What Are Reactivation Campaigns… and Why You MUST Do Them

written by Yamille Kosowan
8 · 19 · 21

As you plan the marketing strategy for the rest of 2021, don’t forget to include a reactivation campaign in the mix.

Reactivation campaigns are a must for businesses of every size and industry, and for good reason: they can result in big, fast jumps in revenue and profitability!

Here’s what you need to know:

What is a Reactivation Campaign?

You may also hear reactivation campaigns called re-engagement campaigns. This is a campaign with the primary goal of marketing to people who have previously engaged with your business but haven’t ben back in a long time. It can include people who signed up for your newsletter, bought something before, visited your website and created an account, or took any other action.

Essentially, you want to get these previously active customers to come back in and buy again. Now that you understand what a reactivation campaign is, why do you need one?

Why use Reactivation Campaigns?

1. Increase Revenue and Profitability

As we stated above, customer reactivation campaigns often result in big, fast jumps in revenue and profitability.

Simply reselling to inactive customers will improve profits. Results will improve even more dramatically if you also manage to upsell them.

And because these are existing relationships, your marketing costs to generate these sales are typically much lower than the costs of acquiring a new customer, which means more falls to the bottom line.

2. Improve Customer Relationships

During your reactivation campaign, you are also likely to strengthen the relationships you have with existing customers.

One of the best ways to do this is to figure out why customers became inactive in the first place. You can then use that information to reactivate those customers and bring them back to your business to buy again. At the same time, you can change your strategies or processes to prevent currently active customers from becoming dormant for the same reason.

3. Collect Important Data

As with any marketing campaign, your reactivation campaign will also be an incredibly useful source of data.

You can use it to learn why customers become inactive and prevent it in the future. You can also take this to the next level and gather specific information on why they would chose certain competitors over you. Use this data to your advantage both when winning them back and when planning for the future. 

Why do Reactivation Campaigns work so well?

1. You Already Put in the Effort

One reason to use a reactivation campaign is that you already put in the effort to reach these people in the past. While you don’t want to fall for the sunk cost fallacy and keep putting money into a losing strategy, a reactivation campaign can ensure that initial time and financial investment were worth it.

2. They Are Already Primed

Consider the fact that a reactivation campaign will target people who have already interacted with your business. This means that they have already taken the important step of reaching out in some way.

Essentially, they have already expressed interest.

The fact that these people are already aware of your business and what you offer, makes them easier to convert than a brand-new customer. Another way to put it is that these people have already progressed a step or two (or more) on your sales funnel. Encouraging them to go further along the funnel makes more logical and financial sense than starting over with new people.

3. You Already Have Data on Them

Depending on how these inactive customers interacted with you, you likely already have valuable data on them that you can use to help with reactivation. The most important piece of information will be the past purchases. If they didn’t buy anything, you can use data on what they placed in their carts or on what items they browsed.

Using this data lets you create a highly targeted marketing strategy. For example, you can target them with emails or display ads focusing on related products to their initial purchase.

How to do your first Reactivation Campaign

By now you should be dreaming up your first reactivation campaign, and you may be wondering how to pull it off. Here’s our advice:

STEP 1: Create a VIP Offer

Since your remarketing campaign is being used to target existing customers you have relationships with, a very effective strategy is to recognize them by making it feel special.

Let them know that this offer is exclusively for existing customers, and thank them for their previous business.

Existing customers often feel like it’s only new customers that get the best deals (don’t those mobile phone offers for ‘new subscribers only’ drive you nuts?!), so doing something special for them will really stand out.

STEP 2: Find your most cost-effective channel

Since this is your first reactivation campaign, test it using your most affordable communication channels.

We prefer email and SMS campaigns, because they cost almost nothing to execute, and they are incredibly effective.

So dust off that database and get ready to hit send!

STEP 3: Add a deadline

Always put a deadline to your offer. Human beings are driven by urgency and scarcity, and nothing will drive conversions like the fear of missing out.

STEP 4: Follow up…several times, yes you heard that right!

The single biggest mistake we see businesses make in their reactivation campaigns (or any campaigns for that matter) are that they fail to follow up.

Floating your offer out there one time will barely move the needle. You need to repeat your offer several times (probably more than you feel comfortable with at first), particularly when it comes time to remind them of the looming deadline.

Don’t make the mistake of taking your foot off the gas!

Some Figures for Inspiration

Figures don’t lie. For those who focus on numbers, it’s clear that reactivation campaigns are worth the investment of time and energy to make them successful for your company. Consider how increasing customer retention by just 5% can boost profits up to 125%.

Reactivation campaigns can make a substantial difference to customer retention. Combine this with other methods, such as loyalty programs and feedback requests, you should see an even greater positive impact on both revenue and customer satisfaction.

In the process of selling new customers, it is only 5-20% likely that they will buy. For existing customers who are already familiar with your brand and products, there is a 60%-70% chance they’ll be interested in what you’re offering.

The Bottom Line

Why not bring back old customers? A reactivation campaign lets you do just that. These are a great way to boost your bottom line and can be more efficient than finding new prospects because they’re already familiar with your business, products, and offerings.

Add them to the marketing mix this year and let us know your results!


Yamille Kosowan


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