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A Loyalty-First Guide To Customer Reactivation Email Campaigns (With Examples)

A Loyalty-First Guide To Customer Reactivation Email Campaigns (With Examples)

In an ideal world, your brand would be the only choice for customers who want the products or services you’re selling, and repeat business would be a certainty rather than a hope.

The reality, unsurprisingly, is more challenging.

Every year, businesses need to work harder to stay top-of-mind for customers, as they’re competing not just against direct competitors, but also tighter purse strings, evolving customer desires, and a deluge of marketing from businesses across other industries.

Nonetheless, putting the work in to keep customers repeat purchasing is worth it. The rising cost of customer acquisition means it’s more important than ever to capitalize on repeat business from past and present customers. 

That’s why reactivation email campaigns are essential to success. The best reactivation campaigns give customers a personal touch by:

  • Appealing to emotion
  • Acknowledging the customer’s absence
  • Offering attractive promotions

In this guide, we’ll cover what you need to know about customer reactivation email campaigns so you can recapture customer attention, inspire loyalty, and have shoppers revisit your ecommerce store repeatedly.

Why customer reactivation emails are beneficial

We covered the basics in brief earlier, but the truth is there are several reasons why you, as an ecommerce brand, should consider embracing customer reactivation campaigns.

Increased brand loyalty 

Customer reactivation emails can be a powerful tool for improving brand loyalty. Done right, they can create a natural affinity between the brand and customer, resulting in higher customer lifetime value (CLV) and lower acquisition costs.

Customer reactivation email campaigns can help to build and maintain customer loyalty by reminding customers of why they love a brand.

For example, customer reactivation emails can include tailored offers, exclusive discounts, or product recommendations—all of which can make customers feel valued and appreciated, creating a long-lasting connection and helping to build brand loyalty.

Improved understanding of customer behavior 

Customer reactivation emails are an excellent way for brands to better understand customer behaviors. You can gain valuable insights into customer preferences by analyzing customer click-through rates, open rates, and other metrics associated with customer reactivation emails. 

You can better understand how customers interact with your products and services by tracking behaviors. For example, track which reactivation emails customers respond to and which they ignore, as well as the most successful offers.

Better personalization

Customer reactivation emails can be an effective tool for improving personalization in your direct marketing efforts. By combining data from past purchases and interactions, and analyzing recent clicks and opens, you can gain a better understanding of customer interests and tailor future communications accordingly.

For example, if a customer has previously purchased a particular item, you could send them a discount code or special offer for that item. Or you could make recommendations for other similar products based on that purchase, or prompt a repeat purchase by mentioning the length of time since they last bought the item.

More cost-effective compared to other marketing campaigns 

Hooking and reeling in new customers is tough, and costly. If you’re unsure how costly it is exactly, you can figure that out by doing a simple calculation of your customer acquisition cost (CAC). Simply divide the cost of marketing to your audience by the number of customers acquired by doing so.

(If that sounds straightforward, remember those marketing costs include wages, software subscriptions, any outsourced services and agency costs, marketing and sales overheads, and so on.)

Reactivation emails are an easy and affordable way to reach out to customers who may have forgotten about your brand or stopped using a product. By reaching out at strategic intervals, with appealing communications, you can incentivize customers to return and make a purchase—and, by doing so, bring your brand back to the forefront of customer minds.

Keep your mailing list clean and up-to-date 

Finally, reactivation campaigns are great for a bit of spring cleaning. You may think that bigger is better when it comes to your mailing lists; after all, more contacts equal more opportunities, right?

Not quite. In fact, having large, unmonitored mailing lists can result in your brand being penalized by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) operating spam traps. Sometimes, email addresses that were once valid but are no longer in use are reactivated by ISPs and anti-spam organizations to catch senders who are sending to old or inactive email lists.

This is why, at the end of the day, it’s in your best interests to give customers the chance to unsubscribe or to prune inactive customers from your mailing lists.

How to identify customers who need re-engaging

Broadly, there are three levels of customer engagement to consider when you’re segmenting for reactivation campaigns.

  • Active: These are customers still clicking on emails or making purchases online or offline (ideally, you should be able to track customers across channels for optimal understanding of buying habits).
  • Dormant: These are customers that haven’t made a purchase recently, but who are still clicking on emails or browsing your site.
  • Inactive/Disengaged: These are customers that haven’t interacted with your brand in a while and that may need to be removed from your mailing list if their behavior doesn’t change.

Reactivation campaigns focus on the latter two.

  • For dormant customers, you’ll be aiming to incentivize them into taking action and making another purchase (thus moving them to your active list).
  • For inactive/disengaged customers, you’ll be looking to either move them back to the dormant or active list (through having them click on an email to show interest or make a purchase), or taking them off your mailing list.

When to start customer reactivation campaigns

Ideally, reactivation email campaigns should be triggered when a customer’s interaction frequency starts to decline, but before they become completely disengaged. Activity should be tracked across both different channels; an easy way to do that is by monitoring loyalty program activity.

You should also take into account your product and the nature of its life cycle; if you sell soaps, for example, you’d be more concerned about a customer not clicking on an email after three months than you would if you sold, say, long-lasting items like electronic devices or cars.

Types of reactivation emails 

Reactivation emails can and should go beyond a simple “please come back”. Here are some of the types of reactivation emails you can use in your customer reactivation campaign.

Welcome back emails are a great way to re-engage customers and shift attention to their loyalty program. These emails are designed to welcome customers back after inactivity, often displaying their activity history and any rewards they may have earned.

Reward emails remind customers of their rewards and encourage them to return to the loyalty program. This type of email is often used to remind customers of the rewards they’ve earned and to provide them with a sense of accomplishment.

Discount/special offer emails are an effective way to entice customers to return to a loyalty program. These emails can offer customers exclusive discounts and promotions only available to loyalty program members.

Targeted campaign emails are tailored to specific customers based on their interests and purchase history. These emails can encourage customers to return to the loyalty program by offering tailored product recommendations and special offers.

Points balance update emails are a great way to keep customers engaged with the loyalty program. These emails remind customers of their current points balance and provide personalized product recommendations for which they may be interested in redeeming their points.

Double or triple-point event emails are an excellent way to drive customer engagement and reward customers for their loyalty. These emails can be used to promote special events where customers can earn double or triple the usual amount of points for their purchases.

Finally, farewell emails are another handy type of reactivation email, usually used as a last step before removing a contact from your mailing list. With this, you inform customers that they will be removed unless they opt back into receiving your emails. These are useful for giving customers a push to become active again and cleaning up your subscription lists.

Best practices for crafting successful reactivation email campaigns 

Creating a successful reactivation email campaign requires careful thought and planning. Personalizing your emails is a great way to grab attention and create a unique experience for each customer. Tell them exactly how many points they have so they know how to take advantage of the offer. Additionally, you can recommend products to customers based on their previous behavior or interests to make the message more relevant.

Optimizing your emails for mobile viewing is also important, as most people will access them on their phones or tablets. Incorporating engaging visuals, such as images or videos, is a great way to draw readers in and keep them interested. Make sure to have a clear goal when crafting your messages – what do you want your customers to do? Make sure it’s obvious!

Finally, testing different strategies and tracking the results is crucial to see what works best for your customers. This will help you to improve and optimize your campaigns continually.

How to write a reactivation email

When it comes to writing reactivation emails, it helps to decide on a cadence, what action(s) you want to inspire, and what you’re willing to offer in return.

The best results, unsurprisingly, are seen in emails with clear promotions and personalization. So, determine:

  • What offer(s) are available that might entice customers?
  • What enticing discount or reward can you offer and still make a profit?
  • Are there any members-only sales coming up that the customer might be interested in?
  • Does the customer have a pending points balance to remind them of?
  • What related products can you recommend?
  • If you can’t make a sale right now, what would you still consider a win? A loyalty program signup for example.

Once you know what you can offer and what you want to achieve, you can then craft your emails.

Excellent email subject lines are crucial to the success of your reactivation email campaign. When writing them, make sure:

  • You’re clear about the contents (whether it’s a discount, offer, or action to take)
  • You refer to the customer by name or otherwise show the email is targeted to the customer’s account
  • You remind the customer about why they chose your brand in the past or of the product they bought previously
  • You play on a customer’s FOMO (fear of missing out) or sense of urgency

Examples of effective reactivation email campaigns 

Seeing is believing. Here are some examples of how brands leverage reactivation email campaigns.


Pacifica is a beauty brand that utilizes members-only early access to their biggest sale of the year. This rewards customers for being loyal by providing them access to exclusive discounts.

Brochu Walker 

Sometimes, customers need a reminder that their points are about to expire. Brochu Walker leverages this by sending their customers an email mentioning that their points will expire soon and when they need to be used by.


Loyalty points can be a powerful incentive to keep customers coming back. Lively takes advantage of this by offering a limited-time 2x points event.

Uber Eats

Discounts are always a powerful incentive for customers. What Uber Eats does well is to tie discounts to specific user accounts—meaning customers feel specifically catered to—and make the terms explicitly clear in the email itself.

uber eats campaign


Who doesn’t love a freebie? Tying free items to a set purchase amount can incentivize customers to return and make a purchase. The minimum purchase amount helps to offset the price of the free item and introduces customers to new products, while the free item itself endears your business to the customer. Win win!

whittard campaign

Keep your customers loyal with LoyaltyLion

LoyaltyLion is a loyalty and rewards platform for ecommerce stores. With LoyaltyLion, your brand can:

  • Reward positive onsite behavior with customizable points and gifts
  • Encourage advocacy by rewarding customer referrals via social, email, or links
  • Deliver points and rewards through email and on-site notifications
  • Customize your loyalty program and tailor how you want it to appear on the page
  • Integrate with ESPs, subscription partners, review platforms, and helpdesks

To learn how LoyaltyLion can help your brand with retention, book a demo with us today.

The post A loyalty-first guide to customer reactivation email campaigns (with examples) appeared first on LoyaltyLion.

This article originally appeared on LoyaltyLion and is available here for further discovery.
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