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Although it might seem counterintuitive, reactivating Lost Customers is one of the smartest and most profitable marketing actions that an entrepreneur and marketer can take.

Omnisend highlights that reactivating inactive customers is much cheaper than acquiring new ones, as existing customers have already shown interest in the brand and products.

This makes the likelihood of selling to an existing customer significantly higher (60-70%) compared to converting a new prospect (5-20%).

Reactivation strategies include identifying inactive customers, developing targeted messages for reactivation campaigns, and using email as an effective tool for such campaigns.

Intelemark emphasizes how targeted campaigns aimed at reactivating inactive customers can increase company revenue.

It underscores the effectiveness of personalized strategies that take into account the needs and preferences of inactive customers, aiming to re-establish meaningful, long-term relationships with them.

An entrepreneur should understand this principle perfectly because it’s exactly what a serious and professional accountant would tell you.

If you do the math, you’ll discover that $1,000 spent on reactivating lost customers yields much more money than spending $1,000 on a lead generation campaign.

Every time.

Now, it’s clear that not everyone will have Lost Customers, especially if they’ve recently opened their business.

However, if you have customers who made purchases from you a long time ago and then stopped, the best thing to do is to create a dedicated list on AWeber, including only the emails of these customers.

When can a customer be considered lost?

It depends on the type of business.

It’s a behavior you need to assess based on the average frequency at which a regular customer typically buys from you.

For example, it’s unlikely that a real estate agent (speaking from experience) would have Lost Customers.

Often, a person buys a house and lives in it for a lifetime, so it doesn’t make sense to talk about lost customers.

It makes sense to stay in touch with these individuals to try to obtain Referrals, but you can’t consider them lost customers.

However, some of them might change their minds one day and decide to sell, and if you’ve stayed in contact with them, they will trust you to sell their house.

It’s a completely different story for a restaurant owner, for instance.

A restaurant owner might consider a customer lost if they don’t return after a month.

A lost customer for a gym is someone who doesn’t renew their membership after years and doesn’t come back.

I repeat: the timeframe varies from business to business.

Once you’ve created this list of lost customers, utilize all the marketing materials at your disposal and send them emails as I’ll show you in the corresponding blog post on the structure of the emails to send.

Never call them (calling is too direct, and people often dislike sales calls).

The Apology Letter from Audi

Audi’s marketing department made a very clever move to address a major mistake they had made, which had eroded the trust of many loyal customers.

In September 2015, Volkswagen, Audi’s parent company, sent physical letters to all of its customers, apologizing for the “serious error” that had been uncovered by the United States Environmental Protection Agency: the infamous Dieselgate scandal.

Volkswagen took full responsibility, expressing deep remorse for betraying the trust of many loyal customers and, in an effort to rectify the situation, offered to replace the affected engine parts free of charge.

They only asked for some patience while they organized the process.

This wasn’t a targeted letter specifically aimed at reactivating Lost Customers, but rather a friendly apology letter that my father, a longtime Audi enthusiast, was very pleased to receive.

So, what does such a letter have to do with Lost Customers?

This letter, both in terms of timing and content, would have been perfect even if it had been used as a letter to win back a lost customer.

Indeed, Audi’s offer included a full acknowledgment of their own fault, coupled with a generous and tangible gesture – the free repair of the mistake they had made.

So, it wasn’t a mere apology letter, which can be quite annoying, like the robotic announcements from Italian Railways that say, “We apologize for the delay,” which, when translated, means:

“We apologize for the delay, but in reality, we couldn’t care less.”

How to Behave When You Are Not at Fault?

Naturally, there is also the possibility that a customer stops buying from you without you having made any mistakes or shown any disrespect.

There are countless reasons why this could happen: their purchasing habits may have changed, or one of your competitors may have made a better offer.

What should you do in these cases?

Well, if their buying habits have changed, there may be little you can do, as they may no longer need your product (or anyone else’s for that matter).

The most obvious example is when a child grows up and parents stop buying toys.

In this case, the toy store owner can do very little.

However, the story is different when your product is evergreen and is a commodity that doesn’t experience seasonality or downturns; if your customers have started turning to the competition, then there’s a problem.

What should you do in this case?

Start by sending small gifts (this process is called “hidden marketing”).

What kind of gifts?

Small items related to your business: a nice custom pen with your logo or a stack of notebooks with your logo, for example.

It depends on your business and what your customer would be happy to receive for free.

If the customer has recently stopped buying, in addition to the gift, you could also send them a very generous offer.

Your goal is to get these customers back into your funnel, without trying to make a big profit from this transaction.

You can break even or even lose a bit of money, it doesn’t matter.

What matters is convincing a customer – who had already trusted you and had already shown that they have the money to buy your products or services – to buy from you again.