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Behind the Scenes of a Killer Customer Reactivation Campaign…

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When was the last time you spent any time thinking about cancelled or lost customers? If you’re like me, the answer is not very often. I’ve never been one to focus too long on the ones that got away. Instead, I prefer to go out and simply find more new business. But, once or maybe twice a year, I find it can be very wise to spend a little time looking back at the customers who got away and devise a strategy to win them back, because many times, there is gold in those lists.

Customer reactivation campaigns aren’t new, but so few businesses actually use them. That may be the reason I’m attracted to implementing one. I prefer to play in less crowded spaces. When I see everyone going left, I want to head right and see what’s over there.

If you’ve never run a lost customer campaign, they are pretty simple. There isn’t a huge difference between B2C and B2B when creating this campaign. Typically, the main difference between B2B and B2C is volume — B2C is going to have a much higher number of lost customers. The other difference is the amount of money you must spend to get a customer to come back. A B2B customer has a higher annual customer value, which means you can spend more money to win them back.

The Newsletter Pro’s lost customer reactivation campaign

In February of 2017, my team was in the process of marketing a reactivation campaign here at The Newsletter Pro. Our first step was to pull our list of lost customers from the last 24 months. That list was sent to me and two others for review. The point was for us to see if there were people we wanted to remove from the list. After the three of us reviewed the list and crossed out a few names, we had 43 clients left.

I then wrote a story-based sales letter that was themed to the start of the year, and I made sure to include an amazing offer.

Since we only had 43 names, we decided to send the letters via FedEx. Inside the FedEx package was a copy of my six-page sales letter, a copy of my book co-authored with Dan Kennedy, No B.S. Guide to Maximum Customer Referrals and Retention, and a testimonial booklet we use in some of our marketing. To add a little extra “wow factor,” I personalized and autographed the books, and we added a bookmark, which of course, is branded.

In all, each package cost somewhere near $18, including FedEx Ground Shipping. Not including time spent on this campaign, we were in it for $774. We then had two follow-up letters that went out over the next few weeks, but both of those were sent by first-class mail, and we estimated it cost about $150 for those to be printed and delivered.

After the FedEx packages were delivered, we then started calling. We had three different people making phone calls on this campaign. If that seems excessive, that’s because it is. The reason we had three people making calls is that we had some team members who had existing relationships with these past customers, and we felt that those individuals should be the ones to reach out and try to reconnect. If we had hundreds of people to call, I’d likely not worry too much about the team member connection, except for in cases where the account was very large.

Our goal with the phone calls was to either set an appointment, or hot transfer the call to a sales rep.

Normally, reactivation campaigns are able to recover between 2 percent and 12 percent of lost customers. For our campaign, we set a goal of four reactivated customers. Personally, I was happy when we reached two, and I would have been thrilled by five or more. I know those seem like small numbers, and they are, but we started with a small list.

I’m a firm believer that the game of business is won 10 yards at a time, not by trying to throw a Hail Mary to the end zone on each drive. So, never forget to celebrate (and push for) the seemingly small wins. They add up quickly to make a big difference in your overall business growth.


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