Top 12 ways to re-engage customers

By Beka Ventham | Engagement

Nov 02

What does it mean to re-engage? 

We work so hard to build a list of contacts who are actively engaged in what we’re sharing. The more engaged our list is, the more actively they consume our content and the more likely they are to convert. This is why we should re-engage our list as much as possible!

Just like our everyday relationships, we need to work on making sure we maintain our list hygiene. This includes re engaging with those contacts who may have fallen off the wagon.

So, where do we start?

We’re going to look at:

  • What is un-engagement

  • How to segment unengaged contacts

  • Why re-engagement is so important

  • Top ways to re-engage your list

What is un-engagement?

Email engagement is a measurable metric of how people interact with your emails. 

Un-engagement is when your list isn't opening your emails. If your carefully collected and nurtured list isn’t interested in what you have to say then you have a disjoin in your relationship.

Sometimes your contacts will get busy and be distracted and sometimes they just swan past your emails without so much as a second look.

The average business loses 20% to 40% of customers every year - that’s a lot of potential conversions lapsing.

Let’s not forget that in 2020, Stastica estimated that 4.3 billion people will use email. HALF THE WORLD’S POPULATION at your fingertips!

The potential to build relationships with email engagement is massive and maintaining that with your list is critical.

Un-engagement is when you lose that active conversation with your contacts.

How to segment un-engaged contacts

The secret to re-engaging your list is in understanding who they are and how long they haven’t engaged for. 

Segmented emails generate 58% of all revenue. So segment the hell out of your list!

We use three initial segmentations:

  • Those who haven’t engaged for over a month

  • Contacts who have skipped on your emails for over three months

  • Potential customers who haven’t opened your emails for over 6 months

We segment because it helps us identify how to best approach our list. 

Your strategy would change depending on how long they haven’t engaged. For example, someone who has lapsed for over a month would be easier to pull back in than someone who has been awol for over 6 months. 

Regular list hygiene to ensure your unengaged lists are up to date will help you keep track of your re-engagement attempts. But why is re-engagement so important?

Why is re-engagement so important?

Businesses invest in email marketing because of how successful it is for nurture, sales and follow up. 

45% of recipients who receive re-engagement emails read them. This alone is enough to justify the efforts put into re-engagement. 

Reminding inactive contacts why they signed up to hear from you in the first place is much more effective than igniting entirely new interest. 

Long term success is much more viable if you focus your efforts on re-engaging the unengaged as opposed to just culling your list or ignoring them.

Marketing Sherpa reports that marketers lose 25% of their email list each year! Retention is key.

But why else should we work on our re-engagement?

  • They’re already on your list - invest in them and get them back on track

  • Enhance engagement overall

  • Reduce churn rate

  • Improve deliverability and place better in inboxes

  • Stop the block! If your engagement drops significantly, inboxes will rank you badly

  • Increase conversion rate

Email marketing delivers a strong return on investment when done properly. Don’t let inactive contacts undermine your awesome content, strategic campaigns and relationship building techniques.

How do you go about re-engaging customers?

Top ways to re-engage customers

Re-engagement should be a big part of your active strategy. If it isn’t you could be missing out on loads of opportunities for revenue. 

Let’s dive right in!

1. Re-engagement campaign

A re-engagement campaign is a wonderful way to strategically re-engage customers. 

Here is a step by step guide to creating a successful re-engagement campaign in Infusionsoft. This best practice can be used across all marketing automation platforms. 

Re-engagement campaigns are designed to get your lapsed contacts interested again by piquing their interest and pulling them back in with your valuable content.

2. Find out what the inactive are after (and give it to them)

Your list has stopped engaging for a reason. Find out what it is.

You can do this with:

  • Following and engaging with feedback on social media

  • Following up with customer feedback (positive and negative)

  • Asking questions

  • Creating customer surveys

3. Segment the unengaged

We know segmentation provides a great opportunity to be even more relevant for our customers so segment the unengaged too.

Have they bought but then not engaged with content since?

Are they on the list, never purchased and stopped engaging 3 months ago?

Make your copy relevant for them. Try new approaches, test your subject lines, get it right.

4. Start a dialogue

Don’t go in with the hard sell right from the get go. Focus on starting a conversation. Encourage rapport and work on rebuilding the relationship.

Re-engagement is about engaging rather than sales in the short term. The long term benefits are increased conversions.

5. Kickstart re-engagement with a discount

People LOVE an incentive.

Pull them back in with a discount or an offer they can’t refuse.

20% off your next order.

Two for one when you next pop in for X.

Show them you value their custom by putting some of your own skin in the game.

6. Personalise the hell out of re-engagement

Make your contacts feel valid and special.

Refer to them by name. 

Focus on pains relevant specifically to them.

Offer them the solutions they need.

Be the person they can start a conversation with, not the person talking at them.

7. Snazzy subject lines

Make your emails impossible to ignore with subject lines that make all the right noises.

You want your list to be intrigued, excited and interested in opening your emails. Subject lines have this power.

Do your research, track open rates, rewrite, retry - keep going!

Keep in mind that 33% of email recipients open emails because of catchy subject lines (Optin monster).

8. Celebrate loyalty

This is a fantastic carrot to lure people back into your fold. 

If you’re offering repeat customers a shiny incentive for coming back again and again - your list will sit up and take notice.

Celebrate client wins, offer that 6th coffee free, give your customers a bonus for engaging regularly. 

Whatever you do and however you choose to do it, highlighting your appreciation for your return customers gets inactive contacts thinking about what they’re missing out on.

9. Give them a soft opt out option

They might LOVE your blog emails but find your newsletter irritating.

You should firstly find out what they’d like in your newsletter and improve when you can but if they’re not interested then let them opt out of the newsletter without completely disengaging from the rest of your emails.

You can learn how to create a soft opt out here.

10. Use social proof

Encourage healthy re-engagement with social proof. 

Once you know what your unengaged contacts are after you can be clever with your social proof.

If a customer isn’t satisfied with how you responded to a complaint for example you can use this to improve your procedure and then use this feedback to create transparent social proof plus follow up.

Showing your list you genuinely care for their opinion will hugely benefit your relationship with them.

11. Optimise customer service for re-engagement

Don’t just talk about doing better - do better.

Engage with feedback, check in with contacts and generate fresh chances to exceed expectations.

If people know they will be taken care of they are more likely to engage with your business.

12. Try new platforms

Maybe your emails aren’t grabbing the unengaged, have you reconsidered your tactics?

There are so many alternatives that you could use to persuade them to engage with you again in a balanced and healthy way.

Remember: retention is key so get creative!

In conclusion, it’s important to strategise for re-engagement. It makes good business sense and it reinforces how much you truly value your customers.

Looking after your current contacts rather than constantly chasing down new leads establishes your business as committed.

Plus you get better deliverability, more engagement and higher conversions out of it. Win win win.

If you’ve neglected your inactive contacts, it isn’t too late to create a re-engagement plan that focuses on reigniting that engagement.

Soon half the global population will be using email - can you afford to miss out with all those possibilities?

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