10 Re-Engagement Email Examples to Win Back Customers (+ Subject Lines)

4 Oct
10 Re-Engagement Email Examples to Win Back Customers (+ Subject Lines)

No matter how hard you try, your email list will always, always, always encounter two things: 

  1. People who unsubscribe, and 
  2. People who stop opening your emails, even when they don’t unsubscribe from your list 

The first one can feel like a bit of a shin kick to the ego, but the second means that not all hope is lost.

Below, we're going to cover win-back emails and explore: 

  • 7 notable retention email examples (ones you probably haven't seen before)
  • Some reactivation subject lines to help you craft your own 
  • A detailed walkthrough of how to build your email re-engagement campaign

14 Re-Engagement Email Examples

1. Call out they've "been gone" awhile


What We Love About This Re-engagement Email

The copy in this example does a fantastic job of showing that the contact hasn't been engaging with their brand lately without sounding brutish. 

Their main headline mentions that things have changed since the last time they visited the store. They go on to use the word "new" four different times — including in the coupon code — to drive the point home. 

To make the savings stand out in the email, both the code and the phrase "20% off" are highlighted in the brand's gold color to make it pop. The copy is well crafted, and the email design does the job of capturing attention.  And to wrap it all up the CTA is above the fold in mobile viewing to increase the CTR.  

‍3 Business Has Changed Re-engagement Subject Lines 

  1. Since we last saw you, X number of customers have signed up to [site name]
  2. A lot has changed since we last saw you - here’s what we’ve been up to!
  3. We don’t want you to miss out on all things new to our site]


2. Give them a discount


What We Love About This Re-engagement Email

You gotta give it to the email marketer over at Glow Recipe. They get right to the point by mentioning the contact hasn't opened any emails in a while. 

That could be a good wake-up call to the email subscribers who didn't even realize they had been inactive. This email has a sort of one-two punch tactic because it offers both a discount and photos of products they recommend they try. 

For your own emails, personalized recommendations work best. But if all else fails, you can recommend your best-selling products since, well, they’re bestsellers for a reason. 

3 Retention-based Subject Lines 

  1. Happy Anniversary! Here's a gift for being so great 
  2. We couldn't do it without you! (gift inside)
  3. This is just for you {FNAME}

3. Use We Miss You Email Subject Lines


What We Love About This Re-engagement Email 

We really enjoyed their “we miss you” email for how balanced it is. While you don't see it here, this email uses We Miss You as the subject line. 

The main copy tells a small story, “We miss you. Let’s make up. So we took a little break. No big deal. Let’s put it behind us.”

Notice the sentences are short without the tone feeling blunt or insincere. Words carry feelings and the whole “Let’s make up” part of the email does add kindness. (Not to mention the puppy… ‘cause who doesn’t light up when they see a puppy. )

Finally, they added some much-needed personalized recommendations based on the user's previous browsing and purchase history. 

Considering personalized recommendations can increase ROI by 300+ percent, using it in a reactivation email is fantastic to see. 

3 We Miss You Re-engagement Subject Lines 

  1. We miss you! 
  2. Here's a discount, 'cause we want you back 
  3. You haven't seen you in awhile (open for 40% off)

4.  Nail down the real reason behind their interest


What We Love About This Re-engagement Email

Noom has been ramping up their email marketing these days, and this is an excellent example of exactly how they’re doing this. 

This email marketing example, in particular, aims at getting a previously active subscription user back in as a paying customer.

For whatever reason, these people stopped using the service. But the initial reason they signed up for it was for improving their health. The copy used “reclaim your health” speaks to an important desire, and offering an attractive 90% discount makes it even easier to say yes. 

For physical products, offering such a steep discount is likely not possible. However, the important part of this email is that they get to the root of the matter with the customer, which can be the difference between winning back customers or not. 

3 Re-engagement Subject Lines 

  1. Want to get more for your money? Use this 50% discount.
  2. Don’t deny yourself the best customer service on the internet. 
  3. The X is the perfect product to fix all your problems.

5. Add-In a Bit of Humor


What We Love About This Re-engagement Email 

A bit of humor never hurts, especially when it's your brand voice. Missguided does this well while keeping their offer and email design simple, short, and sweet. 

They call out it's been a while since their customer has been around, and they want to make things work out by offering them a discount on their next purchase. The humor is lighthearted, which plays into their fun brand voice.

In the end, there’s also the option to connect via social media. 

So if someone doesn't jump right back into a purchase, there’s still the increased chance of staying in their social feed — which does play its part in marketing.

‍3 Re-engagement Subject Lines 

  1. Hello? Is there anyone online?
  2. You know you want to swipe right on us.
  3. This email wants you to open it. Go on, you know you’re tempted.

6. Keep it Simple, Like Super Simple


What We Love About This Re-engagement Email 

It's easy to get stuck in the weeds of email design when what really matters is getting to the point. 

Nordstrom emails are usually image-heavy, but this email in their welcome back campaign, comes down to eight words and a simple photo.  

That's about all there is to it. 

You don't need to overthink the design of every email in the sequence. You can do like you see here and keep it polite and straightforward with an easy CTA.

3 Re-engagement Subject Lines 

  1. Still interested in us? Get in touch!
  2. Get 20% off on your next order - no strings attached.
  3. Just an email to remind you of our new range.

7. Give Them A Reason To Come Check You Out Again


What We Love About This Re-engagement Email 

Your email workflow can have emails that all build on each other to the end goal: 

Winning back an inactive customer. 

Kate Spade uses an interesting email here to get people to come back. Instead of offering a discount here, they list reasons why someone should come check out the online store. Each point lists something of some benefit to the reader. 

The CTA is simple, but there's not much to distract from it. Giving customers a good reason to come back, you remind them of your value and keep them coming back again.

3 Re-engagement Subject Lines 

  1. Five reasons to shop on [site name] again.
  2. Get a free product worth X when you spend X this month on site.
  3. Save X this month online at [site name].

8. Product Recommendation

It’s unlikely that even your most loyal customers will know every single product you sell on your site. To help re-engage customers or potential customers to your site, product recommendations are worthwhile to share over email.

Segmenting your email subscribers based on their previous purchases can help to make targeted recommendations and incentivize them to make another order. For new customers, any data collected when subscribing, might be helpful in recommending appropiate products.

What we love about this re-engagement email

Crate & Barrel’s recommendation email above ties together naturally a selection of items that could all be linked together and are based on a recent purchase. While product recommendations are useful, they should make sense with what the customer bought and what they’re mostly likely to be tempted in buying.

3 ‍Product Recommendation Re-engagement Subject Lines 

  1. We love your purchase of X. Check these similar products out!
  2. Have you tried the latest trending product on [site name]?
  3. Five new products to try since you bought X.

9. Use special occasions or holidays

Taking a note of your leads or customer’s birthdays, anniversaries and any other special occasions are great when it comes to re-engagement through emails. You can also take advantage of seasonal holidays to re-engage with customers whether that be Thanksgiving, Christmas or Easter.

What we love about this re-engagement email

Many customers will often be in the spirit of giving when it comes to certain holidays and occasions, so it’s the perfect time to connect with your email subscribers to secure a sale or two. 

With the Google Hub holiday email, they’re focusing on providing educational information rather than selling anything primarily. They then sneakily including a savings opportunity at the bottom of the email to hopefully drive a few extra sales.

3 ‍Re-engagement Subject Lines 

  1. Find the perfect gift for your loved one this festive season
  2. Five easter gifts that aren’t chocolate
  3. Become the best big brother/sister with these birthday gift ideas.

10. Thank them for their loyalty

It’s always important to reward loyalty for those customers who been buying from your site for a long period of time. Offering discounts, freebies and other rewards is a great way to re-engage with existing customers who are easily swayed to purchase more.

Cross Anniversary Email Subscriber Email

What we love about this re-engagement email

Celebrating an anniversary of customer/brand relationships like it’s a birthday is a fun way of building that relationship. With this Crocs re-engagement email, it’s colorful, easy to digest and offers a discount for the customer to celebrate their anniversary with the brand.

3 ‍Re-engagement Subject Lines 

  1. Thanks for being a loyal customer. Here’s a free gift from us!
  2. Celebrate a year of knowing each other with 50% off your next order.
  3. Get a free product with your next order as a thank you for sticking with us.

11. Choose the type of contact that the customer wishes to receive

What we love about this re-engagement email

In order to successfully re-engage customers through email, it is crucial to provide them with the option to choose their communication preferences. By offering this choice, businesses can cater to individual preferences and enhance the customer experience. Whether it's through personalized newsletters, promotional offers, or informative updates, allowing customers to select the type of communication they wish to receive ensures that they remain engaged and interested in the brand's offerings. This proactive approach demonstrates a commitment to meeting customer needs and fosters a stronger relationship built on effective and tailored communication strategies using re-engagement email campaigns.

3 ‍Re-engagement Subject Lines 

  1. You’re in control: Choose what you want to hear from us
  2. (Add your brand name) cares about your inbox: Pick your favorite topics and frequency
  3. Your feedback matters: Help us improve our communication with you

12. Show everything that an inactive subscriber might have missed

What we love about this re-engagement email

  • Re-engagement emails are a powerful tool that marketers can use to reactivate inactive subscribers. Email re-engagement campaigns can help a brand regain lost engagement from old customers, prompting them with a product offer or a call to action. These emails have proven successful in bringing back subscribers. 45% of customers read subsequent emails from a brand. Sending relevant content showing how they can stay updated on the new features and save money and time. When your brand recovers inactive customers significantly increase the value of a contact when you re-engage them including your click-through rates. Active subscribers enhance your sender prestige, which means Internet Service Providers (ISPs) will deliver your emails to their inboxes rather than the spam folder.

3 Re-engagement email subject lines

  1. You won’t believe what you’ve missed
  2. Don’t let this opportunity pass you by
  3. Last chance to catch up
  4. 13. Offer a reward if they come back

What we love about this re-engagement email

- Offering a reward is a good strategy to regain the attention of subscribers who have stopped interacting with your brand and help to recover all the inactive users. Sending re-engagement emails is an effective way to recover subscribers who have stopped interacting with your brand. In these emails, you can highlight the value of new offerings and improvements in service to motivate subscribers to interact with the brand again, this will give you valuable insight into their needs that you wouldn't get anywhere else. As you get feedback and notice common themes, you can use that to implement in the future.

14. Interactive re-engagement email

- An interactive re-engagement email is a good one because it is an effective way to remind inactive contacts to continue engaging with your emails. Sendlane suggests sending re-engagement emails to contacts who bought from you once or signed up for your newsletter long ago but no longer interact with your website or emails. By sending re-engagement emails, you can remind them to continue to re-engage subscribers with your emails and increase the likelihood that they will purchase or engage with your website again.

How to Write a Re-Engagement Email

But to get to that point, your emails should make sure to contain a few essential elements: 

1. Keep the email design mobile-friendly 

Email design aims to provide a positive user experience while increasing conversions—making optimization a necessary part of the design! 

2. Always have an easy-to-find CTA in the email; preferably above the fold 

Add a clear call-to-action (CTA) with a button, so customers know what to do after reading. Use incentives to convince users to go back and purchase. 

3. A tangible incentive 

Offering discounts and perks like free shipping can help you re-activate readers and re-engage subscribers , also convince shoppers to return and finish their purchases.

4. The option to unsubscribe link (usually in the footer)

If a contact doesn’t want to receive emails from you, they should have the option to opt out of your email list easily. Sendlane automatically adds an unsubscribe option to the bottom of all your emails.

This is the basic email template that all great reactivation emails are built upon. And there are plenty of examples out there that use all of these elements well with different results.  

How to Create a Re-engagement Email Campaign Sequence

So far, we’ve covered email and subject line examples for your reactivation email campaigns. 

But that’s just the end result stuff. 

This section will show you both what your sequence could be made up of and a bit of the technical side of building out your re-engagement automation. 

Re-engagement Email Campaign Workflow 

So, here’s the scene: 

Your contact has been inactive for 12 months; this segments them to your “Inactive Subscribers” and triggers the following workflow: 

  • Email 1: “We Miss You!” + Here’s a discount. This starts the conversation.  
  • Wait 3 days 
  • Email 2: Benefits + Social proof. Your brand has a lot of value, so talk about it. Do purchases help support worthy causes? Talk about it here. Do you do something unique that no one else does? Talk about it. Try including some testimonies or other user-generated content here. 
  • Wait 5 days 
  • Email 3: Second discount offer/ discount reminder. People get sidetracked, so remind them that you care and give them that discount one more time. Try using product recommendations here. 
  • Wait 5 days
  • Email 4: Goodbye for now. If nothing gets them engaging with your content, then this email is where you tell them you’ll be removing them from the list unless they click the CTA to stay on. 

You can quickly build this automation in our email marketing platform with the result looking like this: 


When you’re inside the Sendlane dashboard and building out the bones of your winback email campaign, this is the rough sketch of what you’ll see. 

I pieced this entire workflow together in under 5 minutes. With this flow put together, now it’s possible to get into each email, configure it with my reactivation-based subject lines, copy, images, product recommendations, and so forth. 

It’s easy to build and works like a charm. 


Every marketing strategy should have a plan in place for retention and reactivation. It doesn’t have to be exactly like this since you should customize the emails to your brand’s needs.

A re-engagement email sequence is one essential part of the puzzle and can help you nab the sales you could have missed otherwise. 

Ready to start automating? Take Sendlane for a spin, free for 60 days and start waking up those sleepy customers! 

Want to learn more about emails? Check out our similar posts:

4 Ways To Boost Customer Retention with Email Marketing

5 Lead Nurturing Email Examples to Create a Winning Campaign

How to Use Email Coupons to Drive Sales (Best Practices & Examples)

Collecting Customer Feedback Using Email (+4 Examples)

5 Emails for Your Post-Purchase Automation (+ Examples)

How to Grow Your Email List: 5 Email Acquisition Strategies

Re-engagement email FAQs

How can I get started sending re-engagement emails?
What needs to be included in a re-engagement email?
How often should you send re-engagement emails?

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