Winback Emails: Campaign Examples and Best Practices

May 13, 2022

There’s no denying that winning back the loyalty of customers is a difficult task. With the rise of eCommerce during the worldwide pandemic, competition has never been higher for online businesses, and customers are more selective than ever. This has led to many online businesses and eCommerce brands to experience cart abandonment rates as high as 70%.

Not only are customers lost forever when they abandon a purchase, but it will cost you much more to replace that customer than it would to keep re-engage them. In fact, research has shown that existing customers spend 67% more than new customers do. This makes winback campaigns an essential part of any successful customer retention strategy. 

By leveraging data in order to identify and target your inactive customers, you can effectively convert them back into loyal customers and improve your relationship with them. Whether through email or other channels like social media or direct mail, winback campaigns offer a powerful way to reconnect with your customers and win back their business.

But do winback campaigns actually work? 

Yes, but you must commit to building a customer winback strategy first. In this post we will cover everything you need to know about customer winback campaigns, including: 

  • What a winback campaign is, and why it matters
  • How to start your own winback campaign
  • Seven great examples of winback campaigns
  • Best practices for building a successful winback strategy

What Are Winback Email Campaigns?

Winback campaigns are a type of marketing campaigns aimed at re-engaging lost customers. By sending winback emails, SMS or social media messages, businesses can recover customers who have stopped using their products or services. 

These types of campaigns can be highly effective in recapturing lost business, and 45% of customers that receive a winback email will open future emails sent by you.

Signs To Know When You Need A Winback Campaign

There are several key indicators that businesses should look for when determining whether winback campaigns are right for them:

  • A decline in sales or engagement metrics: If you’re seeing a dip in sales or engagement, it’s a sign that your customers may be losing interest. By re-engaging them with winback campaigns, you can help bring them back into the fold.
  • A high churn rate: A high churn rate is another indicator that your customers may be disengaging. If you’re losing a lot of customers each month, winback campaigns can help you win them back and keep them engaged.
  • Low customer lifetime value: If your customer lifetime value is low, it’s a sign that your customers aren’t sticking around for long. By re-engaging them with winback campaigns, you can not only win back lost customers, but also increase their lifetime value and boost your bottom line.

Why Winback Email Campaigns Matter

Winback Campaign Statistics

Win-back email campaigns are an important supplementary strategy for businesses looking to maximize their sales and reach more customers. These campaigns offer a number of benefits, such as being affordable, convenient, and highly effective. They also have an average open rate of 29%, making them a valuable tool for businesses looking to improve the effectiveness of their marketing efforts. 

How To Start Your Own Winback Email Campaigns

Winback Email Campaigns

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Customers are the bread and butter of any business. Without customers, businesses would not be able to survive, let alone thrive. That’s why it’s so important to use winback campaigns to keep your customers engaged and happy.

Most businesses start by building a winback strategy focused on four main goals and actions: 

  1. Identify & Segment Lapsed Customers

The first step is to use customer data and analytics to identify which customers have stopped engaging with your brand. Once you’ve identified lapsed customers, you’ll need to segment them into groups in order to personalize your winback campaigns for each group.

  1.  Incentivizing Their Return

The next step is to create an offer that is tailored to each customer segment. This could be a discount, a free trial, or something else that would be of value to the customer.

  1.  Asking For Feedback

Asking for customer feedback is a great way to re-engage lost customers, address any grievances they may have, and build loyalty and trust among your existing customers.  With the valuable insights gained from customer feedback you can better tailor your future product development processes or marketing campaigns. 

  1. Provide A Sense Of Urgency

Limited time offers or other short-term promotions are a great way to drive urgency and intensity with your winback messaging. Be careful not to overuse this strategy, as it can appear manipulative to customers if used to frequently.

  1. Let Go And Say Goodbye

The last email in a winback strategy typically informs the customer that they will be unsubscribed. This email can be used to inform the user of their options of subscribing again to the email list. Additionally, this email can be used as a way to get feedback from customers if there wasn’t any attempt beforehand.

7+ Great Examples Of Winback Email Campaigns

A win-back campaign is a great way to bring lost customers back into the fold, and there are many examples you can pull inspiration from.

You can opt to recover customers with a special offer or discount, or you could send feedback surveys to customers who have unsubscribed in order to understand why they left. Below we’ve collected seven great examples of win-back campaigns that you can recreate.

1 – Fear of Missing Out

Winback FOMO Emails

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Fear of missing out, or FOMO, is the feeling of anxiety that comes from thinking you’re missing out on something great. FOMO can be a powerful motivator, and it can also be an effective tool for marketers. By creating a sense of urgency that taps into FOMO, you can encourage your customers to take action and purchase your products or services.

Some characteristics of FOMO-based win-back email campaigns that make them stand out from the rest include:

  • A sense of urgency, which creates a sense of immediacy and encourages recipients to take action before it’s too late.
  • Clear messaging that specifically states what you want your customers to do, such as signing up for a webinar or renewing their subscription.
  • Irresistible offers and incentives, like discounts and coupons, free shipping, or special promotions.

2 – Simple And Straight

Simple Campaign Email

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With its clear messaging and straightforward content, this type of email is a great choice for reaching out to your inactive users and getting them reengaged with your brand.

Some of the key characteristics of a simplicity-based win-back email include:

  • Concise, straightforward messaging that clearly outlines the benefits of using your product or service.
  • Clear calls to action that make it easy for users to engage with your business again.
  • Minimalist design that puts the focus on important information without overwhelming users with too many details or distractions.

3 – Graphics & Visuals

Eye Catching Winbacks

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When it comes to win-back emails, visuals and graphics are key. This type of email is the opposite of the simple and minimalist email we mentioned above. It’s all about grabbing the attention of customers with new products and visuals that stand out from the rest. Here are some key characteristics of this email:

  • High-quality visuals and colorful graphics 
  • Product images that grab attention and encourage sales
  • A casual tone that make it easy to read

If you’d like some more inspiration how to make your emails stand out, take a peek at these 3 Abandoned Cart Email Templates that Recover & Convert Customers

4 – A Comedic Message

Comedic Winback Emails

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Comedic effects can be a great way to gain the attention of your readers in an email. Whether you’re trying to build trust with your readers or just want to add some humor to your correspondence, using comedy in your emails can be a great way to engage and connect with your audience. 

Just be sure to carefully consider the context and timing of your jokes, and keep your formatting simple and easy-to-read. When done well, comedy can build trust and rapport with your reader. However, when done poorly, it can come across as insensitive or even offensive.

Here are some quick tips to help you land the joke every time:

  • Timing: The timing of the joke is important. If it’s too soon, the reader may not be ready for it. If it’s too late, the reader may have already lost interest.
  • Relevance: The joke should be relevant to the subject matter at hand. Otherwise, it will just seem random and out of place.
  • Format: Using a table or bullet list can help break up the text and make it easier to read and understand.

5 – Cart Abandonment Emails

Cart Abandonment Winback Email Campaign

Cart abandonment emails are a common form of winback campaign designed to recover lost sales and customers. Cart abandonment emails usually include reminders of abandoned products, and often use strategies like FOMO and a sense of urgency to inspire customers to return. Plus, with an abandoned cart recovery tool, like CartStack, you can build a complete campaign in minutes and start recovering up to 15% of your lost sales on autopilot.

Some of the most effective cart abandonment emails include a sense of urgency, personalized content, and a strong call-to-action.

  • Urgency: Adding a sense of urgency to your cart abandonment email can be an effective way to encourage customers to complete their purchase. You can do this by including a countdown timer, highlighting limited stock, or offering a discount that expires soon.
  • Personalization: Personalizing your cart abandonment email can make it more likely to be opened and read. You can create highly effective email subject lines and content by using the customer’s name, referencing their past purchase history, or highlighting products that are relevant to them.
  • Call-to-action: Including a clear and compelling call-to-action in your cart abandonment email is critical for getting customers to complete their purchase. You can use messages like “Finish shopping now” or “Click here to complete your purchase” to encourage customers to complete their purchase. 

Still wondering if cart abandonment emails actually work? Check out these cart abandonment hacks, facts, and examples that are proven to recover and convert customers. 

6 – Asking For Feedback

Feedback Winback Campaigns

Customer feedback is a valuable tool that can help you improve your business. Asking for feedback shows that you care about your customers and their experience with your product or service. It also helps build customer loyalty, as they feel invested in the success of your business.

There are a few things to keep in mind when crafting a feedback email:

  • Keep it short and sweet. No one wants to read a long, rambling email. Get to the point and be concise.
  • Be clear about what you want feedback on. What specific issue are you looking to address? This will help ensure that you get useful feedback that you can actually use to improve your business.
  • Offer an incentive for feedback. This could be a discount, a freebie, or enter them into a contest. Something to sweeten the pot, so to speak.
  • Say thank you. Express your gratitude for their feedback, no matter what it is. This shows that you value their input and are committed to providing the best possible experience for your customers.

7 – Offering Free Content To Use

Free Content Winback Emails

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If you’re looking for a way to stand out from the competition, offering free content is a great way to do it. Not only does it show that you’re an expert in your field, but it also provides value to your potential customers.

There are many different types of free content you can offer, such as free lessons, e-books, podcasts, and even masterclasses. By providing high-quality content, you’ll be able to attract more leads and convert them into customers.

8 – Winning Back Free Trials

Free Trial Winback Campaign

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When it comes to software or online services that require subscriptions, a win-back email campaign can be particularly effective. This type of email is designed to re-engage customers who have canceled their subscription or trial.

There are a few key elements that make this type of win-back email effective:

  • The subject line should be attention-grabbing and entice the reader to open the email.
  • The email should thank the customer for their past business and explain how much you value them.
  • It should also include a special offer or discount to encourage the customer to resubscribe.
  • Includes a call-to-action that is clear and easy to follow.

4 Best Practices To Consider For Better Success

When it comes to running a successful winback campaign, there are certain best practices that you should follow in order to get the most out of your investment. By following these tips, you can save your business time and resources by avoiding common mistakes.

Content Reigns Supreme

One of the most important things to remember for any marketing campaign is that content is key. You need to provide value in your emails in order to get customers interested again. This can be in the form of helpful information, discounts, or anything else that would be of interest to them.

At its core, a successful winback campaign involves a combination of content and messaging that resonates with your target audience and effectively engages them. This might include:

  • Subject lines that capture their attention, 
  • Personalized content that provides value and addresses their specific needs, 
  • Clear copy that emphasizes the benefits of your products or services over their features and,
  • Compelling calls to action that entice them to take action.

With these best practices in mind, you can create effective campaigns that are designed to re engage lost customers and drive more conversions for your business. 

Conduct A/B Testing To See What Works

Comparison Testing Winback Campaigns

When it comes to email marketing campaigns, A/B testing is a critical component that can help you determine the effectiveness of your messages and optimize your results.

For example, with a tool like CartStack you can set up test campaigns in just a few clicks. Through these test campaigns you can refine your winback strategy and better understand what resonates with your customers. 

Frequency, Consistency, And Scheduling

Winback Email Campaign Scheduling

In order for your email marketing to be successful, it is crucial to pay attention to three key elements: frequency, scheduling, and consistency.

Frequency refers to how often you send emails – some people may prefer getting email updates every day, while others may prefer getting them less often at longer intervals. It is important to find a balance that works for both you and your customers.

Scheduling deals with when you send out your emails. It is important to consider the time zone of your subscribers when planning your email schedule, as well as taking into account things like work schedules and free time. Using a customer recovery tool with automations, like CartStack, can make this process much simpler — and completely automate your schedule.

Lastly, consistency ties everything together. It is important to maintain a consistent voice and tone in your emails, as well as a consistent schedule. This will help keep your subscribers engaged and prevent them from becoming disengaged or forgetting about your campaign altogether.

Segment Returned Customers

It is crucial to segment your customers into different categories once a winback campaign has been successful. Why is this important? Because once a campaign has connected with a customer and brought them back, you know that style of campaign could work for similar customers in the future. 

Another important factor in re-engaging former customers is to avoid looking clingy or desperate. You should avoid sending out win-back emails immediately after a customer has left, as this can come across as intrusive and turn customers off from ever returning. Instead, focus on developing strong relationships with existing customers and maintaining those relationships over time.

Finally, Start Winning Back Your Subscribers

At the end of the day, understanding how to effectively re-engage former customers is key to building long-lasting relationships with your customer base. Winback campaigns are an important part of maintaining relationships with customers, and can ensure that your brand remains top-of-mind long after they’ve made a purchase.

Remember to approach your recovery campaigns by thoroughly identifying and segmenting your customer and developing a strategy that works for them. You want to be sure your winback emails contain interesting and valuable content in order to make the best impression.  Lastly, focus on the customer relationship and not just the sale. 

When it comes to win-back email campaigns, CartStack is a great tool to consider using. It allows you to recover carts that have been abandoned, as well as create automated emails to send to customers who haven’t interacted recently. Plus, it’s free to try for 14 days – so why not start today?