Earning new customers tends to be more expensive than retaining existing ones—and engaged, loyal customers will often spend more. So, sending re-engagement emails to reactivate lapsed customers and sleeping subscribers is a no-brainer.

If you have re-engagement campaigns in place, you may have found offering subscribers a discount works well. But discounting isn’t the only way to re-engage. Sometimes you need a bit of inspiration to make your “we miss you” message stand out in subscribers’ inboxes.

This blog post explores a variety of tactics you can use to give your re-engagement emails a winning edge, complete with email examples from brands that do this well for you to emulate. Read on for practical ideas you can use to spice up your next re-engagement campaign.

Get creative with your format

Coming up with a unique and creative concept to deliver your re-engagement message can help to grab recipients’ attention. Think outside of the box and ask yourself: how can I get the message across without using a standard email format?

This re-engagement email from Urban Outfitters is a lively example of creative thinking in action. Using a screenshot of a text conversation between the retailer and the subscriber, it plays on the idea of messages being sent between friends.

Screenshots like this are often used in internet memes, so using this format resonates with the brand’s youthful demographic. The email conveys the options to continue receiving emails or unsubscribe in a fresh and fun way, in keeping with brand’s tone of voice.

Urban Outfitters We Miss You


Tell them how you’ve improved

Your subscribers may have stopped engaging with your brand because of frustrations with your site or your service. Perhaps your product search didn’t have the filters they needed or maybe your checkout process was too lengthy?

If you have recently made improvements to your site, communicating this to your lapsed customers is an effective way to re-engage them.

This email from Lowe’s is a strong example of a re-engagement email that showcases how the experience offered to customers has improved.

Lowes We Miss You Email

Create a sense of urgency

An effective way to wake up your sleeping subscribers is to give them a tempting offer, but for a limited time only. Time-pressure helps to create a sense of urgency.

The re-engagement email below is from Gap. It combines simple “we miss you” messaging with substantial discount that’s only available for a week to jolt subscribers into action.

If you want to do one better than this example, try adding a countdown timer for additional engagement.

Gap We Miss You Email

Make your message seasonal

Another way to grab your lapsed customers attention is to take advantage the time of year. Making your message seasonal is a good way to make sure you’re offering something timely and relevant, that users may find useful.

Certain seasonal events, like Christmas or Valentines, are very emotive—so use this to your advantage. The emotional appeal of seasonal message may help win back lapsed customers.

This example for Lastminute.com shows a Christmas “we miss you” message in action.

Lastminute We Miss You Email


Remind them what you have to offer

Your customers chose to engage with you initially for a reason, but maybe they’ve forgotten what that was. Don’t just let unengaged subscribers slip off the radar, remind them what you have to offer.

This email from Chain Reaction Cycles does a sterling job of selling the benefits of the brand—and their emails—to customers who have gone a little distant.
Chain Reactions Cycles We Miss You

Don’t let technical problems get in the way

Perhaps it’s not your emails that are the problem, but the way they’re being delivered.

Don’t let technical problems with your customers’ email providers get in the way of your relationship with them. If there’s a technical issue, find out the cause and tell them how to fix it.

Solving your customers’ technical difficulties is a simple way to re-engage them. And what’s more, it tends to create positive brand sentiment as people look fondly on companies who resolve problems for them.

This example from Saturday.com explains how subscribers can make sure they aren’t missing out on messages due to Gmail’s new inbox settings.

Saturday We Miss You Email

Check you’re getting it right

Our seventh and final example of a strong re-engagement message is inspired by this email from Office.

Checking that you’re sending subscribers the most relevant products helps you ensure that you haven’t alienated them by sending things they aren’t interested in.

In this example, Office are checking the customer’s gender, but you could ask them for preferences in whatever way makes most sense for your brand.

Office We Miss You Email


Whether you go for a clever format, play on time-pressure, or get super seasonal— crafting compelling re-engagement emails gives you the best chance of getting customers back on your side.

Want to know more about re-engagement email campaigns?

We’ve put together an entire guide that cover the best practices for re-engagement campaigns.

Download the Best Practice Guide to Re-engagement