Customer retention is significantly cheaper than finding new customers is, and customers you keep are more likely to convert time and time again. In fact, it costs five times as much to get a new customer than it does to keep an existing one happy. Nonetheless, companies often invest way more on the acquisition of new customers instead of keeping current customers engaged.
A re-engagement email campaign is when you reach out to customers who have been quiet for a while and remind them of the benefit of your products and services. It’s a more focused campaign intended to get your customers to come back to your brand.
1 — Don’t Lose Your Customers
Before even thinking about a re-engagement campaign, think about how you might be losing your customers in the first place. Are you engaging them enough through other channels so that your brand remains in their mind? Consider what works for your company:
- Social media (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter primarily, though if you’re selling business-to-business then LinkedIn needs your attention)
- Loyalty programs
- SMS or push notifications
- Remarketing advertising campaigns
- Networking and events
2 — Collect the Right Data
Another reason that re-engagement emails are useful is to trim away people who will likely never return to your company. You’re wasting advertising dollars on them if a powerful re-engagement email to them gets no traction, so you can remove them from your subscriber list.
Why not just leave inactive customers in your subscriber list? The data you’ll get back on what is working and what isn’t will be inaccurate. Blasting an email to thousands of people you don’t know that much about doesn’t work.
3 — Segment Customers into Groups Based on Interest
Instead, you want to know as much about your customers as possible and segment them into different groups for your re-engagement emails. Indeed, all of your marketing efforts should be as personalized as possible. With DataCue, your entire website can be personalized for each visitor so that their experience is highly attuned to their needs and streamlined.
You want to know who your customers are, where they live, the products they’re interested in (and not interested in), and how your business can help them.
We can’t know everything about each of our customers, so also consider your ‘ideal’ target customer. Are they men or women? How old are they? How often do they buy products from you?
Segment your customers into behavior and come up with product recommendations that will suit them.
4 — Define Your Inactive Users Accurately
Crucially, consider what defines an inactive user. Is it someone who hasn’t visited your site in three months? Someone who hasn’t bought a product within six months? Someone who hasn’t opened one of your emails in five months?
Carefully look over your analytics and information before making this definition. Get it wrong, and you’ll be sending ‘we miss you’ emails to customers who have purchased from you relatively recently. You can end up offering discounts to loyal customers who were engaging with your brand already. At the other end of the scale, leave the re-engagement too late and your customer will be long gone, an ex-customer.
5 — Subject Line Considerations
Your subject line should be urgent, useful, unique, and ultra-specific. However, avoid spammy words like ‘Urgent’, ‘FREE’, and ‘IMPORTANT’.
The number of characters of the subject line the reader will see depends on their email client. Gmail on a desktop, for example, shows 64 characters, but reading your email on an iPad or iPhone will only show the first 29 characters. The ideal subject line length, on average, seems to 45-50 characters in length.
A personal subject line works well. E.g.:
- We’ve missed you
- Are you there?
- Come back, we’ve been looking everywhere for you
Even better, incorporate some information you know about their buying habits to re-engage them:
- Save 10% on [favorite product category]
- Let us ship your next [favorite product category] for free
- We’re offering 20% off [related product] today
If you did your homework, and they still didn’t open your email, try sending the same email with a different subject line. A/B testing email subject lines can reap great rewards in higher conversion rates.
6 — Include Images
Though not everyone will have images enabled in their emails, they’re a must to making your re-engagement emails more appealing to those who do. Gifs can make a re-engagement email really pop by adding a touch of animation, and adding a nice image for the call-to-action button will encourage people to click it.
Unless you’re a graphic designer, it may be best to use the services of an email template designer or an automatic email template builder app. This can make your re-engagement emails look really sharp.
7 — Keep It Short and Simple
On average, people spend 11 seconds reading an email, and you can bet they’ll spend a shorter time reading your re-engagement email. Keep to short sentences and get your point across immediately.
8 — Have a Reason to Re-Engage
In a future post, we’ll discuss some ways you can word your re-engagement emails for specific reasons. Consider re-engagement emails for:
- Birthdays and anniversaries (your customer’s birthday, the anniversary of their first purchase, etc.)
- Yearly wrap-ups reminding customers how much they’ve used your services over the year (with nice statistics to back it up)
- Abandoned carts
- Inactivity — ‘we miss you’ emails when the customer has gone inactive for a period of time
- Offering assistance for a product or service after a set period of time
Keeping your customers engaged makes financial sense, so consider every way you can keep a customer a customer and put it to good effect. You can follow the above or just have DataCue handle your re-engagement emails for you with our recently launched re-engagement email service. All you have to do is specify how many days to wait from the last purchase from a user before sending them a re-engagement email, and DataCue does the rest.