5 Tips for Winning Back Lost Customers
Despite your best efforts, a certain percentage of your customers will lapse. If you are on the ball, you can win them back.
Just like any marketing campaign, winning back lapsed customers requires a strategy. You will use different language, calls to action, and incentives than you will for prospecting or customer retention. The best approach is to design a campaign specifically for this audience.
Here are 5 tips for re-engaging lapsed customers:
1. Have a plan.
At what point do you consider a customer to be lapsed? This will vary based on your type of business. If you are a coffee shop where customers tend to come in every day or multiple times per week, you might consider them “lapsed” if they haven’t made a purchase after 30 days. If you are a retailer, however, it might be three to six months before you can be sure they have disengaged.
2. Design specifically for this audience.
Typically, marketers will use language like, “We miss you!” or “It’s been a while!” But be creative. Other interesting lapsed customer messaging we’ve seen includes, “You + Us. We miss that.” Or, “Breaking up is hard to do.” Then there is the more direct approach: “We’re wondering. Do you still want to get offers from us?”
3. Remind them what they love.
Do you know what these customers have shopped for in the past? If so, personalize the mailer with images of products you know they’ve purchased before. Remind them what they love (and miss) about shopping with you.
4. Test your offers.
You will likely use deeper discounts or more powerful offers to re-engage lapsed customers than you will active, happy ones. Test different offers and messaging to see which ones resonate most strongly with your audience.
5. Use direct mail, not email.
Email marketing can be powerful, but once someone has already lapsed, they aren’t likely to open your emails anymore. Direct mail goes straight to their mailbox, where 77% of U.S. consumers sort their mail immediately. Direct mail tends to be more effective in reaching lapsed customers than email.
When you are coming up with the messaging for the mail piece, remember that these are customers who already know your brand. They have shopped with you before. They already know and like you. So get your “win back” on. Sometimes, they just need a little nudge.