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How to Create a Successful Customer Winback Campaign in WooCommerce [2024]

Editorial Team
August 24, 2023
How to Create a Successful Customer Winback Campaign in WooCommerce [2024]

Do you want to create a successful winback campaign that regains your customers’ lost interest?

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

That's why you must have a proper plan in place to rekindle your relationship with existing customers in case they become inactive.

And there isn't anything better than a winback campaign to give your lapsed customers a nudge and pull them in.

In this post, we’ll walk you through the essential steps to create a successful customer winback campaign, along with some great examples and strategies.

By the end of this post, you’ll be able to create successful campaigns that reignite your customers' interest and convert them into loyal, repeat buyers.

What is a Winback Campaign?

A winback or re-engagement campaign is a series of targeted emails sent to your lapsed customers that encourage them to return to your store and shop again.

According to Forbes research, 65% of a company’s business comes from existing customers. It’s because there is a like and trust factor with them.

But for some reason, customers can eventually become inactive and stop buying.

Win-back emails attempt to bring those customers back to the shop. More precisely, a customer winback campaign:

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

Guess what? 45% of email subscribers who interacted with your winback campaign will likely be opening your emails in the future, too!

So, you should definitely set up your win-back campaign emails to boost customer re-engagement and regain lost customers.

Reasons Why Your Customers Become Disengaged

There could be several reasons why your customers stopped buying and became inactive. Here are our top four reasons:

  • Competitor’s impact - They may have 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.
  • Budget changes - Maybe the items you sell are in the 'desire' segment, not the need segment. So when they decided to cut budgets, they just stopped using your products.
  • Offline purchases - If you sell physical products, you compete with online and offline players. In case you're only selling digital - that's obviously not true for you.
  • Change in priorities - The needs and preferences of customers change with time. That’s why their demands for your products may fade over time because of the changes in their priorities.

5 Essential Elements of an Effective Customer Winback Campaign

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

If you include all five of these, you will have a winning winback retargeting strategy in your hands that corresponds to a brilliant conversion rate.

Let’s explore all these elements one by one.

1. Segmentation and targeting

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 reasonable enough period of inactivity.

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

It’s important to identify and segment inactive subscribers or customers based on their last purchase, buying history, preferences and demographics.

For instance, if their last purchase was two years ago - perhaps they’ve moved on and will never return.

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!

Once you have enough information, you can tailor your message and relevant offers to increase the chances of re-engagement.

2. A catchy subject line

A catchy subject line ensures that it grabs the customers' attention in their cluttered inboxes.

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 pretty friendly.

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

3. Urgency-driven attractive offers

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

Offering irresistible deals, such as exclusive discounts, special bundles, free trials, etc., helps entice customers to return.

Create a sense of urgency by offering limited-time offers to your lapsed customers that encourage them to take immediate action.

You can even highlight the unique value proposition and make them notice how your services have improved since their last engagement.

Once you’ve made your customers feel special and valued, there’s nothing stopping them from shopping in your store again.

4. Engaging content

Keep your win-back emails short and engaging to get high click-through rates.

You can design visually appealing content that captures your customers’ attention and conveys the benefits of re-engaging with your brand.

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

  • Acknowledge that they have been absent for a while
  • Tell them what they're missing

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

Winback email example from 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. You can also add attractive images, videos, and graphics to your content to spice things up.

Once you’ve created engaging content, don’t forget to top it off with a clear call to action button. CTAs help provide an easy and direct path for customers to re-engage.

5. Multi-channel approach

While many people think winback campaigns are purely re-engagement emails, it’s definitely not the case!

You can reach out to your customers through different channels such as social media, direct emails, SMS, and even phone calls.

Many businesses use a combination of emails and SMS to increase the chances of your message being seen and heard.

Using a multi-channel strategy in your winback campaigns maximizes the probability of capturing the customer’s attention and rekindling their interest.

Why Use FunnelKit Automations to Create a Winback Campaign?

FunnelKit Automations is the most powerful marketing automation engine designed for WordPress.

You can send automated email workflows and SMS-based campaigns to segmented audiences based on your use cases.

It has many pre-built automated recipes you can import and use in your marketing campaigns.

Here are other reasons that make FunnelKit Automations better than other CRMs for creating your winback campaign sequences:

1. To send customer winback emails at the right time

FunnelKit Automations lets you create automated winback campaigns and smartly execute them.

With the winback event, you can configure the number of days your customers have been inactive. Based on this configuration, your automation will get triggered.

Configure your winback automated sequences

Once this event gets triggered, you can set up several actions based on your requirements.

2. To design captivating emails using the visual drag & drop builder

Want to create emails that capture your users’ attention?

You can create beautiful emails with FunnelKit Automations’ built-in visual email builder tool.

Re-engage your users by designing eye-capturing emails

Your perfect winback email is now just a ‘drag and drop’ away!

3. To find out their reason for inactivity using link triggers

Link triggers help capture the response of your users and gauge their interests.

These are the links that, when clicked, allow you to perform an action on the backend, such as adding a tag, updating their contact fields, adding them to a list, etc.

Use link triggers in your feedback emails to know why they are absent and direct them to a particular action you want.

Use link triggers to know the reason for their inactivity

Once you’ve analyzed your link triggers, you can create better offers to rekindle your relationship with them.

4. To encourage purchases through dynamic coupon codes

We’re pretty sure everybody loves a discount.

The next thing you can do for a successful winback campaign is to add a personalized and limited-time coupon code in the sequence.

FunnelKit Automations lets you create personalized coupons that work for a specific user.

Winback campaign email encourages purchase through dynamic coupon codes

Here, we have used the “COMEBACK{{first_name}}” coupon code that’s valid for 3 days.

You can add an email action to send this coupon code to your email list.

5. To track the revenue made from your winback campaigns

View and analyze the response of your winback campaigns in FunnelKit Automations without having to leave your WordPress dashboard.

You can view the engagement and orders for your automated campaigns and take decisive actions to re-engage your customers.

Tracking revenue made from your woocommerce winback campaigns

Here, you can also view the orders placed, revenue generated from your winback campaign, number of unsubscribes, recoverable carts who have abandoned their cart, and more.

Analyzing the metrics will let you make better decisions and improve the success rate of your winback campaigns efficiently.

How to Set Up a Successful Winback Campaign in WooCommerce with FunnelKit Automations?

Let's now look at the step-by-step process to create your customer winback campaigns with FunnelKit Automations.

Step 1: Install and activate FunnelKit Automations

To set up your winback campaign email, get a copy of FunnelKit Automations.

Please note that FunnelKit Automations also has a free version (the Lite version), but we will use the Pro version here because of its advanced features.

Check out our detailed documentation to install and activate FunnelKit Automations on your WordPress website.

Step 2: Add a new automation

Go to Campaigns ⇨ Automations (Next Gen) and click on the ‘Add New Automation’ button.

Add a new automation for your winback campaign

You’ll see many pre-built automated recipes that can easily be imported and customized to be used.

Here, we’ll create our campaign from scratch. For that, hit ‘Start from scratch’ and name your automation - ‘Winback campaign’.

Enter a name for your automation - winback campaign

Clicking on ‘Create’ will add a new automation to the workflow screen.

Step 3: Add the ‘Customer Winback’ event under WooCommerce

Select the event - 'Customer Win Back' under WooCommerce.

Select the event campaign - Customer Win Back under WooCommerce

Configure the event and define this period to target the right customers through your winback campaign.

Define the win-back campaign's inactivity period

Here, we put in ‘Over 45 days ago’ and ‘Under 90 days ago’, meaning that these customers haven't bought in the last month but did buy in the previous 90 days.

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

Schedule your winback campaign to run everyday at 11:00

If you specify 11:00 here, it means that the automation will run daily at 11:00 AM (in your store's time zone) on inactive customers.

Once done, click on the ‘Save’ button.

Step 4: Add a personalized coupon code

You can create dynamic, personalized discount coupons right from FunnelKit Automations.

Click on the (+) icon below your winback campaign event trigger and hit ‘Action’.

Click on the + icon below your winback campaign event trigger and click on action

Then select 'Create Coupon' under WooCommerce from the action section.

Select create coupon from the action section

Next, configure the coupon code that you created for the winback email.

Here's how you can personalize it:

  • Coupon Title - Title of your coupon code
  • Discount Type - The type of discount you want to offer
  • Discount Amount - The amount of discount
  • Coupon Code Prefix - Used for personalization of your discount code
  • Coupon Expiration Date - Set an expiry (validity) for this coupon to create urgency in your campaign.
Personalize your coupon code for winback campaign

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

Here, we’ll select the ‘first name’ merge tag to personalize your coupon code:

Select a range of merge tags to personalize your winback coupon code

Then, paste this merge tag to the coupon prefix.

This is the coupon code - ‘ComeBack{{customer_first_name}}’, which means that if the user's name is John, he'll receive the coupon code: 'ComeBackJohn'.

The evergreen discount is an excellent addition to your winback email. So do offer a discount to entice your existing customers.

Step 5: Craft your winback campaign email

Write a short and meaningful email to woo back your inactive customers.

For that, add the ‘Send Email’ action to your workflow:

Add a send email action to your winback workflow

Enter the recipient’s email ID and the subject line of your winback email.

Next, you can three options to craft your winback campaign emails using rich text editor, HTML and visual email builder.

You can design beautiful emails using FunnelKit Automations's drag-and-drop builder tool.

Select the ‘Visual Builder’ and hit ‘Start’ below the launch editor.

Select visual builder to design beautiful winback emails

Here, we've created an email using the drag-and-drop builder:

Craft Your Winback Campaign Email

Use a catchy subject line, have a short & meaningful email body, and a powerful call to action (CTA) button.

Once done, make your automation live.

Activate the winback campaign automation

This is a simple sequence that we have set up as an example.

You can obviously add delays and include 3-4 emails in the sequence or implement your unique winback campaign ideas into the workflow.

Add this win-back email to your marketing strategy and you will exponentially increase your customer retention rates, turning your dormant customers into loyal customers.

How to Measure the Success of a Winback Campaign?

Once your winback automation is live and running, you can evaluate the effectiveness of your campaign through analytics.

FunnelKit Automations lets you measure the success of your campaigns in real-time.

All you have to do is go to the Analytics section.

You’ll be able to view the metrics related to your contacts, emails and SMS of your winback campaigns.

For your campaign, you’ll be able to take a quick view of:

  • Active Contacts
  • Completed Contacts
  • Orders
  • Revenue
  • AOV
  • Unsubscribes
View contacts under analytics section in your winback automated campaign

Similarly, for emails and SMS, you’ll be able to see the following:

  • Sent emails and SMS
  • Open rate
  • Click rate
  • Orders placed
  • Revenue generated
View the emails and SMS sent and their success rate within your winback campaign in FunnelKit Automations


The Contacts section gives you complete automation details of how many contacts are still active in your workflow.

Along with the active contacts, you’ll also be able to find the completed, paused and failed contacts within your automated winback sequence.

View the active, completed, paused and active contacts in your automated winback sequence

You’ll be able to track your contact’s journeys in your winback campaign automation from the date they entered and last run on the automation.

Engagements and Orders

Engagement shows the complete interaction journey of your winback emails from when they were sent to the actual conversion.

The green indicator represents the progress of your emails. In the screenshot below, the emails were sent to all the contacts, but one person opened, clicked and converted with a revenue.

View the engagement received on your winback campaign

Orders help you track the order details of the items your contacts have placed.

You’ll be able to see the order ID, name of your contact, purchased items, revenue, and the date on which the order was made.

View the orders placed from your winback emails

This is how you can measure the success of your winback campaign with FunnelKit Automations.

5 Best Win-Back Email Examples to Get Inspiration

Let’s now look at some incredibly well-executed examples of the winback campaign.

These examples are pretty exciting and will help us drive inspiration from them as we create our automated campaigns.

Example 1: The incentive winback email

Here's the first sample email to win-back old customers from The Bakerista:

incentive winback email from 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, giving offline buyers an option for a BOGO deal.

Example 2: The reminder winback email

Grammarly sends out an email with the following content in its winback campaign:

reminder winback email from Grammarly

What we liked:

  • Grammarly takes on a creative approach by writing personality-infused content with bold, minimalistic graphics. The CTA stands out for getting more clicks.
  • They acknowledge that the customer has been inactive for a while and remind them to continue writing awesome things again.

Example 3: The product recommendation winback email

Penguin Randon House is a publishing company. This is another excellent example of a good winback campaign email:

Product recommendation winback email from Penguin Random House

What we liked:

  • The whole winback email uses the context of a text message to have a conversation with you. Further, it highlights 21 of their recommended books to check out - which is quite convincing and creative at the same time.
  • It has the CTA that says - “Rekindle your love of books”. This personalized action text is a clear example of good email marketing that really knows its customers.

Example 4: The feedback winback email

Here’s one of the best win-back email examples for feedback from Scoot:

Feedback winback campaign email from Scoot

What we liked:

  • They’ve used a simple feedback email with the subject line - “We’d love your help” and a CTA button to know the reason for their customer’s inactivity.
  • This copy addresses the genuine motive to improve their service experience from the feedback they’ll receive from their customers.

Example 5: The last chance clearing-out winback email

Take a look at this winback campaign email example from Framebridge:

Last chance clearing out winback campaign email from Framebridge

What we liked:

  • The brand has used a simple “last chance” message to check if the email subscribers wanted to remain on their list.
  • The design of this email is quite simple, with a can’t-miss red CTA button - “Wait, keep me on the list”.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

In this section, we’ve answered the frequently asked questions regarding the winback campaigns:

1. Do win back campaigns work?

Yes, winback campaigns indeed work. As per research, 45% of email subscribers who received a winback campaign read future emails from a brand. Out of them, 75% of re-engaged subscribers read the brand’s messages for up to 89 days. At the same time, the other 25% read their messages up to 300 days after the initial winback email.

Winback campaigns can be pretty effective to re-engage with your subscribers, but these workflows should be ongoing.

2. How many emails are in a winback campaign?

Once you’ve set up the inactivity period for your winback campaigns, you can work on an ideal email schedule.

For the best effective results, we recommend you consider 4-5 emails (not more than this) over a span of 5 days. If you try sending 3-4 emails within two days, you may annoy your customer and miss the re-engagement opportunity.

3. How do you run a win-back campaign?

The key to running a winback campaign is to act quickly and offer exciting value to your inactive customers. You’ll have to do a little research to determine why your customers lapsed.

Once that’s done, you can create an irresistible winback campaign for your customers. If you have a WooCommerce store, you must install FunnelKit Automations and follow this blog post.

Are You Ready to Create the Perfect Winback Campaign in Your WooCommerce Store?

You know the answer now that you've read our in-depth guide on setting up successful winback email campaigns.

Take inspiration from the examples and recreate the win-back customer email templates that bring back your inactive customers.

For that, you need to have a great tool that lets you set up winback triggers, create personalized coupons and design beautiful emails.

We can't think of any CRM besides FunnelKit Automations to assist in creating a winning winback strategy.

FunnelKit Automations is the most superior plugin available for WordPress that lets you perform all the stated tasks above and even go beyond that.

It has 800+ events and actions, allowing you to achieve all the use cases for your business.

So, what you're waiting for?

Set up your post-purchase sequences, including the winback campaigns with FunnelKit Automations and rekindle your relationship with your customers.

Author: Editorial Team
The Editorial Team at FunnelKit (formerly WooFunnels) is a passionate group of writers and copy editors. We create well-researched posts on topics such as WordPress automation, sales funnels, online course creation, and more. We aim to deliver content that is interesting and actionable.