4 steps for winning back former clients

You likely already know it takes less time, energy and money to keep a client than to get a new one. Nothing new.

But what about bringing back, or reactivating, an old client? 

Depending on the reason they left, you’ll see the highest conversions for the lowest costs when welcoming back former clients and customers.

Here are 4 steps for winning back former clients and customers:

  1. Take it offline.  The online landscape is so cluttered that a former client may easily overlook your content and the value you provide.  Sort of a “been there done that” subconscious thought as their attention quickly shifts to something else.
  2. Think about who you want to reach out to.  Direct mail is more expensive than email, social media, etc. Given that, you want to reach out to former clients who may have an interest in coming back rather than every former client.

    Who are they?  Well, to be frank, they’re not anyone you ticked off or where the relationship didn’t end on a good note unless you can remedy the reason they originally left.

    They are people who left for all other reasons: bad timing, cost, feeling overwhelmed, unable to consume all you provide… you get the idea.
  3. Whenever possible, personalize.  If you know why they left in the first place, include your “solution” to that reason/issue in your reactivation campaign.

    If they were feeling overwhelmed at all your program/product provided, show them how your new X breaks things down so they can do it at their own pace.

    If the issue was cost related, do you have a special “welcome back” offer you can make to bring them back while still honoring the program, product or service?
  4. Marathon, not a sprint.  Direct mail isn’t meant to be “one and done.”

    Plan to send at least 3 “notes” to your former clients.

    To keep costs in check, the first 1-2 touches (mailings) could be postcards and the 3rd a letter or 1 and 3 are postcards and 2 is a letter. Sending a postcard first ensures any outdated addresses are known before the additional expense of a letter.

    Each “touch” should be sent 8-12 days after the previous to allow time for the postal system and your former client to take action.

    Key here is to include a great offer and reason why they should come back. Note that reactivation campaigns tend to work best for those who have left within the last 18 months.

Ready, Set, Reactivate!