Man running away in water to represent winback marketing
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A 3-step winback strategy to increase returning customers

Unsure what an at-risk customer is and why you should target them with SMS or email marketing? Someone to target with a winback strategy would be a shopper who has bought 2 or more times and then stopped purchasing again.

By investing in a customer winback strategy, you can:

  • Re-engage inactive customers
  • Improve your customer lifetime value
  • Boost sales
  • Build customer loyalty

To begin increasing return customers, you will want to follow a certain order of steps to effective customer winback. Here’s what I recommend doing, in order:

1. Transparently share improvements

I do this frequently: I interview users and ask them what they dislike, or why they uninstalled our app. The same applies to customers. 

You can ask several customers why they didn’t buy again or what they disliked about your store, the product, their experience shopping or the delivery, and then fix it. Maybe you were simply out of stock or sizes.

Next, you want to let them know via email, SMS or direct message on social media: “Remember that problem? We sorted it! Want to try our products again?”

Man taking call on sofa with video

This shows commitment to improvement, which is way more valuable than perfection on your first try. Plus, few stores are doing this so you’ll stand out with direct messages or SMS marketing that shows transparency.

2. Incentivize buyers to purchase again

By sharing a discount code for returning customers only, you make shoppers feel special. The reason this is an excellent way of increasing frequency of purchases from your existing customers is that you lower the barrier to entry. They will feel it is easier to purchase and therefore are more likely to browse.

Want to set up a discount code for returning customers only without learning how? Try Aument on your Shopify store and there’s no need to read on! 

Otherwise, here’s the down-low for those who want to manually incentivize buyers to return to their online store:

  1. Analyze your store’s data to detect at-risk customers so you can send email notifications.
  2. Develop email marketing templates to match your brand, with a peppy message.
  3. Set up Shopify email campaigns so that at-risk customers receive an email with incentives that encourage them to go back to your business to complete a purchase.
  4. Repeat this frequently, once a week at least, to ensure you’re capturing at-risk customers before they fall off the radar.

This can be grueling, which is why we built an action for you to launch a world-class customer winback strategy, in a few clicks.

3.Stay top-of-mind through multiple channels

This winback strategy is a long-term play. My co-founder wrote about top-of-mind awareness in depth, so I’ll take the best leaves from his book:

“You need to be in the public eye, sharing, adding value, and entertaining at all times, so that customers think of you next time they need something.” Sacha Landesmann, CMO at Aument.

Since 60% of social media users discover products through Instagram, leading to the creation of Instagram Shopping, we know how important presence on social media is for top-of-mind awareness. 

I recommend starting your social journey like this:

  • Open 2 business accounts on different platforms, and focus on doing those really well.
  • Post photos of your products.
  • Share short blogs with fun tips for your audience.
  • Ask existing customers to share photos of themselves using your store’s wares and tag your page. 
  • Invite followers to join your mailing list with a message like: “be the first to hear when we launch” on your social channels.
  • DM those that interact with you; don’t limit yourself to one-way socializing.

How do the experts win back at-risk customers?

We’re glad you asked! Data scientists will take into consideration the definitions and the analysis of Length, Recency, Frequency and Monetary Value (LRFM) in order to segment potential buyers into groups. They use this LRFM qualification to be able to group profiles together, in order to target shoppers with more personalized messages.

Our resident Data Scientist wrote about the 5 groups that Aument segments, in contrast to many company’s 11. We manage 5 in order to simplify the lives of busy store owners. 

Next, our champion marketers come onto the field, and build templates that can be sent en-masse to at-risk customers as soon as they begin to drop off. Together those teams ensure Shopify email marketing or SMS marketing is strategically coordinated to grab customers’ attention at the perfect moment.

Feel prepared to start your customer winback strategy with some SMS marketing and Shopify email marketing? If not, you can drop me or our CMO a line, we’re offering free consultations to any store owner looking for marketing advice:
Mario, CPO
Sacha, CMO

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