Please don’t send “win back” email campaigns like this

If your email subscribers are engaged with your brand, and by engaged I mean opening and clicking, be wary of how you approach win-back campaigns.

Consider what exactly it is that you’re winning back;

  1. Motivating subscribers to make their next purchase
  2. Motivating subscribers to re-engage

The metrics used to decipher between the two above segments are relatively straightforward (those that haven’t opened and email in x period of time or those that haven’t purchased in x period of time).

The messaging you adopt for each segment is different. Yes, you can always use the hook of ‘% of your next purchase’. However, you’re going to alienate your engaged customers if you send the following:

…especially if it’s an email dispatched with the following (all too often used…) subject line of “We miss you”.

Make the shift from the template

These templates have become default within a range of email marketing platforms. They’re easy to implement (just choose your time frame and off you go…) And, unfortunately, that means they’re being used…

If I’m an engaged email subscriber to your brand don’t tell me that you miss me. Don’t take offence to my lack of purchase activity. If I’ve gone three months without purchasing from your brand (which is the case with the brand above) then please do not lead with ‘was it something we said?’

Why? Because I am still actively subscribed with your brand. I’m reading about the latest products, I’m learning the brand story. I’m doing what you want me to be doing. That’s a sign of loyalty. I’m there. I’m listening.

Don’t say you miss me when I’m already here

Re-reading the above header it does sound like an Aerosmith lyric, but it’s a key message.

Throwing a spanner into the brand building process by saying you ‘miss me’ is wrong. I’m there. I’m listening. I’m just not buying again (yet)

Now, in this case, if you’re wanting to entice me to make a second purchase, why not do something smarter? Nothing creepy like ‘we know you’ve been looking at these products….‘ Instead, provide me with a preview. Remind me what you’ve been up to, as a brand, since my last purchase. Use that as an incentive to introduce products linked to my previous order, alongside a coupon if you’d like. Get creative. Untemplate.

Acknowledge the subscribers that have already made a purchase, ‘Hey Tom – wow, a lot of crazy stuff has happened since you ordered your [insert product]‘. Give a little context, give a little reward, give a little appreciation. Subscribers are the lifeblood of your ecommerce business. Don’t take them for granted. And DO NOT tell me you miss me when it was only a few days ago I was browsing your site. You just miss money…

This is where the browser abandonment sequences can be so powerful. Leveraging key data points;

  • last product purchased
  • recency of purchase
  • last product viewed

to trigger a ‘win back’ flow based on customer behaviour (products viewed) rather than simply sending out a timed ‘win back’ that’s out of the blue.

I’ve seen significant revenue growth with clients that dismantle existing win-backs (such as that above) and replace them with behaviour-based triggered-emails.

  • email(s) created with segment filters based on previous purchase (either product or category)
  • email(s) triggered based upon returning customer behaviour eg. 15 minute delayed trigger where they have viewed a product but not purchased

You have the ecommerce technology at your fingertips that can allow you to send significantly better, more personalised, email messages. Sometimes we just have to remove the wrapper and get to work learning the technology we have available.

Written By:

Ian Rhodes


Founder of Ecommerce Growth Co. Helping you grow sales making more effective use of data, technology & the human touch. Get my HOW TO OPTIMISE lessons to your inbox below...