How To Winback Your Shopify Customers With A Re-Engagement Email & SMS Automation Series

How To Winback Your Shopify Customers With A Re-Engagement Email & SMS Automation Series

Without a winback automation, you're missing out on targeting over 66% of your email list and risk damaging your inbox placement. Make sure you're using these winback emails!

Anima Hossain

September 22, 2021

October 14, 2021
4 min
min READ

Your Shopify email list is growing, you have an awesome welcome automation set up, you’re sending targeted campaigns, but some of your customers are still not engaging. It happens to the best of us but with a little planning and some effort early on, you’ll have an email strategy that’s ready to winback even the toughest of customers.

Let’s dive in!

Why do you need a winback automation for your Shopify store?

Let’s face it, there are a lot of marketing lists out there that are inactive - marketing land projects this to be around 66%. Without the right re-engagement strategy, that’s a huge part of your list that isn’t opening or engaging with your emails, and a lot of potential revenue left on the table. It’s easy to continue to treat those customers just like everyone else on your email list, but continuing to send blasts to them without a proper winback strategy can damage your inbox placement to your whole list.

A winback series re-engages the customer at exactly the right moment with hyper-targeted messaging they can’t ignore. These customers were interested in your brand not too long ago, so there’s a good chance that you can win them back with the right email content.

So how do you create a winback automation that works?

Segment out your inactive customers

Depending on your ESP, you’ll need to separate your inactive subscribers from your main list. Hive automatically buckets your subscribers based on engagement level, but if you’re on a different ESP you’ll need to manually create a segment to capture those subscribers that haven’t engaged in a while. We recommend segmenting out those subscribers that haven’t opened or clicked your last 10 emails as inactive subscribers. This ensures that you’re not continuing to include inactives for your main blasts and risking your email deliverability.

Figure out what your Shopify customers care about

The goal of your winback series is to send emails designed specifically to appeal to your inactive subscribers and get them to re-engage. Take some time to think about what types of content your subscribers want to get from you. This is unique to your specific Shopify store but think along the lines of what brings the most value to your subscribers. This could be in the form of exclusive discount codes if your subscribers are price sensitive, or exclusive first access to content.

Once you figure out what your customers care about and what will re-engage them best, you can start planning our winback automation.

Shopify Winback automation: Email 1

Subject line: Are you breaking up with us? 😭

The first email in your series can be simple, with good copy and a link to your preference centre and still re-engage more customers than you think. The preference centre should let customers choose the type of emails they want to get from you and ask for information that can help hyper-target your future emails. Think asking them for their birthday, or if they’re interested in exclusive discounts or other promotional news.

Shopify winback automation: Email 2

Subject line: We want you back 🥺 Here’s 10% off your next purchase

If the first email doesn’t work, it’s time to bring out the big guns with a promo code. Who doesn’t love a discount right? Send this email 2 or 3 days after the first one and include a CTA to your Shopify store with their unique discount code. This might be the extra push they need to visit your Shopify store and complete a purchase.

Shopify winback automation: SMS

For those customers that have SMS opted in, send a text instead of the second winback email in your flow. SMS is the best for time sensitive campaigns because most of them are read within the first 3 minutes of sending, and have a 30% higher conversion rate than email.

Best practice is to follow this format for your next winback SMS:

Best practise is to follow the format below for abandoned cart SMS reminders:

Hi Anima! Here’s 10% off your next purchase. Just our little way of saying we missed you 🥺 Use code [code merge tag] at checkout. [link to the site]

Shopify winback automation: Email 3

Subject line: Wait, don't go yet, 20% off your next purchase!

If the other 2 emails haven’t worked, leverage a higher promo code for the last email in your winback automation series. Typically the last email code in your winback series has the highest discount code you’re willing to offer since it’s your last chance to win these customers back. If customers are still not engaging after this email, it’s recommended to prune leftover inactive subscribers and treat them as invalid. The chances of them engaging with any emails you send after these winback emails is low and can hurt your deliverability in the long run.

Use an email CRM to target your Shopify customers

You can send the best emails, but without knowing who to send too, you’re basically shooting your shot in the dark. By using a CRM like Hive, you can organize your list and use over 100 different filters to figure out your top customers who haven’t purchased in a while. Data’s the foundation of a good email strategy, and with the right CRM you have full insight into your list so you can send better targeted campaigns, and drive higher conversions.

Wrap up

With an inactive email list, you’re missing out on the opportunity to maximize your ROI with your email strategy, and risk hurting your email deliverability in the long run. While it’s likely you’ll always have some inactive subscribers, it’s important you have a strategy in place to win them back with a hyper-targeted automation. Put in a little effort now to build your winback series, and you’ll see inactive customers coming back in no time!