Win back male customer with phone

Boost Customer Lifetime Value With a Winback Email Series

Remember the last time you were browsing in a store, and feeling generally uninspired? The same thing can happen to online shoppers. For a myriad of possible reasons, customers may lose interest and go months without engaging with your website or making a purchase.  

The problem with this is that, unless you win them back,  you will lose out on future sales from them. It’s important to monitor customer activity (A.I.-enabled marketing automation helps you do this) so you can act quickly to reengage them, keep them from churning, and boost customer lifetime value (CLV)

Avoiding Customer Churn

Customer churn can be defined as when a customer unsubscribes from your service, ceases to purchase from you, or simply stops engaging with your brand. Constantly eating away at your business profits, customer churn will remain an ongoing problem if the right prevention measures are not put in place.

Traditional efforts to reactivate churning customers involve creating a segment of subscribers that have not purchased within a specific time period and then delivering a static email with a standard discount. A Win-Back Series segments churning customers based on customer data and delivers individualized campaigns that are relevant and engaging. 

Consider the impact of the customer experience. According to research by Harvard Business School, customers who rate their experiences with a business as 10-out-of-10 spend 140 percent more compared to customers who rated their experiences as a three or lower. Focusing on improving the customer experience while creating a great winback series could be a winning two-pronged approach to retaining your customers.

Snapshot of a Typical Winback Series

Let’s take a look at what a typical winback series looks like.

Number of emails:

2 – 5 emails

Typical length of series:

30 days


  • Customers at risk of churning
  • Customers who have recently churned

Key tactics:

  • “We miss you” email
  • Win-back offer
  • Reminder email
  • Plain text email

“We Miss You” Email

This email gets straight to the point and uses the opportunity to demonstrate your company character and voice. You will want to stay brand-consistent with your messaging, color scheme, and creative, while making sure this message stands out from previous standard emails.

Deliver the email on the most optimal day and time based on each customer’s open, click, and sales data., and make the purchasing decision easy with clear calls-to-action.

Win-back Offer

Offer high or low discounts depending on predicted customer lifetime value (CLV). For example, a customer predicted to have a high CLV may be offered a steeper discount as a token of loyalty, while a customers with low CLV can be sent a smaller discount to encourage a second purchase.

Create urgency with time-sensitive discounts. The best performing offers typically expire within 1-5 days.

Reminder Email

This email is a follow up to the win-back offer email as a final encouragement to use the offered discount. The creative and messaging should stay consistent with the initial offer email so that the customer is easily reminded of the discount.

Send the reminder email within 24-48 hours of the offer expiration to create urgency. An onsite pop-up also serves as a great reminder and will increase conversion when customers return to the website.

Plain Text Email

Text-only emails increase the likelihood of engagement because they stand out amongst your previous emails, and appear to be from one person. Personalize this email with the customer’s name and profile information if possible. If your company provides great customer service, the email should contain the signature of a customer service representative to show that it’s a personal outreach.

Target At-Risk Customers with Personalized Product Recommendations

Did you know that you can target at-risk customers with personalized product recommendations using Retention Science (ReSci), an A.I.-enabled marketing automation platform that drives revenue and retention?

The product recommendations are based on the data that has been collected and analyzed for each individual’s purchase history and browsing behavior, the behavior of similar customers, the popularity of items in the catalog, and more.  This allows ReSci to predict the preferences of each individual and target them with the best recommendations.

Here are some tips for using ReSci to create your winback series:

  • To gain the most out of your winback series without risking your sending reputation, send 2-5 emails.
  • Create 2-4 templates with 3-5 subject lines so ReSci can optimize your open and click rate.
  • Use Smart Segments to target one-time and repeat purchasers differently.
  • Use Smart Segments to target hero images based on purchase history or demographics.
  • Use an aggressive discount to get customers “over the hump” of a second purchase.
  • Use Dynamic Recommendations optimized by ReSci.
  • Provide smaller discounts or no discount for repeat purchasers to avoid diminishing the value reputation of your products at full price.

If a subscriber completes a winback series without reengaging send a final message with the option to unsubscribe in order to maintain a clean email list.

It’s important to retain and win back your customers in order to boost customer lifetime value. Your attention to your winback series now can mean years of future revenue from your existing customers.


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ReSci is a team of marketers and data scientists on a mission to democratize AI. We make powerful recommendations and predictions accessible to brands.

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