How to Win Back Customers Through Email

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So you have a huge percentage of your customers who haven’t ordered from you in over a year – how do you get them back? Email is a great tool for winning back those customers who have disappeared off the radar and here is my guide to creating a win back email to get them shopping again.


It’s been a long time since these customers were engaged so you need to create impact. The best way of doing this is to create a discount exclusively for them. You might not want to discount all the time but taking the view that these customers aren’t ordering anyway it makes up for the lower margin – you won’t be giving this to everyone. To ensure you don’t allow the promotion to run out of hand give each customer a unique discount code that can only be used once.

Stand out creatively

Your winback needs to be different – don’t just stick within the boundaries of your existing newsletter template but find a winning piece of copy that will create the impact and form the foundations that the rest of the creative is based upon. Here is an example of a winning creative from Ocado that does just that:

Be Personal

Another way of standing out with this dis-engaged audience is to personalise to grab attention. The Ocado example does this as well with the subject line of ‘We’ve got a shaped hole in our lives’. It’s not just name personalisation but also any products and imagery you use should be tailored for the audience and ideally the individual.


One hit is not enough. Let’s say you get a 20% open rate on the initial send. Typically as a rule of thumb you will get half as many people again opening a reminder who did not open the initial email. Sending a reminder can increase the response by around 40-70%, with added increases where the urgency factor gives an added push to respond towards the end of the offer period.

Do it early

Don’t always think of the winback having to be sent to customers from many moons ago. Sometimes it’s worth getting in front of customers again after only a few weeks since their last purchase, especially if that was their first. The more buying experiences your customers make, the stronger the habit and the longer the relationship will be. This doesn’t mean you need to offer the same discount as those who were last seen 2 years ago as you can tailor the discount level based upon quite how much they have forgotten about you.

For more information, speak to one of our experts today and find out how Emailcenter can assist you with your email marketing.

About Rupert Adam

Marketing Manager at Emailcenter, the UK's largest independent ESP.


Planning & Strategy