The 7 Best Ways to Reactivate Customers

May 13, 2021 Nick Rawlings

Customer reactivation is a great way to keep building your volume of active customers. And it’s much less expensive than acquiring new customers. Win-win. 

Customers may have stopped buying but dormant buyers have already shown a clear affinity for your brand and are therefore much more likely to respond than cold prospects who’ve never engaged with you beforeAnd (bonus) you don’t have to pay anyone to get in contact – assuming you have their consentthat’s already sorted. 

Despite this, it’s very common for reactivation strategy to come as an afterthought or get tagged onto other forms of customer retention.  

In reality, reactivation should be a key customer marketing strategy and can be a real source of opportunity. Here at more2 we’ve compiled our top 7 ways to breathe life into your reactivation strategy and make sure it gets the attention it deserves! 

 1. Appoint an owner and work towards to clear targets

In order to gain focus and ownership on any activity, you need an owner who’ll be tasked with clear objectives and held accountable for results. A customer reactivation owner is vital to keep actions in focus and maintain clarity. 

Customer reactivation (in any channel) should be measured and compared to customer acquisition, i.e. via a marketing spend per customer which will be paid back within an agreed time period. The customer target is usually based on a historical conversion rate applied to the inactive population. 

It often makes sense for the customer acquisition team to manage reactivation activity. Promotional techniques are similar and having one budget owner across acquisition and reactivation ensures spend is allocated based purely based on likeforlike marketing efficiency measures. 

 2. Don’t hang about 

How should inactivity be defined? The longer you wait to reactivate a customer, the lower the response rate will be and the more expensive it becomes.  

Ask your analysis team to work out when this lapse point is and chart the likelihood of a customer segment making another purchase. If history shows that 75% of all reactivation takes place with 12 months of the last purchasedon’t wait for 24 months before sending reactivation activity. 

 3. Be relevant and personalise  

Your inactive customer isn’t a stranger to your brand. You already know how many times they’ve bought, what products they prefer and how much they like to spend on items. This means you can be much more personal and responsive to that customer when you communicate with them: 

  •  Vary investment (number of communicationsthe amount of discount etc.) based on their past valueif the customer was a VIP before they became dormant, it’s likely they’ll be a high-value customer again after reactivation. Increase spend in these former best customers to minimise their churn.
  •  Use dynamic content to feature products and categories in areas that they have spent the most on before and which have similar price points.

4. Pick your strongest messages for email 

Constantly bombarding your inactive customers with emails is inefficient and will increase the chances of your lovely creative being treated as ‘spam’.  

So only get in touch when you have real news (an exciting new product launch, the Big Sale or your best promotions, for example) but don’t be afraid to reduce contact frequency at other times. It will also mean that any email you do send is far more likely to be noticed

5. Adjust to their seasonality 

You also know when your former customers are most likely to buy from you. Are they Spring or Winter buyers? Are they Christmas giftersWhen’s the anniversary of their purchase? 

Whatever the answer, it’s likely they haven’t changed so use this timing to maximise your chances of response. 

 6. Remind them why they used to love you 

Dormant customers may have fallen out of love with your brand so it’s important to remind them why they liked you so much in the first place. Your reactivation creative needs a few must-haves: 

  •  A strong focus on your USPs. Remind them of your killer products and highlight new ranges they may not know about yet. 
  • Remind them how easy it is to order (and return). 
  • Feature testimonials from happy customers and make it clear that they’re missing out. 

 7. Ask for feedback 

Customers respond to different triggers.  

Sometimes all it takes is an email survey asking why they haven’t bought and what you could do better next time. The act of asking will make the customer stop, think, and add you back into consideration. Failing that, a short survey is a great way to find out what’s on your customers’ minds! 

So when you need more active customers, make sure you have a clear reactivation plan in place before you spend another pound acquiring a brand new customer! 


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