When you hear “lifecycle messages,” what comes to mind? Most marketers consider these to be messages that run in the background to drive customers down different paths while earning you some extra revenue. And that’s correct! Some even refer to them as “set it and forget it campaigns.” Today, I want to discuss a specific lifecycle message: the lapsed purchase series. We consider “lapsed” customers as contacts who haven’t purchased from you in a while. It could be anywhere from the last 30, 60, 90 or even 180 days. The timeframe you consider when building your segment really depends on how aggressive you want to be. The reason a lapsed purchase campaign is so successful is because it’s targeted at customers who already know your brand and have hopefully had a positive experience. These former customers are often some of your best customers, so implementing a simple series to try and get them to come back should be a no-brainer. Now let’s discuss some of the potential themes for messages in this series:

We Miss You + New Products

What better way to get a previous customer back than by highlighting some of the new features or items you have now. Check out this example from Pottery Barn Teen. They touted their new arrivals and even listed some of the things I might like based on my previous purchase. Pottery Barn TeenMy one suggestion? The subject line for this email was “Surprises are in store for you…. + SAVINGS!,” but to make it stand out even more, I would like to see some personalization. Something like “Kellie, Where Have You Been?” or “We Miss You, Kellie!” would definitely get my attention more in the inbox. This example from livingsocial lists the new features that have come out since my last interaction. What a clever way to pique my curiosity and entice me to come back to see what I’ve been missing.

livingsocialCustomer Favorites + Products or Categories of Interest

What your customers think about your product or brand can be very powerful, especially when it comes to getting others to make a purchase. Pottery Barn Teen’s personalized example was relevant and tempted me to return to the site. If you can’t get that specific, no worries. Including customer favorites or top-rated products is effective, too! And if you can add in customer reviews, you’ll really have a strong message! Dollar Shave Club personalized their email with products I viewed, while also featuring some customer reviews. What a powerful message!

Dollar Shave ClubTempting Offer

An offer or deal might be all that you need to get these subscribers to purchase again. Just make sure this offer is stronger than what they are used to seeing. In this example, Boden offered 15% off. It may not be the deepest discount, but for a brand that doesn’t offer many promotions, I’ll take it! Boden example Lapsed purchasers might be dormant, but there is still a lot of value in that list. Just because they’ve been absent for a while doesn’t necessarily mean they’ve forgotten about you. Take the time to remind them why they shopped with you in the first place. Highlight their favorites, hit them with a great deal and welcome them back with open arms. With the right message, you’ll likely see some of these long lost shoppers return to your site. And for those who don’t, it might be time to consider cutting them loose.