Smart Email Feature15

5 Ways to Re-Engage Inactive Customers With Winback Email Campaigns


Winback email campaigns are a powerful way to re-engage with your inactive customer base. They allow you to communicate with customers who haven’t interacted with your company in a while and try to bring them back into the fold.

This article will explore what an email winback campaign is, why it’s necessary for companies of all sizes, and how you can make one work for you!

What is a Winback Email Campaign?

An email winback campaign is an email that you send to customers who haven’t engaged with your company in a while, but could potentially still be interested.

This means it’s different from traditional “email blasts” or other one-size-fits all emails because it targets people who are less active on your email list and may no longer qualify as prospects.

You might even have considered removing these people from your list all together due to their inactivity.

You can think of this like when the cable company sends you a free digital converter box (or at least I hope they stopped doing that), which might get removed if there isn’t interest anymore!

Why Would Your Company Need a Winback Campaign?

Every business has their own unique reasons for sending out an email winback campaign. However, some common examples include:

  • Reactivating inactive customers
  • Expanding your reach and customer base
  • Preventing churn by encouraging customers to buy more from you!

What’s the Best Time Frame for a Winback Campaign?

That depends on how long it takes your company to re-engage with those who haven’t been as active.

Depending on what type of business you have, this could be anywhere from 30 days to 12 months or even longer.

Activecampaign Winback Campaing Timeframe

Activecampaign surveyed 29 experts and the general consensus was 31-60 days.

This is really going to depend on the industry or niche that your audience is in however.

For example: if one of your clients is a real estate agent, they may only need a few weeks before engaging since people move relatively frequently in their industry.

On the other hand, an accountant might need several years between interactions because not much is going to change within that time frame! In short though…it will depend on how quickly your company is able to re-engage with those who haven’t been as active.

Now that you know what an email winback campaign is and why you might need one, here are some tips for making them a success.

5 Tips For Making Your Winback Campaigns a Success

It’s all very well just blasting your inactive subscribers with a “hey come back” email but don’t forget, your competitors are likely to be doing the exact same thing.

To try and give yourself some sort of edge when launching your winback emails, consider the following tips:

1. Make an Impression Within a Few Seconds

As soon as someone opens your email, you have a short window to capture their attention.

This can be done by using an eye-catching image or gif that conveys the message of your winback campaign right away! This will encourage them to read on and see what it is about.

Lowes Winback Campaign Examples

ActiveCampaign reviewed some great winback campaign examples, like this one from home improvement retailer Lowes. 

You can take this strategy one step further by A/B testing different images with each recipient group until you find one they respond well to.

2. Make it Personal

Use “you” language throughout the email instead of industry jargon or company speak and use personalization where possible.

You want readers who haven’t interacted in a while to feel like they are still clients, even if only briefly .

Using simple, clear language helps convey empathy and makes people much more likely to click through.

3. Be Clear About Why You’re Emailing Them

Instead of just asking “do you still want to receive these emails?” try something like, “we really miss your business and would love for you to come back!”

Your readers are much more likely to click through if they know why you are reaching out. This will help them identify with the problem that caused their inactivity so it is easier for them empathize with your brand too.

4. Use Urgency But Be Reasonable

It’s important to use urgency within an email winback campaign but also be reasonable about what kind of timeframe this refers to.

Don’t promise a discount or sale that lasts forever! It can end up working against both parties when there simply isn’t enough time.

Make sure to use “limited time” language that clearly states the timeframe for this urgency.

5. Give Your Readers a Reason To Respond

Your readers are much more likely to engage with you if they know exactly what benefits they will get by doing so.

For example: If your offer is 50% off on all products, tell them in advance how long it lasts and be very clear about when their discount expires! This way there’s no confusion and leads can feel confident making purchases from you at full price too.

The Final Word on Winback Email Campaigns

We don’t mind getting unsubscribes or booting inactive contacts from our lists, it keeps our email deliverability looking healthy, but it’s a great bonus to winback some unengaged customers!

Customers who have been inactive for months or even years might not remember why they originally signed up which means you need to make your campaign as compelling as possible. By following these tips, your company should see an increase in revenue and a boost in your email engagement rates.


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