6 mistakes stores make when emailing inactive customers

By April 14, 2016Email Marketing

Your store has a wealth of data on your shoppers. You know what they like, how often they’re buying, and when they placed their last order. If you’re not using this information to target your shoppers, than what’s the point of tracking it at all?
Cute cat in a hat
Enter the inactive customer email. Sending wake up emails to inactive customers is one of the easiest way to reduce churn, increase revenue, and profitability. These types of emails are also known as re-activation, re-engagement or win back emails.

The whole point of emailing inactive customers is to get them to visit your website and buy again. However, in order for you store to do it right, you should avoid these six mistakes.

Email Marketing - One Size Does Not Fit AllMistake #1: Treating all customers the same

Not every customer who stopped shopping at your store did it for the same reason. Some may have signed up for a newsletter, but never bought anything. Some may have purchased once and never returned. Others could have placed several orders, but stopped buying.

Sending the same message, at the same time, to all inactive customers is like sending an email blast. You already know how those customers and shoppers have interacted with your brand and you should segment them depending on this activity.

What to do: Create several win back campaigns, each with its own segmentation and timing. For example, you may want to send a win back email to customers who signed up for a newsletter, but didn’t order after 15 days. Another might be to send an email to customers who placed three orders, but haven’t in the last 60 days.

Mistake #2: Sending a single email

Customers may not necessarily do anything after they receive an email from you. How often do you go back and look at old emails? Probably never. That’s why it is important to follow up and stay persistent. Not creating a series of win back emails and follow ups, is simply leaving money on the table.

What to do: For each segment, create several emails with different subject lines, calls-to-action and timing. Follow up a second, third and even fourth time.

Mistake #3: Showing the same content to everyone

Using the same content and adding some personalization like a first name doesn’t work as well as personalized content. One size doesn’t fit all.

These win back emails should be based on the customer buying history. Remember, you are trying to win back customers who decided to stop shopping at your store.

What to do: Creating personalized content is a must in emails – assuming the customer has purchased from your store before. One of the best ways to do this is by referencing their previous orders and adding product recommendation based on their buying history.

Mistake #4: Sending emails without incentives

The cost to acquire a customer is much greater than retaining a customer. And failing to retain your customers means losing that initial investment. Sending an email asking for a customer to come back out of the goodness of their heart isn’t a strong enough call-to-action.

What to do: Throw in some free cookies. Or, add a coupon to the win back emails that you can track and monitor. Leverage coupons in those follow up emails, too. Consider increasing the size of those coupons in the second or third follow up to increase likelihood of purchase. If your store doesn’t use coupons, consider offering free expedited shipping or a sneak peak at a new line of products. Learn more about why coupons are so important here.

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Mistake #5: Not testing

By now you know that segmenting inactive customers, creating personalized emails, and incentivizing customers is a must. What you also need to know are the best times to send emails and what sorts of subject lines and calls-to-action attract your customers.

Not knowing this will result in less-than-optimized campaign. In other words, your emails will have fewer opens, fewer clicks and fewer sales.

What to do: Each email your store sends should have two versions. This is also known as an A/B split test. Only test one thing at a time, like subject line or sending time. If you are testing more than one thing at a time, you won’t know why one email is performing better than the other. When one email begins noticeably outperforming the other – whether it’s opens, clicks or purchases – make this email your default and start testing something else.

Mistake #6: Sending emails manually

Trying to follow all the recommendations above can be overwhelming. On top of that, trying to manually send inactive customer emails in batches can be even more overwhelming. Moreover, sending out an inactive customer blast email reduces the effectiveness and personalization necessary to increase sales. It also makes it even harder to know the perfect time to target the inactive customers and run A/B tests.

What to do: Create an automated inactive customer email campaign that is ongoing. It is more timely, catches customers at the perfect moment and prevents customers from slipping through the cracks.

By now you might be thinking, what kind of email marketing tool can do all this? If you read our article about Remarkety VS MailChimp, you probably know the answer (it’s Remarkety).

A tool like Remarkety can not only help you achieve email automation, it’s easy for your store to segment, personalize, add product recommendations and more. There is never enough time in the day, we get it, so even remedying a couple of these common mistakes should yield massive improvement.

And one last thing for you to think about. Stores sending inactive customer emails using Remarkety have been able to convert over 15% of those inactive customers into buyers. Not bad.

Read these other articles you might like:
Marketing Automation Email Strategies
Why most newsletters are really dumb
How the Remarkety recommendation engine works


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Photo credits: wash.the.dog, Inbound Rocket