How to Craft the Most Effective “Come Back to Us” Emails

The marketing adage is true; it is that it is much cheaper to keep or win back customers than it is to get new customers. There are two reasons for this:

  • Businesses already have data on existing customers. Obtaining new customers requires going through time consuming data gathering activities.
  • Relationships with older customers are already established and do not require establishing trust with the company, brand or product. Convincing these customers will take less work than with brand new customers.

Of course, there are four steps involved in using email marketing techniques to retain customers or entice customers to return:

Step 1: When is Retention a Priority?

It may depend on what type of industry a business is involved with. For businesses selling seasonal items, retention may not matter until just before the season is at hand. Businesses that operate year-round may need retention to be steady. The best comeback emails are timed appropriately to coincide with business needs. Having no contact with a customer for an extended period of time may mean that trouble is brewing and the customer may have eloped.

Unfortunately, there is no template solution to inspire customers to return to a business. There are no formulas either. The length of email, attractive subject lines, using HTML or plain text templates, may not matter in the end. Making a connection with the customer is the most important focus.

Figuring out how to approach customers in the best manner possible may involve digging into customer data. Of course, hiring freelance writers from for content marketing may make the process a little easier. Businesses can hire writers who are also industry professionals, with insight into customer relationship management.

Step 2: Identify the Breaking Point.

It’s obvious that winning back customers is more efficient than obtaining new customers, but the best move is to avoid losing customers in the first place. Customer data can help determine when the breaking point occurs. Perusing customer data can lead to statistical conclusions such as:

  • If customers don’t make a purchase within 5 months, they usually never purchase again.
  • If customers leave items in a cart for over 24 hours, they usually don’t complete the purchase.

This data makes it much easier to focus on the most important issues. A business considering these factors would need to contact customers before the 5 month mark to make a purchase, and customers with items in their carts for more than 12 hours should be contacted immediately.

Step 3: Cut Any Losses.

Every retention-focused email campaign poses risks. Customers may complain and unsubscribe. It happens. However, risks can be minimized if email databases are cleaned routinely. Customers who have left negative reviews or who have requested to unsubscribe should be purged from the database. Winning back customers is important, but it isn’t worth risking a business reputation. Spam complaints can lead to being blacklisted, and being blacklisted can kill a business.

Step 4: Make an Offer They Can’t Refuse.

All the data in the world won’t win back a customer if the offer isn’t interesting. Give customers attractive offers that appeal to them. Customized offers work even better. Continue to collect data throughout the relationship. It may come in handy in determining future offers designed to win back certain customers.

Developing effective retention-focused email marketing strategies are critical to a company’s success. However, there are no fixed best offers, and there are no best times. All companies must collect customer data and consider customer behaviors and preferences. Of course, all the hard work is worth it when it pays off with a steady stream of revenue.