Lapsed customers are a more valuable resource than you might expect. Some organizations view them as lost because they haven’t been engaged with the core business in some time but reaching out to lapsed customers is much easier than user acquisition. Marketers are well-advised to periodically reach out to lapsed customers to reacquire them.
For most businesses, reaching out to lapsed customers is as simple as opening up a CIS or CRM database — and it’s well worth the effort. Roughly 60%-70% of previous customers are likely to make another purchase, compared to 5%-20% of first-time customers.
More from PostFunnel on lapsed customers:
5 Reasons Your Subscription Box Customers Are Churning
How to Win Back Late-Churn Customers (Part II)
Churning, Churning, Churned: 20 Ways to Win Back Customers
So how do marketers reactivate these customers? Thankfully, there are many strategies marketers can implement to re-engage across a multitude of channels. (For an overview of standard reactivation tactics, check out this list.)
This is the era of personalized marketing, no doubt about it. People want to feel like the companies they shop with know and remember them — why shouldn’t reactivation campaigns also be personal and customized?
If a customer’s history suggests they are roaming – returning to a brand intermittently during certain seasons – you may have success by targeting them as such. Figure out what trends are reflected in their shopping patterns and cater reactivation campaigns to match. A Harvard Business Review study saw one telecom increase performance of winback campaigns by tailoring reactivation messages to the reasons customers gave for leaving. Those who cited price were given discounts, while customers who cited value were given freebies.
Other professionals personalize by employing their cross-channel marketing resources. If a brand has data on a customer’s social media handle, and they aren’t engaging with email, you could send a personalized message instead. SMS messages also have a strong open rate. Meanwhile, 97% of millennials would happily engage with a loyalty program on an app.
It’s important to consider segmentation here, as marketers agree that not all lapsed customers are the same. Sorting them into segments can help identify how to approach each group. Those with a high LTV might be worth a deeper than average discount, for example. Customers with a history of five or more purchases likely already consider themselves loyal, making them worthy targets for reacquisition.
Send “Just Checking In” Communications
Periodic customer check-ins are a high-touch service, but an effective reactivation method all the same. Check-ins tend to generate goodwill that influences the experiences of some 90% of Americans who share their customer service experiences with others. What’s more, the interaction can generate useful data for improving your marketing efforts even if a purchase isn’t made.
Check-ins with businesses confirm that 68% of millennials value reliability and durability – a good reason to persist with lapsed customers. Even acknowledging past loyalty can be worthwhile, as 61% of respondents to a Ometria survey were frustrated that their loyalty to a brand wasn’t recognized.
During check-ins, always remember that lapsed customers should never be treated like your regular customers. Avoid any kind of “hard sell” and focus on rebuilding brand awareness. Remind them of good experiences with their company, share brand-related memes, or direct them to social media pages with a call-to-action.
Show off a few new products, but don’t push too hard for a purchase. Keeping a casual tone, as though sharing something a friend or acquaintance might like, goes a long way to establishing brand trust.
Emphasize Transparency And Highlight Your Improvements
Some customers will lapse because they had a bad experience with your company — but that doesn’t have to end your relationship with them. Some 90% of consumers are more willing to give a brand a second chance after a bad experience if it has a history of transparency.
Did a customer leave because your brand didn’t have a product or service that it now offers? When reaching out, let them know! They may not have lapsed because they disliked your service, but because it wasn’t meeting their needs — around 50% of customers go to competitors for this reason.
The benefits of transparency go beyond those businesses that made a mistake. Consider offering a re-engagement email that lets users self-segment into specific marketing efforts, or adjust the frequency of brand contact. Giving users control of communications can actually help them become more engaged over the long term. Just remember: It can take months for them to click on that re-engagement email.
In many cases, a lapsed customer isn’t as lost as you think — they just need a better reason to engage. Perhaps a loyalty program or a mobile app can give more value to their purchases. Brand transparency, low-commitment interactions, or a friendly personalized email can also help. Making an effort with customers can truly influence their decision to return to you in the future.
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