reactivation campaigns

10 Reactivation Email Campaigns that Win Back Customers

When you’re first growing your email list, you’ll likely find that your new email subscribers open your emails at quite impressive rates. However as your welcome series dries up and subscribers have been on your list for a while, you’ll see your open rates gradually fall. As your subscriber list ages, you’ll find that dormant customers eventually start to make up the majority of your list and achieving decent email engagement becomes harder and harder.

This is where reactivation email campaigns become necessary. These marketing campaigns are designed to get your subscribers engaging with your emails once again. With it being around 5 times more expensive to acquire new customers than retain existing ones, the ultimate goal with these emails is not only to improve your open rates, but also drive more sales to your store.

Running reactivation marketing campaigns isn’t the easiest thing in the world to do. If you’re not sure how to structure your campaign, we’ve written a post on the best practices and tips for reactivation campaigns that you can use to help guide you.

In this post, we’ll run you through ten of what we think are some of the best reactivation emails out there that we’ve seen. Use these emails to inspire you for when you’re creating your own.


Win-Back Email with a Special Offer

When it comes to reactivation email campaigns, studies show that only around one in four of your inactive users will read your first reactivation email. The good news is that up to 45% will open subsequent emails you send. This means that your engagement email campaigns should consist of multiple emails, not just a single marketing email.

To improve the conversion rate on your first email, it’s generally a good idea to include a special offer. Mentioning the offer in your subject line also helps to get your subscribers to open your emails.

That’s exactly what this email from Sephora executes so well.

Sephora customer winback email

The Gap

Including a Link to Update Preferences

gap special offer winback reactivation email campaign

This email from the Gap also aims to win back customers with a special offer as a part of their reactivation strategy.

What’s also great about this email in particular is that it includes an easy way for subscribers to update their preferences. One of the leading reasons people disengage from emails or unsubscribe altogether is that they’re either receiving too many emails, or emails that aren’t relevant for them. Letting people update their preferences goes a long way to re-engaging with them.

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Reactivation Email That Gives You a Reason to Stay

spy reactivation email campaign

In addition to letting subscribers easily update their preferences and including an offer, this email from Spy also includes the top ten reasons why someone should stay on their subscriber list. Highlighting the value subscribers get from being on your email list not only helps with your reactivation email campaigns, but also with convincing people to sign up in the first place.


Creative Way to Update Preferences

office reactivation email marketing campaign example

This email from Office asks their subscribers if you’re sending relevant emails to them in a more creative way than simply including a button. While it’s ideal to be sending relevant emails to your subscribers from the moment they sign up (something you can achieve with personalized product recommendation emails) this email does a good job at making up for sending non-targeted emails.

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Cute Customer Retention Email Campaign

buzzfeed reactivation email campaign example

If your initial few reactivation emails didn’t do the trick at winning back your inactive subscribers, then it’s time to up the ante. This ultimately involves directly asking your subscribers whether they still want to be on your email list or not.

This email from BuzzFeed asks this question flawlessly. The only thing lacking is a link for people to update their preferences.

Ideally, your subscribers will want to stay on your list and start re-engaging with your email marketing again. What better way to guilt people into this than the image of the cat that BuzzFeed included?


Win-Back Email with Original Copy

boden winback email example

This email from Boden also does a great job at asking disengaged subscribers whether they still want to receive emails or not. The copy in this email is what makes it stand out.

“What’s with the cold shoulder?” and “I need space” and both original lines and a fresh change from the stale “We miss you” and “I miss you too” lines all-too-common in win-back emails.

Including a mention of a sale that’s currently happening also helps.

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Reactivation Email with Creative Use of Imagery

stonyfield reactivation winback email example

What makes this email from Stonyfield stand out is the creative use of imagery. We definitely encourage you to think outside the box when it comes to how you use images in your reactivation email campaigns.

Just keep in mind that email inboxes will sometimes not display images properly or even at all. So always design your emails to still work without the images too.

Virgin Trains

Great Use of Subject Line for a Reactivation Campaign Email

virgin trains reactivation email

When your disengaged subscribers just won’t open your emails anymore, the last option is to send a final reactivation email with an attention grabbing subject line.

This email from Virgin Trains does an excellent job at this. The email was sent with the subject line “All Seat sales cancelled forever”, a message sure to get even some of the most disengaged subscribers to open the email.

Virgin’s broader branding is definitely on show within the email too. It’s always email marketing best practice to keep your emails on brand as much as you can.

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Simple Yet Effective Win-Back Email

lowe's list cleaning email example

If you’re starting to feel that these emails set the bar too high for you to meet, rest assured that sometimes a simple email like this one from Lowe’s does the job. It’s just a simple email with some text, two buttons, an image of a sticky note and a little bit of out-of-the-box thinking.


Reactivation Email with a Unique Strategy

habitat email win-back example

Habitat takes an interesting strategy with this reactivation email – promoting their social media. Some people will prefer connecting with your brand over social media than with email, so it’s best to remind people of your social media profiles.

This kind of win-back email can easily be added to your reactivation email campaign series. The only thing lacking is that it doesn’t provide any links to unsubscribe or update one’s preferences.

Your Turn

Now it’s over to you to create your reactivation email marketing campaign. Winning back your subscribers isn’t an easy task, and you’ll never be able to win back all of your disengaged subscribers. Don’t be dissuaded though, bringing these customers back on board is usually much easier than customer acquisition in the first place.

By using the emails in this post as inspiration and following good email design guidelines, you’ll be able to win back customers and improve your bottom line.

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