There’s nothing worse than a customer who’s gone silent. At first, everything seemed great. You successfully converted prospect to customer (not an easy task) and life was good. But then, the customer stopped engaging. Perhaps they stopped logging in or they stopped opening your emails, and now you’re wondering, Is it me? Is it something I said or did?
That can be an agonizing feeling, but the good news is that there is something you can do about it. Through a series of re-engagement strategies, you can win-back customers who are on the edge of churn. Let’s discuss what you can do starting today to reactivate those “silent” customers.
When churn is a possibility (and it’s always a possibility), email is the best tool in your arsenal.
We often limit nurturing to lead conversion, but in reality, nurturing is just as important after conversion. You must continue to offer resources to your customers that keep them engaged with your brand. Invest time into building a relationship that matters. Show your value and commitment to the customer through educating them on how to use your service. Fortunately, all of this can be done through the inbox.
The very first step you must do after converting a lead into a customer is to segment. You can segment based on acquisition source, lifetime value, or demographic.
However, when segmenting for re-engagement, you need to consider another set of factors. Taking into consideration your whole customer base, segment based on lifetime usage, date of last activity (i.e. 3 weeks ago), and the most recent type of activity (i.e. purchase, login, initiated help ticket). You’ll use the customer’s behavior to personalize your re-engagement email.
For example, if the customer’s last activity with your service was to contact help, follow up with a simple survey via email to find out if their problem was resolved. If the customer hasn’t logged in within a certain period of time, you can send a reminder email with a gentle nudge to do so. Highlight a popular or even an often overlooked feature of your service that the customer hasn’t used but may benefit from.
What to Say in Your Emails (And When to Send Them)
Let’s take a closer look at how to re-engage your customers via email.
Focus on Your Subject Line
A short and clear subject line is more likely to catch your customer’s attention than something coy or punny. Go for emotion, like humor or sentimentality, to woo the customer back. One of the most effective re-engagement email subject lines is simply “We Miss You.” This line is clear and also plays to the customer’s emotions.
Make It a Series of Emails
Don’t just send one email out. What if the silent customer inadvertently misses that email? It can happen, especially in the busy environment of the inbox. Instead of putting all of your hopes and dreams on one email, you can send out a series of emails (they’re bound to see one of them).
In your emails, educate your customer on how to better use your product. Include case studies and offer webinars.
Send Re-engagement Emails Early
Don’t wait too long to send your re-engagement emails. Within as little as a week after you notice a decline in customer activity, start sending your emails. You shouldn’t wait until six months after your customer has gone silent to initiate contact. That’s too long to hope for re-engagement. Instead, the sooner you can make the contact, the better.
Offer Freebies, Discounts, and Coupons
Your re-engagement incentive will be based on various factors, such as customer lifecycle and last known behavior. If you’re coming to the end of the average customer lifecycle and have noticed telltale signs of attrition, why not offer a huge incentive to keep them around? For example, a complimentary upgrade to your premium service may be enough to re-engage your silent customer.
This is why segmenting based on behavior can benefit your retention strategy. The more you know about your customers, the better offers you’re able to make.
Test, Tweak, and Then Test Again
Once you’ve created your re-engagement emails, you’re nowhere close to done. You still need to test and tweak. Sometimes, a message can go over well with the team, but not actually perform well with the customers. You can’t afford to send a re-engagement campaign that doesn’t work.
Be sure to test every element of your email including the following:
- Subject line
- Sender name
- Call to action
- Send time (day and hour)
Don’t Just Reach Out Via Email Alone
Up until now, we’ve spent the bulk of our focus on email strategies for re-engagement. Although email plays a crucial part in customer retention, it’s not the only option you should consider. In fact, you have three other strategies to boost your retention efforts. Let’s identify what else you can do.
Remarket Through Social Media
Social media is great for keeping up with fans who are connected to your profile. But, let’s be honest, not all of your customers follow you on social media. That’s okay– you can still reach them, too.
Through the power of remarketing, you can reach your very own customers who’ve gone silent. Facebook, in particular, is perfect for remarketing. Upload your list of contact information for your silent customers and develop a remarketing campaign just for them.
Using Facebook’s paid marketing tool, you can create ads that woo those silent customers back to you. Make sure to choose an attractive incentive, such as a series of free video tutorials or a valuable downloadable resource that you know will benefit that particular customer segment.
Send a Text Message
Text messages have a high open rate for two reasons:
Quick reads – Text messages have character limits
Less competition – Fewer companies have access to the message box than the inbox.
Not every SaaS will have access to mobile marketing. However, if you’re one of the lucky ones with your customers’ mobile numbers and their permission to send occasional messages, don’t let it go to waste! At the first sign of declining activity, send out a text message to invite your customers to return.
Pick Up the Good Old Telephone
In addition to text messages, why not place a call, too? This retention strategy is especially perfect for B2Bs where reaching out to one contact can potentially prevent a huge account from churning.
This step is more of a preventive strategy to reduce customer churn rates. Instead of asking your customers to make a new decision to re-purchase or renew their subscription, make the process automatic. An auto-renewal program will ensure that, even if your customers go silent, they still remain customers unless they choose to manually opt-out.
While auto-renew won’t engage customers who are silent, it is likely to increase the lifecycle of all of your customers.
It may be a good idea to follow up an auto-renewal with an email that thanks the customer for their loyalty. Also, in this email, share with your customer some of the benefits that they’ve earned during their time with your company. You may choose to highlight special milestones or how much money they’ve saved through your service. Whatever you choose to discuss, make it about the customer’s achievements and not about the success of your business.
When asking customers to re-engage with your company, make sure to remove any obstacle that stands between them and re-engagement.
For example, if you’re reaching out to a customer who hasn’t logged in for several weeks or months, include their username and password hint, or link to a page that makes it easy for that customer to sign in. Chances are, they’ve forgotten their password, and the last thing you want is to force the customer to initiate the lost password sequence.
It should be insanely simple for customers to return to where they left off. Also, if you’ve made any updates to your site or app, include a mini tour to help them get comfortable with what’s new.
There’s nothing worse than a silent customer, because you have no idea why they went silent. Fortunately, silence doesn’t automatically mean churn. You can successfully re-engage your customers using the above tips.
Before you go, check out these related resources:
- 6 Reasons Customers Churn (Without Saying a Word)
- Using SMS to Reduce Churn
- Have You Already Sewn the Seeds of Churn?