Win-Back Email Campaigns: 7 Best Examples to Help Re-Engage your Customers

Written by Vijay Mandeep on April 16, 2019

All of us want a lot of things in life, or at least a few things that make us feel recognised, remembered, and pursued. It appeals to our human desire to be wanted!

Moving away from that philosophical note…

Did you know that roughly 60% subscribers in an emailing list are dormant at any given time? Re-engaging these subscribers helps you bring them out of dormancy, back into your sales and marketing funnel. This, in turn, contributes to your revenue generation pipeline.

Why do email subscribers become dormant?

Every user has a strong and valid reason to why they may have subscribed to receiving marketing communication from your brand. But, over a period of time, you will always have a user segment that gradually becomes dormant, i.e. stops interacting with your email campaigns altogether.

Here are a few major reasons for subscriber dormancy:

  1. Cluttered Inbox: Your email can often get lost in the swarm of other emails that get delivered across both the primary and promotions inbox. It can become a challenge for your subscribers to manage such a cluttered inbox. Very often, your emails may not even be viewed as they land directly in the promotions tab, significantly reducing the chances of discovery and opens
  2. Saved it for Later: Certain subscribers put your email on the “read-later” list. They plan to read your emails on a later date but this might never happen!
  3. High Email Frequency: You must’ve promised not to send more than one email a day during the sign-up process and now your subscribers are overwhelmed by the number of emails you send them daily
  4. Weak Subject Lines: Most subscribers open their emails based on the content in the subject line. As a marketer, you only have a few seconds to catch the attention of your subscriber. You lose him/her in that window of opportunity and you’re facing an uphill battle post that!
  5. Change in Preferences: Your subscribers’ preferences and requirements might have changed since the time they first subscribed and they haven’t bothered to unsubscribe from your mailing list

While the intent and interest diminishes gradually your subscribers are bound to take one of the following actions:

  1. Unsubscribe to your emails
  2. They become dormant, i.e. neither do they open the email nor do they unsubscribe. Chances are that they could also be deleting your emails without reading them at all.

In such a scenario, you can’t do much when certain subscribers have opted out of your email list but if they haven’t then you can still win them back and get the ball rolling again.

You need to analyse all the historical data of your subscribers to identify what kind of email subject lines produced better open rates, what sort of content created better conversions, etc.

You could run targeted feedback or survey campaigns to understand what exactly they like. This kind of analysis will give you a definite shot at winning back your subscribers and potentially turn them into transacting customers.

You’ve got all your data in one place but, do you know why your subscribers go dormant?

With a clear intent-based design, win-back emails will not only help you see who’s still interested in your brand, you may even generate some immediate sales! Worst case scenario, you’ll have to clean up your email list, all over again.

For inspiration, here are some amazing ways certain brands have aced their win-back email campaigns:

  1. GAP

    GAP, one of the most coveted brands across the globe is known to aggressively target the younger generation. This is a classic example of a B2C re-engagement email campaign from a youthful and lighthearted brand.

    An emotional message - “You+Us”- establishes an instant connect with the subscriber. The marketing message is made more enticing through the use of a 40% discount.

    What interested me in this campaign was the fact that they asked their subscribers to take a small survey to update their preferences.

    GAP

  2. Ticketfly

    I’ve never understood why brands shy away from getting personal and adding humour in their messages. At times, brands need to take themselves less seriously and experiment with their messaging to evoke certain emotions from their subscribers. The emotion, in turn, becomes the trigger for a potential purchase!

    Ever seen a sad robot?

    This “we miss you” win-back email campaign from Ticketfly immediately caught my attention with that GIF. Not to mention its amazing copy and Call to action that helped them win back their subscribers.

    Ticketfly

  3. Grammarly

    When was the last time you resisted hitting a giant red button? Does anyone even resist that? Well, I can’t!

    And, that’s what happened with Grammarly’s email. The copy right below the image is immediately catchy and left me curious to find out more.

    The tone and context of both your content and CTA can have a major impact on your win-back email campaigns. You have to communicate how you genuinely care about a dormant subscriber without sounding too desperate. And, that’s exactly what Grammarly gets right with this campaign!

    Grammarly

  4. Animoto

    Animoto, a DIY video making platform knows how to keep their subscribers coming back for more.

    In this win-back email they keep it simple and focus on understanding the reason for dormancy. They also focus on giving the subscriber options to update their email preferences based on the type and frequency of the emails they want to receive.

    Animoto

  5. Paul Mitchel

    Paul Mitchell, a leading cosmetic brand has also gotten its way around with winning back their dormant subscribers.

    Emotional copy - “We hate goodbyes” -  informs the subscriber that it’s their last email to them.The creative manner in which they’ve arranged their products into a sad face adds greater depth to their messaging.

    Special focus on the CTA gives subscribers the chance to continue receiving their communication while also giving them a chance to connect across different social media channels.

    Paul Mitchel

  6. Boden

    Boden, a British clothing retailer, has set a great example with this win-back email campaign. The tone of their email revolves around the theme of a relationship.

    The content refers to the relationship they have with their customers. They’ve also taken the road less travelled by including two quirky CTAs with the email ending on a pragmatic note, offering you 60% off on sale.

    Also notice how they’ve included options for their subscribers to connect with them across social media while also pitching their referral marketing programme!

    Boden

  7. Sephora

    Sephora, a multi-national chain of personal care and beauty stores has targeted their dormant subscribers with this simple win-back email.

    While the copy and the messaging is crisp, they also provided an online and offline option for their $15 gift card by using two independent CTAs, making the offer more enticing for their customers. They could have made this campaign more impactful by using images of their products. This could have given their subscribers a visual idea on what they could spend their gift card on.

    Sephora

Be Forever Prepared to Re-engage!

Re-engagement and win-back campaigns should be part of every email marketing strategy. Subscriber dormancy or inactivity is a definite fact of life. You can’t control these aspects of marketing. How you handle this makes all the difference.

Consider these subscribers as an opportunity to experiment with quirky content and innovative creatives to see how you can bring your old customers back and elevate sales.

Seek periodic feedback from your subscribers to tweak your campaign content. Rely on the power of actionable analytics to keep a careful watch on subscribers that are most at risk to go dormant. This will help you engage with such segments in a more personalised and timely manner.

At Smartech, we are focused on helping digital businesses, like yours, create amazing win-back campaign strategies in order to help you boost engagement, monetisation, and retention rates over a period of time!

Sign up today to learn more!

 
Vijay Mandeep


Vijay Mandeep is a data-driven B2B Saas marketer with a vested interest in startups. He’s passionate about growth hacking, content marketing, and everything social media for B2B SaaS. He works as Senior Growth Marketer at Smartech.

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