Attempting to win back customers via channels that they have persistently shown no interest in will almost certainly achieve little results. Subscribers who are no longer engaging with your monthly/weekly emails are not likely to change their behaviour simply because you send them re-engagement emails. In fact, 75% of your email list could be inactive so it’s important to find ways to help slow down the churn.

Identify other channels to attempt re-engagement

Cross-channel marketing offers an opportunity to reach your unengaged subscribers through another preferred medium. With an automated cross-channel re-engagement strategy, marketers can create relevant and timely messages that can win back inactive/dormant customers and increase customer lifetime value.

There are a number of ways in which cross-channel messaging can be achieved:

SMS re-engagement

SMS offers a direct and highly personal route to your lapsed or lapsing subscribers. Text messages can include reminders, offers and incentives which can draw your customer back to their last browsing session or an abandoned shopping cart. One advantage of SMS is that messages are read immediately giving you the opportunity to engage with your subscriber in real time.

SMS re-engagement strategies are also effective in targeting dormant app users who have downloaded your app but not opened it over a given period. With smart messaging subscribers can be encouraged to use the app and re-engage with your brand.

It’s important to ensure you are compliant with any legislation regarding SMS, and only send communications to customers that have given you their consent.

Push notifications

Push notifications are a powerful way to boost mobile engagement with subscribers that have been active in the past. With a precise strategy that keeps alerts to a minimum and uses relevant and useful information, push notifications can effectively place your brand at the top of your customer’s minds.

By segmenting inactive audiences, push notifications can be tailored based on the subscribers’ behaviour (recent browsing activity), demographics (location, name/gender), or where they are in the customer lifecycle. Triggered geofencing can also be used to drive users into physical stores based on their location.

It’s important to send these messages in moderation as too frequent communication in this channel can have the opposite effect and drive customers to unsubscribe.

Social media

Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter can help create a buzz about your brand to pique the interest of unengaged subscribers. Finding your subscribers’ preferred social channels leads to authentic interactions that can strengthen your relationship with your subscribers and extend the life of your re-engagement campaign.

Marketers can use platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to upload subscriber lists and tailor ads that speak directly to those customers. With the right tools, discussions can be tracked and monitored in real time and reasons for abandonment can be resolved.

Direct mail and display ads

It’s not all about digital channels today. Carefully targeted direct mail can be a highly cost-effective channel and one that stands out from an onslaught of digital touch points. For example, personalised postcards can be used to showcase promotions tailored to your subscribers. A sense of urgency can be utilised with closing dates for promotions, or expiry dates on vouchers. Marketers can match cookies; email and IP addresses or use PURLs to create highly targeted advertising via the web.

Cross-channel re-engagement strategy in action

By using a multichannel approach to re-engagement, you can build a strategy that responds to the actions of your subscribers. For instance, a push notification can be sent at the outset with a targeted special offer that nudges subscribers to act. Based on the subscribers’ actions, an email can then be sent with copy that reinforces the value of your brand, whilst helping users feel appreciated. Based on what the subscriber does next social media ads can then be used to create a sense of urgency. Later in the re-engagement campaign welcome back messages can be used via the subscribers’ preferred channel.

Final thoughts

Often marketers rely on simple guesswork when determining the reasons behind customers’ behaviour and disengagement. Marketers assume that if customers don’t open emails that they are no longer interested in their brand, when the truth may be that email simply isn’t the channel in which they want to engage.

For marketers to be successful with reengagement, they need to integrate multiple channels to seamlessly interact with their target audience on their preferred channel. By using cross-channel marketing to reengage inactive subscribers you’re able to build more meaningful real-time experiences based on your customers’ lifecycle stage, behavioural/demographic preferences and other customer triggers.

The key is to ensure that every interaction consistently communicates your brand message and offers customer satisfaction.


By Dan Bond, head of marketing UK at Cheetah Digital

GDPR Summit Series is a global series of GDPR events which will help marketers to prepare to meet the requirements of the GDPR ahead of May 2018 and beyond. Further information and conference details are available at

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