Win Back Former Customers

photodune-7706815-mail-xsIn a recent issue of Harvard Business Review, the featured topic was Marketing In The Age of Social Media. It’s a great read, with information on Branding, Crowd Culture and Social Media. The article discusses the challenges facing companies today. Be sure to pick up your copy – either at the newstand or online. In this same HBR issue, there’s an article on strategies that companies use to win back customers that they’ve lost. It reminds me of a former job I had in the corporate world. I worked for a firm in the insurance world – an industry that churns its customer base fairly often. We decided to add an annual marketing initiative to try to win back former customers. It was an inexpensive campaign and one we could measure fairly well. The idea was to select 1000 former customers and mail something to them quarterly, with a letter asking for their business. We called it the “We Want You Back” campaign. Each year, this list brought us at least 100 more customers. Here’s how you can plan your own campaign.

Think about trying this at your own company. Choose a list – whether that’s 10 former customers or 1000. Decide what you are going to send them, and then construct your letters. We focused on a traditional mail campaign, thinking that some of the people we were reaching out to might not be at the company any longer, but perhaps a letter would get to the right person. You can accomplish the same sort of campaign via email if your list is still current. Either way, make sure your message stands out. And whatever you decide to do, calendar it in your system so you don’t forget. Be sure to “tag” these customers in your database so that you can measure the success of the campaign by the end of the year. Trust me, it’s worth it. Need help designing your “We Want You Back” campaign? Give us a call.

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