20 Re-engagement Email Examples To Win Back Lost Customers

Written by: Scott Cohen

Published on: 11-10-2023

Scott is VP of Strategy and Marketing at InboxArmy and has more than 20 years of experience in email marketing.

Acquiring a new customer can be up to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one (according to Harvard Business Review). So, rather than focusing just on new lead and customer acquisition (while still very important), turn some focus onto your inactive subscribers.

Inactive subscribers are inactive for a reason, yes. But, they’re also already at least somewhat familiar with your brand. From time to time, it’s a good idea to reach out again (in different ways from your normal broadcast emails) and try to reignite their interest (and business) with enticing re-engagement emails.

What is a re-engagement email?

A re-engagement email is designed to regain the interest of subscribers and customers who have stopped engaging with your email campaigns. How you define “inactive” subscribers is dependent on many factors that will be specific to your brand and customer lifecycle. These emails aim to draw in their attention and prompt them to take action on what you are offering.

Why you should use a Re-engagement Email Campaign 

Your subscribers have stopped engaging with your emails. It could be for any number of reasons, including:

  • Your emails simply are not relevant to them.
  • You send too many emails, so they’re overwhelmed and tune out.
  • Your audience doesn’t fully understand what you are offering.
  • Bad creative, design, subject lines, you name it.

So when it’s time to win back these unengaged subscribers, you have to think differently. It’s not simply a matter of sending your standard broadcast emails. These subscribers are tuned out already to those messages. You need to treat these customers differently:

  • Different offers
  • Different creative looks
  • Different messaging

You can be more direct. You can ask more questions. You can do a host of things. The idea here is to break through the clutter and get engagement or get someone to say “I’m done.” Having “emotionally unsubscribed” folks just sit on your list and continue to receive and not engage with email, over time, can be detrimental to the health of your email program.

In this article, we’ll focus on giving you some ideas and inspiration on how you can craft re-engagement email creative to drive more eyeballs.

20 of the Best Re-engagement Email Examples

Need some inspiration? Here are some of the best re-engagement email examples.

Generous surprise incentives

Generous surprise incentives Re-engagement Email

This colorful and concise email draws you in instantly with the 75% off surprise plus its bonus of free shipping after spending a certain amount. It’s a win-win.

Free gift with purchase

Free gift with purchase Re-engagement Email Examples

Everyone loves free stuff, but when it’s something you’ve already wanted to purchase, it’s even better! This enticing email has great product photography and immediately addresses its “2 for the price of 1” deal.

Reminders of why they subscribed 

Brich box Re-engagement Email Example

A customer appreciate day or random “Just because” surprise offer is a great way to drive curiosity and exclusivity.

Deal or Usage expiration 

Usage expiration re-engagement email

This email brings a romantic touch, plus a bold 50% off deal that ends quickly. Ideally, this type of email should be sent early in the morning of where your target audience is located so they have enough time to capitalize on this great deal.

email example

Another discount email favorite is this simple design that gets straight to the point with a significant percentage off their websites and design kits. They have a specific discount code for customers to use and a clear CTA to shop instantly.

Show them what they are missing

Re-engagement email example to show them what they are missing

This brand uses an attention-capturing question as a prompt to continue reading, leading to a great discount incentive. It’s short, attractive, and to the point. Customers will not want to miss out on seeing what’s happening, especially when there’s a time limit. 

Updating an app 

Starbucks re-engagement emails

Sometimes, email engagement may be non-existent, but customers are still engaging with your brand in other ways. Leveraging new features in a mobile app is a great way to draw new eyes in email to continuing to engage with your brand.

Customer feedback + incentive

Customer feedback re-engagement email example

Kate Spade uses customer feedback (incentivized in this case with 25% off) as a way to gather both more engagement and more information. This can be useful both with active customers and inactive subscribers.

Free Shipping

Free Shipping re-engagement email

A free shipping incentive is a great re-engagement tactic, especially if you have an international audience. Shipping rates can be expensive, but by offering this incentive, your customers will likely purchase a few more items since shipping costs are the business’s responsibility during a specific time. This email uses bold colors, a direct header, and a clear CTA for the customer to explore more.

Update email preferences

clarks email

By giving the subscriber a clear choice to stay subscribed or not, Clarks makes customers feel valued. After they list the options, they emphasize that only subscribers receive special perks, making them question whether they want to change their email preference or revisit their products. 


loft anticipation - re-engagement emails

Anne Taylor Loft prioritizes their customers with exclusive insight into upcoming deals. They give their subscribers a taste of something new coming, generating curiosity, but in the meantime, their CTA, “see what’s new,” allows customers to explore the current collection further.

See what’s new

Spring Forward - re-engagement emails

Rent the Runway plays off the “Spring Forward” reference for potential customers to explore their new spring collection. Customers think ahead and can snag a great deal on spring clothing.

The “Don’t leave us” email

Artifact Uprising's re-engagement emai

Artifact Uprising’s email sends it home with a catchy header phrase and a fantastic use of a graphic. They quickly catch their subscribers’ attention by adding the emotional touch plus a $10 incentive for simply taking a survey.

Seasonal sales

postable email example

Postable’s adorable graphics and sales emphasis immediately catch your eye. Their “see the cards” CTA is a great way for the customer to further their interest without the pressure of buying immediately. 

away email example

Another of our seasonal sales favorite email is from the luxury travel accessory brand Away. They play on their brand name just in time for the holidays and have seasonal gift sets for every kind of traveler.

Time triggers 

fitbit email

A yearly usage recap email is a great way to drive engagement from both active and inactive customers. This Fitbit example lists all of the customer’s actions throughout the year and provides insights into finding more friends and sleep their sleep tracking.


Moon Juice re-engagement emails

Moon Juice has personalized recommendations for customers who previously expressed interest in certain products. The brief separation of products entices the customer to try something new

Acknowledgment of Inactivity

re-engagement email from Joules

Acknowledge that the recipient has been inactive for a while. This shows that you know about their past engagement (or lack thereof). For example: “We’ve noticed you’ve been away… Let’s reconnect”. This clever and cute email from Joules has fun graphics and recognizes subscribers’ inactivity. Their use of a different CTA, “Dig in,” establishes customer curiosity. 

land's end email example

Another inactivity acknowledgment email we love is the “it’s been a while” from Land’s End. They address the inactivity just in time for the holiday sales and list what the customer has missed. They even add CTAs if the customer wishes to update their preferences. The sandwiching of the positive, “here’s what you missed,” the option to opt-out, and then the referral program CTA gets the customer thinking. 

The classic, “You left this behind…” email

kate spade re-engagement emails

Cart abandon may be a great place to acknowledge previous inactivity as well. Kate Space gently nudges customers who have abandoned carts to complete their purchase. It’s short, to the point, and pops. The hand graphic draws the eye to the CTA.

How to Write Re-engagement Emails: 5 Tips


Segmentation, personalization, and frequency are crucial to creating a successful re-engagement email campaign. Give the people what they want: a personalized experience, appealing incentives, and eye-catching graphics. 

There are many possibilities as to why subscribers become inactive. Life gets in the way. Approach this as a great opportunity to be creative and test multiple re-engagement emails. 

Emphasize why your customers need to stay

Why should your customers stay? Is it because you have an amazing product you want to share and sell? Have expert knowledge on a subject? 

Highlight what makes your business stand out and bring your customers value.

Ask questions

Questions are an excellent way to add an emotional touch to your email segment. People want to be acknowledged and have their opinions heard. For example,

“Raphael, how have you been? Are you still interested in our ______?”

A simple personalized question can go a long way. 

Add visually appealing graphics and branding

Ensure the optimized emails have visually appealing graphics, stickers, headings, or GIFs to capture your lead’s attention. Embed your brand’s logo and other brand-aligned graphics for subscribers to remember you.

Keep it brief and mobile-friendly 

Many people make the mistake of writing too much. Keep these types of emails short and easily scannable. Use short paragraphs, bullet points, and condensed headings to make it easy for potential customers to skim through. 

Use Strong And Clear Calls To Action

Encourage the recipient to take action. For example, “Click here to discover our latest products” or “Unlock your exclusive discount now.”

How to Create a Successful Re-Engagement Email Campaign

How to Create a Successful ReEngagement Email Campaign Banner

Crafting a persuasive email should be in every marketer’s arsenal. Let’s explore how to create a successful re-engagement email campaign step-by-step.  

Identify inactive subscribers 

First, identify inactive subscribers and tag them in a specific (and separate) re-engagement segment. Personalization is key for re-engagement campaigns; this way, you can customize the copy to the group’s needs.

Create an enticing subject line and text preview

Create subject and preview texts that pop with something intriguing and relevant to what they need. Add a personalized touch, like using their first name. For example:

Long time no see, Susan. Early-bird access to our new product is here with an exclusive 20% discount!

Use clear CTAs 

Use clear calls to action applicable to what your business offers, such as click here, enroll now, or reserve your spot

Incorporate attractive graphics

Use eye-catching graphics and designs that represent your business. Make sure the customer associates what you offer with your branding material. 

Include an unsubscribe option 

Place an “unsubscribe” button toward the bottom to keep in line with email marketing regulations and let the customer know they can opt out of your emails if they are no longer interested.

Apply a “pause period”

Choose how often to send these emails. It’s easy to schedule options like “wait three days” or “wait seven days” in between. Frequency can vary, but each email’s copy should gradually increase urgency or importance. You may even consider putting it front and center and provide “opt down” options as well.

And finally:

Analyze the results 

Lastly, identify the subscribers who are still not engaging after your email campaign is completed. Consider removing them from your email list completely to maintain a high deliverability rate and accurate analytics. Track the performance of your re-engagement email campaign by monitoring open rates, click-through rates, conversion rates, and other relevant email kpis. Use this data to make improvements for future campaigns.


Re-engagement emails can easily win over your previously uninterested audience and convert them to happy customers once again. With an effective re-engagement email strategy, you can retain customers and keep them highly engaged with your products and business. 

If you need help in managing your email campaigns then check our email campaign management services.

About Author

Winner of the ANA Email Experience Council’s 2021 Stefan Pollard Email Marketer of the Year Award, Scott Cohen is a proven email marketing veteran with nearly 20 years of experience as both a brand-side marketer and an email marketing agency executive. He brings to our clients a unique blend of experience building and managing larger CRM and retention teams, sending millions of emails and SMS per week, and award-winning copywriting chops. For more information, follow him on Linkedin

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