Win Back Email: Learn How To Re-engage Relapsed Customers

win-back email

Win Back Email: Learn How To Re-engage Relapsed Customers

Published By Alexandra Marinaki
February 23, 2023

Loyal customers mean more than anything to a business. They can secure a stable ROI and even promote your products to their loved ones. Priceless, right? Therefore, it’s hard to see some of your repeat customers go, even if it’s normal to some degree. But email marketing has the ultimate tool to help you nudge relapsed buyers and bring them back to you – win-back email campaigns.

Here’s what you’ll learn in this guide:

  • The definition of a win-back email
  • Top benefits and stats that prove its worth
  • Tips on how to create campaigns that convert

Last but not least, we’ll finish off with campaign examples from top brands. Enjoy!

What Is A Win-Back Email?

It’s an email campaign aiming to re-engage inactive subscribers and make them convert again. These contacts either stopped purchasing your products/services or don’t open your emails anymore.

Most businesses build automated win-back email series for inactive customers to increase the likelihood of getting their messages across. Email automation tools enable them to set up these campaigns at the flick of a switch. However, five email campaigns would be the maximum, as you don’t want to overwhelm them.

retail customer journey


Each business has different criteria to determine customer churn, mainly depending on the customer journey. For example, a bike store will craft a different win-back strategy compared with an apparel eCommerce store, as bicycles and equipment like helmets last for years.

What Are The Benefits Of A Win-Back Email?

So why should a business try to bring lapsed customers back instead of focusing their energy on gaining new customers? Simply because customer acquisition costs five times more than retention based on recent win-back email stats.

And it makes sense! Buyers who’ve chosen your brand in the past will resort to you more easily next time if they’ve been pleased with your service and products. But if they’re still at the awareness stage, you should go a long way until they finally show trust in you.

Moreover, win-back campaign series seem to attract inactive subscribers. According to research, 45% of the email subscribers who got a re-engagement email read a follow-up message, even if only 24% had opened the first one, which means that well-crafted and timely win-back emails can boost your open rates.

Regarding metrics, win-back emails indirectly help sustain a decent email deliverability score as the open rate rises. If subscribers stop interacting with your newsletters or, even worse, send them straight to the spam folder, your sender’s reputation will be at stake.

How Do You Write An Effective Win-Back Email Campaign?

So to ensure that conversions will keep coming your way, it’s essential to keep customers that have supported you in the past close to you and reclaim their email opens and click-throughs.

Below, we’ve gathered a list of valuable tips to help you build successful win-back campaigns:

1. Define the Goal of the Win-Back Campaign

As with every strategic marketing move you make, you need to set a clear goal for each campaign you create. As mentioned earlier, there are various types of win-back emails with a different approach and impact on your subscribers.

Below, you’ll find some win-back email examples:

The “Hello from the Other Side” Campaign

Sometimes, all you need is to remind your customers that you’re here and more than happy to care for them. Invite them to look at your website again and even introduce them to your new products if you see fit.

Many businesses also include social proof to similar campaigns to remind customers how awesome they are. Look at this example by YNAB:

Subject Line: Your budget misses you!

re-engagement email example

However, feel free to move things slowly. Inactive subscribers won’t go from zero to hero in a single breath. Just start nurturing them politely, and you’ll reap those benefits sooner or later.

The Incentive Email Newsletter

Another way to approach your target audience is by offering them an incentive to get more conversions. Many consumers appreciate such initiatives and often react to claim their reward.

For example, you can give them a discount code, a coupon, or free shipping. Craft a call-to-action that stands out so that people spot it straight ahead. You can also point out that their offer is available for a limited time to create FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) and get shoppers ready to act.

Look at the CTA by to get inspired:

Subject Line: Summer’s over

email with incentive

The Survey Email Campaign

Do you know why your shoppers stopped engaging with your emails in the first place? Did they have a bad experience or lose interest in your products? Exploring the reasons for disengagement can shed light on potential email marketing hiccups and help you tackle them before it’s too late.

Customer surveys will help you find what may keep customers away from you. Make them concise to avoid losing them in the process. You can also give them an incentive to ensure that they’ll respond to it.

Here’s an example by Scoot:

Subject Line: We’d love your help.

email customer survey

The “Last Notice” Email Newsletter

Before you wave your customers goodbye, it’s important to give them a last chance to stay with you. Build a campaign that notifies your subscribers that they’ll soon be removed from your list and see how they’ll react.

Make sure to express your hard feelings about seeing them go, but respect their wish to do so. Moreover, allow them to stay on the list if they want to, with a relevant CTA.

Here’s an example by Framebridge:

Subject Line: Goodbyes are hard…

Framebridge email campaign

The “It’s Over” Confirmation

If you’ve just removed a customer from your email list, it’d be best to let them know. Always allow them to subscribe again, as you never know what led them away in the first place. It’s worth giving a final try!

This is how Best Made did that:

Subject Line: Best Made Company Email List: You Are Now Unsubscribed

unsubscribe campaign

2. Segment your Email List

Email segmentation is one of the most critical components of a successful win-back email marketing strategy. It lets you build personalized content for customers with shared characteristics such as demographics, geographic location, or behavioral data.

Most email marketing services like Moosend or Mailchimp enable you to segment your lists using sophisticated features. For instance, Moosend has different recipes to choose from based on your exact needs. But what kind of segmentation criteria do you need to set for effective win-back campaigns?

Again, every business has different parameters to define a lapsed customer based on their sales cycle. For example, you can segment your lists based on customers’ last purchase, the type of items they bought, or how much they’ve spent on your business.

Once you find the silver lining, you’ll see that customer engagement will get a big push, and important metrics will start rising again.

3. Create an Inviting Email Subject Line

The subject line is one of the first things subscribers notice once your message lands on their mailbox. And win-back email subject lines should steal the audience’s heart at first sight.

Many businesses use the phrase “Miss you” to grab the customer’s attention and build an emotional connection with them. As with every subject line, it should be concise, and the recipient should be able to tell almost straight away what the message is all about before opening it.

Here are a few suggestions to consider for different win-back email types:

  • We miss you…*puppy eyes*
  • Get Your Special Offer Inside!
  • Let’s rekindle the friendship
  • Have you checked your mailbox? 📬
  • {NAME}, now is the perfect time to rejoin Netflix.

Not sure which subject line is the best for your email newsletter? Run an A/B test and see which one shall prevail.

4. Invest in the Email Content

And, of course, when your customers open your campaign, they should be amazed by the email content, too. Pick a beautiful design layout with a clear format and craft some unique copy lines to communicate the purpose of your message to your readers.

Moreover, one of the elements you should take extra care of is your call to action. Ensure that it stands out from the rest of the content and that its copy is inviting enough to enhance your click-throughs.

Thankfully, many email marketing tools include email templates made with a clear structure so that readers spot them fast to convert. Here’s an example that can work pretty well from Moosend’s template library:

image showcase gallery template

Get this!

5 More Win Back Email Examples And Why They Work

Now let’s see a few win-back email campaigns that can win the customers’ hearts and why they can work wonders for brands like yours:


Subject Line: It’s been a while…

RESY email campaign

Why it works: First off, here’s a campaign by Resy – a restaurant management system. Starting with the subject line, it’s simple yet efficient, and the reader quickly understands what the email is about.

On the same tone, the email copy is concise, informing the reader that even though it’s been a while since they last connected, they are available to help them catch up with the latest news and services.

In addition, the buttons are easy to find for subscribers who are ready to start interacting with the service again. There’s an unsubscribe link on the email footer for those who want to opt-out and social media buttons to promote an omnichannel experience.

Product Hunt

Subject Line: Products you don’t want to miss

win-back email campaign

Why it works: At Product Hunt, they wanted to share their latest updates with churned customers. They started with a clear subject line, including the buzzword “miss” for extra results.

They also used a clear outline to demonstrate their cool new product suggestions to grab their attention. This campaign is easy to navigate, and once the reader opens it, they learn precisely what they should about the company to make a return!


Subject Line: A couple of questions for you…

customer survey

Why it works: We mentioned earlier how valuable a survey could be to understand why customers are satisfied with your product/service and what can go better in the future. It’s wise to send this campaign to your lapsed customers, as well, to figure out what to improve and turn them into repeat customers again.

This is an excellent campaign by Ritual to get inspired. The reader can tell what’s coming towards them from the subject line. Then, the copy reassures them that the survey will last a few minutes and can make a massive difference to the brand.


Subject Line: Reminder: Action Needed — [NAME], let us know you still want to get emails from us

win back email example

Why it works: Let’s imagine that the time has almost come for you to say goodbye to one of your subscribers by removing them from your list. How can you nudge them and try to bring them back for one last time?

Here’s how Udemy did it: They mentioned in the subject line that an action is needed from them before they proceed. To maximize the likelihood of winning them back they offer an incentive to those who’ll stay on the mailing list. Finally, adding the expiration date motivates them to claim it fast.

Beta List

Subject Line: I’m sorry it didn’t work out

Beta List win back email campaign

Why it works: It’s always sad to see your inactive subscribers go, but if the time has come, it’s best to notify them about it. Beta List expressed their sad feelings to move customers and maybe win them back again.

So write clever, emotional copy and always give readers the opportunity to opt-in from scratch. Some customers may appreciate your transparency and start interacting with you again.

The Takeaway

Long story short, win-back emails can play a crucial role in your customer retention strategy. So hop on your email marketing platform and start designing those assets to grab your relapsed customers’ attention and win their loyalty again.

Remember, subject lines should be spot-on so that readers start opening those emails. Then, design and copy should entice them and finally convert them.

And if you’re looking for a platform with top-notch segmentation and automation features, look no further. Sign up for a Moosend account today and build great win-back campaigns using our editor or premade templates!

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