If you’ve been running a business for any length of time, you know the importance of customer retention. According to Hubspot, a 5% increase in customer retention can boost profits up to 95%.
It’s far cheaper and easier to keep an existing customer than it is to acquire a new one, which is why customer reactivation is so critical.
Reactivation emails can be a great way to bring customers back after they’ve been inactive for a while. Best of all, they’re easy to set up and don’t require a lot of effort on your part.
In this post, my goal is to make it extremely easy for you to implement reactivation in your business. I’ll share a 3 step email template you can use word-for-word (with 25 subject line examples) to reactivate inactive customers.
What is a Reactivation Email?
A reactivation email is a message sent to an inactive customer who has not made a purchase or engaged with your brand in some time. The goal of this email is to remind customers of your services and encourage them to return to doing business with you.
They usually include compelling content that highlights the value of your products or services and reminds customers of what they’re missing out on by not engaging with your company.
Reactivation emails can be sent after a customer hasn’t purchased anything from you in a while, hasn’t visited your website recently, or hasn’t opened one of your previous email campaigns.
Reactivation emails should be tailored to the individual customer’s needs, interests, and history with your company. They should also include incentives like discounts or free shipping that will bring customers back into the fold.
Why Send Reactivation Emails?
The easiest way to grow the business is to stop losing customers, and a reactivation email is incredibly easy to implement and has a high payoff.
Depending on the study, it’s been proven to be 5-25x cheaper to retain an existing customer than to acquire a new one. With an inactive customer, you’ve already made the pricey acquisition investment, and it’s going to be dramatically easier (and cheaper) to get them back than it is to go out and find a new customer.
Pursuing a lost customer will often be way less arduous but result in the same economic value.
How Can You Set Up Reactivation Emails?
Setting up reactivation emails can be done quickly and easily using automation tools like MailChimp or Constant Contact. These tools make it simple to set up automated messages for different situations, such as when a customer hasn’t engaged with your company in a while.
In addition to automated emails, you can also set up manual reactivation campaigns in MailChimp or Constant Contact. This allows you to craft personalized messages that are sent directly to specific customers who haven’t been active for some time.
How Do You Reactivate a Customer?
Reactivating a customer is relatively simple, and can be done in just four steps.
Step 1: Identify your inactive customers. Start by logging into your email marketing platform and finding the list of customers who haven’t opened or responded to your emails in two months – these are considered “inactive” customers.
Step 2: Craft a compelling subject line. Your email’s subject line should be catchy and attention-grabbing, but still relevant to the content of your message.
Step 3: Write an engaging email body. Make sure your email is personalized and tailored to the individual recipient. Include any relevant offers or discounts you may have available, such as a special promotion or coupon code.
Step 4: Add a call-to-action (CTA) with a limited time offer. The special limited time offer should include a reason why you are offering it (it could be as simple as you miss them).
I’d definitely recommend making the offer time bound to create a sense of urgency (i.e. they need to act within 2 weeks from receiving the communication).
The important thing here is to make the offer something compelling that will get them excited, something too good to pass up. The more irresistible it is, the higher the response rate you’ll see and more successful this campaign will be.
Reactivation Campaign: Step by Step
I’ve created a detailed strategy on how to win back customers with multiple mediums, but for the sake of this post, we’ll focus solely on email.
Before we get into specifics, let’s start with a few takeaways from a study of 300 million reactivation campaigns:
- Only one in four of your inactive users will read the first reactivation email in a campaign
- 45% will open subsequent emails you send. As a result, it’s important for these campaigns to consist of multiple emails
- The best subject line included the phrase “miss you”
For these reasons, I recommend you use a 3 email sequence to maximize your chances of success. You’ll likely lose a lot of potential ‘win-back’ opportunities if you just contact folks once.
Reactivation emails should be personal and tailored to the individual recipient whenever possible. You’ll want to think about including the customer’s name in the subject line and body of the email.
One More Bonus Step:
I highly recommend following up with a phone call as long as you have phone numbers on file (I’ve included a call script below). The call is very simple: you’d simply ask if they received your letter and see if they have any questions. It only takes 2 minutes but will really differentiate you since barely anyone else does this.
During this call if they tell us we did something wrong – the best thing we can do is to find a way to fix it immediately. Often just by doing this and showing them you care, you can win back a dissatisfied customer.
Reactivation Email Subject Lines
Here are 25 thought starters to craft engaging reactivation email subject lines.
You can either take these verbatim or use them as inspiration to create your own. The key is to write something that will spark curiosity and prompt the reader to open your email.
- Let’s Catch Up….
- Long time no see, [First Name]
- Your relationship with [Your Business] is important to us
- [First Name], it’s been a while…
- It’s Not Too Late to Take Advantage of Our Discount!
- [First Name], we miss you!
- Are you sure you want to leave this behind?
- We Want You Back!
- Just for you
- Did you see this deal?
- It’s been too long. Come back and see what we’ve been up to!
- Here’s a free gift from [Your Business]
- Come back to [Your Business] for 85% off
- Are my emails helpful, [First Name]?
- Is this goodbye?
- I’m sorry…
- You won’t believe the new updates we have for you
- Don’t forget about us
- Do you still want to hear from us?
- Don’t miss out on what’s happening at [Your Business]
- Come back and see us – we miss you!
- A special gift to welcome you back
- It’s time to reconnect!
- We Have Something Special for You…
- We Miss You Here at [Your Business]
Reactivation Emails Examples (3 Step Template)
Below is a three step email campaign you can use and adapt to your business. This example is for inactive customers who haven’t purchased in 6 months or more.
I’ve tried to make this is as simple as possible for you to use these emails – feel free to just copy and paste them into your own email platform. I’ve bolded the areas you’ll want to customize for your business.
You’ll see this is an email series using a playful tone – you might want to improvise these to better match your voice and brand.
Subject: We Miss You: Un-Happy Anniversary (Free gift waiting for you)
Dear FIRST NAME,
This is a sad day for me as the founder of YOUR BUSINESS.
And, I am kicking myself for whatever we’ve done that has caused you to take your business elsewhere. And, I hope you tell me what we did…and give us a chance to win you back as a customer.
Today is the 6 month “Un-Happy Anniversary” of the last time we served you at YOUR BUSINESS.
We miss you!
We considered filing a missing person’s report but decided instead to ask you to complete a “Why I’ve Gone Missing” report by giving us a call at YOUR NUMBER.
In addition, I’d like to offer you a special anniversary gift to come back!
INSERT SPECIAL OFFER: i.e. receive $25 off your next order online!
And, just for calling us to let us know why we haven’t heard from you…no purchase necessary at all…I’ve set aside a gift for you. This gift is (include description of gift – could be an add-on entrée to order, dessert etc.)
Now, before I let you take off and get your free gift, I’d like to tell you about a few things we have going on lately at YOUR BUSINESS:
– INSERT BENEFIT (i.e. recently upgraded our website interface, making it easier to order)
– INSERT BENEFIT (i.e. recently instituted double satisfaction guarantee)
Get your free gift by calling us at YOUR NUMBER.
Let’s hope we start seeing each other more often!
P.S. This offer will only be available for the next 2 weeks, so act now!
EMAIL #2: SEND A WEEK LATER
Subject: The worst breakup this year
Dear FIRST NAME,
Are we broken up? About 7 days ago I sent you an email noting that we haven’t seen or heard from you in 6 months.
I asked you to let me know what we did to cause the break-up. And, I asked you for another chance by INSERT OFFER (i.e. giving you a special gift and $25 off your next order)
But, I still haven’t heard from you. So, I wanted to share what a few of our customers had to say about YOUR BUSINESS:
- INSERT TESTIMONIAL
- INSERT TESTIMONIAL
- INSERT TESTIMONIAL
We’d love for you to check out our website (INSERT WEBSITE) and see what’s new.
Quick reminder that you special offer and gift expires in one week.
We’d love to hear from you!
YOUR NAME from YOUR BUSINESS
EMAIL #3: SEND 5 DAYS LATER
Subject: I surrender
Hi FIRST NAME,
Imagine me waving a big white handkerchief in the air.
Because I surrender…I’m waving the white flag.
12 days ago I sent you an email talking about your Unhappy Anniversary. Then I wrote to tell you about my distress about a possible break up between us.
Tomorrow is the deadline for the offer I mentioned in both emails: INSERT OFFER DETAILS
I really don’t want to lose you so I’m extending the offer for 7 more days, but after that I give up.
YOUR NAME from YOUR BUSINESS
P.S. Don’t risk forgetting about this great deal. Call us today at YOUR NUMBER.
Reactivation Ideas: More Scripts You Can Use
To give you some more ideas, here are a couple more scripts (email + phone call) that you can use for your reactivation efforts.
SCRIPT FOR EMAIL
Dear FIRST NAME,
I want to thank you for being a valued member of our YOUR BUSINESS family. I recently noticed that we haven’t heard from you in quite a while…
We take great pride in being an integral part of your life and given you’ve ordered from us in the past, I wanted to check in.
Perhaps we’ve done something wrong, and if we have, I’d like to know what it is. That way, maybe we can fix it for you, but certainly, I can make sure it won’t happen to anyone else…
My assistant INSERT NAME will be calling you next week to check in with you.
Also, I wanted to make you aware of [insert anything new with your business – could be around new easy to use website, new product offerings etc]
To show my appreciation, I’d like to provide you with a special VIP offer [insert details around special offer, i.e. $20 off your next order, next steps on how to redeem]
I look forward to serving you going forward.
SCRIPT FOR PHONE CALL
This can be done with live phone call or automated via ringless voicemail.
Hi FIRST NAME,
This is YOUR NAME from YOUR BUSINESS. I hope you and your family are doing great!
I recently sent you an email and just wanted to follow up. We’ve really loved having you as a part of our YOUR BUSINESS family, and I wanted to let you know about a special VIP promotion.
[REFERENCE DETAILS ON SPECIAL PROMO – i.e. $25 discount and free bonus]
AND…we’re even extending this special offer to ONE of your friends or family members if you want to invite them to come back with you!
This special offer is valid until INSERT DATE, so please give us a call back at YOUR NUMBER.
We take great pride in being an integral part of your healthy lifestyle and look forward to hearing from you soon.
Sending reactivation emails is a great way to win back customers who have gone inactive for one reason or another.
They provide an opportunity to reconnect, remind customers of the value of your products or services, and prompt them to take action.
By creating personalized emails tailored to each individual customer, you can re-engage dormant clients and boost customer loyalty over time.
I hope you found these scripts helpful, and I wish you luck in reactivating your customers!