HomeSeguno Blog

7 win-back email examples that spark customers to return

7 win-back email examples that spark customers to return

If you’re a typical Shopify store, many customers buy once and disappear. 

Are you using email to reconnect and score a second purchase? And what about the inactive customers who regularly purchase but haven’t bought from your shop in a while? Are you leaning on win-back emails to foster customer retention for them, too? 

Win-back emails — or as we call them in Seguno, lapsed purchaser emails when automated — are one secret weapon among other post-purchase emails to guide all inactive customers toward brand loyalty. 

Retaining customers has numerous perks. For one, repeat customers spend 67% more than new ones.   

We’re diving straight into win-back email examples and close with overarching strategic advice around best practices. 


1. Segment your inactive customers like Gerda Spillman

When you have purchasing history data, you open the door to creating extraordinarily relevant and targeted messaging. Personalization is a huge differentiator. Research shows that the fastest-growing companies rely on it 40% more than other brands to drive revenue. 

It’s why we love segmentation in email marketing. Our first win-back email example from cosmetics company Gerda Spillman uses it spectacularly. 

Rather than a broad “we miss you” email sent to every subscriber who hasn’t purchased in a while, the brand narrows in on wholesale customers. It’s a jolt to those who haven’t placed an order through the new Shopify site. 

Email with the headline 'We miss you! and a photo of a bottle against an orange and yellow backdrop

Standout email elements include:

  1. Attractive hero image with a direct headline
  2. Personalization by using the customer’s first name
  3. Straightforward copy — no need for a lengthy explanation 
  4. Customer support for anyone struggling to activate their account

Consider your data and ways you can improve outreach. Here are some ideas upon which to segment:

  • Number of past purchases
  • Average order values
  • Products purchased
  • Seasonal buyers
  • Lapsed subscriptions
  • Customer location

2. Write attention-grabbing subject lines like ShopSK

Anyone with an email address gets a lot of emails. Multiple stats indicate that the average person receives 100 to 120 emails daily.

The email subject line is the first thing they see besides the sender name. Studies find that 47% of subscribers open — or don’t open — the email based on the subject line alone. 

So don’t skimp on the subject line. You put effort into crafting compelling win-back emails, especially when employing segmentation.  

ShopSK ran a win-back email campaign of multiple emails spanning a month. The email subject lines changed throughout, each time playing a different angle while building upon the previous email:    

Hey VIP (yes, you), We missed you 

Claim your $15 comeback discount. Alcohol is on sale! 

Hey Tracy, $15 OFF just for you. We miss you.

Last Call: Tracy, ✖️ Claim your $15 comeback discount

In general, you want your win-back email subject lines to:

  • Incorporate personalization through first names or any identifying info (like a VIP reference)
  • Spark curiosity (questions work well)
  • Communicate urgency
  • Highlight special offers, if applicable

Learn more about writing email subject lines that get opened.

3. Focus on the customer’s needs like Aillea

Customer-centricity always wins. Anyone versed in marketing best practices knows the impact of shifting the spotlight to an audience’s pain points.

It’s the difference between leading with “You’ll have more energy to conquer the day after using our sleep app” versus “We use advanced technology to measure your sleep habits.”

There are various ways to pull off the customer-centric angle when coaxing along the lapsed purchaser. Take the customer win-back email example from Aillea. 

Email with the headline 'Shop healthy, shop green' next to a photo of a closeup of three women laying next to each other as taken from above; and the CTA 'browse aillea'

The brand does a couple of things here:

  1. Opens by mentioning its mission to help “clean up your beauty routine”
  2. Questions if the inactive customer has other pain points
  3. Guides the customer to potential solutions through categorized products 

The brand could go further by including a survey. Asking for product feedback, brand perceptions, and needs demonstrates your commitment to customer service. That’s another win for building customer loyalty. 

Survey responses also provide priceless insights that could steer the direction of your business.  

4. Offer exclusive incentives like David’s Road

We don’t always recommend including Shopify discount codes. But a win-back email is an excellent time to do it.  

These folks have already graced you with an investment of their money. Offering a discount or free shipping is a nice reciprocity when attempting to win back their business.

And they often work. Three-quarters of customers are likely to purchase again when rewarded with an incentive

See how the win-back email example from David’s Road does it.

Email with the headline 'only for you, tracy,' and three photos of different products

Standout email elements include:

  1. 20% discount offer through a (blurred) unique discount code 
  2. Expiry infuses urgency 
  3. Personalization with “Only for you, Tracy”
  4. Referencing the newest product collection launch
  5. Recommending customer favorites — and showing the impact of the applied discount

One note about unique discount codes: they strongly reinforce that the offer isn’t for everyone. They also protect your brand against coupon abuse. 

Seguno email marketing users can create unique discount codes within Shopify. For those using a different email marketing platform or needing unique codes for other marketing channels, try our bulk discount code generator for a speedy solution.

5. Curate product recommendations like Minecraft

Segmentation is at play for this next customer win-back email example. Once again, it’s about personalization. 

Adobe found that 67% of consumers enjoy it when brands send personalized promotions and offers based on spending habits. Nearly as many (61%) say it influences them in making another purchase.  

Minecraft takes on a “here’s what’s trending”/”here’s what you might like” combo.

Email with the headline 'here's what's trending right now' with a photo of a woman in a minecraft tshirt

Standout email elements include:

  1. Capturing attention by opening with a banner that acknowledges the customer’s MIA status
  2. Inviting hero image
  3. Copy that makes the customer feel like recommendations were hand-selected (“We combined your interests with what’s popular now”)
  4. Product suggestions, each with a call to action (CTA)

An alternative version of this win-back email example type could highlight one product with detailed value propositions.

6. Send a replenishment reminder like PetCareRx

Any Shopify merchant that aspires to provide stellar customer service will love this next win-back email example. 

The “it’s time to reorder” reminder is a common practice for brands selling replenishable products — items that don’t need replacing due to wear but depletion. We view it as lending a hand to customers burdened by a never-ending to-do list. 

PetCareRX, for instance, taps customers on the shoulder about refilling their pet supplies. 

email with the headline 'time to check running low' and a button with 'shop now''

Here’s how we recommend you craft a replenishment reminder:

  1. Estimate how long a product should last 
  2. Send a reminder about a week before 
  3. Depending on bandwidth and what makes the most sense for your brand, create reminder email automations for specific products for greater personalization

7. Stand out with a killer email design like Pet Oasis 

Nothing makes our email marketing hearts as happy as crisp photography, to-the-point copy, and email elements arranged with pleasing aesthetics.  

The win-back email example from Pet Oasis exemplifies a clean email marketing structure. It shows simplicity can trump an elaborate pitch.  

Email with the headline 'hot dog we miss you!' and large photo of a dog wearing sunglasses

Here’s what they get right: 

  1. Appropriately sized logo with complementary menu, immediately followed by a discount offer
  2. Eye-catching and timely seasonal hero image that aligns perfectly with the brand
  3. Hard-to-miss CTA with action-oriented language 

Extra tips for sending win-back emails

Now that we’ve run through some customer win-back email examples and pointed out several best practices, what else do you need to know?

Tip 1: Plan out your sending 

Resist sending win-back emails on a whim. Remember that these people are already customers. You want to nurture them. Being haphazard can come back to bite you. 

Start by considering the lifecycle of your products. People buy clothing and accessories, for example, more frequently than bigger-ticket items like furniture or appliances. You wouldn’t space your win-back email timing the same for each.  

Most merchants can trigger win-back emails 60 to 90 days after the last customer purchase. Of course, adjust the timing to suit your brand. 

Tip 2: Consider that one email might not be enough 

We like an automation series, so long as they’re tactfully created and don’t bombard customers. No brand wants to be marked spam and cause potential harm to its email deliverability

One win-back email can do the trick. But contemplate the potential effect of two or three because you know that not everyone sees or opens all of your messages.  

If you create a series and alter the messages so you’re not sending the same one each time — and space them at least a few days apart — you’re giving yourself a greater chance to connect and generate conversions.   


Tip 3: Think of how you can differentiate your brand

You already know about the critical role personalization plays. Shaping your brand’s narrative and elevating how customers perceive it is equally important. 

Here are a few more ideas to make your brand sparkle through win-back emails: 

  • Create engaging content, such as reintroducing your brand story, magnifying your values, or sharing recent achievements or milestones
  • Appeal and reconnect to customers with emotionally charged content, such as success stories or user-generated content like testimonials or reviews
  • Report on product improvements or noteworthy brand updates.

Tip 4: Test and improve

Getting the most out of customer win-back emails is an iterative process of checking performance metrics, deciphering what works and what doesn’t, making changes, and re-examining. 

Analyze open rates to detect if subject lines could use strengthening. Or maybe they’re exceeding expectations, and you can apply the learnings to the rest of your email program. 

Look at click-through rates. What content resonates? What isn’t making the impact you had anticipated? 

And what about conversions? Is there a different tactic that might drive more sales?  

Win back customers with Seguno

It’s human nature to find joy when someone remembers you, regardless of the gesture's size. 

Win-back emails show that your Shopify store appreciates previous customers and hasn’t forgotten about them. 

Use Seguno to reignite interest and generate renewed sales as part of your email marketing strategy. We’ve got a variety of ways to do it, including:

  • Targeting segments you create in Shopify
  • Customizing a pre-built lapsed purchaser email automation
  • Building an advanced approach through customer-tagged, product-purchased or Shopify flow automations

Remind lapsed customers of your value. You’re sure to rekindle relationships and cultivate long-term loyalty. 

Create, manage, and track your email marketing—without leaving Shopify.

Seguno is the top-rated email solution built exclusively for Shopify. Grow your sales with high-performing newsletters, email automation campaigns, and integrations with Facebook, Instagram, banners, pop-ups and more. Build and send engaging emails in our easy-to-use editor and take email creation to the next level with our Canva integration. Automate your email marketing and drive more revenue with welcome campaigns, checkout abandonment, post-purchase automations, tag triggers and more.

Find Seguno on the Shopify App Store
Get email marketing tips, resources, and industry insights to help your Shopify store grow.

Continue reading

<a href="/bfcm" target="_blank" class="holiday-hub-injection bfcm-injection w-inline-block"><div class="bfcm-injection-bfcm">Best. BFCM. Ever.</div><h5 class="hh-injection-text bfcm">get the Black Friday email marketing resources, tips, and tools you need to help your Shopify store succeed</h5><div class="hh23-injection-faux-button bfcm">visit the BFCM resource center</div></a>
<a href="/holiday-hub" target="_blank" class="holiday-hub-injection w-inline-block"><img src="" loading="lazy" width="854" alt="Seguno Holiday Hub - email marketing resources, tips, and tools you need to help your Shopify store succeed" class="hh23-holiday-hub"><h3 class="hh-injection-text">email marketing resources, tips, and tools you need to help your Shopify store succeed</h3><div class="hh23-injection-faux-button">visit the holiday hub</div></a>
<div class="app-download-injection popup-app-injection"><img src="" loading="lazy" alt="Seguno + Shopify 4EVER" class="app-download-injection-shopify-logo"><div class="app-injection-text-div"><div class="app-download-injection-inner-div popup-app-injection"><div class="_4-9 popup-app-injection">5.0</div><img src="" loading="lazy" alt="" class="download-app-injection-star"><div>Seguno Popups &amp; Exit Intent</div></div><div class="app-download-injection-subhead">Create, trigger, and track popups from your shop's Admin</div></div><a href="" class="app-download-injection-button w-button" target="_blank">Get details &amp; install</a></div>
<div class="app-download-injection"><img src="" loading="lazy" alt="Bulk Discount Code Bot App for Shopify" class="app-download-injection-bulk-discount-icon"><div class="app-injection-text-div"><div class="app-download-injection-inner-div"><div class="_4-9">4.9</div><img src="" loading="lazy" alt="Shopify Review Star" class="download-app-injection-star"><div>Bulk Discount Code Bot</div></div><div class="app-download-injection-subhead">Stop coupon abuse with unique discount code sets</div></div><a href=";channel=com&amp;utm_source=blog&amp;utm_medium=website&amp;utm_campaign=blog+call+out" target="_blank" class="app-download-injection-button w-button">Get details &amp; install</a></div>
<div class="app-download-injection popup-app-injection"><img src="" loading="lazy" alt="Seguno + Shopify 4EVER" class="app-download-injection-shopify-logo"><div class="app-injection-text-div"><div class="app-download-injection-inner-div popup-app-injection"><div class="_4-9 popup-app-injection">5.0</div><img src="" loading="lazy" alt="" class="download-app-injection-star"><div>Seguno Popups &amp; Exit Intent</div></div><div class="app-download-injection-subhead">Create, trigger, and track popups from your shop's Admin</div></div><a href="" class="app-download-injection-button w-button" target="_blank">Get details &amp; install</a></div>
<div class="schedule-a-demo-injection"><div class="demo-injection-heading">Book a 1:1 demo</div><p class="demo-injection-p">Give us 30 minutes and we'll give you a peek at how Seguno's email marketing and popups can elevate your marketing.</p><a href="/schedule-a-demo" class="demo-injection-button w-button">Schedule a Demo</a></div>
<div class="getting-started-injection"><div class="getting-started-subhead">Blog Series</div><h3 class="getting-started-heading">6 steps to start email marketing for your Shopify store</h3><div class="getting-started-collection w-dyn-list"><div role="list" class="getting-started-list w-dyn-items"><div role="listitem" class="getting-started-item w-dyn-item"><a href="/blog/how-to-define-your-unique-selling-proposition" class="getting-started-link w-inline-block"><img src="" loading="lazy" alt="How to define your unique selling proposition" class="getting-started-image"></a></div><div role="listitem" class="getting-started-item w-dyn-item"><a href="/blog/how-to-grow-your-audience" class="getting-started-link w-inline-block"><img src="" loading="lazy" alt="How to grow your audience " class="getting-started-image"></a></div><div role="listitem" class="getting-started-item w-dyn-item"><a href="/blog/your-first-email-automation-start-with-hello" class="getting-started-link w-inline-block"><img src="" loading="lazy" alt="Say hello with your first email automation " class="getting-started-image"></a></div><div role="listitem" class="getting-started-item w-dyn-item"><a href="/blog/tips-for-building-your-first-newsletter" class="getting-started-link w-inline-block"><img src="" loading="lazy" alt="Tips for building your first newsletter " class="getting-started-image"></a></div><div role="listitem" class="getting-started-item w-dyn-item"><a href="/blog/make-email-marketing-efficient-with-templates" class="getting-started-link w-inline-block"><img src="" loading="lazy" alt="Make email marketing efficient with templates" class="getting-started-image"></a></div><div role="listitem" class="getting-started-item w-dyn-item"><a href="/blog/convert-interest-to-sales-with-email-automations" class="getting-started-link w-inline-block"><img src="" loading="lazy" alt="Convert interest to sales with email automations" class="getting-started-image"></a></div></div></div> <script> window.addEventListener("load",(t=>{var r=$(location).attr("href").split("/").reverse()[0];$(".getting-started-item").each((function(t){var e=$(this).find("a"),s=e.attr("href");r==s.substring(6,s.length)&&(e.attr("href","#"),e.css("opacity","0.3"),e.css("cursor","default"),e.css("transform","none"))}))})); </script>
<div class="app-download-injection"><img src="" loading="lazy" alt="Seguno + Shopify 4EVER" class="app-download-injection-shopify-logo"><div class="app-injection-text-div"><div class="app-download-injection-inner-div"><div class="_4-9">4.9</div><img src="" loading="lazy" alt="Shopify Review Star" class="download-app-injection-star"><div>Seguno Email&nbsp;Marketing</div></div><div class="app-download-injection-subhead">The top-rated email marketing app built exclusively for Shopify</div></div><a href="" class="app-download-injection-button w-button" target="_blank">Get details &amp; install</a></div>
<div class="v3-email-signup-section blog-email-signup-insert"><p class="v3-lp-h1 text-white blog-signup-insert">Subscribe to get email marketing tips, resources, and industry insights to help your Shopify store grow.</p><div class="v3-form email-only-form form-centered w-form"><form id="wf-form-Email-Subscription" name="wf-form-Email-Subscription" data-name="Email Subscription" method="get" class="email-only-form" data-wf-page-id="617bf866dd7a76703506c655" data-wf-element-id="e33b17bb-76b8-992b-7b38-764576544155" aria-label="Email Subscription"><input type="email" class="email-only w-input" maxlength="256" name="Email" data-name="Email" placeholder="Please enter your email address" id="Email" required=""><input type="submit" value="Subscribe →" data-wait="Please wait..." class="v3-base-button brown-button email-only-form-button button-rollover w-button"></form><div class="email-only-success-message w-form-done" tabindex="-1" role="region" aria-label="Email Subscription success"><div class="events-text-block text-white center-text"><strong>Awesome, thanks for subscribing!</strong></div></div><div class="w-form-fail" tabindex="-1" role="region" aria-label="Email Subscription failure"><div>Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.</div></div></div><div class="email-disclaimer">By submitting this form you agree to receive email marketing messages from Seguno.</div></div>