- Who is your target? Are these people who stopped buying from you six months ago? Three months? Twelve months? If someone bought from you four years ago and you’re just now getting around to sending them an e-mail, it’s probably too late. It’s OK to run a few different variations of the campaign if you want to target several different groups from above.
- What’s your goal? I’ll take a wild stab and say your goal is to either have these consumers buy from you again, re-subscribe to your services, or otherwise reengage with your company. But, are there more specific goals than that? Maybe you want to introduce a new product line, introduce a new account manager, or upsell them on something they already own (or a service they already use)?
- Why did these consumers leave? Unlike a normal marketing campaign, you need to understand why your consumers left. Did they not like your products? Were you too expensive? Did you not have enough content in their particular field to keep them interested? Knowing the reasons they probably left will enable you to craft a message that addresses those issues specifically.
- What segmentation or persona data do you have? If you can segment these consumers either by persona or by purchase habits, you can make your reactivation campaign that much more effective. The rules here are the same as for any direct marketing: don’t just send a mass “We want you back” e-mail. Instead, use whatever knowledge you have of the consumer in order to create a more relevant message.
- Split test offers. It’s fine to offer a reactivation discount code to these consumers. They were effectively “dead” anyhow, so you aren’t really losing a full-price purchase by offering them a discount. However, showing consumers that you understand them and have new offerings that meet their needs might just be enough. So, do a split test and create discounts for some percentage of the group, but not all of them. See how they do when compared to the group with no offer.
- Focus on your content. Instead of just saying, “We want you back, here’s 15% off,” make a real effort. Show your consumers you understand them. If they used to buy video games, talk about all the new things that have happened in video games since they last checked your site out. If you run a content subscription-based site, highlight the new content you’ve added to your site since they were last members. Put the relevant content first. Consumers can get a discount anywhere if they try. It’s your content and products (if they’re relevant) that will be more interesting to them.
- Make it easy for them to come back. If it has been a while, remind them of how to re-engage and provide them with all the information they might need.
- Reach out via different channels. Are these consumers on Twitter (and do they follow you)? If so, send them a direct message, not an e-mail. E-mail marketing is great, but try other channels if you have access to them.
Finally, realize the difference between a reactivation campaign and a regular campaign. While the above steps could be the recipe for any old marketing campaign, there is one important difference. Reactivation marketing needs to understand how long people have been gone, why they possibly left, what is different in your offerings now that would make them come back, and what (if any) incentive they might need to come back.
If you can’t answer, “What is different in our offerings that would make them come back,” then skip the reactivation campaign and focus on answering that question!