How to craft a win-back campaign

How to craft a win-back campaign

Your mailing list is the cornerstone on which email marketing operates. The best way to maximize your conversions and grow a reliable customer base is by maintaining quality mailing lists. The quality of your mailing list is determined by the percentage of active and inactive contacts it has. When a mailing list has a lot of inactive contacts, the quality of list is considered to be poor. This will negatively affect the performance of your campaigns. Your emails may receive spam markings or unsubscribes, and you may not be able to hit your conversion goals.  When your emails receive negative engagement, the reputation of your sender domain and IP address will be affected.
Is it the end of a mailing list if its quality is poor? Should you dump the mailing list and start building a new one from scratch? Definitely not. The best way forward is to revive the mailing list by sending a win-back campaign. These are much more cost-efficient when compared to building a new mailing list. Let's assume that you send a win-back campaign to 20,000 inactive contacts. If you're able to win back 5% of them, you'll have revived 1000 contacts. If they make a minimum purchase of $25, you'll receive $25,000 total. Whereas if you delete the mailing list and start growing a new one, you won't be able to claim $25,000 in sales right away.
So, will a generic win-back campaign be suitable for all the inactive contacts? The answer is no. Not all inactive contacts are the same. We recommend you group inactive contacts into these groups and craft dedicated campaigns for each:
  1. Contacts who've been inactive for the last three months
  2. Contacts who've been inactive for more than six months
  3. Contacts who've been inactive since the day they signed up
Let's look at a few different types of win-back campaigns you can send.

Tell your contacts that you miss them 

You can often win back contacts who recently became inactive using just a gentle nudge. In this win-back campaign, you need to let your contacts know that you miss catering to their needs. This will not only make your contacts feel valued but also help you build a loyal customer base. In the campaign, after you tell them you miss them, you can inform them about the progress your product/service has made. 

While crafting the campaign, one thing you can do is use images that depict how much you miss your contacts. When listing progress that your product/service has made, keep the content crisp. Also, you need to have CTAs that will take your contacts to your business's latest product/service or those that your contacts are interested in.
Here's an example:

Persuade your contacts by offering incentives  

The best way to win back contacts who have been inactive for more than six months is by offering incentives. As a goodwill gesture, you can perhaps offer a 30% to 50% discount on their next purchase, free shipping for the next five orders, free membership for the next three or six months, or maybe charge only 50% for upgrading to a premium plan. While offering these incentives, ensure that you roll them out for the product/service your contacts are interested in.

If you offer incentives for a product/service that your contacts are not interested in, they might not purchase them and you'll miss the chance to win them back. To understand what your contacts are really interested in, you can analyze their purchase history and the links they clicked in your emails. In the win-back campaign, you can also list the benefits of staying on your mailing list.
Here's an example:

Request feedback from your contacts  

Here are a few reasons contacts become inactive and never return:
  1. They may not have found what they're looking for
  2. They might not be happy with your product/service
  3. They might've signed up out of curiosity or just to use the free trial period of your product/service
These contacts likely won't engage with emails you send as they will have moved on to a different product/service. Though the chances of winning them back are less, you can ask for feedback to understand what went wrong and why they moved on. You can also roll out discounts for their next purchase. When contacts list their pain points, you can understand what they expected from your business. After analyzing the feedback you receive, you can and make relevant changes to your marketing strategies.
Here's an example:

Remove inactive contacts from your mailing list

Often, inactive contacts may not even respond to the feedback campaign that you send, so you can send one last campaign asking if they are interested in staying on the mailing list or if they are ready to unsubscribe. Some contacts will unsubscribe, while many may not engage with this email either. You can remove any contacts who don't respond to this sunset campaign.
Here's an example:

Best practices to craft win-back campaigns 

  1. Keep the content crisp.
  2. Don't design images with heavy graphic content. This will increase the email's size, and your email may get clipped.
  3. Use CTAs that are visible and clickable.
  4. Keep the sender name, sender address, domain name, and footer information consistent. It will help contacts recognize your business easily.
  5. If you're sending a campaign after a long time, re-introduce yourself and remind them that they had subscribed to receive emails.

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