You've invested money. You've given them a lot of your time. You've even shown them love. And you're just going to let them walk away?
I'm talking about lapsed customers, who remain the best prospecting source no matter how many new leads your company may have or how successful your new acquisition campaign is about to become. In general, lapsed customer programs are any organized effort by a marketer contacting customers who have not made a purchase or donation within a certain period of time — and most direct mailers should consider them to be a key part of their business.
"I love to reactivate lapsed customers. They're like low-hanging fruit. If you're not doing that, then you're missing a great opportunity," describes Pat Friesen, copywriter and owner of Pat Friesen & Co. According to Friesen, if you actually test reactivation of customers or donors, and track it over time and look at the numbers, you'll find they are far less expensive to reactivate than going out and prospecting for new customers.
Here are three ways to reactivate:
1. A Customer Was a Customer, No Matter How Old
"If they were a customer once, assuming the customer experience was a positive one, they are more likely to respond than new prospects," says Gary Hennerberg, a direct marketing consultant and owner of Hennerberg Group.
He references a food-by-mail client that goes back to past purchasers even when it's been over five years since they last purchased. Why? Probably because in this situation-a food gift-there are customers who like to vary the gifts they give each year.
"As long as the response rate justifies the marketing cost, there is no such thing as too old. For an insurance client, we're able to go back to people who were policyholders six and seven years ago, and they still respond well," reveals Hennerberg.