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Marketing Tango

The Rhythm of Integrated Marketing

5 Steps to Help You Reactivate Lapsed Customers

Reactive Inactive CustomersIt’s often said that acquiring a new customer costs up to seven times more than keeping an existing customer. But what about that middle ground, those lapsed customers who’ve purchased from you in the semi-recent past? The probability of selling to an existing customer, even a lapsed one, is 60% - 70%, compared to just 5% - 20% for a new prospect. Investing in customer reactivation delivers some of the best ROI of any integrated marketing activity. 

These steps build off each other, but you can also try them ‘a la carte’ to figure out what works best for your business. 

Ask Why They Stopped Buying

Take the bull by the horns and confront the elephant in the room! Animal-related metaphors aside, you can send out a simple survey to candidly ask lapsed customers why they’re no longer buying and what you can do about it. Domino’s created a whole campaign around this very idea. In their case, many of their lapsed customers didn’t really like the taste of the pizza. (Ouch!)  Hopefully, you’ll get more actionable insights about things that are easier to fix, such as pricing, shipping time, or better promotions from another seller. 

Make It Personal

One potential cause of their inactivity is that they don’t feel like your business meets their needs or has anything for them. You can address this by:

  • Ensuring all your emails are personalized and show the customer’s name or the name of their business.
  • Going a step further and including an email subject line that addresses the fact that they haven’t shopped with you in a while: subject lines that include phrases like “We Miss You” or “Come Back” can lift your open rate up to 13%.
  • Sending an email or direct mail that features products and offers that have been selected just for them. Think of Amazon recommendations – which drives an incredible 35% of their sales. 

Make Them an Offer They Can’t Refuse

Use customer purchase history to tailor a unique and valuable offer.

  • Upgrades to better products or services
  • Complementary deals: if you know they purchased a laptop from you, offer them an attractive discount on a case or computer peripherals
  • Dollars-off promotions (e.g., “Save $30 now”) work better than percentage savings (e.g., “Save 30% on your next purchase) 

Go Big with Direct Mail

You already know they have the potential to be great customers, so invest in a standout piece of direct mail. It can be as simple as an oversized postcard, but to make an impression on higher-value targets, go with a dimensional mailer or include a unique premium item. 

Send a Text Message

More than half of the US population is now 40 or under, so it’s likely that your customer base is made up of Millennials who grew up with smartphones. They’re much more likely to welcome and respond to a text. In a case study featuring an insurance agency’s campaign to keep prospects alive, the agency owner noted, “I was amazed that people ignore my call and email, but will reply to a text.” 

Finally, Whatever You Do, Do It Quickly

The longer a customer stays away, the harder it will be to win them back. Whatever tactics you decide to deploy, time is of the essence. 

Not sure of how soon you should act, or you just don’t have the resources to crank out another campaign? That’s what we’re here for. Outsource part or all of your retention or reactivation campaigns to us. We have the insights, creativity, and capability to help excite your customers, no matter where they are in the purchase journey.

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