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Strategy

How to Win Back Late-Churn Customers (Part II)

We’re taking a look at how to reengage long-time customers who have moved on from your brand.

Matt Duczeminski
July 29 2019

The Value of Late-Churn Customers

Because late-churn customers proved valuable to your business over time, it’s worth it to keep them engaged with your brand. In contrast to quick-churners, late-churn customers have more experience with your brand and will likely have more to say about their experience than those who defected without a second thought. So, even if your late-churning customers end up walking away for good, you can still squeeze value out of them before they go.

When reengaging late-churn customers, follow this two-step process:

  • Reacquaint yourself with them and reinforce your value
  • Determine their reasons for inactivity, and make the appropriate adjustments wherever possible

Reengaging your late-churn customers means considering their journey with your business and finding a mutually beneficial outcome from reengagement.

More from PostFunnel on churn:
How to Win Back Quick-Churn Customers
Asking the Experts: Refining the Elusive Definition of Churn
The Scramble for Our Happiness: How Telecoms Combat Churn

Get Reacquainted with Late-Churn Customers — and Reinforce Your Value

If a once-loyal customer went incommunicado, reach out and focus on both the personal and the business aspects. Your reengagement efforts should be focused on the wellbeing of your customers first, and your marketing initiatives second.

Take a look at this example from Piperlime:

(Source)

 

In a tongue-in-cheek way, Piperlime drops in to check on their late-churn customers, assures them that they’re under no pressure to further engage if they choose not to, and ultimately lets them decide how to proceed.

Did some recipients remove themselves from Piperlime’s mailing list? Probably. But others might use this lighthearted reminder as a springboard for further engagement. For those ‘we miss you’ mailers, share your latest updates or product improvements. Your aim is to bring customers back into the fold by highlighting what matters to them.

StruckAxiom focused its late-churn customers’ attention on their website redesign, explaining that they upgraded their site due to customer feedback.

(Source)

You can also try to reengage your dormant customers by reminding them of upcoming company events, as YouVersion does here:

(Source)

It’s worth noting that the above email isn’t sent to all late-churn customers — just those who participated in a previous branded event. By ultra-personalizing your reengagement emails and correspondences, you have a much bigger chance of getting them back on track.

Incentives are also a great option to excite once-loyal customers. Whether it’s freebies, discounts, or any other reengagement offer, it’s essential that you match the incentive to the individual customer.

First, make sure your offer is highly relevant to their engagement history. Birchbox, for example, offers lapsed customers a choice between two free gift boxes:

(Source)

By providing customers with a choice, the beauty subscription brand doubles the chances of earning a high ROI. Had the company informed late-churners that “their free gift is waiting for them,” uninterested recipients would have likely ignored the offer and opted out of receiving any additional emails. When including an incentive in reengagement emails, limit spend on late-churn customers who aren’t worth the effort.

The trick is to provide an offer valuable enough to get customers excited again, but not so valuable that winning them back ends up draining your resources.

Determine the Reason for Inactivity — and Make the Necessary Improvements

If value and incentive approaches aren’t working to reengage customers, shift your focus toward generating feedback on:

  • Why they’re leaving
  • What — if anything — you can do to change their minds
  • What you can do to ensure others like them don’t defect
  • Whether making these improvements is worth the investment

While there’ll be times when there isn’t anything you can do to keep a late-churn customer on board (ages out of a demographic, moved away, lifestyle change, etc.), verify the reason for their departure and use the feedback as an opportunity to improve your customer experience.

Check out how Groove approaches this situation:

(Source)

There’s no further offer or incentive here. No grand promises. It’s just the owner of a company trying to improve his offering for customers. Once you collect this feedback, the only thing left to do is start making the improvements and keep your audience in the loop.

Airbnb uses its newsletter to address safety concerns and explain what the company is doing to fix those issues:

(Source)

By keeping your dormant, late-churn customers in the loop and aligning your updates with their evolving needs, you stand a chance of reengaging them. And that’s really what it comes down to:

Evolving your business with the needs of your most valuable customers.

Your customers are going to move on eventually. But, by evolving your offering as they grow, you should always be able to meet their needs while they’re still around — or even when they’re on the fence.

Guide to reengaging churned customers

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Matt Duczeminski

Matt is a professional writer specializing in helping entrepreneurs improve relationships with their customers. He lives in Philadelphia with his wife, Sarah, and he'd probably get a lot more work done if his cat would stop bothering him.

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