Your Winback is Broken. Here’s How to Fix It.


Winback campaigns are a staple of email marketing programs. Most brands have one, and many even A/B tested a couple of options — something like ‘90 days since last click’ or ‘120 days since last purchase’ — to arrive at a winning version that has been automated ever since. Unfortunately, most winback campaigns don’t provide much, offering a rather pitiful level of engagement (and conversions). 

It’s time to ask more from your winback campaign.

One Size Fits None

The problem with most winbacks is that they are ‘one-size -fits-all.’ We draw one line for segmentation – days since engagement or purchase – and broadcast an offer to those shoppers. We’ve been treating disengaged shoppers like they are all the same. They are NOT the same. Specifically, when they disengage is different – it depends on the shopper! Shoppers that visit daily or weekly will fade faster than those that visit less frequently. The point at which each shopper fades depends on when the shopper breaks their individual cadence of engagement with you. 

Meanwhile, you are losing shoppers far before you start thinking about winning them back. Our recent shopper analysis found that, on average, .26% of your shoppers are fading away each day. This is no fractional issue – compound that daily drop-off, and you are losing nearly 2% of your shoppers each week.

Your one-size-fits-all approach creates a gap between when your shoppers stop engaging with you and when you react to their disengagement. This is why your winbacks have such low engagement.  

Customer-Centric Relevance Delivers Better Results

To actually win shoppers back, your job is to reach each customer at the right time: before they fade. And, the solution is not more segmentation – even with the smartest of segments, you won’t get to each customer.  You need true personalization; data science tuned to each individual shopper. 

This is where brands can achieve relevance. Instead of guessing when the time is right to re-engage all your shoppers, know when the time is right for each shopper. Focusing on a customer-centric approach is delivering significant improvements. Brands that personalize the timing of their winback messaging see double the engagement rates and more than 4x the conversions,  compared with the one-size-fits-none approach. 

If you want to fix your winback problem, start personalizing your engagement to each individual shopper, and save the 2% every week. 

Ready to start winning shoppers back? Here are some ways to put customer-centric churn prevention to work for you.

This article originally appeared in the Zaius blog and has been published here with permission.

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Steve has entrepreneurship in his DNA. Starting in the early 2000s, Steve achieved eBay Power Seller status which propelled him to become a founding partner of, a contact lens and eyewear retailer. Four years later through a successful exit from that startup, he embarked on his next journey into digital strategy for direct-to-consumer brands.

Currently, Steve is a Senior Merchant Success Manager at Shopify, where he helps brands to identify, navigate and accelerate growth online and in-store.

To maintain his competitive edge, Steve also hosts the top-rated twice-weekly podcast eCommerce Fastlane. He interviews Shopify Partners and subject matter experts who share the latest marketing strategy, tactics, platforms, and must-have apps, that assist Shopify-powered brands to improve efficiencies, profitably grow revenue and to build lifetime customer loyalty.

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