Have Lapsed Customers? Win Them Back!

Every business loses customers, but just because customers stop purchasing from you doesn’t mean that they are gone forever. You can win them back! You just need a plan. Here are five tips for re-engaging lapsed customers.


1. Defined “lapsed” customers.

At what point do you consider a customer to have lapsed? This will vary based on your type of business. If you are a coffee shop where customers tend to come in every day or multiple times per week, you might consider them “lapsed” if they haven’t purchased after 30 days. If you are a retailer, it might be three to six months before you can be sure these customers have disengaged.


2. Write specifically for this audience.

Typically, marketers will use language like, “We miss you!” or “It’s been a while!” But be creative. Other lapsed customer messaging we like includes “You + Us. We miss that.” Or “Breaking up is hard to do.” Then there is the more direct approach: “We’re wondering. Do you still want to get offers from us?”


3. Remind them what they love about you.

Do you know what these customers bought in the past? If so, personalize the mailer with images of products you know they’ve purchased before. Remind them what they love (and miss) about shopping with you.


4. Test your offers.

You will likely use deeper discounts or more powerful offers to re-engage lapsed customers than active, happy ones—test different offers and messaging to see which ones resonate most strongly with this particular audience.


5. Use direct mail, not email.

Email marketing can be powerful, but once someone has already lapsed, they aren’t likely to open your emails anymore. Direct mail goes straight to their mailbox, with no opt-outs or spam filters. Direct mail more easily reaches lapsed customers than email.


When you are coming up with the messaging for the mail piece, remember that these are customers who already know your brand — and they’ve already shown that they like what you have to offer. So get your “win back” on. Sometimes, they just need a little nudge.

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