How to Win Back Customers with Retention Marketing SMS Automation

With the e-commerce universe expanding vastly and online stores popping up on every virtual corner, customer churn increases reciprocally. Shopify store owners should try to keep lowering the percentage of lapsed customers, as keeping your current audiences is far less expensive than reaching out in search for new ones.

One way to keep your customers engaged is to automate customer winback reminders using text messages (SMS).


Why SMS?

Because SMS is personal, affordable, has a 98% open rate and is the preferred communication channel by 66% of people. Basically, there is almost no way your customers won’t see your message, and if you time it properly, make your call-to-action appealing, and include a nice incentive - you will be one step closer to winning them back.

In this article we will give you some ideas on how to deal with customer inactivity by launching a successful Customer Win-back automation with SMSBump. 


But first, let’s have a quick look at the most common reasons customers decide to stop interacting with stores. 

Text Message Overload

Frequency can be a great turn-off, regardless of how appealing the content of your message is. Perhaps you are sending too many SMSs per week, or on the contrary - your customers rarely hear from you. Either way, it could cost you a customer. 


Irrelevant Offers

Personalization has become indispensable in today’s booming e-commerce world. If you’re not providing deals and offers relevant to your customer, chances are they’re going to pull away – especially if your competitors are more on-point with their offers.  


Price and Shipping Costs

Price is one of the main reasons why customers decide to look elsewhere. However, customers who defected because of price are the ones most likely to come back if presented with the right offer. 


Price and Poor Service 

Customers who have experienced the double-combo of poor service and high pricing are ranked as least likely to come back to the same store.  


Win-Back Strategies Using Text Message Automation 

Now that we know what the most common reasons are for customer inactivity, let’s start thinking about how to craft successful SMS winback campaigns that will get your Shopify store out of the danger zone.

By enabling the Customer Winback Automation you can easily reach all customers who haven’t purchased anything from your Shopify store in a particular time-frame, specified by you. The automation will trigger periodically and will target customers who have not purchased anything in the defined period.

Pro Tip: We recommend you set up at least two automations.

Target Customers with 30 Days of Inactivity 

Have this first automation be a graceful reminder that you haven’t heard from your customer in a while. To increase your chances of recovery, give them an incentive they will find hard to say “NO” to.


Surprise them with free shipping on their next purchase, as often times extra costs are the main reason customers decide to explore different stores. 

Remember: it is not an incentive unless your customer really wants it. And more often than not, customers want different things than you, the merchants.

To start configuring your first win-back automation, first select your recipient, i.e. Customer. Next, go ahead and type in the number of days since the last order, i.e. 30. Finally, specify the time of day you wish for your message to be sent out. 


Important: Specifying the exact time your text will be sent requires some careful calculations on your part, as the messages will be sent according to your store’s timezone, not your customer’s timezone. Be mindful of time differences when you configure this setting.



{SiteName}: Hi {FirstName}! Remember us? It's been a while since your last purchase! Order in the next 48 h and enjoy FREE shipping: {DiscountCodeUrl}. Reply STOP to opt out.


Follow Up for Customers with 60 Days of Inactivity

The second text message is for customers who didn’t take advantage of the first one. It could include an even more enticing deal, such as a 15% store-wide discount or a fixed amount (e.g $15 off any purchase over $50).

You can also take the opportunity to introduce your customers to your newest collection and give them a discount on your brand new merchandize. Perhaps they will find what they couldn’t before amongst your latest products. And what’s better - they will even get it with a discount! 



{SiteName}: Hi, Jenny! We haven't heard from you in a long time. Check out our newest items:  {DiscountCodeUrl}. Stock up for winter with code {DiscountCode} for a 15% discount in the next 48 h!. Reply STOP to opt out. 


Crafting the Ideal Winback Message 

Here are some of our golden rules to help you create an effective and successful customer winback campaign: 

  1. Always introduce yourself in the beginning of your text message. Start with your Shopify store’s name to quickly let your customers know who is texting them. This also build brand recognition. 

  2. Include your customer’s name next for an even more personalized feel. 

  3. Sense of urgency is essential. A short “Offer ends soon!” can get you a long way!

  4. Make sure to include the actual discount code in your message (e.g. CANDY), not just have it embedded in the URL. Some customers like to checkout using their desktop computers or tablets at home, instead of their phones, and this will allow them to do so. 

  5. Don’t forget to give your customers the opportunity to opt out at any time. 

  6. Include an image from Pexels, a GIF from GIPHY, or use your own image. Visuals will make your SMS more memorable and eye-catching.

  7. Test your text marketing or automations campaign before you send it out!  


Create More Touchpoints to Extend Customer Retention

So what happens after you have sent out these two win-back automations? Best case scenario -  they resulted in customers placing orders. Awesome job! 

To keep your customers interested and engaged with your store, you can enable the Product Upsell Automation which will send them product recommendations relevant to their most recent purchase. See how here: How to Increase Shopify Orders with Product Upselling Automations.


SMS for the Win

SMS has earned its spot as one of the best ways for eCommerce stores to effectively interact with their customers. 160 symbols put together in a smart CTA and personalized offers have the tremendous power to build you a strong and loyal subscribers base, but what’s more - to win you back those who you’ve lost overtime. Start your journey with SMSBump today!


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