How to Use Marketing Automation to Engage Past Clients Effectively

Make Your Customer Fall Back in Love with Your Brand

When it comes to engaging past clients, there are all sorts of metrics to measure, whether it be page views, time on site, or email open rates. But if we take away all the marketing mumbo-jumbo, what is customer engagement and why does it matter?

Customer engagement is the strongest indicator of a customer’s feelings about your brand. That’s right, we’re investing all this time and money into trying to improve something so that the client can be happy, and as a result, choose to do business with your company.

If you’ve tried your possible best to win past clients over, I’ll show you the power of marketing technology and how to use it to drive an effective email follow-up campaign.

Encourage them to join the community

When a customer stops using your service, thank them for their time as your customer. But you don’t have to lose this customer forever. You still need to keep in touch with them because they could still need your product in the future.

Apologize to a customer who is hurt and has chosen to go elsewhere. Offer them a feedback form and kindly ask them to tell you why they are unhappy and what you can do to improve your service.

According to a research, 77% of consumers want brands to demonstrate their appreciation. One other thing you need to do is invite them to join your community.

build a strong brand community

For someone who has decided to stop using your product, it can be a bit tricky to invite them to your community. However, they will join your community if you can convince them of the enormous benefits you have in store for them.

If you offer benefits like discounts, educational content, free shipping, loyalty programs, etc., your past customer will be more open to joining your community as they can see the benefit in it. Having a past customer join your community is a great way to build up engagement with them.

According to Rosetta Consulting Study, highly-engaged customers buy 90% more often and spend 60% more per transaction.

DeviantArt is a good example of a social media community. It’s held steady as the largest online art community for 15 years. The forum alone boasts of at least 34 million engaged members who have submitted not less than 300 million original artworks. User comment on original artworks, share it, and make suggestions.

deviant art social media community

Segment readers to reduce low open rates

How do you show a past customer that you really care about them? By showing how much you care about them. Essentially, you have to send the right message that’s personalized to them.

According to Campaign Monitor, emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened. A study by Aberdeen shows that personalized email messages improve click-through rates by an average of 14% and conversions by 10%.

When you use automated marketing software, you can tell how a past customer interacted with your products. But have you used this information to follow up with your customer? It is easier to send a blast email to your past customers but it is better to send targeted emails to each former buyer.

You can achieve this by segmenting your past customers based on their interactions with your campaigns. Personalized emails have an 18.1% open rate compared to 13.1% for non-personalized emails.

And the beauty of a personalized email is that your client may decide to do business with you again because you’re sending them emails based on what they care about — their interests.

With a growing customer audience, Diamond Candles decided to send personalized emails based on user behavior. As a result, Diamond Candles increased their revenue by 160%.

personalized emails grow customer data base

For instance, if you have a past customer who has been buying mostly suspense novels from your ecommerce store, you need to send them emails based on this.

Because such a customer is more likely to buy again from you if you send them offers of new and popular suspense novels or even better, novels from their favorite authors.

This is a no-brainer. You’re sending an email that is personalized to the customer and relevant based on their past interactions with your business. They are more likely to open these emails and you’re more likely to establish good communication with them. Which could be the gateway to making more sales.

Pair requests with rewards to build a positive feedback loop

Who doesn’t like rewards? Especially from a company you’ve been doing business with? Customers are the foundation of a business. Loyal and happy customers are the foundation of a great and profitable business.

According to Yotpo, 18.5% more customers will review your product when you pair it with reward.

For customers who are loyal, rewarding them will make them happier and even more likely to buy from you in the future. But you can even get more when you give rewards to your loyal customers.

customer loyalty reward program

Rewards and incentives like coupon and special offers can be paired with a request for reviews, or survey, or other user-generated content. For instance, you can send a birthday coupon to a customer and ask them to fill a survey on how satisfied they are with your products. This has many advantages. First of all, the rewards lead to more sales.

More so, user-generated content has a lot of benefits for your business. Most customers trust user reviews more than your company’s beautifully-crafted sales copy. A positive review is social proof for your business and can convince more buyers to purchase your product.

But even when a past customer leaves a negative review, it is not all bad. You can learn a lot about what to improve your product.

Campus Protein created a loyalty program that includes rewards for more than just purchase. It gives 30 points to a customer who leaves a review. This is an encouragement to get more of your past customers engaged with your product.

rewards program past customer engagement

Use previous activity and purchase history to drive interactions

To have the best chance of following up with a past customer, you need to call on the insight you have from the data you have gathered about them. Data related to their previous transactions and behaviors.

Below is an example of Amazon driving interactions through the past purchase history and behavior.

amazon key success to generate sales

After all, the best way to predict the future is through the trajectory of past events. If you will stand a chance to have a better interaction with a past customer, then you have to review their past activities.

According to Bia Kelsey, 61% of SMBs report that more than half of their revenue comes from repeat customers, rather than new business.

Through marketing technology, it’s easy to achieve this without stress. Let’s say a customer bought some Sports Boots from you a month ago, this is an opportunity to ask them how good they feel about using their boots and if they have been achieving their fitness targets.

The best rule to having a great interaction with your customer, or anyone, is to get them involved! You can now have great conversations with your past customers built on their past transactions and their behavior to your business.

Identify an appropriate period for lapsed interaction

As much as you may want to follow up with your past customers, it is also important that you avoid being a pest as this can also have a negative effect on your interaction with your customers. 17% of sales people think they’re pushy whereas 50% of prospects think they are.

One of the ways to achieve a balance is being able to determine the right time to label an interaction “lapsed.” The purchasing cycle in your market is different from other markets.

For instance, if you run a service whereby clients have to renew their subscription to your service, their purchasing cycle will determine the regularity of your email interaction with them. The purchasing cycle of a car is different from a newspaper subscription.

CarDelMar, a German online car hire broker, decided to re-engage inactive subscribers. Subscribers were invited to choose one of three continents they’ll like to travel to. After they choose a continent, they’re shown a tourist attraction in the continent and asked to guess which city.

inactive subscribers email marketing

Through this series of emails, CarDelMar was able to reactivate 7% of all initially inactive subscribers. Their emails also got an open rate of up to 62%.


It takes anywhere from 5 to 25 times more to acquire a new customer than to keep a current customer. And being able to retain a customer is profitable for your business. According to Bain and Co, increasing customer retention by just 5% boosts profits by 25 to 95%.

If you have been busy spending a lot of money chasing new customers, then you have to look into your strategy again.

The real gold is in the customers who have already bought from you. When you use the right follow up emails, these customers will continue to buy from you because they are aware of your product and already have a level of trust in you from their previous purchases.

Marketing technology gives you a lot of useful information about your customers. Use the data wisely and you will have loyal customers who will continue to buy from in years to come — and will recommend your product to more people.