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Best practices: designing emails targeted at inactive customers

By April 20, 2015September 28th, 2018Email Marketing, How To Guides

If you’re not already running an inactive customer email campaign, let’s talk because you’re missing out on some serious sales. Hear me out, “eCommerce stores using Remarkety to send inactive customer email campaigns have up to a 15% purchase rate“.

Customers sleeping on bed image Remarkety
Yes, that’s a 15% purchase rate.

These emails are designed to bring customers back to your website after a certain period of inactivity or no purchases. Without these emails, you’re missing out on a big chunk of potential sales because a 15% purchase rate is nothing to sneeze at.

And just to clarify, we define purchase rate as the number of people who placed an order after receiving an email. Considering how many inactive customers you have, that 15% purchase rate sounds pretty sweet, no?

To achieve similar results for your inactive customer email campaigns, you need the right ingredients. The most important ingredient, of course, is having customers who have previously made at least one order. This is an inactive customer follow up email, after all.

Then, you’ll want to set some segmentations and/or conditions. There are a bunch of different types of inactive customer emails.

For example, your could target customers who have made at least one order but haven’t completed a purchase in the last 180 days. Another example is targeting loyal customers who have placed five or more orders, but haven’t made a purchase in the last 90 days.

You can get even more focused, by only emailing customers who have bought certain products or types of products. Perhaps you want to let a shopper know that there’s been an update to a line of products they purchased or there are mark downs on similar products.

So how would you even do this?

You could export this information from your eCommerce store and slice up the data, or just use Remarkety to do this for you. More on that later.

Anyways, let’s get into those best practices and look at the email example below:


This email design is very similar to the templates returning a 15% conversion. Let’s break it down.

  1. The subject line (not shown) is “{first_name}, we miss you…” It’s not too sales-y, but it’s a little coy, too. Make your customers interested!
  2. The body content is short and straight to the point. However, the message contains personalization like a customer’s first name, but also mentions “…it was your 2nd order with us…”, which gives the email more of a personal tone. The idea here is to make it seem like someone took the time to personally send this email.
  3. The coupon serves as the call to action and is also a link. We’ve found coupons that are click-able increase conversion by 20%. Read more about how to maximize the effectiveness of email remarketing with coupons here.
  4. You’ll notice there are also personalized product recommendations towards the bottom of the email. These are based on customer purchase history making them more relevant and more likely to lead to sales. The images are links to product detail pages.
  5. Overall design is clean, simple and responsive. The less “design-heavy” an email is, the better it will look on all devices – phones, tablets, laptops, desktops, etc.

Leveraging these five tips will certainly help your store increase sales, but there’s one more tip you’ll want to remember and it’s a big one.

Think about how many times you see an email before you respond. Unless it’s urgent or from a friend, you probably glance at it a few times, telling yourself you’ll get to it later. And then you forget about it… until that person follows up with you. Use that same logic with your inactive customer email.

Don’t just send one email. Follow up with at least four more emails.

The magic number is FIVE. Sometimes people miss an email in their inbox. You will increase the likelihood of bringing back inactive customers by following up over the next week or so. Just don’t overdo it – this could be considered spam.

By now you’re probably thinking about all the different ways to email these inactive customers. That’s where we come in. Remarkety is an eCommerce email marketing platform. We integrate with your store to find opportunities in your data.

Here’s the best part

It only takes seconds to create an inactive customer email campaign. While any email campaign can be segmented and customized to your desires, Remarkety comes packaged with a pre-designed inactive customer campaign. All you need to do is click a button and they will start going out to your customers automatically.

So whether you’re a marketing expert or a newbie, we’ve got you covered.

If you’d like to learn more or see a demo, just send us email. We’d love to hear from you. You can also watch the video below for a step-by-step guide on how to create an inactive customer email using Remarkety.

Other articles you might like:

6 mistakes stores make when emailing inactive customers
Why most newsletters are really dumb
How to use coupons to maximize effectiveness of emails


Video tutorial on how to create an inactive customer email


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