Behind The Scenes Of A Killer Customer Reactivation Campaign

When was the last time you thought about lost or cancelled customers? What about implementing a customer reactivation campaign?

If you’re anything like me, the last time you thought about bringing lost customers back into the fold was a long time ago. Like most entrepreneurs, I’ve never been one to focus too long on the “ones that got away.” Instead, I prefer to go out and find new business.

But once or maybe twice a year, I find it can be wise to spend a little time looking back at those customers who bailed, and devise a strategy to win them back. Often, you’ll find that there’s gold hiding in that list of cancellations.

Why Use A Customer Reactivation Campaign?

Reactivation campaigns are nothing new, but so few small businesses actually use them in their marketing. That may be the reason I’ve always been so interested in them. I prefer to play in less crowded spaces. When I see everyone going left, I naturally want to head right and see what’s over there.

It might seem daunting to start up your own customer reactivation campaign. In reality, though, they’re pretty simple. In fact, we recently marketed one here at The Newsletter Pro, and it was relatively easy to establish.

When you’re creating your own lost customer strategy, there isn’t a huge difference between B2C and B2B. Typically, the main difference between the two is volume. B2C is always going to have a much higher number of lost customers. The other difference is the amount of money you must spend to get a customer to come back. B2B customers will have a higher annual customer value, meaning you can spare more expense to win them back.

How The Newsletter Pro’s Customer Reactivation Campaign Works

reactivation packageOur first step was to pull our list of lost customers from the last 24 months. After my team had compiled it, the list was sent to me and two others for review. Before starting any sort of campaign, we wanted to see if there were any people we wanted to remove from the list. In the end, we had 43 clients remaining.

Then, I wrote a story-based sales letter that was themed to the start of the year. In it, I made sure to include an amazing new offer.

Since we only had 43 names, we decided to send the letters via FedEx. When packing each mailer, I kept the “lumpy mail” principle in mind. Inside every FedEx package we sent was a copy of my six-page sales letter, a copy of the book I co-authored with Dan Kennedy, The No B.S. Guide to Maximum Customer Referrals and Retention, and a testimonial booklet we use in some of our marketing. To add a little extra “wow factor,” I personalized and autographed the books. Then we added a fancy bookmark which was, of course, branded.

It’s A Balance Of Time And Money

In all, each package ended up costing somewhere around $18, including FedEx Ground Shipping. Not including the time we spent on this campaign, we were in it for $774. Then, we had two follow-up letters that we sent out over the next few weeks, both through first-class mail, which cost about $150.

After the FedEx packages were delivered, we started calling. We had three different members of our team making the phone calls for this campaign. If that seems excessive, that’s because it was.

The reason we had so many people on these calls is because some of those team members had already-established relationships with these past customers, and we felt that those team members should be the ones to reach out and try to reconnect. If we had hundreds of people to call, I probably wouldn’t worry about this, except for with particularly large accounts.

Our goal with these phone calls was to either set up an appointment or hot transfer the call to our sales rep.

In my personal experience and from talking to my fellow CEOs, I’ve determined that reactivation campaigns are usually able to recover between 2–12% of lost customers. For our campaign, we set our goal at four reactivated customers. Personally, I would be happy with two, and thrilled by five or more. These may seem like small numbers, but keep in mind we’re starting with a small list.

While we haven’t reached our goal just yet, I’m playing the long game, as always. I’m a firm believer that the game of business is won 10 yards at a time, not by trying to throw a Hail Mary to the end zone every time.


Discover how a custom print newsletter is an excellent companion to your customer reactivation campaign in our book, The Ultimate Guide to Newsletters. 

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