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How and When to Send an At-Risk Campaign

When a previously-active shopper goes cold, you send a campaign to try and re-engage them – it’s a no-brainer. But it’s a mistake to try to re-engage all “cold” shoppers the same way. A shopper who hasn’t engaged with your brand in a year or more needs to be marketed to differently than a shopper who’s only been quiet for a month or two, and the same goes for one-time buyers vs. once-loyal customers, or even a customer who repeatedly bought pants vs. one that bought kitchenware. Unfortunately, many marketers will send the exact same campaign to all cold or semi-cold shoppers, regardless of any past behavioral data and regardless of how long it’s been since they were last active.

Enter the at-risk campaign: a campaign delivered to a shopper who hasn’t engaged with your brand for a period of time (our customers typically decide on 30 days), including visiting your website, interacting with your mobile app, or even opening an email. Marketers who can deliver an effective at-risk campaign during these first signs of churn will be in a better position to capture whatever remaining interest there is before too much time passes and the customer relationship is lost permanently.

What do you need to consider when crafting and delivering an at-risk campaign?

Try reaching out on a new channel of engagement

It’s important to remember that what you’ve been doing thus far hasn’t been working for your customer, and that’s why they’re now considered at-risk. But consider the fact that there might simply be a communication barrier in place – suppose you’ve been predominantly delivering emails to your shopper, and in lieu of opening those emails they’ve been engaging via mobile? Try delivering a re-engagement campaign via Facebook, Google, mobile, or web push (if you’re using it and if the customer has opted-in).

Consider offering a coupon or a discount code

While this certainly isn’t possible for every business, it’s been proven time and time again that offering a discount on a future purchase is one of the most effective ways to re-engage an inactive shopper – 68% of shoppers believe that delivering coupons generates loyalty. And when the coupon is time-sensitive, that’s an even bigger incentive for your customer to return to your brand as quickly as possible.

Personalize your campaign with historic customer data

After a point, engaging with a lukewarm customer becomes a lot like engaging with a brand-new prospect. The difference is that an at-risk customer has shopped with your brand before, and therefore has historic behavioral data associated with them that you can use to deliver a more targeted campaign. The more you can personalize your communications with your at-risk customers, the better chance you have of sending a message that resonates with them on an individual level and that encourage them to return to your brand.

Segment your at-risk customers for more granular campaigns

If you want to take your targeting a step further, consider segmenting your at-risk shoppers based on their unique levels of engagement (or lack thereof!). At a minimum, you can segment this group into “active disengagement” vs. “passive disengagement,” where active disengagement refers to shoppers who have taken deliberate measures to move away from your brand – like unsubscribing from an email newsletter – and passive disengagement points to shoppers who have simply stopped opening emails. When you have a better sense of how much re-engagement each individual shopper needs, you can personalize your at-risk campaigns even further for more effective targeting.

At-risk shoppers are just that – “at risk,” not “gone” or “dead” or “cold.” When marketers are proactive about reaching out during that initial window of disengagement, rather than waiting until significant time has passed, they have a better chance of recapturing a customer’s interest. The key is to identify early signals of disengagement in real-time, then reach out proactively so you don’t lose your customers. And when you can personalize your campaigns to each unique shopper, reach out on multiple channels, and provide a concrete incentive for them to return, your chance of re-engaging your shoppers is that much stronger.

To learn how Zaius can help you segment your at-risk shoppers and deliver campaigns across multiple channels and devices, visit our website – or, reach out to us directly at or at 877-658-2570.

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