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Five Ways to Win Back Your Lapsed Subscribers

Subscriber erosion is inevitable over time, and not necessarily a bad thing if you’re replacing lost subscribers with loyal followers. But you shouldn’t always throw in the towel on inactive or “lapsed” customers. You’re likely putting a lot of money behind acquisition strategies, but it’s important to spend some of that time, money, and energy into retraining existing customers and regaining the attention of those who may have wandered away.

Before you say goodbye for good, here are five tactics to help win back lapsed subscribers:

  1. Use humor to re-engage subscribers. Most often, lapsed customers are simply disengaged, not disinterested. This means there is a good opportunity for brands to win subscribers back by simply grabbing their attention, which is often achievable with a little bit of comedy and wit. Not all brands have a funny bone on a day-to-day basis (so always proceed with caution), but a little comedy goes a long way in engaging your audience in an engaging and memorable way.

  2. Make an emotional plea. Similar to humor, making an emotional plea to subscribers is a good way to get their attention. Brands are most successful when they make a direct ask – whether that’s making a plea for donated time or money – which brings a brand back into consumer awareness and helps drive results.

  3. Spike their curiosity. Intrigue is often enough to get a customer to click through. Break up an otherwise boring and monotonous inbox with a subject line or body content that is surprising enough to lead them back home to your brands.

  4. Offer incentives. You can try and win over disengaged subscribers with humor and emotion, but some will require a bigger incentive to come back, typically an exclusive offer. Try reeling subscribers back in with incentives like free delivery, discounts, or bundled offers.

  5. Get personal. Not all subscribers are the same, and you shouldn’t treat them as such. A blanket win-back message won’t get you very far because subscribers will just glaze over another mass email. It’s important to dig into customers have strayed away and to use that information to personalize a message that reminds them of the benefits of coming back. Use data – such as their last purchase or abandoned shopping cart – to tailor content that may lure them back to you.

If you’ve exhausted some or all of these options in trying to win back subscribers, it may be time to just ask them directly if they’d like to opt-in or out? Sending a frank note has two major benefits. One is that you will likely see a spike in re-activation simply because people respond well to yes or no questions, but it will also save you time and resources in shedding those who are disengaged for good.

At the end of the day, never give up hope when it comes to disengaged subscribers. Try your best to win them back and remember it’s ok to let go if it’s not meant to be; it will only make your subscriber base stronger and your engagement metrics better. Both are valuable metrics for improving overall in-boxing.

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