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How long should you try and win your past customers back for before it’s time to cut your losses and say goodbye?

There isn’t a one size fits all answer for this question (like everything with email marketing), as this will depend on the industry you are in and the buying cycle of your customers. It’s important to firstly define what you as a company class as inactive, carefully review the buying processes of your customers and put yourselves in their shoes in order to re-engage the recipient before it’s too late, and not to annoy them by continuing to send when they have emotionally unsubscribed.

I have received a series of campaigns from a gym I used to attend, trying to win me back. Within the emails they are offering momentary offers to encourage me to re-join. This is a good strategy, however 18 months later and 35 emails received, I still haven’t re-joined. It’s time they cut their losses, or at least cut down the number of re-activation campaigns being sent.

After the initial series of reactivation campaigns, rather than continuing to send these it would be much better to send a re-activation campaign at a time I am most likely going to be considering joining a gym. For example one year after I initially left (if I joined another gym its likely I am in a one year contract) so even if an amazing offer was sent, I wouldn’t be able to take them up on that offer because I would be tied to the current gym. On the chance that I didn’t join another gym, send another re-engagement email in the New Year when everyone is thinking about joining a gym after the Christmas festivities.

In the initial series of reactivation campaigns, find out why they are leaving / haven’t made a purchase / interacted with your emails, allowing you to tailor your re-engagement programme based on this information.

Don’t forget to amend the content in each of your reactivation emails, re-sending the same content to someone who hasn’t previously opened your email is fine as they wouldn’t have seen it before, but sending the same content to a recipient who has previously opened your email, is unlikely to re-engage them, if it didn’t initially.