What is Customer Re-engagement (And Why You Need it)


Published: | By Jenna Bunnell

Loyal customers drive business success. That means customer retention is a big goal for companies. Creating happy, loyal, repeat customers is the key to business growth

But customers don’t always stay. For numerous reasons, customers churn, abandoning brands after one purchase or even years of loyalty. 

So what are the options? Do you constantly seek out new customers to replace the lost ones? Or is there some way to win customers back? That’s where customer re-engagement comes in.


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In this article, we’ll define customer re-engagement, discuss its importance, and outline customer re-engagement strategies you can use to grow your brand.  

What is Customer Re-Engagement?


Customer re-engagement is the process of bringing lapsed customers back to your brand. 

These customers might:

  • Make one purchase and then never purchase again
  • Make multiple regular purchases and stop purchasing entirely
  • Stop using your app
  • Uninstall your app or software
  • Downgrade tiers in your app or software
  • Never call your customer support line

Customer re-engagement strategies focus on the whos, whys, and hows of customer churn and work to re-engage those customers with your brand. 

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Source: Unsplash

Why is Customer Re-Engagement So Important?


No matter which sales engagement methods you use, the process of generating leads and securing new clients is time-consuming and costly. On top of this, many customers drop off after one purchase or product usage.

This means there are a lot of resources going into engaging customers who don’t stick around. Customer re-engagement attempts to solve this problem. The benefits of customer re-engagement include:

  • It’s easier to up-sell or cross-sell to existing customers
  • Onboarding new customers is more expensive than retaining existing customers
  • Customer loyalty is a sustainable business growth strategy
  • Loyal customers become brand advocates, spreading positive word-of-mouth on social media, to friends and family, and industry peers

Effective customer re-engagement not only retrieves lost customers but also revitalizes interactions, amplifying customer engagement and nurturing enduring relationships with your brand.

It’s important because if you’re losing customers, you might need to improve one or more aspects of your business model. Utilizing customer re-engagement strategies helps you figure out problems and fix them. 

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Source: Pexels

This leads to better customer loyalty, more sales, stronger brand recognition, and sustainable business growth. 

How Can You Re-Engage Customers?


Customer re-engagement is a process; it requires a strategy involving data collection, data analysis, and creating customer re-engagement solutions.

  • Understand what leads to churn

The first step is understanding why customers churn:

    • Price increases
    • Leaving for a competitor
    • Moving away from where your business operates
    • Onboarding problems when using apps and software
    • Glitches or roadblocks in apps and software
    • Bad customer service experiences
    • Negative or cumbersome shopping experiences
    • Brands behaving in ways customers find objectionable
    • It’s important to note that some customers will churn regardless of your product, service, and prices. Some amount of customer churn is inevitable and unavoidable

Your brand’s customers will have their own reasons for abandoning your business, and it’s important to understand the problems unique to your situation. Which leads us to…

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Source: Pexels

  • Get some data

Data is key to creating solutions. Data will tell you why customers are lapsing, where your product or service might be falling short, and the best ways to reach customers to re-engage them. 

But how can you collect that data? 

  • Ask for feedback

One of the simplest ways to collect feedback is to askAs anyone working in customer service can attest to, many customers like to express their feelings about companies—especially if their experience was negative. 

To learn why a customer has abandoned your brand, use surveys and focus groups to get information directly from the source. 

You can automate the data collection process by creating parameters that trigger a survey request as part of your email marketing strategy. Those parameters can include a customer not making a purchase in a while, someone uninstalling your app, or cart abandonment before checkout. 

To get proactive feedback before a customer churns, you can also prompt feedback upon a purchase.

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Source: Pexels

This way, you can meet your customers wherever they are in their journey. 

    • Go looking for feedback

Asking for data is effective, but there are other ways to get customer feedback. Unsolicited data is just as valuable as solicited data.

People are more inclined to be polite when speaking directly to you, but behind your back is another story. While trawling the darkest corners of the internet for brutally honest chatter about your brand might sound terrifying, it offers a potential goldmine of information for you to work with.

Start with review sites, where disgruntled customers are more likely to go in-depth about the problems they’re having with your product or service.

You can also check social media, and not just users who have tagged you. Search for your brand and look for un-tagged posts for more candid feedback. 

Lastly, forums such as Reddit and Quora offer customer insights into massive amounts of brands and products. There are also forums for more industry-specific information—Stack Exchange for developers,

The Fashion Spot forums for fashion retailers, Makeupalley for makeup brands, etc. 

    • Automate data collection

For developers and retailers that have apps, data can be collected directly from customer usage.

Look for patterns in your software that indicate churn—less usage, not checking out, less frequent app usage, and app uninstallation. It can form part of your API development to include these features.

What were customers doing before they displayed those patterns? And what do those patterns tell you about your customer experience?

For example, if customers are abandoning their shopping carts, there might be something wrong with your checkout process. 

  • Stay on top of customer contact information

Without a direct line of communication between your brand and your individual customers, you can’t contact them. Make sure your business stays on top of customer contact information. You can do this by:

    • Encouraging email sign-ups on your website or app. Offer discounts and promos in exchange for contact information
    • Having a customer loyalty program
    • Creating an app to assist your in-store shopping experience—for example, the Home Depot app uses geofencing to trigger a map of their store when a customer enters it
    • This map lays out the store and directs customers to products, streamlining their shopping experience
    • Collecting information at checkouts
    • Offering free in-store WiFi in exchange for contact information

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Source: Unsplash

Ensuring you have customer contact information gives you a channel for your customer re-engagement strategies. Be careful when collecting personal contact information—make sure you’re following privacy regulations and can pass a compliance audit. 

  • Create profiles of customers you want to re-engage

Without knowing the customers you want to re-engage, you won’t know how to target them.

Which customers have the highest customer lifetime value (CLV)? Which demographics are the most likely to re-engage? How much should you spend on re-engagement attempts across different demographics?

These questions should all form part of your financial risk management (find out more about FRM meaning here). By creating customer profiles, you can find the customers with the highest CLV and craft messaging they’re likely to respond to.

After all, customer re-engagement should feel personalized, like the person you’re reaching out to is important and you’re genuine in your desire to win them back. Customer profiles help you focus your efforts and create that personalized outreach.

  • Design a re-engagement campaign

A good re-engagement campaign is all about offering value to lapsed customers. It involves contacting customers through the right channels at the right time and giving them a reason to return to your brand. 

    • Email re-engagement

Email marketing has a high ROI, so it’s a given that email re-engagement works.

Around 24% of disengaged users will open the first re-engagement email, and subsequent emails have an even higher open rate of 45%.

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Source: Unsplash

An email re-engagement campaign is a series of emails sent to inactive users. They can consist of emotive language like “we miss you” emails, as well as exclusive promo codes and discounts for returning customers. 

    • Push notifications

If your brand uses an app, push notifications can re-engage inactive customers. A push notification reminds customers your app still exists, and you entice customers further with promos and discounts.

    • Phone calls

This approach works for small businesses with a small customer base and B2B companies with high-value clients. If you have a small number of customers or clients, a phone call can mean the world.

A larger enterprise could use customer retention call center strategies to benefit from this approach. 

    • Remarketing

Remarketing is the process of putting cookies on a person’s device so that when they visit another website, the ads they see will be for your products. 

It works well for customers who have visited your site, shopped for something, and then not made a purchase. Seeing a remarketing ad on another website might just prompt them to come back and take a second look.

  • Use customer re-engagement as an opportunity for growth

If you’re losing large numbers of customers, don’t fret! Use this as an opportunity to better your brand. 

Has your product stagnated compared to competitors? Is your pricing out of sync with current economic considerations? Has your customer service become slow and tedious? Is your app, website, or software dated and glitchy? 

Look at your successful competitors and take note of what they’re offering, their pricing, and their service models. Utilize data to tap into your customers’ needs and pain points and offer solutions.

Perhaps consider incorporating AI in customer service to make the most of new technology.

Exploring innovative lead generation ideas is also important during this process. By actively seeking out fresh approaches to attract potential customers, you can augment your re-engagement efforts.

From leveraging emerging digital platforms to refining your content marketing strategies, staying abreast of the latest trends in lead generation can amplify your overall customer re-engagement strategy.

Re-engaging customers takes some introspection, and only positive growth can come from that. 

Why You Need Customer Re-Engagement


Customers leave, and trying to win them back can feel fruitless and demoralizing. 

But customer re-engagement can be simple and cost-effective, and the benefits far outweigh the emotional toll of dealing with that devastating customer churn. Re-engaging existing customers is cheaper than acquiring new ones, encourages brand loyalty, improves overall customer retention, and increases revenue. 

So try out these customer re-engagement strategies to grow your business.

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