How To Create A Customer Winback Email Series

Just because they haven’t visited you in a while, it doesn’t mean they don’t still love you. The internet is a big place and there are lots of sites to visit. Sometimes they just need a little reminder that you’re there and still have things they once showed an appreciation for. Get them back to your site with a customer winback series.

A customer winback series is exactly what it sounds like, a series of emails designed to get your lapsed customers back to your site and buying things. In order to get them to return, remind them about what they liked about your brand in the first place.

This could be done with a lot of manual work, but the most effective way is to automate the whole process. Email marketing platforms like Klaviyo were designed with this in mind, allowing you to set automated triggers for firing emails to inactive customers after a number of days you choose. This way you can craft the series of emails once and let it go on autopilot. But before you do that, you have to think about just how you want to go about getting your inactive customers' attention.

Who Are These Customers?

The first thing you should do is determine what a lapsed customer looks like for your business. Is it someone who hasn’t bought anything in over three months? Is it someone who bought a product one time because it was on sale and never came back? Did this customer buy something as a gift during the holidays? It can really be anyone, but figure out who they are and segment them into different audiences. By doing that, you can develop a strategy that is geared toward each group instead of one generic series that might not work for every audience.

A young woman online shops after receiving a Customer winback email series

For the sake of this email, the customer is a girl named Sara. Sara is in her mid twenties with a college degree and has a job that affords her some disposable income every month. A couple months back she visited your site and bought two pairs of jeans and a sweater. A few weeks later she got an email and really liked a shirt you had and bought that too. But now it has been a few months and she hasn’t bought anything.

How to Start it Off

A typical winback email starts with a personalized message, something like: “Hey Sara, we miss you!” From there you proceed to show her similar products that she has purchased from you in the past. Remind her about the things you offer that you know she will like. Include images that link directly to your website and hopefully she will click on it and buy something. However, it is not always that easy.

Make it Worth Their While

So, the first email didn’t work. Maybe she deleted the email without opening it, or maybe she clicked on the product and bounced around your website for a little bit but didn’t buy anything. Either way, it’s time for a follow up. The second email should include some similar products but also add an incentive to buy. Give her a discount code for 20% off or free shipping on her next purchase. A little incentive goes a long way.

Send a Friendly Reminder

Ok, so that didn’t work either. You’ve already made it this far, one more email reminding her about the generous offer you gave her last time. A simple “Hey Sara, don’t forget about that 20% off, it expires in a week!” It’s worth a shot.

Make Sure You Aren’t Annoying Them

If all of that doesn’t work, it’s time to get self deprecating. Follow up with an email that says something like “Hey Sara… are we annoying you? We noticed that you haven’t been reading our emails and are wondering if you still want to hear from us.. And then include calls to action along the lines of “no, i still love you” or “yeah, you can stop sending me these emails” Hopefully she clicks the first one and gets a good laugh and heads over to your site. On the other hand, the latter may hurt, but at least you know not to waste any more time trying to get her back!

Is It Worth It?

Another thing to consider is how valuable this customer is to you. Do they have a high lifetime customer value? If the answer is yes, it might be worth it to keep trying to reach them. If their lifetime value is low, maybe you just keep sending them a newsletter and hope they decide to revisit your site.


As said before, just because they haven’t visited your site in a while, it doesn’t mean they don’t still like you. Some customers just need to be reminded that you are there and still have the things they love at a price that they can afford. Determine who your lapsed customers are and develop a strategy to win them back. Send them reminders and incentives, and if that doesn’t work, make sure they are still interested in hearing from you before you keep annoying them.