There are 96 days until Christmas, 65 days until Black Friday, and 86 days until Cyber Monday. When you think about it, it’s really not that far away, so planning your marketing strategy sooner rather than later is essential. Something important to think about within your strategy is how you are talking to your unengaged customers. The holidays are a great time to engage those who may not have purchased in months or even years. First, identify who those customers are and then speak to them where they are listening. Once you begin communicating with them again, you may win them back as a lifelong customer!

Identify Your Lapsed Audience

To re-engage an audience, you must identify who these individuals are and the first step to finding them is looking within your email program. The first group to segment are those that are no longer engaged with your email program. Create a list of anyone that has not opened or clicked an email within a certain time frame that makes sense for you, maybe it is 6 months or possibly a year. This will be your list used for re-engagement.

The next group of individuals you should identify are those that you cannot communicate with via email. Finding these individuals allows you to talk to them elsewhere, on marketing channels such as direct mail, social, or search. Creating this group is fairly simple. The first people to add would be anyone that has unsubscribed from your email program. While you cannot talk to them via email, that doesn’t mean you can’t talk to them somewhere else. The next group to add to this would be those that you might not have an email address for. Maybe they made a purchase but you didn’t capture their email address. A physical address or phone number still allows you to speak to them in a variety of ways.

Identifying these two audiences alone allows you the ability to customize your marketing channels to what fits best for them.

Speak To Them Where They Are Listening

Ok, so now you have your lists, but how should you talk to them and where? The re-engagement list should be treated a bit differently than your other. For this set of people, they have given you their email address, and have not yet unsubscribed, so it is worth trying to re-engage them on this channel first. Send them a personalized message such as “we’d love to have you back” or “Hello…are you still there?” and if possible, include a discount or offer for re-engaging. Maybe it is 10% off their next purchase or a free product after purchase. Try to get them back into the email program first before giving up on them there. Once that message has been sent, view your results and see who engaged and who didn’t.

For those that have still not interacted, it is likely that email is no longer the best channel for them. Removing them and adding them to the other segment created allows you to start speaking to them where they are listening, and removing them from where they are not.

The next segment that you now have are those not responsive to email, unsubscribed email addresses, or those that simply do not have an email address. For this segment, try out a couple of different channels such as direct mail, social or search. With Facebook and Instagram Custom Audiences and Google Adwords Customer Match, you now have the ability to speak to these people directly on those channels!

Load these lists into those channels and create customized ads to speak directly to them. Again, offer them a discount if possible, a product for coming back, or feature new products they might not have seen before. The ads you create for this segment are going directly to them, so customize the message, and speak to this audience differently than you would a general campaign. It is 7 to 9 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to retain a current one, so treat them differently and give them a reason to come back!

Win Your Customers Back

Being able to identify who your unengaged customers are and creating personalized marketing messages to them on channels where they are listening could be the difference between losing a customer and winning them back. And with the holiday season upon us, it is more important now than ever to re-engage these audiences. Get them excited about your company once again!


Need help winning your customers back? Contact us today or sign up for our Holiday Playbook webinar we will be hosting October 3rd!