Win back email examples

When customers have decided to part ways or haven’t shopped in a while, win them back with a killer email strategy.

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Win-back emails are used to get previous subscribers and purchasers back in the door. This strategy can be the difference between creating a loyal customer and a one-time purchaser jumping between the many options in the marketplace.

When customers have decided to part ways or haven’t shopped in a while, win them back with a killer email strategy. And for subscription businesses, win-back is even more crucial. We’ll walk through popular tactics and implementation tips to get you started and turn your churn situation into an earn situation (see what we did there?).

Win back strategic recommendations

The key to win-back emails is quality content. Focusing on key changes and product updates can go a long way with past customers—the copy doesn’t have to be extremely personalized to work effectively. Take a look at some of our suggestions to get you started:

Remind customers what they’re missing out on

Educate the customer on how the product has changed and why they should come back. For example, Death Wish Coffee Company highlights their coffee on Amazon prime as a way for customers to get free shipping instead of buying through their website. This alternative may be enough to win-back the customer and save them money, too!

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If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again

When trying to win-back customers, it may take a few tries. Create a program that includes multiple touchpoints encouraging former customers to come back and give your product another try. For example, meal delivery kit, Dinnerly, uses multiple win-back related emails in order to get customers back in the door. (Using our Email Journey feature you can see how this entire journey plays out!) For this particular example, they use a discount code to entice users to sign up again.

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Use humor to get their attention

For example, the Dollar Shave Club uses humor comparing the customer & seller relationship to that of a romantic one. Clever subject lines and content can go a long way with customers and increase open and click through rates if it fits within the brand voice.

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When all else fails, offer a gift or discount (but only as a last resort)

Look at wine company, Winc. They send a $10 off promotion 21 days after membership cancellation. While this method is a good way to get a sale, it doesn’t necessarily drive retention. Think about including this strategy as a last email in a win-back series.

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Educate customers about pausing and cancelation options

Talking about cancelation or pausing options is important, especially if you are in the subscription-based business. Netflix reassures customers about simple cancelation and offers a non-commitment plan. Then, they use the CTA “Rejoin today” to encourage the customer to restart the subscription.

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Use the subject line to mention the discount

Underwear brand  Basic Man sends a win back email with a direct subject line “We want you back! Here’s 50% off!”. This win-back strategy is great for capturing attention and getting the customer to open the email. The offer is valid only for the first month back.

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Talk about the value

What makes your product special? Make sure to communicate the great value and benefits that customers get from using your service. Here’s another awesome example from Dinnerly – they are highlighting how their service saves time and money.

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Win customers back with a seasonal campaign

We love how Blue Apron focused this win back campaign on the change of the seasons. They talked about different ingredients and dishes that were introduced recently and invited churned customers to join back and try the new fall recipes out.

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Recommend a variety of products

MistoBox reminded customers why they originally subscribed (to discover new coffee) and then they shared six different products from the catalog. This is a good strategy to win the customers back even if they didn’t like the products that were included in the first box.

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Send follow-up product recommendations

Here’s an interesting strategy from Pandora Jewelry: remind the customer to refresh their look. One month after the purchase, Pandora sends a follow-up email with relevant product recommendations and encourages the customer to upgrade their style.

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Invite the customer to visit your stores

Your win back strategy doesn’t have to focus only on driving customers back to your website. If you are offering a discount coupon, mention that it can be used online AND in-store. LOFT does the same in this example, and they even include a map to the nearest LOFT store.

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Create a sense of urgency

Baron Fig created a sense of urgency by offering a code that’s valid for one day only. Then, in the email, they explained that there are many reasons to come back because the products were recently updated.

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Win back implementation details

Win-back emails often times may not require a ton of personalization as the content is fairly universal so implementation can be pretty straightforward. Here’s some tips to get you started within your email service provider (ESP):

Test the best time to follow-up with a win-back email

This period of time varies from company to company. For example, subscription service, Dinnerly, in the above strategic recommendation waited 21 days prior to sending their first win-back related email. This time frame could look completely different for, say, a clothing retailer. Test what works best for the brand and product.

Create exit criteria for customers

If the customer returns, it looks pretty bad on the brand if emails are still begging for them to give the product another chance (brands don’t want to be too clingy). Remove anyone who is a subscriber (for subscription services) or made a purchase within the past 2 months (for retailers) from the automated flow.

Edit win-back campaigns regularly

It’s easy to setup an automated campaign and forget about the content it’s sending. Create hype around new products, improved customer service, and any other aspects of the company that may have changed since their last purchase. For example, beauty retailer Ipsy, dynamically pulls in up-to-date products into their win-back emails.