What strategy should you use to reactivate your inactive contacts?

Good reactivation practices

During the first edition of the Actito Boostcamp on 15 October, we mentioned the reactivation strategy of inactive contacts with our partner Stratello. Here are a few elements likely to feed your thoughts on boosting your marketing strategy.

What strategy should you use to reactivate your inactive contacts?

Why reactivate your inactive contacts?

Pourquoi réactiver vos inactifs ?

According to 2019 Barometer of personalized marketing, acquiring new clients remains the main concern of marketers. However, retaining clients costs five times less than acquiring them. While increasingly searching for a less bulky client database, marketers tend to ignore the most qualitative factor. And it shows: Did you know that 20 to 50% of databases are inactive contacts? These inactive contacts are ones who no longer respond to marketing, impacting its performance:

  • Significant decrease in open rates and clicks

  • Negative impact on deliverability

It seems more relevant to work on the reactivation rate of the existing base even before acquiring new contacts. Even more so since we know that the transformation rate of an inactive contact is up to ten times more than that of a potential client. Your inactive contacts are in fact contacts you knew already, who have been partial to your products and who know you as well. Considering this, it’s now wonder that they are easy to work on.

Pourquoi réactiver vos inactifs ?
Identifiez vos inactifs

Identify your inactive contacts

Identifiez vos inactifs
Unhappy customers?

Inactive customers might be disappointed, weary customers, or people that have lost contact with you by turning to your competition. Before setting up your reactivation strategy, the first step to take is to define inactivity. On what criteria do you base yourself? You could consider the last purchase data, last quote requested, online activity, last survey participation, but also loyalty points (whether they stagnate), lack of response to email campaigns...

Target your inactive contacts by asking yourself the right questions:
  • Are they really inactive contacts? 

To answer this, you need to clean up your database. For example, use the Charade processing of the database (identifying former contact addresses and replacing them by new ones) and an RNVP processing (restructuration/normalisation/postal validation) before carrying out the qualification of data.

  • Can they still be contacted? 

There’s no use in storing data that are no longer useful. However, the GDPR obliges companies to delete personal data inactive for 36 months in an database, which is what the regulation calls the ‘right to erasure’, aka ‘right to be forgotten’.

  • And are they still in the target?

To find out, a regular qualification of the database is essential (enriching contacts, attributing an engagement score/contact, etc.)

It's all a question of timing

Tout est une question de timing...
Now we need to define the right moments to act

These moments are explained first by analysing the behaviour of inactive contacts to help identify and weigh the decisive criteria in abandoning the relationship. For example, a diminishing ordering pattern, a client claim, not opening e-mails for a month,...: all of these are signs pointing to the probability that a client will go to the competition or cancel their subscription. In other words, use these signs to attribute a rather high attrition score to different inactive contacts. Individuals having the highest attrition scores are those who should be targeted as a priority for preventive reconquering actions.

Then identify the steps of the client lifecycle

Particularly where client activity is decreasing (and will probably stop): last purchase, segment downgrading, the loss of client status, etc. Marketers can then determine the key moments in the client journey and find reactivation opportunities when the client relationship is at risk.

- Revolving credit: end of reimbursement

- By phone: cancel request

- Retail / Distribution: usual reordering delay expired…

Tout est une question de timing...
Envoyez le bon contenu via le bon canal

Send the right content through the right channel

Envoyez le bon contenu via le bon canal
Push the right offer and the right content to get a response from your inactive contacts.

Relaunching strategies can be carried out in many ways:

  • For example, you could consider relaunching using content by communicating new things about the brand, encouraging the use of loyalty points, asking for the update of personal details or by only relaunching people who don't open e-mails, etc.

  • Or consider more commercial offers: discount offer/purchase vouncher, personalised promotion according to purchase history, etc.

  • Or question the inactivity of the client by asking them to fill out a satisfaction survey (Were you satisfied with your last purchase? Did you have technical issues when ordering online?) or user preferences so that they only receive messages of interest to them.

Communicate using the right mix of channel

As well, the reactivation can be done on different channels. The efficiency of your campaign will greatly depend on a defined mix of channels: e-mail, text messages, display through CRM onboarding, custom audience/social networks, push wallet, print, etc.

  • E-mail : Consider varying the components of the e-mail as compared to regular campaigns (name of sender, moments of sending, subject, offer/template, mailing frequency) by emphasising the inactive status (we miss you, we're better together, we've made some improvements since you've been away).

NOTE : Restarting inactive e-mail contacts could diminish your deliverability. In fact, ISPs only see e-mail activity and don't have any information on purchasing activities. To avoid a loss of deliverability, add filtering based on e-mail activity, then progressively expand the target of inactive contacts (levels of 10% maximum). You can also introduce a text message related channel and suggest user preferences to inactive contacts in order to increase the chances of piquing their interest.

  • Display via CRM onboarding : this could be targeted displays on partner sites with links to an offer, game, or contest. The best would be to also include contacts who did not opt-in.

  • Custom audience social networks : this means display Facebook/Instagram/LinkedIn targeting inactive contacts. This can also include contacts who did not opt-in.

  • Text message and Push wallet : to change up the reactivation channels.

  • Print : properly define the targets who are partial and calculate the ROI of these operations.

Script the reactivation

Scé-na-ri-sez la réactivation
Build a hyper-personalized scenario

to trigger at the key moment and on the defined target.

Good to know : sequencing the different waves of contacts (according to reactivation or target), the personalization of offers and content, and finally, the mix of channels. For example, such a reactivation scenario could look like : 

1 : « We miss you » : exclusive offer to attract the attention of an inactive contact.

2 : « Give us your opinion » : request an opinion to understand why the inactive contact no longer opens their e-mails/no longer buys… 

3 : « There will always be a place for you at our brand » : the inactive client is removed from the database but is told that they can come back whenever they want.

Analyse the impact of your reactivation campaigns

And check whether your efforts were fruitful. In other words, monitor by measuring the results: 

  • Per channel and content type

  • KPI/ campaigns to consider: deliverability rate, open rate, click rate, reactivation rate, transformation rate, etc.

  • Reactivation scenarios - global KPIs: inactive contact rate, reactivation rate, CTA former inactive contacts, reactivation costs, etc. Analysing KPIs will allow you to conduct tests, vary the parameters of your campaigns (targets, content/offers, tone, graphics, subject/sender, mailing moment), and find out what works best to re-engage your inactive contacts.

NB : Re-engaging inactive contacts can be done using a dedicated scenario, similar to the welcome one. 

Thanks: « Thank you for your visit and welcome back » 

- Invitation to rediscover the brand: « repeat purchase offer after reactivation »

And if your database still contains many inactive contacts despite your efforts, feel free to isolate them in order to stop contacting them. Your deliverability and carbon footprint will thank you: it's better to have a small reactive database than a large amount of contacts, especially inactive ones!

Scé-na-ri-sez la réactivation