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6 Best Practices For Reactivating Lapsed Customers

By: Denise DeSisto on August 24, 2017

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I recently received an email from Boston-based company Drizly encouraging me to come back and place another order on their app. From the Subject Line down to the $5 coupon code at the bottom of the email, I could tell they wanted me back. They used my name in the subject line, and encouraged me to spend by offering a $5 coupon. They even included a summertime visual to make the email more timely. The email was short, sweet, and to-the-point, and including everything a reactivation email should include. The email was effective; particularly the coupon code MISSYOU. In the case of Drizly, they nailed the reactivation campaign, but how can other brands leverage reactivation tactics to capture lapsed customers? Below are six best practices to help you create a reactivation strategy that reaches more lapsed customers:

  1. More than a transaction – Reiterate your brand promise and remind your lapsed customers why they chose to do business with your brand in the first place. Remind them of your product offerings by making strategic product recommendations based on their past purchasing behavior. Show them that the experience they had with your brand is more important than discounts or products they can get somewhere else.
  2. More than just email - Customers interact with brands through an increasing number of channels, including email, website, direct mail, push notifications, social media, and customer support. Per Google Research, 98% of Americans switch between devices each day, giving marketers a variety of to channels to persuade lapsed customers to come back to the brand. Try sending direct mail or push notifications to communicate with customers instead of filling their inbox with unwanted emails.
  3. More than just one touch – Most customers require a number of touches to be reactivated into a brand. In fact, 45% of subscribers who don’t read your first message will read subsequent messaging, so your reactivation campaign should give them more than one chance.
  4. More than just purchasing – Try to get lapsed customers to watch a video, check out your website, visit you at an event, take a survey, or interact with your brand in a different way. The ultimate goal is to get lapsed customers to make another purchase, but consider other steps customers can take to get re-acclimated with the brand until they are ready to purchase again.
  5. More than just unsubscribe – Lapsed customers may want to continue to receive emails, but they are turned off by the number of emails from your brand. In fact, 19% of unsubscribes happen when customers receive too many emails from one brand. Instead of taking the time to unsubscribe, they just delete your emails without paying them any mind. Now is your chance to let customers opt down on their communication. Customers won’t be overwhelmed with constant emails, and they are more likely to click-through the emails they do receive.

Lastly, it’s more than just reactivation – The most important thing to think about is what happens when customers are reactivated into the brand. You can’t just place them back into the regular email cadence. Why did they lapse in the first place? You need to find out what drew them back into your brand, and what seemed to excite them the most before they lapse. Using this information, you should send customers a series of nurturing emails that get them excited about your brand again. Once a customer has made a purchase, tailor their emails to be more targeted and relevant to prevent them lapsing again.

As mentioned above, Drizly’s email eventually worked. They put me in a weekly email cadence so their app was on my mind, and when I ordered a month later, I remembered their coupon code and it still worked. Employing the best practices like the ones above will help brands like Drizly re-introduce me to the brand, and prevent me from lapsing again.

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