Short blogs | 4 MIN READ TIME

2021 is a huge opportunity for effective re-engagement campaigns – here’s what to do next


Great re-engagement campaigns energise lapsed customers to come back and spend with you again. And in 2021 they’re as vital as ever.

The need for dedicated re-engagement campaigns

It can be difficult to restart a conversation after a break. We’re often not quite sure how to rebuild a connection after a customer hasn’t made a purchase for a while.

While we hear phrases like “if they wanted to, they would have” a lot in our personal lives, the reality is in business we have to be proactive about staying in touch with our customer base.

That means running re-engagement campaigns to rekindle contact with customers that lose touch or don’t do businesses with us for a long time.

Effective re-engagement brings customers back into the fold using data and information you already have, making it easier than prospecting or attracting brand new customers.

Re-engagement in 2021

Re-engagement in 2021 has more weight than ever for businesses affected by national restrictions. We’re seeing a period of mass-trial in sectors that have re-opened, but re-opened with limited availability.

Consumers have been trying new things, going to new places, and experimenting with new brands while their usual favourites are over-subscribed with limited space, or limited supply.

The quiz for these businesses is how to bring those back once the fizz of lockdown easing bubbles down and things get back to normal.

The good news is, in a world of advance bookings and online purchases, there’s a good chance you have these customers’ contact details and have their permission to contact them.

That presents you with a fantastic opportunity. Albeit an opportunity that needs to be handled with care and caution.

Make sure you have permission first

Know your audience, and use what you know to guide your decision making. You don’t want to be perceived to have crossed a boundary.

For some audiences, an email or an SMS isn’t a significant invasion, but a mailer might be seen as too far. For others, even SMS might seem invasive.

Try the more modest approach first, and see if nets you the results you’re looking for before burning a potential lead by starting too strong, too fast.

Also be sure to check whether your audience gave you permission to contact them with promotions when they initially shared their information with you.

With that out of the way, let’s talk about re-engaging your post-lockdown opportunists.

Where to re-engage your audience

There are plenty of effective avenues to get in touch with your audience.

1. Email

Most commercial database/CRM software will have a field that lets you filter your audience by when they first appeared in your database.

Dig through your contacts and create an audience of all the new contacts that appeared during last summer’s relaxation of lockdown rules, and the most recent easing of restrictions.

From there, you can assemble a database of new customers to target with your re-engagement messaging.

This data might also give you the opportunity to try other avenues to reach them, as we’ll talk about below:

2. SMS

Text messages are a powerful but under-utilised string to the marketing bow.

If customers have shared their phone numbers while making purchases, consider using your email marketing software to send them a text.

3. App alerts

If your company has an app, then you can use the alerts in that app to grab your customers’ attention.

What you might also consider is location-based alerts, to let customers know you’re open and have a deal or sale on when they’re near one of your locations.

4. Direct mailer

If your audience is unlikely to be reached, or hard to reach through new media, don’t rule out a direct mailer.

While it’s a little old-fashioned, it has its own unique advantages. You have more room for creativity with a mailer over a digital message, and you can include more information.

You can also include a promotional item, like a discount card, that the customer can bring with them when they next come in.

5. Social media

With a substantial enough email database, you can create an audience on social media. You can then push messages to a super-focused audience, knowing exactly which group your message is going to.

Once you know where your audience is, it’s just a question of what gets their attention.

6. A phone call

Depending on how your business operates, and what kind of relationship model you have with your customers, a phone call might be appropriate.

In fact, a high-value customer with a large spend might even expect you to be the party that reaches out to talk to them about their account. Being proactive puts you in pole position to bring their spend back to your business.

What to say to your audience

There are a few great options available to you when reaching out with a re-engagement message.

Engage them emotionally

Play on their memories of the good times they had enjoying their new-found freedoms after a difficult winter. Or the purchases they made to keep their spirits up during the national restriction period.

Invite them back to make some memories in the future.

Re-target them based on purchase history

If you have any insight on what your customers bought, re-engage them with that knowledge. Tell them what’s new, what’s changed, and what you think they’ll enjoy when they come back in again.

Offer to answer questions or give them more information when they get in touch.

Ask questions

Ask your customers whether they’re thinking about coming back, with a binary question tree. If the answer is “yes”, invite them in. If the answer is “no”, ask why. You might be able to counter their objections with a follow-up message and bring them back in.

Offer promotions and deals

Sometimes it’s best to keep it simple. Get back in touch with your audience and offer them discounts, priority access to a loyalty scheme, or a digital gift-card when they make their next purchase.

It’s not reinventing the wheel, but it’s a simple approach that works for a broad variety of audiences.

Over to you

If you have any questions about re-engaging your audience, get in touch. We’d be happy to hear about your audience and help you get a motivating re-engagement message in front of them.

We’re available on phone and web chat during business hours, and you can email us any time.