Natalie Ustymenko

Head of Direct Marketing

Reactivation campaigns or how to “wake up” a client

Reactivation Campaigns or How to “Wake Up” a Client

It sometimes happens that clients go into «sleep mode» and it's difficult to track the reason of it. If a client hasn’t unsubscribed yet, it means that you are still interesting for him, but he/she fails to find something in your emails, some small detail, which he\she looks for. It’s quite possible that your client is waiting for some good offer or important information or he/she is just lazy to unsubscribe :) Our task is to let your clients get second wind. To do this, it is important to configure effective reactivation campaign, which «will bring your client back to life».

15 Stages of Contact List Reactivation:

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Start of work with inactive clients

Before starting reactivation it is necessary to understand why your clients grow cool towards your emails. When you already know the reason, it will be easier to make an effective email, which will involve your client. 

1. Take into account client’s previous activit

Speaking about previous activity we mean website visits, email opening, purchases etc. Understanding of the previous activity will help to plan cooperation with subscriber and to find ways to wake him/her up. For example, if your client was using your services actively and was making purchases, you can offer him/her a discount or new goods. If your client hasn’t even confirmed subscription, it is more relevant to ask why he\shy hasn’t done it. Anyway, it is too early to offer discounts for confirmation of subscription.

2. Make tests

Create a test group and test efficiency of emails included in your email campaign. Check every detail: limited offers, personalization etc. Successful experiments will benefit much more than time and possibly money spent for it.

3. Define a clear period to press the panic button;

Other examples, experiments or information are of no use in this matter. It’s you who should decide when it is high time to send reactivation emails to your clients not involved in your email campaign anymore.

Let’s imagine that you decided to reactivate all the contacts who haven’t opened your last 7 email. Here is what you need to pay attention to:

  • Specific nature of your business. For example, life cycle of vendee and magazine subscriber will be much different.
  • Email frequency. If you send email campaign once every fortnight, reactivation campaign is admissible. But if you send three emails per week, it is too early to send reactivation campaign, as it is only two weeks that your client hasn’t opened your emails. During these two weeks your client might have had vacation or business trip. And imagine his reaction when he/she comes back home, checks mail and sees something like: «It has been long time since you checked your mail last time. Unsubscribe or read your emails as soon as you can.»

If you don’t dare to outline your area, you can take as inactive those subscribers, who ignored your emails for the period of 3-6 months.

4. Define frequency of current email campaigns

Aren’t your email campaigns too frequent? Sometimes it is just enough to decrease frequency of emails, so that your subscribers had time to read all emails from you. Besides, if you send too many emails, the chances that your client will notice your reactivation emails are too small.  

5. Check your contact list

If you updated your contact list long ago and it is already 2 years that you are offering the same product to the same list of subscribers, it is needless to say that some of your clients will start to unsubscribe and some of them will start ignoring your emails. It is highly important to update your contact list all the time, so that number of «sleepy» contacts didn’t shock you.

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«Polish» your text and email design

6. Check the topics of your current emails

Compare opening rate in the prior periods. Maybe subject line didn’t catch subscriber’s attention and subscriber saw emails from you, but just ignored them. Make email subject strong, eye-catching, inducing to open and read email. Try to use such traditional enticements as: «free», «discount», «client’s name», which may seem boring, but still effective.

If subject reformulating didn’t work, it is the right time to send reactivation campaign.  

7. Do you use pre-headers?

Even though only a small part of subscribers can be interested by preheaders, the chance to expand and complete email subject shouldn’t be neglected.

8. Recognizable sender

«From» and email address making a good impression convince the audience to open email. When in «From» field you see simply «online shop» or alike, it is quite natural that you might not pay attention to such email or will open it just to find out who is the sender.

9. Add strong CTA

Persuasive CTA directs subscribers to relevant webpages. And it is worth a lot, as no CTA button or indistinct CTA button often results in low rate of website visits.

10. Don’t start selling on the fly

It is important to adjust email in such a way that it helps to establish contact with your client and to make a loyal and satisfied client. When email subject implies care and attention and email body is aimed just to sell a product, it is far from establishing trusted and reliable relations between client and you.

11. Make website visit simple

Of course, not only sales, but also website traffic matters. However, it’s quite often that links in emails go to website main page, not to website section advertised in email.

Another point concerns emails offering a bonus. Clients expect to get a bonus straight away when they click a link. However, in practice to get the promised bonus they often need to recollect password or even complete registration form. It may be a real problem. So, instead of complicating your client’s life, you should make everything as simple as possible, so that your clients could easily go to required webpage, take an online survey etc.

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Analyze and make conclusions

12. Change email content

If a client gets one and the same email twice, he/she will feel that it is cheating. You can even create more than a dozen of emails with different special offers and configure them in such a way that emails are sent depending on the period of user’s inactivity, for example in two months, in a half a year, in a year etc. 

13. Automate these emails

From our experience manual processing of inactive users is difficult. Our email marketing system allows to configure reactivation emails once and they will be sent to specified subscribers at the right time. In such a way you will be able to invest more time to analysis of reactivation campaigns and their improvement. Another positive side is that emails will be sent gradually, so you won’t do much of harm to your IP-address or domain, as it could be if you sent reactivation campaign to thousands of inactive subscribers and got a load of errors, unsubscriptions and spam reports.

14. Treat reactivated clients with caution

Such clients are often the most loyal and payable. Make sure that these clients don’t get another reactivation campaign in the nearest future, so that they didn’t have the feeling of deja vu.

15. Check the results of campaign

Compare opening rate, unsubscriptions and spam reports. If the last two metrics are much higher, your email provokes an opposite reaction and you should go back to section 6-10 and review email in accordance with our recommendation list.

Make your reactivation campaigns regular. If you doubt in its efficiency, make a simple A/B test sending only regular emails to one part of contact list and reactivation emails to the other part of contact list. In such a way you will be able to understand your audience and their reaction better. There is no one-box solution, as each sphere of operation has its own features, but if you need our help in your specific case, you are welcome to contact us. 

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Natalie Ustymenko

Head of Direct Marketing

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