If you don’t know me by now: reactivating your known customers

Why brands should focus more on reactivating and retaining their current customers than on acquiring new ones.


If your marketer’s efforts and budget are purely focused on acquiring new customers, you are missing a big revenue opportunity. It may seem counter-intuitive, but concentrating on your known customers can unlock more consistent growth – not to mention higher customer satisfaction.

That fact is: customers tend to buy from brands they trust. The likelihood of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%, while the probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20%. If a customer has a good experience with a specific brand, why would they risk going elsewhere?

This focus on retention leads to big rewards for successful businesses. Research suggests that if businesses can improve customer retention rates by just 5%, they’ll see profit increases of 25%. Putting focus and finances into fostering relationships with your known customer clearly pays off.

The value of reactivating known customers

Known customers have made it into your CRM system but haven’t engaged with your brand for a while. They clearly have an interest in your business and may even have made a purchase, but they no longer respond to marketing messaging. But, as long as they haven’t had a negative experience, there’s no reason why they can’t be reactivated with the right messaging and incentive.

Studies suggest that it can cost five times more to acquire a new customer than to retain a known one. As these known customers are already familiar with your brand, the likelihood of repeat custom and upselling opportunities will be higher.

Strategies for reactivating known customers

Leverage customer data and insights

All good strategy starts with data. Analyzing customer purchase history and browsing behavior will give marketers an understanding of a customer’s relationship with their brand. What pain points or challenges was the customer looking to resolve through your business? Can you address other aspects of the challenge or provide a complementary product or service?

To take it a step further, use machine learning and analytics to construct predictive models and help identify reactivation opportunities. Companies using data-driven personalization have seen marketing efficiency increase by 15-20% and revenue by 10-30%.

Personalize communication and offers

At the heart of a successful reactivation campaign will be effective personalization. Research suggests that 80% of shoppers were more likely to make a purchase when brands offered personalized experiences. And McKinsey’s study shows if this is done at scale, it will often deliver a 1-2% lift in total sales.

The best way to reconnect with known customers will depend on their history with your brand and how long they have been inactive for. Some customers may return with a simple reminder email, while others may need a bigger incentive like a reward or discount. Use your customer data to determine the right trigger.

Test content and messaging

Data drives the best reactivation campaigns, and that means testing. Testing content, testing messaging, and recording what draws a customer back into the fold. It might be an exclusive discount, a tailored reward, or perhaps something more long-term, such as a loyalty program or referral scheme.

Research from McKinsey found that loyalty programs were a strong method of retaining customers and boosted revenue by 15-25%. One of the most comprehensive loyalty programs, Beauty Insiders by Sephora, delivers 80% of all their transactions – showing the huge potential for customer retention. Providing helpful and useful content alongside sale opportunities and incentives can make all the difference.

Brands who are reactivating their customers in style


Duolingo offers a little taster to reinspire their inactive users as a first port of call. This approach quickly reengages and (hopefully) reminds customers of past positive experiences. Sometimes a quick nudge is all that’s required.


GAP offers an exclusive discount to inactive customers – but with a time restriction. This time urgency will spark customers to go to the GAP website soon, rather than allowing the reminder and brand to drift out of memory again.

It also has an opportunity to update your marketing preferences. This zero-party data is vital for providing personalized experiences to encourage retention.

Tools and technologies for customer reactivation

The quality of a data-driven marketing strategy will only ever be as good as the quality of its data management. First off, you’ll need a customer data platform (CDP) to organize and analyze your customer data. This allows marketers to identify and pull out inactive, known customers.

From there, predictive modeling can link with automation tools to re-engage customers at scale. Use key personalization tools and AI-driven martech to test and optimize your message and incentive.

While you can get all these tools individually, the quickest and easiest way is deploy an end-to-end customer data platform that can do all the above and more. Allant’s AMP+ is built for the marketer and underpinned by a hyper-fast query engine designed for ‘no code’ reporting, analytics, segmentation, and data processing.

Round up: there are so many benefits to reactivating known customers

Brands are often so focused on acquiring new customers that they miss the wealth of value in their known and inactive customers. Reconnecting with known customers using data-driven personalization can see a marked increase in marketing efficiency and revenue. Undoubtedly, recruiting the right martech solution to achieve this at scale has the potential for big rewards.

Contact US for more information on how we can help you reactivate and retain your customers.

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