Profitable Strategies to Winback Customer Churn

Learn how to winback customer churn and convert them into loyal clients. Follow these simple tips to win over lapsed customers in no time!

Have you ever had a customer who just stopped coming around? It’s frustrating, isn’t it? You put so much time and effort into attracting them in the first place, and then they just disappear. But don’t give up hope! There are ways to winback customer churn even when all seemed lost.

With a little bit of effort, you can reengage your old customers and get them coming back regularly. Here are some tips on how to perform a winback customer campaign.

How to Run a Winback Customer Campaign

A business can recapture its old or inactive customers with a win-back marketing campaign. 

The primary goals of a customer win-back strategy are to increase retention, reduce churn, and increase lifetime value. Additionally, these efforts can lead to increased satisfaction among customers.

Customer Win-Back Strategies to Recapture Lost Customers

A company can regain former clients by researching why they left in the first place. This can be done by looking at customer purchase history and feedback. Once the reason for the departure is determined, the business can work on improving its sales process, which may involve reaching out to high-worth clients and current customers with a win-back strategy.

This can help your sales team to identify potential customers’ needs, recognize your most valuable customers, and target former customers with special offers. By doing this, you can improve your chances of recapturing lost customers and improving your business overall.

Segmenting your customers into different groups can help you tailor different marketing strategies to each group.

When win-back strategies are tailored to a specific customer segment, businesses can more effectively reach the customers they want to target. This allows for a more compelling effort that takes into account the unique preferences and needs of that particular segment. This could manifest in different ways depending on the customer, such as win-back emails or special discounts on certain products.

There is no single “right” way to win over lost clients—it all depends on the unique needs of your client base.

Winning Back Lost Customers

For any company that charges their customers a monthly or yearly recurring fee, an important metric is customer attrition. In many industries, such as mobile providers, this rate can be as high as 3% per month.

High churn rates can be a big problem for businesses. Other businesses that are also plagued by high churn rates include insurance companies, gyms, and online streaming services.

High-churning companies, or ones that lose a lot of customers, have to spend lots of money on marketing and trying to replace those lost clients.

A new study shows that it might be better for companies to focus on getting lost customers to rejoin rather than trying to acquire new customers.

Marketing professor, Dr. V Kumar, says that there are three reasons why businesses should focus their energy on reactivating their lost clients.

First, these people have already shown a need for your service, which makes them better prospects than a random list of strangers.

Second, these clients are already familiar with your company so there is no need to spend on brand awareness and education. 

Third and most importantly, recent technological advances have allowed companies to utilize more sophisticated customer databases. This allows businesses to identify patterns in how people used their service the first time around. With this information, businesses can create more successful win-back offers and target the most profitable defectors.

Pitching the Right Offer

A telecommunications company ran an experiment testing four different methods of winning back 40,000 customers who had stopped using their service. The objective was not only to see which method was most effective at luring them back, but which would also be most profitable.

Researchers looked at data from more than 53,000 customers who had switched service providers over seven years.

By studying their behavior, we can better understand why they left and what kind of win-back offers may work to bring them back. Additionally, we can see how profitable these customers become after rejoining our company. This information is valuable in developing strategies to improve customer retention.

How Likely is a Past Customer to Come Back?

Companies often spend a lot of their marketing budget trying to regain customers, but wouldn’t it be better if they focused on those customers who have shown a propensity to return to their business?

The researchers discovered that customers who had successfully recommended a company’s products or services to others, who had never made a complaint, or who had made complaints about issues that were adequately addressed were the best candidates.

Reasons for leaving are also predictive. Customers who canceled because of price are more likely to come back than those who left because of poor service. Those who left for both reasons are the least likely of all to return.

Kumar found that many telecom companies are experimenting with “propensity models” to try and win back customers. These models analyze customer behavior to try and predict how likely they are to come back.

Cox Communications, the third-largest cable company in the US, knows that a key to success in the cable industry is win-back strategies.

There’s more sophistication in the analytics around individual customers and what their experience was the first time around.

It is now possible to do personalized marketing at scale, including customizing the offer and the pricing. Advanced services such as 1GB internet speeds and home automation give lost customers a reason to take a second look.

The more value we add, the more likely people are to come back again. We’re improving our win-backs, and that’s important.

By understanding why a particular customer left, we can pick up the thread and respond.

This not only helps with win-back but with retention too. We capture information about why customers intend to leave and try to keep them with us.

The metrics that guide us in our re-engagement efforts are helping us better understand our customers.

For example, we pay special attention to when customers come off of introductory discounts.

We pay close attention to the moments our customers are on hold because we know how expensive it is to retain a customer as opposed to having to acquire a new one.

How Long Will a Reacquired Customer Stay?

It’s important to try and win back customers that have left, but it’s also important to make sure that they will stick around for a while. It can be difficult to predict how long a customer that has left and come back will stay, but it is useful information to know.

Researchers expected that consumers who had left before would not stay for very long during their second visit.

In fact, customers who defected because of price generally stayed longer than other customers. This behavior is suggestive of fickle deal seekers.

Second-time customers are more valuable than first-time customers, on average. In a study, second-time customers had an average lifetime value of $1,410, while first-time customers only had an average lifetime value of $1,262. This highlights the importance of strategies to win back customers.

Which Customers Should Get Which Offers?

Some businesses offer the same incentive to all customers, which may not necessarily be the most effective method. The telecommunications company studied 40,000 former customers who had shown some interest in the company before, and with help from the researcher, tried four different enticements on them. This allowed the firm to determine which method of enticing these consumers was most successful.

The free service upgrades should be offered to the group that was given a discount.

One could get a deal and upgrade. And, if a member of your party received an offer that was tailored to meet their reason for canceling, a customer who canceled because of price would be offered a special deal, while one who quit because of bad customer service would receive an upgraded package.

The bundled offer, which includes a discount and an upgrade, had the highest win-back rate at 47%. The tailored offer, which is customized to the customer’s specific reasons for leaving, had a 45% win-back rate. The stand-alone discount offer also had a 45% success rate. Finally, the stand-alone upgrade offer yielded a 41% win-back rate.

Which Winback Strategy is the Most Profitable?

The most lucrative way to win back customers is by offering them an upgraded service. Although it is the least successful strategy, it is the least expensive and generates the highest ROI.

While bundling offers may yield a higher conversion rate, it also costs more and yield a lower return on investment. This is because many companies in highly competitive markets choose to focus on gaining more market share instead of maximizing profits.

For most companies, Wall Street only cares about how many new customers you acquired, not how much revenue those new subscribers brought in. This is why some businesses may resort to offering free trials, even if that means losing money on each customer.

Companies often make the mistake of trying to bring back every customer, but it’s important to identify those who are most likely to come back. Focusing on these specific people will increase the chance of them signing up again by eight times.

And large companies with many different lines of business, such as telecommunications providers offering multiple services, can better analyze their customers’ behaviors to offer attractive packages.

Too many salespeople chase after any lead, offering them everything under the sun, hoping that one of them will bite.

Hopefully, this will change the way they operate.

Customer Win-Back Examples

Winback strategies can be an effective way to re-engage with users who may have forgotten about you. Many companies and organizations have had success with this strategy.

1. Pokémon Go

The mobile app, Pokémon Go, has had over 800 million downloads since it launched in 2016.

While the game still has an estimated 5 million monthly active users, it is a drastic decline from the 45 million that played when the game first launched.

The mobile game uses various push notifications to keep players engaged or wake up dormant users.

These alerts, which notify users of the rarest pokemon or inform players of their daily streak, are an effective way to get users to check their app.

2. Postmates

It’s common for e-commerce sites to have strategies in place to re-engage with customers who have not made a purchase recently. By reaching out to them and enticing them with offers, you can encourage them to come back and shop with you again.

Popular food delivery service Postmates sends out regular email blasts to their subscribers with discounts and deals, but some of these offers are carefully timed.

To receive a mystery discount on their purchase, customers have to open an app via a deferred link.

Active users who clicked through received a 75% discount on their delivery fee, which any consumer would jump at.

The cherry on top was for users who hadn’t ordered in 60 days, who would get 100 percent off their order if they clicked on the email.

Offering your subscribers great incentives whether they are currently active or not, is a great way of keeping your subscriber base (and your retention rate) strong.

3. Skillshare

For subscription services, a win-back email is sent out to subscribers who haven’t used the service in a while. For example, the online education platform SkillShare sends these out regularly.

To bring back members who canceled their premium memberships, Skillshare sends a reminder email highlighting all the benefits that come with being a member and also offers discounted monthly rates.


There are many ways to winback customers that have been lost. With a little bit of effort, you can reengage your old customers and get them coming back regularly. By reaching out and asking why they haven’t been around, offering incentives for their return, and making sure your product or service is top-notch, you can give lapsed customers a reason to come back.


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