4 Customer Winback Tactics to Re-engage Inactive Users

4 min read

Here’s what you can do to re-engage those users who seem to have lost interest in your app.

Frank L.
Frank L.
Published March 30, 2022
Customer Winback Tactics

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The average consumer has 40 apps installed on their phone, according to research by Simform, and is inactive on more than half of them. That’s over 20 apps that acquired an interested user but lost that user sometime after the app download.

Those apps could spend resources to acquire new users, but a new user is 5 to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one. It’s more cost-effective to re-engage inactive users because they are already partway through the customer funnel.

But how do you re-engage inactive users? You can entice them with reminders of your app and the value it provides. Here are four ways to win back your inactive users:

1. Offer Discounts on Products or Memberships

If your app pricing feels out of budget for the user, they might opt out and look for a cheaper option. When a segment of your users stops being active within your app after a free trial, you can re-engage the inactive user with a discount. Discounts offer price-sensitive users something they can’t refuse, so they sign back into your app.

An excellent example of reaching out to inactive customers with discounts is the email below from Typeform. The company targets the user with various 15-25% discounts on their membership plans in exchange for extra features:

Typeform Offer Discounts

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To optimize their conversion rate, they include scarcity in their copy by letting users know they only have one day to benefit from the offer. A strict deadline is a good way of enticing the user to take fast action:

Typeform Scarcity

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2. Inform the User of Any Product Updates or Improvements

If you’ve released any significant updates or features to your app, make sure to let your inactive users know. According to Alican Bektas, founder at UserGuiding, product announcements are the opportunity to reinforce the value of your app to the user:

“Announcing a new feature can be an opportunity to re-engage with lapsed users and remind them not only what value the product can provide, but why now is the perfect time to start using it again.”

That said, you should be selective with the product announcements you decide to broadcast. You can’t just let the user know of every change you implement within the app.

Instead, you should focus on broadcasting updates that will significantly impact the app experience and help the user better solve their challenges. Your email must include detailed information on the benefits these improvements will bring the user.

Here’s an excellent example from Litmus. In the email below, Litmus announces to the user that their new, redesigned platform is ready for them:

Litmus feature updates

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In the email, they showcase each new feature they implemented while explaining the benefits and why it improves the user experience. To top it off, they include a testimonial from one of their users who’s already benefiting from the changes they made:

Litmus Improvement Announcement

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The user can also click on a walkthrough of what the new Litmus looks like in action.

3. Send Customer Success Stories

Sending customer stories is a good way of convincing inactive users to stick around. According to Jordan Heuvel, product marketing manager at Help Scout, user stories do so by providing the user a way to visualize the results they can potentially get with your product:

“Case studies are great for buyers who are nearing the end of their buying journey as they give a more in-depth look — more reassurance, if you will — at the benefits and effects of your product or service,” he says.

You Need A Budget (YNAB) is a budgeting app that helps users better manage their finances. As part of their user engagement strategy, they run an email series around the stories of some of their users, why they started using YNAB to manage their money, and the success they were able to get from the app.

You Need a Budget User Story

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4. Collect Feedback From Inactive Users

To re-engage users, you might follow up with a survey to understand why they became inactive in the first place. According to Janine Hamilton, senior strategic consultant at Actito:

“If you don't know the causes of lost engagement with your customers, then it's going to be impossible to address them and turn things around. Don't shy away from asking for their help.”

To get the most out of your survey, you have to ask the right open-ended questions. Here are some examples of questions you can include in your survey to understand the reasons behind your user’s inactivity:

  • What made you sign up for our app?
  • What did you like/dislike the most about our mobile app?
  • Did you decide to go to a competitor? If yes, why made you make that decision?
  • What caused you to stop using our mobile app?
  • What are your suggestions for improving our app?

Based on the feedback you get via your customer surveys, you can identify patterns among your inactive users and their behavior. For example, if you notice that many of your users are becoming inactive because they don’t understand how specific features work, it means you must step up your onboarding process.

To maximize completion for your surveys, send your user surveys at the right time. According to research by SurveyMonkey, email recipients are most likely to respond to your survey around 9-10 a.m.

Keep Inactive Users Hooked With the Right Customer Winback Strategy

Losing active users can feel frustrating, but you don’t have to let it stop you. Re-engaging inactive users with the right tactics improves your mobile performance by increasing retention and minimizing churn. That way, you’ll be able to increase your mobile app’s engagement and improve your user base satisfaction.

However, a win-back campaign is only one part of optimizing your app’s user engagement. You must also think about including features, such as in-app messaging and live chat, that improve the mobile app experience through better communication with your user.

Stream’s solid API infrastructure allows you to quickly integrate in-app and chat messaging as part of your product.

Activate your free Stream Chat trial today to get started today and learn more.

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