Lyris Connections Blog

5 Top Techniques to Creating a Flawless Re-engagement Email Strategy

Aug 14, 2014 by

Setting up a re-engagement strategy can be daunting. There are so many options available; it’s tough to know where to start. If this sounds familiar, then this blog is for you. Here are five tips to creating a flawless re-engagement email strategy.

1. Provide a clear customer experience at this crucial time

You only have one shot at getting a prospect or customer re-engaged. Well, you could have a few chances if you follow my advice to look at this strategy as a series of emails. But after that series of emails, that’s it. You can’t really go back and ask again in six months’ time.

Being clear in your contact strategy is the first thing to consider. Make sure that subscribers are not going to receive any other marketing messages. This is one of those times throughout the customer lifecycle where we really need to ensure that people only receive re-engagement messages and re-engagement content.

2. Change up your messaging

Things have changed – something has caused prospects and customers to lapse, so it’s time to change up your messaging and proposition. Don’t make the mistake of immediately assuming that this should be in the form of a discount or offer. Measure the value of content – it could be something entirely different from an offer or discount code, and most of the time it really should be.

3. Be playful

It’s always helpful if you can be playful, but remain on-brand. I have worked with several companies that have found great success in pushing their brand to the limit of its comfort zone with a re-engagement strategy. Be brave and it will pay off.

This example from Urban Outfitters is a great example of adding a little brand personality to a re-engagement message. The execution is perfect:

Re-engagement example

4. Think about re-engagement as a series emails – never just one

Too often, marketers just set up one message for each customer situation, and this is especially true when it comes to marketing automation. The problem with that one-dimensional thinking is that it’s not aligned to customer needs or customer behavior. If it’s not designed to integrate with these two things, it will never be as effective as it could possibly be had the strategy been given a little more thought at the beginning.

Any customer lifecycle phase should be thought of as a series, by default, and re-engagement is no different. Based on your sector and the customer insight that you have available, decide carefully as to how frequently you will target your re-engagement messages.

Expert tip – don’t just consider email at this stage. Think about how direct mail could amplify and add value to your email campaigns, as well as Facebook Custom Audiences and Twitter Cards. All of these techniques are useful when tackling a re-engagement strategy.

5. Don’t just set up and automate – test first!

A re-engagement program should always be automated, but only after it’s tested, reviewed, and refined before roll-out. You should look at this part of developing your program as a fundamental part of the business case.

Test, optimize, and prove to your business that your re-engagement strategy is bulletproof, then ask for the investment to have the series of emails automated as triggered emails.

Final remarks

There you have it – five tips to creating a world-class re-engagement strategy. Start small, test, refine, and prove your strategy, then automate it and build it out over multiple messages and multiple channels. And finally, have fun with it – re-engagement programs are interesting and rewarding projects to work on, so enjoy!

Questions? Email us at and one of our strategic consultants will respond.

Philip Storey

About the Author: Philip Storey

Philip Storey is Global Head of Strategic Services at Lyris and has been specializing in email for a decade, working with brands to create engaging and response-triggering email for acquisition and retention strategies that drive high return on investment. He is also a trainer, speaker, and writer for several industry blogs such as Econsultancy and the IAB.

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