Mastering Win-Back Emails: Reel Customers Back In

Mastering Win-Back Emails: Reel Customers Back In

Discover the untapped potential of win-back emails, revitalizing customer relationships, boosting retention and growth by effectively re-engaging dormant customers.

Have you ever wondered how to reclaim lost customers with a single email? What if I told you that an effective win-back email could be your secret weapon in customer retention?

Imagine re-engaging dormant customers, boosting your sales, and strengthening your brand loyalty, all with the power of the right words. In the following sections, we'll delve into the art of crafting an email that speaks directly to your lapsed customers and convinces them to give you a second chance.

Understanding why customers fade away

Before crafting an effective win-back email, it's crucial to understand why customers disappear in the first place.

Customers might fade away for various reasons:

  • Maybe they've found a better deal elsewhere
  • They may no longer need your product or service
  • Or they may simply forget about your brand among the sea of competitors
  • They're indecisive and need more convincing and information to take action and buy from you
  • Finally, they have experienced poor service or gotten a product that is not a good fit.

Understanding which of these reasons led to customers going away will allow you to tailor your win-back email accordingly. You'll better address their specific pain points and offer solutions that make your business irresistible to return to.

Screenshot of realself displaying example of win-back email.


The following steps will look into how to learn why customers are withdrawing. We'll also discuss how to create a win-back email that boosts engagement

7 ways to win back customers with the right email

Let's get into the steps you should carry out to win back customers who haven't shown up in a while. We'll start with analysis and data collection, then look at the win-back and approach to engaging customers. 

Analyze Customer Behavior with Analytics

When you want to understand why your customers stop using your products or services, you can use tools like Google Analytics, your choice of CRM, or some other relevant tool. These tools can help identify where customers lose interest and what problems they face.

For example, you might notice that many customers drop off at the checkout page, meaning there might be an issue with the payment process. So, it's worth asking yourself, 'Did customers leave because of unexpected costs?' or 'Does the payment process look unsafe?'

Or, you may find that customers stay on your site for a long time but never convert. This could indicate an issue with the product page design or pricing structure. You want to test and learn if your audience needs more or, perhaps, less information to take action. 

By understanding customer behavior, you can tailor your win-back email accordingly and offer solutions to their problems - discounts, free shipping, or other incentives - that will bring them back to your business. In some areas, you have to venture a guess.

Sometimes users forget what's in their carts and just need a reminder to return and finish shopping. Whatever you do, try to gather as much relevant data as possible and manage with proxies for the rest. With good data, you can make better content and marketing decisions to win back customers.

Gather Feedback

Customer feedback is another reliable method to understand why customers left. Consider sending feedback surveys to customers who have unsubscribed or stopped purchasing from you.

Ask them about their experience, what they liked and disliked, and what could have been done differently in the past. You can also venture a simple email with a subject line saying, 'We've noticed you haven't opened your emails from us in a while. Is everything okay?'

This simple and human approach alone can connect with customers at a human level. And, of course, a full-fledged survey will give you even more insights to work with.

Segment Your Audience

Now that you've gathered the necessary data and feedback, it's time to segment your win-back audience. You can create targeted emails for each group by segmenting customers into groups. This way, you can address their particular issues and provide specific content.

For example, if some customers leave because of a lacking product, you can send them special offers and discounts on that product. Segmenting your audience also allows you to track the success rate of your win-back campaigns.

By grouping your audience according to their behavior and characteristics, you can identify what works best for each group and use it as a basis for future emails. And while segmenting may be an extra step that's also hard to do, the effort will be well worth it since greater personalization leads to better results.

You'll have higher open rates, more clicks, and more sales. If segmenting is not feasible, then stick to the basics. Customize emails to match your brand's voice, including customer names and personalization elements that provide a one-on-one experience.

Crafting Your Win-Back Email

Now it's time to craft the email itself. Your win-back email aims to remind customers why they used to love you. Whether it's a friendly reminder, an exclusive offer, or sharing exciting news, the message should be relevant and timely.

Here's everything that you should include in your win-back email.

  • Start with a compelling subject line: It is the first thing your customers see, so it needs to be engaging. Aim to pique their curiosity or offer something valuable. For example, you could use a subject line like "We've missed you – here's 20% off your next purchase" or "Hey, remember us? Let's get reacquainted".
  • Personalize the greeting: Use the customer's first name if possible. Personalization can make the email feel more like a one-on-one conversation, making it more engaging. Example: "Hello, [Customer's First Name]."
  • Remind them of your value: Use the body of the email to remind customers why they chose your business in the first place. This could be your products or services' unique features, competitive pricing, or exceptional customer service. For instance, "Remember our top-quality home decor items that gave your living room an amazing makeover?".
  • Offer a clear call to action (CTA): Your win-back email should include a clear, concise call to action that prompts the customer to take the next step. This could be a button or a hyperlink with text such as "Shop Now" or "Revisit Your Cart." You could also offer options like "Update Your Preferences" for customers wanting more targeted communications.
  • Incentivize the return: Offering a special discount or exclusive offer can be a compelling incentive. Examples include "Get 25% off on your next order" or "Enjoy free shipping when you shop with us again."
  • Keep your tone warm and friendly: You're trying to re-establish a relationship with your customer, so a friendly, conversational tone is critical. 
  • Provide an easy way to opt out: This is a good practice from a customer relationship perspective and a legal requirement in many jurisdictions. Your customer should be able to unsubscribe from your emails if they wish to easily.

And don't forget to add images or gifs if they're relevant. A cute gif of a kitten waving hello would work great for a fun and informal situation. Or, if you're writing to B2B subscribers, you could opt for an infographic.

With these tips, you'll craft a gorgeous and engaging email to engage your customers.

Leverage Psychological Triggers

While crafting your email and the win-back email campaign, think about using these tried-and-tested psychological triggers to set the tone for your outreach:

  • Social Proof and Trust-Building: Share testimonials, reviews, or achievements to instill customer trust and credibility. For example, include a quote from a satisfied customer or mention the number of people benefiting from your product or service. People need to buy from you again by showing a real customer success story. 
  • Urgency: Prompt customers to take immediate action by using limited-time offers, countdown clocks, or mentioning that a product is selling out fast. For instance, use phrases like "Hurry, this exclusive offer ends in 3 days!" or "Stocks are running out fast. Grab yours before it's too late!"
  • Fear of Missing Out (FOMO): Tap into the fear of missing out by highlighting a sale, event, or exclusive offer that will soon be unavailable. Use phrases like "Don't miss out on this exclusive offer" or "Be part of our VIP list and get access to early bird discounts."

By incorporating these tips into your win-back email strategy, you can effectively engage inactive customers, reignite their interest, and prompt them to act.

Build Personalized Email Journeys

Personalized email journeys or behavior-based drip email sequences are automated emails that launch on specific triggers. In this case, I recommend setting up triggers based on a customer's specific action, behavior, or inaction.

For example, some actions could be:

  • The customer opens the email
  • The customer ignores the email
  • They click on specific links
  • They follow a link and then click a button on the landing page
  • They exit the landing page after 'x' number of minutes

And so on.

Creating a personalized drip sequence of emails increases the likelihood of engagement and conversions. Let's look at a few ideas below. For instance, if a customer adds an item to their cart but doesn't complete the purchase, you can trigger an automated email reminding them of their abandoned cart

This email could include a gentle nudge like," We noticed you left something in your cart. Complete your purchase now and enjoy free shipping on us."

Another example is if a customer hasn't interacted with your brand in a while. In this case, you could trigger an email saying, "Hello [Customer's Name], We've missed you! Here's an exclusive 30% off coupon for your next purchase."

Screenshot of plottr email sequence.


This personalized buyer journey email sequence aims to make your customers feel your brand understands and cares about their needs and preferences. Personalizing your emails based on their behavior makes you more likely to draw them in and encourage them to take the desired action.

Use Push notifications

Push notifications are an effective and immediate way to reach your customers. Push notifications instantly pop up on customers' devices, ensuring your message doesn't go unnoticed, even if customers don't frequently check emails.

When used effectively, these notifications can complement your email campaigns, creating a multi-channel approach that increases the chances of re-engaging inactive customers.

They allow you to inform your customers about new products or special offers or remind them about items left in their carts, providing a sense of urgency and prompting immediate action.

For instance, a push notification saying, "Hey [Customer's Name], your favorite item is back in stock!" can motivate customers to revisit your site and complete their purchase.

Also, push notifications can be personalized based on user behavior and preferences, making them more relevant and enticing. However, finding the right balance with push notifications is essential, as too many could lead to customers opting out.

So, by incorporating push notifications into your strategy, you can create a faster, more direct line of communication with your customers, supporting your win-back email efforts and increasing overall customer engagement.


Now that we've walked you through crafting an effective win-back email strategy, it's your turn to put these tactics into practice. Remember, re-engaging inactive customers requires a thoughtful, personalized approach, and we've shared several valuable ideas you can look into. 

Use psychological triggers, create a personalized email journey, and complement it with push notifications. The key is to be patient, persistent, and experimental.

You can't expect immediate results, but with consistent effort and honest interaction, you'll see a positive change in customer engagement rates. 

After all, getting back a customer is much more cost-effective than acquiring a new one. So, give re-engagement with a win-back email your best shot. The effort will be worth it. 

Syed Balkhi is the founder of WPBeginner, the largest free WordPress resource site. With over 10 years of experience, he’s the leading WordPress expert in the industry. You can learn more about Syed and his portfolio of companies by following him on his social media networks.

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