friend that the reader hasn’t heard from in a while.

Want to hack your email subject lines? Try these tools:

2. Experiment with multiple email types

One of the trickiest things about email marketing is to figure out the type and frequency of emails you should be sending out. Very few emails and your message may get lost in people’s inboxes. Too many and you might end up overdoing it.

It’s important to experiment with different types of email. Different emails tend to perform better for different people, so it’s important to try what works best for you and the people who follow your site.

You should test different subject lines and different email copies in order to find what resonates best with your customers. Some businesses have found that including a specific date on their offer boosts conversions by 4%.

Consider segmenting your email database into different lists that each gets a different type of message. You may experiment with sending emails four times a week instead of once or offer discounts on certain products to people who buy other items.

Another tricky aspect is determining the frequency of emails you should send.

If you send just one win-back email, chances are the recipient could miss or decide not to open it, especially if they haven’t been responding to your emails for a long time.

For this reason, marketers experiment with an email series—they send out two or more win-back emails with some time delays between them. Seeing multiple emails increases the odds the recipient will open, engage, and hopefully, purchase from that email.

So, what kind of emails should you send out?

We recommend sending 5 types of emails in your win-back email sequences, preferably in this order:

  • Remind people about your brand: People tend to forget about brands they haven’t bought from in a long time. In such a case, a simple “hello” email will get some people to start interacting with your messages again.
  • Offer an incentive: After rebuilding a basic familiarity with a “hello” email, offer a small incentive to nudge people who are hesitant about buying again from your brand.
  • Request feedback: People love giving opinions. Even if they don’t purchase from you, feedback from your past customers can uncover information that can help you improve your marketing.
  • Induce urgency: A ‘last chance’ email will tell people that they’ll miss out on a great deal. Adding a deadline induces a sense of urgency, prompting them to take action.
  • Unsubscribe: If a contact has been unresponsive way too long, you can unsubscribe them. However, let them know about it and offer the option that they can come back.

Learn more about setting up a high-converting win-back email flow here.

3. Always keep your content contextual and interesting

For most people, emails are an interruption and they will only spare you a few seconds before they move on to something else. Therefore, you need to make sure that your content is worth the reader’s time. Your win-back email’s goal is to convince an inactive subscriber to return to your site and complete a purchase.

For this, your content needs to be attention-grabbing and good enough to make your subscriber reconsider. You want them to see your message as the best offer out there and not just another distraction.

One of the best ways to win back your audience is to provide irresistible, timely, and valuable email content. This content can be helpful, entertaining, or both.

Include fresh ideas with your emails so that customers stay interested and engaged.

Here are 5 suggestions for creating irresistible win-back email content:

1. Address a customer problem

Usually, people stop engaging with a brand due to some reason. You need to try to identify the common problems that your subscribers could be facing.

If you’re going to be reaching out to a customer the best thing you can do is address a problem they’re having,” says Andrew Anderson, President, and CEO of Turnstone. “This does two things: it allows you to show them how much you care about them and also shows them that you understand their issues and where they come from.”

You can use this email to address any potential issues your subscriber might face by educating them on how they can get the most out of your products, explaining how they can get help from customer service, or asking for feedback. Surveys are helpful for this purpose because they will tell you what customers are struggling with and what they want help with.

Take inspiration from this email from Proven:

2. Add an incentive they cannot say no to

One of the most effective ways to encourage customers to engage with your brand is by giving them an incentive to come back. This could be a special discount for email subscribers, a coupon, a free sample of your products, or free shipping on a particular order value.

We recommend experimenting with the timing of this offer and consider sending it later in your win-back email campaign series in case your customer is persuaded into making a purchase by another way.

Alternatively, you can abandon the discount and focus on your content by highlighting best sellers, share new products, and mention upcoming offers.

For example, Tula, a skincare brand highlights a 15% off discount in its win-back email, which ensures that its email subscribers notice this as an offer that the brand doesn’t hand out often.

Along with a discount, the brand also leverages other win-back strategies to turn their email into a truly irresistible deal. They highlight customer favorites and bestsellers to make it easy for readers to re-familiarize themselves with its products. They even mention their most outstanding reviews to build extra credibility.

3. Share updates and new offerings

One of the best ways to create content that will entice a customer back is to share some of the new offerings you have.

If your products/ services have evolved over the past year, you can give your inactive customers an email update by providing information about your new product or how you have improved your store experience. It also helps to share any updates, such as a change in store hours or seasonal promotions.

Perhaps you have a new product now available, an updated version of an old favorite, or a discounted bundle that’s no longer offered on your site. Share these offers with your list so they know they can come back and get what they want now.

Continuously engage your customers by sending them informational updates and new offers. Share company events, successes, and other relevant information. Send newsletters that highlight the company’s strengths to their past customers.

This will keep your customers excited about what you’re doing and may even introduce them to something they didn’t know existed.

Keep in mind that your content should also be personalized to ensure it’s relevant and resonates with the reader. For example, if you were an online shoe retailer, you might want to offer free shipping if they order by a certain date or promote that spring clothing is arriving soon.

For example, check out the win-back email from Path, an image editing tool which uses stunning visuals to introduce its new features. The brand also features a clear CTA: an “Update Now” button to prompt the reader to go ahead and check out the product.

4. Build trust with social proof

A great way to convince people to give your product or services another chance is by including a convincing social proof in your win-back emails.

Studies show that people are more likely to believe in your message and purchase from you if you share social proof. The social proof could be testimonials, reviews, statistics, press coverage or awards. Sharing information on this will help make your message more persuasive and ascertain credibility in your reader’s mind.

As an example, check out the win-back email from Warby Parker, an online prescription glasses store. The brand displays tweets from satisfied customers in its email as social proof of its high-quality products.

5. Include an actionable call-to-action

One of the most important aspects to your email content is the CTA . The success of your win-back email campaign rests on whether your subscriber ends up clicking that CTA.

Your CTA needs to motivate people to click the button and take action. To avoid seeing too promotional or annoying, it’s better to use only one CTA in your email.

Consider using a CTA that’s compelling, such as “Download Now!” or “Request A Demo Today!” to encourage readers to act. Make sure that it fits with your message and something they care about, like an offer or a new product launch. Most likely, inactive subscribers will not make a purchase immediately. Hence, the CTA of your win-back email could be around browsing your website or getting readers to adjust their email preferences.

As an example, check out Paul Mitchell’s win-back email which begins with a “We hate goodbyes.” message followed by a big sad face created using its own products. The email ends with a simple but hard-to-miss CTA.

4. Use great design but keep it optimized

A great design can hugely impact the viewer’s perception of your win-back email. Building a great design will help your content stand out and attract more click-throughs.

One of the most important things to consider when sending a win-back email is how it looks. People are more likely to open your emails if they’re not cluttered and messy – take some time to design a well-organized email with great graphics. Make sure that you have a great design, including a good subject line and an appealing call-to-action (CTA) button.

The key is to make sure the message looks good and is easy to read. Your email should grab people’s attention in the subject line, first sentence, and any other areas you have images.

For example, the win-back email from Urban Outfitter definitely stands out from others when it comes to design and copy.

5. Personalize your emails

One of the simplest ways to make your emails more irresistible is to personalize them. That means adding a little bit about the reader and their previous interactions with your brand, which will increase the likelihood that they’ll open and read it. Not only does this give you a better chance at getting them back as a customer, but it also shows that you care what they’re interested in and what they’ve been up to.

Research suggests that personalized email messages improve click-through rates by an average of 14% and conversions by 10%.

Here are some ways brands can personalize their win-back emails:

  • Use the customer’s name
  • Show their previous purchase history
  • Display personalized product recommendations (upsell and cross-sell) based on the customer’s past interactions and purchases

Ready to bring back customers with win back emails?

Win-back campaigns are a critical first step in the customer lifecycle. Emails may be the most effective way to remind customers about your products and services, get them back into your system, and turn them into regular buyers again.

Keep in mind that you can only win back customers who have opted-in to your email marketing list. Start by sending a warm email that encourages customers to come back for more. The next step is to provide an incentive for them to buy something within a certain timeframe. Finally, make sure there’s a call-to-action at the end of every email with some kind of incentive or discount offer to drive conversions.

Trying to re-engage your active customers is never easy.

With a large number of brands vying for a customer’s attention, brand’s need to be on top of their game when it comes to building lasting relationships through email marketing. Use the tactics discussed above to increase the odds of them re-engaging and buying from you again.

But if you’re looking at setting up a high-converting win-back email campaign?

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