6 Most Effective Reactivation Strategies for Lapsed Customers

Sep 9, 2020
Guest Contributor

It is hardly a secret that keeping your existing users is much more cost effective that finding and converting new leads. Despite this, the average business mailing list loses 25% of its subscribers every year. Reactivating your lapsed customers is key to preventing them from becoming lost customers. Time is of the essence when it comes to re-engaging lapsed customers, your chances at winning them back reduces the longer you wait. As a result, you need to have an effective customer reactivation strategy in place.

These 6 tactics will help turn leaving customers into long-term buyers:

1. Onboarding Surveys

Asking new customers a few questions via a survey or poll can tell you a lot about why they are interested in your business and what they want from you. The beginning of a customer’s relationship with your business is the perfect time to find out why people need your product and why they chose you instead of your competitors.

This information is vital not just for keeping them engaged with more relevant content and offers, but also for re-engaging customers when they lapse. Approach reactivating lapsed customers by focusing on what problem they needed solving, the things they love about your business, and reminding them why they joined in the first place.

2. Abandonment Messages

Abandonment messages reach out to customers after they abandon their cart or leave your site without buying any of the products they looked at. With a 99% open rate, SMS is a useful way to send abandonment messages that won’t be missed. These messages can be used to address many of the reasons your customer may have lapsed.

Simple forgetfulness and procrastination are surprisingly significant reasons online shoppers never check out their cart. If a customer gets distracted or has to stop browsing your site, a quick reminder of the items they were looking at and similar products can be enough to prompt a return visit to complete the purchase.

The price is another common reason for abandonment. Users may browse items and add them to the cart because they really want them, but when it comes to checking out, the cost gives them second thoughts. 25% of abandoned carts are caused by unexpected shipping costs, so offering free shipping in your abandonment messages can be an effective tactic. Contacting customers with a discount on the items they were looking at can help get them back on board instead of trying to find cheaper alternatives elsewhere.

3. Targeted Marketing

Targeted marketing lets you use customer behaviours, interests and past purchases to show customers personalised ads offering products recommended specifically for them. According to a survey by Adlucent, 57% of Internet users say they are very likely to click an ad from a known company that is tailored to their interests. These can be used to reactivate lapsed customers by creating ad sets for users who haven’t visited your website recently.

Targeted ads let you give offers and discounts to lapsed customers who haven’t opted into your marketing messages through the sites and apps they use such as social media or YouTube. While they may no longer browse your store to see what is on offer, showing them a discount for the right product can get them back on the site, and there is a good chance they will take a look around your other products after checking out the ad.

Even if your targeted ads don’t result in an immediate sale, or even a click, they make sure your lapsed customers don’t forget about you, ensuring that they think of your business the next time they need the products or services you offer.

4. Content Marketing

Reactivating lapsed customers isn’t always about making a sale. In fact, some of your customers may have left because they are losing interest in your industry or products. That’s why 93% of B2B marketers use content marketing to reach their audience. Entertaining, educational content such as videos and blogs can help to reignite their passion for a topic.

Marketing campaigns using video get 41% more web traffic from searches than campaigns that don’t use any video. For example, covering recent developments and technologies within your industry can convince lapsed customers that it is time to return to check out the changes and improvements.

Furthermore, good content marketing builds trust and respect for your brand. If you provide useful advice and show you are in touch with your audience, customers are more likely to buy again from a business they already trust. This is a great way to remind users they are missing out on your great customer service and expertise when they go elsewhere.

5. Reminder Messages

Pay attention to customers who have stopped making their regular purchases, or haven’t re-subscribed to your services. Once a customer has missed a subscription or resupply, they are less likely to return the more time passes.

A helpful reminder to stock up or re-subscribe can prevent these momentary lapses from turning into lost customers. Integrate your app with your account management system to also send reminders and re-engagement messages based on their app activity. This a great opportunity to show your great customer service by paying attention to customer needs and making sure customers are not inconvenienced by forgetting to make a purchase.

6. Get Feedback

Feedback from leaving customers provides vital information you need to reduce your lapsed customers. Knowing why your customers have lapsed is an important step to addressing those issues and reducing your churn rate.

It can be hard to get however, especially from people who are leaving because of a negative experience with your business. Because of this, you need to provide a feedback process that is as quick and painless as possible. Limiting yourself to a couple of simple multiple-choice questions, such as asking users to pick the reason they are deleting your store app, can greatly increase response rates.

SMS surveys and polls are very useful, as they are easy for customers to reply to and can be scheduled to be sent as soon as a customer leaves. Timing is critical for increasing survey response rates. Even the time of day has a big impact. According to a study by SurveyMonkey, surveys sent around 2pm get more responses than at any other time of day.

By handling feedback well and offering a reward for completion, you may even prevent some customers from leaving. 96% of consumers who are unhappy with their service just leave without making a complaint. This can often result in users leaving due to issues you could have resolved easily if you had known, so responding quickly to complaints can save lapsed customers.


Increased personalization and showing an interest in customer feedback are vital aspects of an effective reactivation strategy. Focus on offering better value to lapsed customers, and investigating the cause for your lapsed customers.

Sometimes lapsed customers just need a reminder of how great you are, so make sure you are putting out content and ads that target existing and lapsed customers as well as new leads. Finally, one of the best ways to deal with lapsed customers is to reduce the number of customers who lapse in the first place. Providing great service and personalization at every stage of the customer journey ensure more customers stay, and those who leave have more reasons to come back.

Alexa Lemzy is a content editor at the TextMagic blog. She focuses on business growth and communication optimization both in teams as well as with customers.

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