Customer Retention Emails: 7 Ideas to Reduce Customer Churn and Maintain Profits


There’s a lot more to running a successful email marketing campaign than setting up a reliable piece of software and choosing a template for your content. Between collecting subscribers with immersive landing pages and testing each aspect of your emails, there are many components to consider.

For instance, did you know that 80% of your company’s future revenue is likely to come from only 20% of your existing clients? That means that your company needs to work hard at satisfying your consumers and ensuring they get plenty of value from your content.

To keep your valuable customers in your sales cycle, and avoid unwanted churn, you’ll need to design campaigns that speak to your target audience. The goal is to transform your customer’s shopping experience and help them to see the value of your brand.

Customer retention emails are the solutions that specifically keep your customers engaged and give you the best chances of repeat purchases.

Customer Retention Emails and Churn Rates

Before we jump into the kinds of customer retention emails that will keep your clients close, let’s start with an important question: “What is a subscriber churn rate?”

Subscriber churn rate it the percentage of new subscribers that cancel their subscriptions or stop opting into your content within a specific period. As a business, you’ll be sending out emails, updating your blogs, and continuously marketing to keep your sales funnel brimming with new clients and email subscribers. However, just because someone agrees to join your community doesn’t necessarily mean they’re in it for the long-haul.

Studies suggest that the average churn rate for subscription services and emails falls between 6 and 8%. When it comes to the average churn rate, studies show that up to half an email list will abandon you within the first year.

So, what can you do about it?

Well, one of the easiest options is to develop email campaigns that maintain the interest a customer had in your brand when they signed up in the first place.

Here are just some of the ways to use customer retention emails to reduce churn.

1. Start with a Welcome Email

Welcome emails are more valuable than you’d think.

When a customer signs up to join your email list, they’re taking a risk and giving you access to their email inbox. That means that you can effectively connect with that customer wherever they are, at any time during the day. Your client will want direct evidence that they’ve made the right decision by “opting-in” to your campaign.

Welcome emails show subscribers that you’re thrilled to welcome them into your community. This increases engagement by making your customers feel more appreciated. What’s more, when used correctly, Welcome emails also give you a chance to provide information about the value you have to offer as a staple of your customer’s inbox.

For instance, check out this welcome email from Converse:

Converse welcome email

The company highlights how happy they are to connect with the customer, and showcases what that customer can expect going forward, such as “Birthday rewards” and “Exclusive” events.

You can even use the same welcome email to make sure that your customer wants to hear from you by asking them to click on a link and confirm their subscription with a double opt-in. This boosts your chances of focusing your efforts specifically on the most engaged clients.

2. Segment Your List

Welcoming your subscribers into a community is great. However, although your customers want to feel as though they’re part of an exclusive group, they also want to know that you’re still going to appeal to their individuality. That’s where email segmentation comes in.

Before you start sending the bulk of your customer retention emails, make sure that you’ve split your list into the right segments, addressing the specific needs, interests, and even geographic locations of your community. Generic emails are boring, unhelpful, and a waste of space for your customer’s inbox. With that in mind, it’s crucial to keep your content relevant with proper segmentation.

One company that gets email segmentation right is Barkbox. As soon as a consumer opts-in to the company’s email list, they’re sent a message asking for more information about the kind of dog they have so that Barkbox can customize accordingly.

Barkbox segmentation email

Taking the time to gather a bit of bonus information from your customers can ensure that you’re sending the kind of content that will keep them engaged in the long-term.

3. Focus on Relevant, Educational Content

Want your email marketing to resonate with your audience?

Then you’re going to need to make sure that you’re offering high-quality content.

Compelling and interesting content plays two crucial parts in your customer retention emails. First, it gives your audience something to look forward to when they open your emails. Secondly, if you include plenty of helpful information about the value and functionality of your products, you can use your emails to give users a deeper understanding of your brand.

The most loyal customers are often the ones that understand exactly how your product or service makes their life better. With that in mind, look for a multitude of ways to educate your audience. With the right email software, you can look into everything from videos and Gifs, to case studies and infographics.

Check out this Salesforce Developers email, for instance. It reminds customers about the value of being part of the Salesforce Development center with a quick rundown of the top benefits of the solution. What’s more, to keep the email short and sweet, the designers have placed a call-to-action button underneath a one-paragraph intro. That way, customers can choose whether they want to get more information or not.

Salesforce developer educational email

4. Make the Most of Fantastic Feedback

The easiest way to engage and convert your target audience is to get to know them.

The same rules apply to customer churn. One of the main reasons that companies lose their customers, is because they don’t know exactly what those people want or need.

Fortunately, in today’s highly connected environment, consumers are more comfortable sharing their thoughts with you than ever before. Social media and online forums have made it easy to collect insights from clients in all environments.

You can even send a request for feedback to your consumers in their email inbox. Check out this playful request from the Kate Spade company here:

Kate Spade Questions email

As you can see in the example above, the easiest way to boost your chances of great feedback is to keep your request simple. Don’t make the email overly complex – you can put a CTA button in the text to keep the questions on a separate page.

Additionally, offering an incentive, like 25% off your customer’s next purchase, will help them to see the value in handing over their details too.

Another key tip is to keep your questions simple. For instance:

  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how much do you like our emails?
  • How could we improve the content that we send?
  • What do you want most from your subscription?

5. Celebrate Your Time Together

Today’s customers are all about relationships.

People don’t want to feel like just another number in your profit margin. Your customers want to know that you respect them and their time.

A good way to show your audience that they mean something to you is to celebrate your time together. There are a lot of ways that you can do this. For instance, you might take information about your customer’s birth date when they sign up so you can send them birthday discount codes and cards.

On the other hand, some businesses track the date when their customer first signs up with them so that they can send anniversary emails.

You can also send content to your customers that highlight your brand’s anniversary achievements and thank them for their contribution to your success. Check out this example from Crocs, for instance:

Crocs anniversary email

While celebrating your own anniversaries might seem like a strange option – bear with us.

Your customers are going to be more invested in your brand if they feel like they’ve had a part to play in getting you to wherever you are today. If you can remind your customers how much you value their time and contributions, then they’ll feel much more connected to your company.

6. Offer Regular Incentives

Probably one of the easiest ways to enhance your customer retention emails is to give your audience something that they want for free.

While thanking your audience for their commitment in regular celebratory content is excellent, they’ll be far more impressed if you also thank them with bonus goodies and discounts too. Your appreciation emails can feature everything from exclusive discounts, to early-bird access to a new sale.

The idea is to make your customers see the value of being part of your subscriber list. Show them that there are benefits to sticking with your brand. Check out this example from Poppin for instance:

Poppin incentive email

The company offers $10 off a customer’s first purchase of more than $50. What’s more, there’s a list of bullet points that address the other bonuses that subscribers can “get psyched for” too. This is a great way to remind consumers why they joined an email list in the first place.

7. Try to Win Your Customers Back

Finally, if all your customer retention emails still don’t convince every customer to stick with you, then there is one last thing you can do. When your subscribers decide to stop receiving emails from you by hitting the “unsubscribe” button, send them an email letting them know how sad you are to see them go. This re-engagement email could be all it takes to convince users to stick around for a little longer.

For instance, Brooklinen gives customers a few crucial reasons to return to their site with this re-engagement message. First of all, they remind clients that there’s not a lot of time left to enjoy sale prices. Secondly, they highlight their history of customer satisfaction with social proof. Lastly, they draw attention to their USPs of high-quality products for low prices:

Brooklinen reengagement email

Ask yourself what convinced your customers to sign up for your list in the first place and attempt to regain their attention using the same benefits.

If all else fails, you could consider offering an extra discount to stick around. However, there’s no guarantee that your customer won’t use that discount then leave your subscriber list straight after.

Avoid Subscriber Churn with Customer Retention Emails

Collecting as many new subscribers as possible for your email campaigns is great. However, you need a strategy to keep those customers around too.

While it’s impossible to avoid subscriber churn altogether, marketing teams can use strategies to keep their loss of crucial customers to a minimum. Customer retention emails like the ones outlined above can help to bring once-engaged consumers back into your waiting arms.

Need some more guidance?

Check out some of our other email marketing articles for more help making the most of your digital campaigns and remember to share your thoughts in the comments below.


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