How to Create a WooCommerce Customer Win-Back Campaign That Converts

Tavleen Kaur
February 16, 2020
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A WooCommerce customer win-back campaign helps you bring back your inactive customers.

As per a report published on, a store’s 60% of revenue comes from new acquisitions.

And the remaining 40% from existing buyers

Therefore when existing buyers become inactive, you must have a plan in place to rekindle the relationship with them. 

In this post, we’ll look at what causes buyers to become disengaged, the good and bad examples of win-back emails and finally, we’ll see how to set them up in WooCommerce using Autonami. 

There’s a lot packed into this one post. 

Ready for it? Let’s get started! 

Why Do Your Customers Become Disengaged

There could be several reasons why customers become inactive. 

Here are our top 3:

1. They’re buying from a competitor

It’s possible that they’ve stopped buying from you because they’ve found a competitor i.e. someone who’s perhaps undercutting you in price, selling better products or marketing them better.

2. They've slashed their budget

Maybe the items you sell lie in the 'desire' segment and not the need segment. So when they decided to cut budgets, they just stopped using your products. 

3. They’re buying those items offline

Yes, if you're selling physical products, you’re not just competing with online players but offline players too.

In case, you're only selling digital - that's obviously not true for you. 

What Exactly Is A Win-Back Campaign? 

As per a research published by KPMG, 30% of people are likely to buy from a website they’ve bought from previously. It’s because there’s know, like and trust factor with them. 

But due to the reasons mentioned above, customers can become inactive and stop buying. 

Win-back emails make an attempt to bring those customers back to the shop. More precisely, customer win-back emails: 

    • Remind shoppers of you 
    • Acknowledge that they haven’t shopped in a while 
    • Offer a strong incentive to re-engage

Guess what? 45% of people who interacted with your win-back campaign are likely to open your future emails too!

So you should definitely set up your win-back campaign!

The Good and Bad Examples of Win-Back Campaign

Let’s now look at some bad and some incredibly well-executed examples of the win-back campaign. 

These examples are quite interesting so get ready to learn a lot, as we proceed.

The Bad

Example 1: Land's End

This customer win-back email is from Land’s End - an online clothing brand: 


A win-back email sent out by Land' End

What we didn’t like:

There are way too many call-to-action buttons in this one email!

There’s ‘yes let’s stay together’, ‘modify your preferences’ and ‘refer a friend’.

It’s hard to understand what this email wants the recipient to do.

Example 2: Birchbox

Birchbox provides monthly beauty and grooming subscription boxes. Below is an example of Birchbox’s customer win-back email:


A win-back email by Birchbox

What we didn’t like:

The problem with this email is that even though it offers a jaw-dropping discount of 20% - it doesn’t acknowledge the fact that the recipient hasn’t bought in a while.

The absence of a conversation and context-setting- are the two major areas where this email lacks!

The Good 

Now let's take a look at some well-crafted win-back emails.

Example 1: The Bakerista

Here's the first one from The Bakerista:


A win-back email sent by The Bakerista

What we liked: 

The Bakerista does a fabulous job of infusing personality into the content and an even better job with the irresistible offer.

It also addresses the fact that not all of its customers shop online and hence gives an option for a BOGO deal to offline buyers.

 Example 2: Grammarly

Grammarly sends out an email with the following content in it's win-back:


What we liked:

Grammarly takes on a creative approach by writing personality-infused content with bold and minimalistic graphics. The CTA stands out and is designed to get more clicks.

They acknowledge that the customer has been inactive for a while.

Let’s now look at what goes into making a high-converting win-back campaign.

5 Essential Elements of an Effective Customer Win-Back Campaign 

In this section, we'll look at the 5 elements of a well-written win-back email.

If you include all five of these, you will have a winning campaign in your hands.

Let's take a quick look:


Now let's explore each of these elements one by one.

#1: The Timing Of Your Win-Back Campaign

The period of inactivity depends on what you’re selling.

For example, if you’re selling daily usage products like skincare items that generally last for a month, then 3 months is a good enough period of inactivity.

In the case of items that last for 3 months, you may consider 6 months of not having bought - a period of inactivity. 

It’s also important to specify when their last purchase was made.

So, if their last purchase was two years ago - perhaps they’ve moved on and are never coming back.

But if they did buy, let’s say 6 months back but not in the last 3 months - then there are still chances that they can be back! 

#2: Catchy Subject Line

A catchy subject line ensures that it grabs the attention of the customers in their cluttered inbox.

As per - "It's been a while" performed excessively well and clocked an open rate of 35%, which is very impressive.

The other subject lines that perform well are - "We miss you" and "Discount included".

Here are some catchy subject lines that we recommend:

Where have you been, <first name>?

Just checking in, all ok?

Frankly, we're thinking of you

Not sure what's been keeping you busy

Off the radar? what's up...

<first name>, here's a li'l gift for you

It's been a while

You'll notice that these subject lines sound friendly and none of them are creepy.

Curiosity-evoking subject lines such as ‘Coupon inside’, ‘Special gift inside’ are also likely to get high open rates.

#3: Authoritative From Line

If you've been sending emails from your brand name alone, then I would suggest that you actually put your own name along with the brand name.

For example,

Mike from Organify or Mike at Organify

You could also do:

Mike @ Organify

So this shows that it is coming from a real person and that commands more attention as compared to emails coming from the brand name alone.

Pick from these templates:

  • [Your Name] at [Brand Name]
  • [Your name] @ [Brand Name]
  • [Your name] | [Brand Name]
  • CMO/CEO at [Brand Name]

#4: Short & Meaningful Conversation

It's best to keep your win-back emails short and meaningful to get high click-through rates.

You must do two things in your win-back emails:

  1. Acknowledge that they have been absent for a while
  2. Tell them what they're missing

Here's a brilliant example of a customer win-back email from SkillShare:

A win-back email sent out by SkillShare

Notice the strong and bold headline 'We've missed you!'. It starts off on the right note by setting the context.

SkillShare also takes a moment to remind inactive customers what they've been missing out on.

That is followed by an incentive to return. That takes us to our next element.

#5: A Strong Incentive

Discounts encourage customers to come back and make a repeat purchase.

If you think discounting won't work for you, here's an interesting stat:

82.4% of people stick to a brand that offers consistent deals.

That's definitely impressive. You can make your coupon code personalized to make it even more enticing.

And time-limit it for a greater impact.

How to Set up a Win-Back Campaign in WooCommerce using Autonami

Now let's look at the step by step process to create your win-back campaign.

Step #1: Specify the period of inactivity

Define this period to target the right customers through your win-back campaign.

First, select WooCommerce from the events drop-down and next 'customer win-back'.


Here we've put in 'Over 30 days ago' and 'Under 45 days ago', it means that these customers haven't bought in the last month but they did buy in the last 45 days.

Next, schedule this campaign to run every day at the defined time:


So if you specify 10:00 am here, it means that every day the automation will run at 10:00 am (in your store's time zone) on the inactive customers.

Step #2: Customize the discount coupon code

If you want to send out a personalized discount coupon code, create it in WooCommerce.

Then select 'Create Coupon' from the action section. Next, select the coupon code that you created for the win-back email.

Here's how you can personalize it:


You can select from a range of merge tags to personalize the name of your coupon code:


This is the coupon code - 'ComeBack{{customer_first_name}}' which means that if the name of the user is John then the coupon code he'll receive is: 'ComeBackJohn'

Apart from that, you can set an expiry (validity) for this coupon, that will create urgency in your campaign.


Urgency will make your win-back campaign a lot more effective.

The evergreen discount is a great addition to your win-back email. So do offer a discount!

Step #3: Craft your email

Write a short and meaningful email for wooing back your inactive customers.

This is the Autonami's interface for writing your email:


Use a catchy subject line, have a short & meaningful email body, and a powerful CTA button.

Take a look at our text-based win-back email crafted using Autonami:

Add this win-back email to your marketing strategy and you will exponentially increase your customer retention rates.

So, Is Win-Back Really Worth It?

Now that you've read the in-depth guide on win-back emails, you know the answer.

You can use Autonami to set up your win-back campaigns. The free version of Autonami allows you to set up cart abandonment and post-purchase sequence.

The premium version allows you to run win-back campaigns too.

So are win-backs really worth it?

Repeat customers generate 5 to 7 times revenue per visit as compared to the average shoppers.

And the people who've already bought from your store are 9 times more likely to convert.

So, there's no reason why you shouldn't give win-back a try.

If you have any specific questions, leave a comment!

By the way, did you read our last post on the top 5 post-purchase engagement emails? Go, read now. There's also, an extensive guide on cart abandonment, don't miss that out!

Author: Tavleen Kaur
Do you know after Amazon implemented the 1-click buy system, their sales shot up year-on-year hitting $88.9 Billion mark in 2014? Jeff Bezos attributed it to a friction-free & streamlined buying process. At BuildWooFunnels, we're determined to give you the tools you need to do the same in your business. I am Tavleen and I help you get there faster.

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