What do you do when a customer seems to fall out of love with your products or services?

An account that was once flourishing with activity now sits inactive. Is it possible to re-engage that person and convert them back into a loyal customer?

If they haven’t unsubscribed from your email list, there’s major opportunity to win them back. According to a MarketingSherpa study, the two most common reasons why internet users unsubscribe from email lists is that they get too many emails in general and that they do not find the emails relevant. So, if your inactive customer hasn’t clicked “unsubscribe” just yet, there’s could still be some interest lingering.

You could always take the no-nonsense approach and send a “We miss you” email with a coupon attached. That strategy has proven effective for many brands in the past … but it’s so overdone. Consumers are more conscious than ever of when marketers are trying to sell them something. So, why not tap into more creative ways to express how much you value your customer?

Here are three creative emails that will help you mend a broken relationship with a customer.

  1. Bank on customer data to deliver valuable content.

Rather than sending a standard email to every inactive customer, focus on sending something unique to each person. Their purchase history, location, age and other attributes will allow you to deliver personalized pieces of content that will resonate deeply.


Skin care brand Dermalogica successfully achieved this in 2016 with a geo-targeting email campaign. They pulled their customers’ real-time weather report over 4th of July weekend and used it to provide sun protection advice. That time of year typically results in lower engagement with email, but the subject line and email copy caught consumers’ attention. This campaign garnered the Dermalogica team a 9.34% conversion rate – making it one of the brand’s top-performing campaigns.

  1. Show them what they are missing.

If it’s been awhile since your customers have interacted with your brand, they might not be aware of your new products and services. Rather than sending a new-product roundup, take this opportunity to educate your audience on how your new offerings might be beneficial to them.

For example, American restaurant chain Yard House created a campaign to inform their email subscribers of rotating beer selections at each of their 68 chains. Because each location features different menu and beer selections, the Yard House team hadn’t found a way to promote the new beer selections via email. After determining each user’s nearest location, the company was able to pull real-time data from each restaurant and their website to create personalized emails. This campaign resulted in a 32% year-over-year lift in click-through rate and re-engaged subscribers who would have otherwise lapsed.

  1. Remind them of your history together.

There’s no better way to rekindle an old flame than to think of all the good times spent together. Here is your chance to give your inactive customers a look at their history with your brand and inspire them to keep the good times going.

Hilton Hotels & Resorts previously relied on a strategy of sending quick, straightforward emails to their rewards customers. They worked well, but the team wanted to switch it up and truly delight these folks. So, they decided to create stories about their travels using each customer’s unique data. Each email recipient received a colorful story that provided insight into their relationship with Hilton. The company saw a 70% lift in open rates, a 37% jump in CTR and an $82 per-click conversion rate.

The common thread is personalization

There’s a common thread that unites each of the success stories above: the element of personalization. To re-engage their inactive audiences, these brands relied on customer data to tell compelling stories and deliver one-of-a-kind value props.

Some 59% of marketers don’t personalize their content because they don’t have the technology, and another 59% say they don’t personalize because they don’t have the bandwidth or resources. It may seem daunting, but with the right strategy, any marketer can see stellar results. To learn more about how you can use customer data to spark interest from inactive customers, check out “The State of Email Marketing Personalization in 2017.”