How Can You Win Back the Unengaged? Go Omnichannel!

Laura Hazlett, Ascent360

Laura Hazlett, Ascent360

Author Bio

Laura Hazlett is a seasoned database marketing professional with experience in both B2C and B2B marketing. As Director of Marketing of Ascent360, a Venture Capital backed SaaS company, Laura works closely with many retailers, brands and resorts to help them better understand their end consumers and effectively communicate with them. Prior to Ascent360, Laura ran the email marketing programs for a Denver startup and an online shopping company sending over 55 million emails per month. Laura graduated from Colorado State University with a degree in Marketing.

With the holidays right around the corner, I’m sure you’ve put a lot of time and effort into your seasonal marketing strategy and answered many of the most important questions. What deals will you offer? What new products will you launch? What marketing campaigns will you use? But have you thought about those customers that you haven’t engaged with in a while and how you should talk to them at this busy time of the year?

Sending emails on the most popular holiday shopping days, such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, might be effective for your engaged subscribers, but what about those who have stopped listening? Taking the time to identify this group, create specific messaging for them and hit them via the marketing channels where they are listening could make all the difference in winning back their business.

Go Where They Are

In today’s world, there are endless channels through which to speak to your customers. Knowing which ones to use can often be a difficult decision. To know which will work for your company, do some testing. Starting with email makes the most sense as it continues to be the most budget-friendly option. And if your customers are interacting with you there, you can simply keep that momentum going.

For those that are no longer engaging with you through email, however, you should try speaking to them elsewhere. Look for anyone that has either unsubscribed or simply hasn’t opened or clicked an email in the past six months to a year. Removing unresponsive subscribers from your email list not only lets you target them via other channels, it also creates higher engagement and lower unsubscribe rates in your current email marketing efforts.

For this unengaged group, try using social or digital channels. Just as with email, you can tailor your messaging and speak to subscribers on a personal level. With both Facebook and Instagram’s Custom Audiences, you can load your unengaged segment and speak to them directly with targeted digital campaigns. And the same goes for Google when you load your targeted segment to their Customer Match tool.

The true power of this type of marketing is the ability to win back lapsed customers and grow revenue through channels you might not have previously tried.

Put These Ideas Into Practice

With the holidays and the time for season pass sales quickly approaching, a ski resort in the northwest knew they wanted to try to bring back lapsed customers but wasn’t sure of the best strategy. Through multiple email sends, it was clear that a portion of their list was no longer engaging with them. So they looked for other options.

Rather than continuing to send to them, the company removed them from their email program altogether and added them to both Facebook and Google. From there, they tested Facebook ads that offered them an incentive to come back – a percent off coupon for their next purchase. Google display ads and videos were launched to target this lapsed segment as well. Once they started to win customers back, they used these recent purchasers and other top customers to create lookalike segments for both channels, allowing them to reach new prospects that looked just like their current best customers.

Through this omnichannel approach of email, social and display, the ski resort increased its marketing ROI by 1400% and reached an additional two million prospects they wouldn’t have otherwise been able to reach. With the help of these different marketing efforts, they had a very merry holiday season!

Don’t Say Goodbye

You may be asking yourself, “Is it worth my time to try and win back an unengaged audience?” The answer is yes. According to the White House Office of Consumer Affairs, it costs six to seven times more to acquire a new customer than it does to keep a current one.

A portion of your customers may be unengaged, but that doesn’t make them less valuable. You just need to wake them up. Take the time to find out where they’re listening, and speak to them there to win them back. At the end of the day, re-engaging a lapsed customer is much more valuable than letting them go.

To learn more about Ascent360, visit our website or contact me at lhazlett@ascent360.com.