Creating Winback Campaigns | FireDrum

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Creating Win-Back Campaigns

What is the first thing you do when a subscriber on your email list becomes inactive for a few months?

Do you still send the same emails?

Do you add the inactive subscriber to a segmented list?

Do you attempt to reach out to this subscriber?

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Regardless of how you answer, all of these are good options to reach out to inactive subscribers. That's because subscribers can go dark for just about any reason.

Whether they're on vacation or tremendously busy with their job or family, you can't expect all of your subscribers to stay engaged on your email list. However, if they aren't engaged and are unresponsive, you have to do something, or you'll be wasting your time trying to communicate with them.

In this article, you will learn about the most effective method of reforming inactive subscribers, which is creating a win-back campaign. Continue reading below to learn what a win-back campaign is, why it's essential, and how you can create one for your business.

What is a Win-Back Campaign?

The term "win-back campaign" implies that you have done something to irritate your inactive subscriber and you must now "win them back." The reality of a win-back campaign is far from this notion.
A win-back campaign is a series of efforts to reform an inactive subscriber. Whether a subscriber loses interest, ignores your emails, or becomes too busy, the purpose of a win-back campaign is to reach out to an inactive subscriber to figure out the reason why they're unresponsive.
Some businesses opt to forgo sending win-back campaigns and instead trim them from their email list. This is an incorrect practice that can reduce wide-open sales opportunities.
If you have developed a win-back campaign, your goal is to convert on every possible sales opportunity. Win back campaigns allow businesses to recapture cold leads and re-open potential sales opportunities.

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Why is a Win-Back Campaign Important?

Consumers, no matter what industry you operate in, are unpredictable. Usually, customers won't find your product or service and then immediately buy that from you in the same day.
For example, have you ever stated your interest in buying a pair of shoes or a new TV only to forget about it a few days later? Unlike necessities, consumers don't have a strong sense of urgency to purchase things they want.
No matter how much you try to establish that a new product or service is what your customers "need," it's only up to them to decide that. So, if a potential customer wanders away from your email list for a few months, it could mean that they forgot about you.
Let's focus on why win-back campaigns are essential to recapture these types of cold leads.
Potential customers who don't have a vital interest in your product or services are still viable leads. They may not have more value than urgently interested leads, but the purpose of an email campaign is to capitalize on every sales opportunity.
Therefore, sending persistent emails to ask what happened during the sales process that delayed their interest can help you receive several leads you wouldn't have gotten by ignoring them.
Next, some inactive subscribers have directly lost interest in what you have to offer. Win back campaigns are essential in this sense because you get to understand why they lost interest before you remove them entirely from your list.
Finally, some inactive subscribers become lost in their daily activities and can't interact with your brand the way you want. Just like how you wouldn't ignore these types of people if they visited your office and communicated that they have an interest in you, you shouldn't ignore those that have acted like this with your emails.
Overall, win-back campaigns are significant because it's your last-ditch effort to reconnect with cold leads and refine your email list.

Are Win Back Campaigns Cost-Effective?

Marketing automation provides a wide array of insights and tools to optimize the productivity of your business.

  • Your sales team converts more leads in less time by focusing on quality leads that are driven to purchase your products or services.
  • Your marketing team can devote its time on more important tasks that can’t be automated such as campaign development, competitor analysis, and content creation.

In this guide, you’ll learn all about the critical benefits of marketing automation so you can develop your world-beater strategy.

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 Subject Line: Just Checking In On You...




Hi John,


We saw that you hadn't opened any emails we've sent you recently. We're writing to you because we'd like to know why.


Did we do something wrong?


Have you lost interest?


Has a spider crawled on your laptop and you're scared to write us back?


Whatever the case may be, please let us know. We'd love to hear from you!


P.S. And yes, you can reply to this email. A real person will care and respond.

Yours Truly,



These types of hyper-personalized emails are straightforward to create and take much less effort than many of the emails you send daily.

The best part about win back campaigns is that you can automate the first email to attempt to get a response. If you don't hear back within a reasonable time, then you can consider removing that subscriber from your email list to avoid wasting your time and money.

If you do hear back, that means there's a chance that subscriber is still interested in hearing from you. If you convert that subscriber, you'll recoup more than what you lost creating the win-back campaign in the first place.

Are you having a hard time believing this? If so, check out these statistics derived from a study by Return Path.

●    45% of recipients of win-back campaign emails read future emails from the senders.

●    Of the 45% of recipients who read future emails, only 24% had actually read the win-back emails

●    57 days was the average length of time between when recipients received a win-back email and when they read a future email from the sender.

●    Emails that simply tried to get inactive subscribers to opt-in to receive emails again received a 1.8% read rate. On the contrary, win-back emails that included the phrases “miss you” or “come back” in the subject line, saw a read rate increase of 13%.

For this reason, win-back campaigns are cost-effective for any business. With that said, it's time to show you the dos and don'ts of creating an effective win-back campaign.

Win-Back Campaign Dos

Before you learn about the strategies you should employ to make your next win-back campaign a success, you'll first need to understand what you should always do.

Here are several things you must always remember when conducting a win-back campaign.

●    Keep it Personal - Except for the first email (the one where you're directly reaching out), all of your correspondences must be personal. If someone loses interest in your brand, act like you care enough to find out why, even if it means taking time out of your day to reach out to them personally.

●    Respond as a Real Person - Your win-back campaign will fail if the recipient realizes that they don't have your full attention. Don't send an email directing them to call your customer service hotline. Have a real person from your company handle this issue.

●    Know When to Back Off - One of the most challenging things to do in email marketing is knowing when someone isn't interested in your business anymore. An inactive subscriber could be uninterested or just busy. However, if you realize that it's not realistic to convert an inactive subscriber, just back away.

These are good starting points, but they're only the basics of a win-back campaign. After you start creating a campaign, you'll find the different types of tips and tricks that work best for your business.

In the next section, you'll learn about a few email habits you need to avoid if you hope on reconverting your inactive subscribers.

Win-Back Campaign Dont's

There are more things you shouldn't do during a win-back campaign than things that you should do. Follow these pointers to avoid being rejected.

●    Avoid Robotic Responses - This means two things: don't send an automatic email once you receive a response from an inactive subscriber and don't provide a generic answer.

●    Wait too Long - You only have a matter of time to reach back out to a subscriber if their interest in your business has waned. Waiting too long could make you waste your valuable time and resources of a person who has long forgotten about you.

●    Offer Something Free - Sending discount offers and other promotions will suffice if you're trying to reconnect with inactive subscribers, but providing a free item isn't. Don't give away any product or service if a subscriber hasn't shown any interest in your emails. It's a scam and a horrible business practice.

●    Send the Same Messages - Win-back campaigns are meant to be personal, so if you're sending the same messages to all of your inactive subscribers, you're defeating the entire purpose. Once you receive a response, segment your subscribers according to their interest level. Furthermore, make your segmented list highly specific.

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Avoiding these habits will put you on the right path to constructing an effective win-back campaign. Keep reading to learn how you can put your campaign together with these proven strategies.

Win-Back Campaign Strategy #1: Segment Your Email List

Every inactive subscriber has their reason for being unresponsive. If you try the same approach for converting all of your cold leads, you're going to fall short.

It is crucial to segment your cold leads by their interest level, situation, response frequency, and any other factors you deem necessary.

This will help you craft a highly-personal message each time and increase the likelihood of an eventual conversion. To be successful at segmenting your email list, begin by creating granular or specific segments.

Ideally, you want to have numerous segments that align with each inactive subscriber. This will give you the best chance at showing you that you have their full attention and want another chance at making another impression.

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Win Back Campaign Strategy #2: Remind Them Why They Subscribed

f a person was interested enough to go through the trouble of providing you their email address and personal information, that means that their interest was sincere.
Even if your inactive subscribers have a very low-interest level in your business, you could try for one last time to remind them why they subscribed to your email list.
Whether it was to receive a free e-book or updates about the availability of a shopping cart item, you should refer back to what made them interested in the first place to reignite that passion.

Win Back Campaign Strategy #3: Send Multiple Emails

A win-back campaign is not, by any means, a last-ditch and rushed effort to build communication. It's a series of emails to restore the value of a lead.

The important aspect of a win-back campaign is to send several emails over a defined period. Sending one email to ask if an inactive subscriber wants to still see emails from you won't be useful, and sending multiple emails in a few days will also be counterproductive.

Consult with your marketing team to develop a plan for sending numerous emails at the right times. This will ultimately help you to save both time and money.

Win-Back Campaign Strategy #4: Use Data to Personalize Emails

It isn't enough to create a personalized copy for your win-back campaign. The entire email will have to be customized to have any effect. Fortunately, many third-party email platforms (like FireDrum) allow users to access critical data and metrics concerning their subscribers.
You can use data such as demographic information, purchase history, and website browsing behavior to get a read on what interests your recipient.
Then, you can combine this data with the metrics you receive from your email platform, such as indications if a person has opened your email and the bounce rate.

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Win-Back Campaign Strategy #5: Give Them Options

Give your cold leads the opportunity to customize their relationship with your brand by giving them the option to choose when they want to hear from you.
In your welcome emails, you have to make it clear that the recipient has the choice to unsubscribe. If they would prefer, lay out the options for them to change their email frequency or contact you directly.
This way, you can refine your email list, restore lost connections, and gain an explanation for why your subscriber went dark in the first place.

Win-Back Campaign Strategy #6: Provide an Opportunity for Feedback

Consumers readily share their feedback about businesses they interact with through online reviews. If you provide them with the same opportunity, they will likely take you up on your offer.
If you want to know why a subscriber hasn't purchased from you in a while, ask them for their feedback. This is also true for frozen leads who may be on their way to unsubscribe from you anyway.
That way, you can receive helpful feedback to apply to your overall marketing strategy.

Win-Back Campaign Strategy #7: Test Your Campaigns

f you're new to creating a win-back campaign, you'll need to receive actual results before you know what to do on the next one. Receiving results allow you to optimize your campaigns and see what works.
For this reason, here are a few things you should always test during your win-back campaign.
●    Email copy
●    Design elements
●    Subject line
●    Preheader
●    Sender Email Address
●    Call to Action
●    Privacy Policy
Testing these aspects of your email campaign is beneficial toward improving your engagement metrics, which include clicks, opens, and conversions.

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Win-Back Campaign Strategy #8: Know When to Give Up

This strategy is simple and can save you a lot of time, money, and effort. Many businesses may have their prerequisites to define an "impossible lead," so develop your own.

The last thing you want to do is keep an inactive subscriber who doesn't want to interact with you and then have your email flagged as spam.

Final Words

Creating a win-back campaign is essential for reconnecting with cold leads and formulating more sales opportunities. Knowing how to develop an active win back campaign can improve your conversion rate and strengthen your brand as a whole.


Ready to get started? Want to talk strategy for your win-back email campaign? Contact us now!

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