Marketing Strategies

4 steps to creating a cross-channel win back strategy

First, the nitty-gritty: while marketers sometimes use the terms ‘win back’ and ‘reactivation’ interchangeably, a win back strategy targets recent lapsed buyers and aims to propel them to buy again. Reactivation strategies aim to re-engage recent and long-term lapsed buyers, as well as recent and long-term inactive subscribers. This means that win back campaigns are a components of an overarching reactivation strategy.

Now, let’s talk win back efforts.

Marketers should harness the major benefits of creating a cross-channel win back strategy in advance of the upcoming holiday season. Often brands place more emphasis on acquisition efforts than customer retention, even though it can cost 7x more to acquire a new customer. An automated cross-channel win back strategy can re-engage lapsed customers by leveraging relevant and timely offers peppered across multiple channels. Incorporating smart and targeted retention touch points can drive incremental revenue, lift customer lifetime value, and decrease churn.

Garner these big wins by crafting a robust cross-channel win back strategy that utilizes the following framework:

1. Surprise and delight lapsed customers through diverse communications

Capture a lapsed customer’s attention by sending a personalized postcard offer via direct mail. H&M employs this approach for those customers who haven’t purchased in several months.

2. Sprinkle in a relevant and rich reward to re-engage

Include a sweet offer to grab a lapsed customer’s attention and propel them to re-engage with the brand. H&M provides a relevant and rich offer of 40% off one item and free shipping on your next order. This offer is informed by a customer’s online purchase history vs her in-store one. The brand also creates urgency, by making the coupon valid for only two weeks.

3. Send a series of timely touch points to win them back

Incorporate a cross-channel approach, including automated email triggers, to grab a lapsed customer’s attention. After sending a postcard in the mail, H&M deploys a follow up win back email, one week later, containing the same offer. The brand continues to promote urgency by reaffirming the upcoming expiration date, already communicated in the postcard:

Highlight the reasons a customer should shop your brand again. H&M clearly totes their key differentiators and benefits, such as ‘unique online deals’:

Now is the time to create a cross-channel win back strategy that spans different channels but communicates a consistent brand message and contextual knowledge of the customer. While this is often easier said than done due to technology limitations, lack of resources, and integration challenges, marketers can succeed by trusting the right partner that can provide a robust cross-channel solution as well as strategic guidance. Learn more about the cross-channel marketing platform today.


Kimberly Snyder
Sr. Marketing Strategist

As a Sr. Marketing Strategist at Data Axle, Kimberly helps clients develop and optimize best in class customer marketing communication strategies. She creates robust omni-channel program visions, capturing the customer experience and leveraging customer data, to create personalized and relevant lifecycle strategies. She applies her vast marketing experience, running multiple IR500 programs, to propel her clients' programs' KPIs quarter over quarter. Follow her on Twitter @kimberlysnyder - it's worth it - she was recently named among the ‘75 Email Marketing Influencers You Need to Follow’ by Atomic Reach.