Re-Engaging eTailer Customer Databases

Many successful etailers have amassed enormous databases of past customers.  Largely the only form of CRM is email marketing due to a perception of high costs from other channels.

Average opening rates of email marketing campaigns are 35% and falling, this means that 65% of the customers are effectively being ignored.  The opportunity identified is to increase repeat purchases to these past customers.

During this paper we will be looking at how etailers can reactivate their existing customers with a focus on data segmentation and cost with a simple step-by-step guide.

Step 1:  Identify What Data You Retain

Identify what data you hold on your users.  Most ecommerce platforms like OpenCart, Majento or Volusion have an admin area that enables extraction of customer data.

  • Name
  • Email
  • Postal Address
  • Phone Number
  • Date Of Last Order

Step 2:  Identify Who You Are Reaching Successfully

Typically etailers will be sending email campaigns via an email delivery platform (ESP) like Teradata or Emailvision.  These systems are powerful and enable companies to extract any users who have opened an email in the last 6 months.  Even if an in-house system is being used this is a simple task.

Step 3: Segment The Users

Look to identify customers who have not purchased and not opened an email from you.  These people have bought previously so they are golden prospects!

Step 4:  Squeeze and optimize email.

This is the cheapest form of converting users so make sure you emails are not going to the junk folder and that your campaign looks good.  Simple things to check are:

  • Make an HTML creative. You can buy nice template email creative from
  • Make every image in the email creative a clickable link to increase clicks.
  • Is your IP address blacklisted? Use this simple tool:
  • Is your email creative well formed with all the tags closed properly?
  • Does your email work in Gmail, Hotmail, Outlook and other email clients?
  • Do not use any spammy words like “Free” or “Buy Now”
  • Send different emails for different groups on your database such as Order Confirmations, Customer feedback, Dropping out mid-order or “We have Missed You”.

Step 5:  Use The Phone Number

If the etailer has the phone number of its customer’s then use it, call them up.  Give a list to the sales team and get them to call them all up with a scripted seasonal or discounted offer.

Text messaging is another option.  Identify the numbers starting with 07 and send them a text message.  Prices start from 2.4p per text and there are many good suppliers out there such as

Step 6:  Use The Address

Customers want to be made to feel special if they are to be retained and posting something to them can achieve this result.  These people have already bought from you previously so are clearly interested in your products.  Not all customers respond to digital correspondence and might appreciate something in the post.

The cheapest price in the UK for mailing is by’s Postcard Bulk Mailer.  They will print and dispatch a postcard 2nd class for 30p.  That is cheaper than a 2nd class franked postage of 33p.  The postcard is a quality 350 gsm paperstock, with a tough gloss laminate finish & dispatch by Royal Mail.

Upload the data, add an image and write a personalised message, it works similarly to an email deliver platform.  100% of these cards will arrive and be read.  Some might even be pinned onto a fridge if the offer is compelling enough like a discount voucher.

Opt-in / Legal

Remember!  These are your customers and they have purchased from you so you have the right to contact them in the future via any means you wish.  If you need to double-check this then contact the Information Commissions Office.