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Using Direct Mail to Win Back Customers

Jim Leone

We often write about direct mail as a customer acquisition tool. But what about winning back customers who left? With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we wanted to talk today about a strategic way to let that special someone know you’re still thinking about them and want to get back together. Many of our clients have had great success using win-back programs to do just that.

Why is getting back together with a loyal customer so important? In terms of customer lifetime value, it’s been said that it would be money well spent to get on an airplane and personally visit a person to convince them to become a loyal customer once again. Obviously, this isn’t feasible, but with a successful win-back program, thankfully you don’t have to. The biggest challenge to using direct mail is to make the customer feel like you’re in their living room, appealing to them personally to come back. The use of digital production has mitigated this challenge as it allows each mailing to be highly personalized with relevant information for each recipient.

But just like any broken relationship, in order to get back together with your customer, you first have to examine what went wrong. Common reasons people break up with a brand include receiving a better offer somewhere else, better features or value added benefits, having a bad experience, the lack of a loyalty program, poor performance, or simply a change in their circumstance.

That doesn’t mean you can’t get back together. After all, they loved you once, there’s a good chance they’ll love you again. But first you have to let them know you’ve missed them, explain how you’ve changed or upgraded value and give them a great offer. This is where direct mail comes in. In our experience, successful win-back packages:

  • Are impossible not to open
  • Tell the recipient they are missed
  • Offer a compelling reason to return
  • Utilize a clear call to action
  • Include an easy response mechanism

A colleague recently showed me a great direct mail win-back offer from a magazine that had all of these elements and followed our checklist for getting the envelope opened. They used an oversized envelope (but one that qualified as a letter) and created a sense of intrigue with the phrase “Do Not Bend” to increase open rates. A heavy insert was included. The offer was described as a “Welcome Back Offer for Former Subscribers: Lowest Rate We Allow,” which appeared hand-stamped in red. The “stamp” also appeared on the reply envelope as the return address. The order form featured “Welcome Back Benefits” with effective use of the recipient’s name to personalize the offer. Last but not least, the call to action included a sense of urgency with a limited time special offer.

Getting back a loyal customer isn’t always easy, but it’s always worthwhile. Please consider reaching out to us if you’re interested in creating a win-back program to help you reunite with lost loves.

link https://www.iwco.com/blog/2015/02/11/winning-back-customers-with-direct-mail/
Jim Leone


Jim Leone

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