Best practices for creating a win back campaign

As an Email Marketer, You Have to Be Able to Identify Subscribers Who Are Disengaging, and Rope Them Back in Before It’s Too Late

Why? Because it’s easier to keep an existing customer or subscriber than it is to find a new one. And generally, it’s cheaper, too. In fact, it can cost five time more to attract a new customer, than it does to retain an existing one. So how do you go about keeping these hard-won customers and subscribers? With a well-timed Win-Back campaign.

Win-Back 101

A Win-Back campaign is specifically engineered to re-engage subscribers and customers who have gone silent or are about to go silent on you.

These campaigns can come in all shapes and sizes. While we have recommendations for when to send a Win-Back to disengaged subscribers, we recommend taking a look at your data to inform your timing decisions. If you have access to your data in an actionable way, now is the time to use it. If you don’t, it’s important to think about your send frequency, the lifecycle of your product (if you sell something) and trends in purchasing (if any), as well as other factors that may impact how often a person may engage with your emails. If you have no indicators to rely on, we tend to recommend a standard 90, 180, 270 day approach—if someone hasn’t engaged with your email content in that timeframe, it’s time to reach out with a Win-Back series. Side note: this is a great time to take a look at your campaigns and ask the question, “am I sending too many emails?” If the answer is maybe, think about testing your send frequency to see if you notice a jump in engagement.

Timing of a Win-Back Series

The key word here is “series.” If you’re sending one email and calling that a Win-Back strategy, chances are it’s not doing very well. This particular group of subscribers is already disengaging from your content, and, more likely than not, it will take a few extremely relevant, high-touch emails emails to bring them back into the fold. We usually recommend at least a 3-part series.

The first email is generally a “pulse check.” Something along the lines of, “hey there, we noticed you haven’t been around lately, and wanted to reach out.” This is a great time to highlight your unique company value proposition.

The second email should be a little bit more urgent. This can be a great time to play the concerned friend/spouse/SO role, such as “was it something I said?” If you’re planning on offering a discount, this is a good point in the re-engagement process to offer one. However, you’ll want to make sure you have a little gas in the tank to offer a larger discount to subscribers who don’t bite on this particular email.

The third email should be the most urgent. Subject lines, such as “is this goodbye?”are a great way to play up this last–ditch effort. Ideally, you’re offering your most exciting discount, freebie, etc. at this time.

Regardless of the number of emails, it’s important to personalize the content as much as possible. Translation, make your data work for you. Where you can, imbue the email with data to create a personalized, unique experience for each customer. Key areas include using purchase data to showcase recommended products, unique coupon codes, offers based on their customer tier (i.e. are they a best customer, one-time purchaser, etc.), and of course, first name. Whatever you decide the theme of your campaign might be, it’s important to remember that you need more than one touch to seal the deal. Bottom line: one email won’t cut it. While we’re talking about the number of touches,  I would be remiss to not mention complementary campaigns via other other channels, such as social or GoogleAds. Think about creating an echo chamber for your Win-Back campaign.

Anatomy of a Win-Back Email

There are some key aspects of a Win-Back email that you want to make sure you address.

  • Show a compelling, image paired with a relevant headline
  • Include a clickable menu near the top of the email
  • Display clear body copy letting customers know you miss them
  • If offering a discount, make sure to include it in the body copy and call it out
  • Showcase recommended products
  • Provide a clear call to action
  • Use a personal signature (if appropriate)
  • Include social icons
  • Show contact and opt-out/subscription preference information

The Business Case For Win-Back Campaigns

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, it can cost up to five times more to acquire a new customer than it does to retain an existing one. At the end of the day, a Win-Back campaign is more than just another marketing ploy, it’s a way to save you valuable time, money, and effort. Whether you’re just starting out or looking for a refresh of your existing Win-Back campaign, our full-service digital agency is here to help you achieve your goals with expertise in strategy, deliverability, design, and more. All you have to do is reach out.

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