Winning Back Lost Customers - 5 Re-engagement Email Examples You Can Copy

Oliver Bridge

It’s a rather unpleasant experience, but the fact of the matter is that customers tend to leave and become disinterested in the brand’s offers over time. In order to retain customers and subscribers, businesses are required to nurture the relationship with them.

Remember that re-engaging and retaining existing customers is a more effective and cost-friendly business strategy than winning back lost customers constantly. But, there’s no better way to reach out to the customers who went AWOL on you than through re-engagement emails.

Different types of re-engagement emails

Re-engagement emails or newsletters can be categorized into three main types, namely:

  • Customer appreciation emails
  • Win-back emails
  • Reactivation emails

Each of these main re-engagement email types can be further grouped and specified.

Customer appreciation emails, for instance, are a great way to re-engage inactive customers and maintain a good relationship with the active ones. Actually, these work best on warm leads as a type of prevention from losing customers and having them ghost you in the first place. Therefore, it would be wise to incorporate them into your email strategy from the very beginning.

That said, when brands want to send a customer appreciation email, they can choose among several different options:

  • Welcome emails
  • Thank-you emails
  • Holiday emails
  • Birthday emails
  • Gratitude emails
  • Exclusive offer emails

On the other hand, the win-back and reactivation email types are suitable for winning back lost customers and re-engaging the leads that went cold.

In the case of a customer win-back strategy, brands can send newsletters such as:

  • Miss-you emails
  • Friendly reminder emails
  • Last chance emails
  • Active incentive emails

When it comes to customer reactivation emails, brands can try their luck by sending:

  • Survey emails
  • Feedback emails
  • Abandoned cart emails
  • Latest offers emails
  • Personalized recommendation emails

The purpose of re-engagement emails

The obvious goal of re-engagement emails is to get the lost customers to engage with your business and products/services once again. However, in order to do that successfully, you should not count on that concept only.

This means that a proper re-engagement email addresses the desire of your business to re-engage with the customer through additional actions and missions. That said, don’t miss the opportunity to do more when sending out these newsletters. For instance, you can also:

  • Offer friendly reminders of the benefits that led the customers to sign up with you initially
  • Provide information about new concepts, content, products, services, etc.
  • Shift attention on the abandoned cart and products/services that the customers loved
  • Show clear and easy-to-understand concepts that make your brand authority within the industry
  • Mention the milestones you’ve reached recently as a part of your brand reputation enforcement
  • And more

As mentioned before, don’t wait for a bunch of your leads to grow cold in order to start sending your re-engagement emails. It’s crucial to maintain a good relationship with your subscribers from day one.

Not only is this essential for your customer retention strategy, but it will also have a huge impact on your win-back strategy as well, considering that the engagement drop often means a drop in open and click-through rates, which can end up flagging your newsletters as spam.

If you’re looking for some provenly effective tips when it comes to keeping your leads engaged and turning them into customers, Bonjoro has a few techniques to suggest.

How to get customers back with the right subject line?

Depending on the type of re-engagement email you wish to send out to win back lost customers, you have to pay a great deal of attention to how you’re going to phrase your subject line. This is the first thing that your customers will see and it’s a crucial step that can determine whether they decide to open the email at all. So, make sure to grab their attention right from the subject line.

Since a customer win-back strategy is the most common approach in this case, it would be rather effective to base your subject line and theme of the newsletter around the “we miss you email” and/or “we want you back email”.

Some good examples of this kind of subject line include:

  • We Want you Back!
  • We Miss You! How Have You Been?
  • We’ve Missed You! Enjoy 10% OFF EVERYTHING!
  • 15% Off. Because We Miss You.

You get the gist.

In the case of reactivation emails, you can always choose to go the more cheerful and/or humorous route. Just make sure that you keep your cards open and let people know what you have to offer them.

Think something like:

  • There’s Still Time to Snatch Everything at 20% Off!
  • You’ve Been Selected to Enjoy a $10 Voucher
  • We Love to Make You Feel Good: 10% Off Everything!
  • It’s Time We Had THE TALK
  • OMG! Are We Breaking Up? What About Your 15% Off?

When you plan a strategy to retain customers and maintain a good relationship with them, keep your subject lines positive and grateful:

  • We’re Happy to Call You Our Customer
  • Glad to Have You Back [Customer Name]!
  • Here’s a Welcome Back Coupon Just for You!
  • Did You Know? It’s Our First Anniversary Today!

Subject line recommendations

There are some general guidelines you should follow when crafting the ideal subject line for your re-engagement emails when trying to win back lost customers:

  • Don’t make it sound too spammy
  • You shouldn’t come off as desperate
  • Avoid sounding too pushy/bossy
  • Make sure that you actually offer real value to customers
  • Spark interest and curiosity
  • Feel free to use emojis

How to reactivate and win back lost customers

When it comes to straight talk reactivation through re-engagement emails, you really have to be careful not to over-send and flood your customers’ inboxes. This can only make them ignore you even more.

Essentially, how you’re going to build your win-back strategy will highly depend on the customer’s level of commitment to your brand. Not every customer is the same. For instance, you don’t want to send the same or the same amount of re-engagement email to users who have been loyal for a while and newly-subscribed users.

How many emails to send?

If you’re looking to win back a previously returning customer, it should be perfectly acceptable to send them up to seven re-engagement emails. On the other hand, even three emails may be pushing it too far for an entirely new subscriber. In the case of a subscriber who has been silent for really long, don’t make things worse by sending more than just one email.

The time of inactivity

Your schedule should also depend on the time of user inactivity. If a customer has been inactive for just a short period of time, chances are they’ll need a relatively small nudge to put trust in you once again and come back. On the other hand, lost customers who have been ignoring your offers for a good while should be carefully approached and nurtured, with special offers specifically tailored to them.

Refrain from one too many options

When crafting a re-engagement email to win back customers, keep in mind that you should stick to one single offer with one clear message and CTA. This will also make it easier for you to try different approaches later on with a clearer success rate if the first one flops.

Know when to quit

No type of offer will change a person’s mind if they’re set on taking their business elsewhere. That said, if your most aggressive emails don’t work and your most amazing offers remain ignored, you should accept the fact that it’s time to let go.

Key email design features for winning back customers

When we talk about representative sample email to win back old customers and its features, you have to remember that being too generic won’t ever work. Showing the emotional side of your business and presenting that in a nice and friendly manner is crucial.

Another thing that has to be addressed here is the actual look and functionality of your emails. Without a proper layout and design that acts as a beautiful wrapper of your copy, you lower your chances of success.

Fortunately, Bonjoro explains the ins and outs of email newsletter layout design in this article, which includes the best practices to boost conversions.

That said, keep in mind the essentials of a high-converting re-engagement email design:

  • Choose the entire imagery, copy, design and even offer based on the customer’s personal preferences
  • Use appealing typography that reflects your brand image and message but also makes it easy to read and focus on important parts of the copy
  • Make the most out of icons, colors, textures and background to enhance the emotion of the email
  • The CTA should be clearly visible and easy to separate from the rest of the copy, with powerful and actionable wording
  • Make sure that the email is fully responsive so that your customers can view it fully and smoothly on any device
  • Include some trendy details to showcase that your email newsletter design and entire strategy are up-to-date and curated recently
  • Utilize fun dynamic effects that will remain memorable for the customers once they interact with your email

Re-engagement email examples

You+Us by Gap

Right from the start, customers can get all the necessary information and understand the benefits of the offer in this You+Us email by Gap. The simplicity of colors and design paired with bold typography allows the users to read the email quickly and focus on the most important details.

It's Been a While by Rockport

It’s been a while by Rockport is a classic example of a win-back customers email strategy. They offer clear incentives and offers together with everything that’s new with the brand. Perfect for the customers who haven’t been inactive for far too long, the email showcases simple yet appealing and stylish design matched perfectly with proven marketing tricks.

We Miss You by Red Mango

Red Mango email manages to draw attention by pulling a generous offer such as 20% off instantly. Together with the “we miss you” approach, they effectively follow the practices of connecting to the customer emotionally. The design may be minimal, but it utilizes the placement of the copy and bold typography against white space perfectly in order to relate the message quickly.

Abandoned Cart by Rudy’s

By playing the humor card, Rudy’s delivers an abandoned cart re-engagement email perfectly, without sounding too spammy or pushy. They displayed the products from the cart clearly together with the offer and incentive so that the customer can find themselves in the shopping mindset and purchasing decision as soon as they open the email.

Last Call by Felix Gray

Felix Gray presents a good example of a holiday re-engagement email. Appealing design without going overboard delivers the most important message in a straightforward fashion. They explain the benefits of re-engaging with them and follow up with the offer.


Just like with everything in life, prevention is better than cure. While re-engagement emails are a necessity of every single business, regardless of its size, conducting a proper and effective email marketing strategy from the start will minimize the need for constant re-engagement emailing and continuously boost the relationship with the customers.

Communication with the customers is key in order to deliver adequate customer service that will make the customers want to stay. Bonjoro can help you convert, retain and grow your customers with lovely personal video messages sent at just the right moment. Don’t wait a minute longer to jump from the average email open rate of 21% to whooping 60%+ with Bonjoro.

Growth tips
About the author
Oliver Bridge
Growth Grizzly
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