The COVID-19 pandemic has a significant impact on business and consumer behaviour, many people shifting their shopping habits from in-store to online. As a result, email marketing has become a crucial channel for brands to reach and engage with their customers. However, the pandemic also led to many customers becoming inactive or disengaged with brands. Since the world begins to reopen and recover, brands are looking for ways to re-engage their inactive customers and encourage them to return to their brands. Email marketing is a powerful tool for re-engagement, and in this article, we’ll explore some of the common mistakes and strategies that brands can use to effectively re-engage their inactive customers to improve brand loyalty and business.
- What are the common mistakes to avoid when targeting inactive customers?
- What are some of the best practices for targeting inactive customers?
- How to segment inactive subscribers for more effective targeting?
- What are the common incentive strategies used to re-engage inactive customers?
1. What are the common mistakes to avoid when targeting inactive customers
- Not segmenting your inactive subscribers: Sending the same email to all inactive subscribers is a mistake. Not all inactive subscribers are the same, and segmenting them allows you to target them more effectively. You can segment by factors such as how long they’ve been inactive, their previous purchase history, or their location.
- Not personalizing your emails: Personalization is key to engaging with customers, and it’s especially important when targeting inactive customers. Use their name in the subject line and throughout the email, and include personalized product recommendations based on their previous purchase history. You can also use personalized offers to incentivize them to make a purchase.
- Failing to provide value: Offering the same discounts or promotions to all inactive subscribers may not be effective. Make sure you’re providing value to each segment of inactive subscribers based on their interests and needs. Offer relevant product recommendations, exclusive content, or other incentives that will encourage them to engage with your brand again.
- Sending too many emails: Bombarding inactive subscribers with too many emails is a mistake. This can result in them unsubscribing or marking your emails as spam. Instead, create a re-engagement campaign with a few well-timed emails spaced out over a few weeks.
- Not analyzing your results: It’s important to track your results and analyze what’s working and what’s not. Analyze your open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates to see if your campaigns are effective. Use this data to refine and improve your campaigns over time.
By avoiding these common mistakes, you can create effective re-engagement campaigns that will help you turn inactive subscribers into active and engaged customers. More importantly, different countries apply laws to protect consumer data privacy and when customers complain about receiving unsolicited emails, companies may face penalties for non-compliance.
In the United States, for example, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is responsible for enforcing the CAN-SPAM Act, which sets rules for commercial emails and provides penalties for violations. According to the FTC’s annual reports to Congress, they have brought numerous cases against companies for violations of the CAN-SPAM Act, resulting in millions of dollars in fines and penalties.
In the European Union, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) sets rules for the collection, processing, and use of personal data, including email addresses. The GDPR also includes provisions for email marketing, requiring companies to obtain explicit consent from individuals before sending them marketing emails. Companies that violate the GDPR can face substantial fines, which can be up to 4% of their global annual revenue or €20 million, whichever is greater.
Overall, the number of companies fined for spamming email is difficult to determine as it can vary widely depending on the country, region, and specific laws and regulations in place. However, it’s important for companies to comply with relevant laws and regulations to avoid fines and penalties and to maintain the trust and loyalty of their customers.
2. What are some of the best practices for targeting inactive customers?
Email marketing is an effective way to reach out to customers and build relationships with them. However, sometimes customers become inactive and stop engaging with your emails. This can be frustrating, but it’s important to remember that re-engaging with these inactive customers can be just as valuable as acquiring new ones. Below are some best practices for targeting inactive customers with email marketing.
- Segment your inactive subscribers: Before you start sending emails to your inactive customers, it’s important to segment them into specific groups. This allows you to tailor your messaging and offers to their specific needs and interests. You may want to segment by factors such as how long they’ve been inactive, their previous purchase history, last engagement with your email or their location. This will help you send more targeted and relevant emails.
- Create a re-engagement campaign: A re-engagement campaign is a series of emails designed to win back inactive subscribers. The first email should be a friendly reminder that you’re still around and value their business. The second email can offer a special promotion or discount to encourage them to return to your website or make a purchase. The third and final email can be a last chance offer or a goodbye message if they still don’t respond. Make sure to space out your emails over a few weeks and monitor your metrics carefully.
- Update customer opt-in status: Design a campaign to update your customers’ opt-in status is a great way to maintain a healthy database for email marketing. Not only can you achieve high response rates for your email marketing, but also reduce cost of marketing by not targeting customers who had ignored your last 10 email messages. What’s more, you can build progressive profiling of your customers in your database with this strategy and that translates to better customer experience when you personalised your email communications.
- Personalize your emails: Personalization is key to engaging with customers, and it’s especially important when targeting inactive customers. Use their name in the subject line and throughout the email, and include personalized product recommendations based on their previous purchase history as well as data from regular profile update. Indeed, create personalized offers to incentivize them to make a purchase.
- Optimize for mobile: Make sure your emails are optimized for mobile devices since most people check their emails on their smartphones. Use a responsive email design that adjusts to different screen sizes, and keep your email copy short and to the point. Use clear call-to-action (CTAs) prompts that are easy to click on mobile devices.
- Test and analyze your results: It’s important to test your re-engagement campaigns and analyze your results to see what’s working and what’s not. Test different subject lines, email copy, and offers to see what resonates with your inactive subscribers. Analyze your open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates to see if your campaigns are effective.
3. How to segment your inactive subscribers for more effective targeting?
- Last purchase date: Segment subscribers based on how long it has been since they last made a purchase. For example, you can create segments for those who haven’t made a purchase in the last 30 days, 60 days, or 90 days depending on the sales cycle of your retail business.
- Email engagement: Segment subscribers based on their email engagement, such as those who haven’t opened or clicked on any of your emails in the last 30, 60, or 90 days. Another best practice is to track the number of opened email from your subscribers. Apply a set of rules such as “no open for 5 emails” and/or “no clicks after 10 emails” to monitor the threshold, that way, you know when to stop targeting the subscribers or customers.
- Product interests: Segment subscribers based on their product interests by analyzing their previous purchase history. This allows you to send them targeted emails with product recommendations related to their interests.
- Geographic location: Segment subscribers based on their geographic location to send them emails specific to their region or time zone.
- Demographics: Segment subscribers based on demographics such as age, gender, or income level to send them more personalized and relevant emails.
- Abandoned cart: Segment subscribers who have abandoned their cart without completing a purchase. You can send them an email reminder to complete the purchase with a special offer or incentive.
- Inactive on social media: Segment subscribers who are inactive on your social media channels. You can send them an email with a special offer to encourage them to follow you on social media or engage with your brand.
By segmenting your inactive subscribers effectively, you can send them more targeted and personalized emails that are more likely to engage them and encourage them to become active customers again.
4. What are the common incentive strategies used to re-engage inactive customers?
- Discount codes: Offering a discount code is a popular and effective incentive to encourage inactive subscribers to make a purchase. You can offer a percentage discount, a dollar amount off, or a free gift with purchase.
- Free shipping: Offering free shipping can be a powerful incentive, especially if your subscribers were deterred by shipping costs in the past. You can offer free shipping on their next purchase or for a limited time period.
- Exclusive content: Offering exclusive and valuable content such as a free e-book, guide, or white paper can help to re-engage your inactive subscribers. Make sure the content is relevant to their interests and provides value.
- Early access: Offering early access to new products, sales, or promotions can be a great way to make your inactive subscribers feel special and valued. This can encourage them to make a purchase and become active customers again.
- Loyalty program: Offering rewards for signing up for your loyalty program or for making a certain number of purchases can be a great way to incentivize your inactive subscribers. Make sure the rewards are attractive and provide real value to your subscribers.
- Referral program: Offering rewards for referring friends or family members to your brand can help to expand your customer base and re-engage your inactive subscribers. Make sure the rewards are attractive and incentivize your subscribers to refer others to your brand.
- Personalized recommendations: Offering personalized product recommendations based on your subscribers’ previous purchase history can help to re-engage them and encourage them to make a purchase. This shows that you understand their preferences and are invested in their experience.
- Contest or giveaway: Offering a chance to win a prize or participate in a contest or giveaway can create excitement and encourage your subscribers to engage with your brand. Make sure the prize is attractive and relevant to your subscribers’ interests.
By offering incentives that are relevant and valuable to your inactive subscribers, you can re-engage them and encourage them to become active customers again. Remember to track your results and refine your incentives over time to ensure they are effective.
In conclusion, targeting inactive customers with email marketing can be a powerful way to win back their business and build long-term relationships with them. By overcoming some of the common challenges, following email marketing best practices and incentive strategies, you can create effective re-engagement campaigns that will help you turn inactive subscribers into active and engaged customers. Ultimately, that translates to loyal customers and better business profitability.