Walmart Misses Me! (Customer Reactivation – How NOT to Do It)

When customers stop buying, good marketers try to encourage them to come back with a strong reactivation campaign. The best ones include a combination of email and direct marketing and a whole lot of customer relationship care. Before long, social and mobile will be added to the mix.

A few years ago, I ordered a gift from It was so long ago, I can’t remember what I ordered or exactly when. Recently, my email popped up in some data mining effort and an enterprising marketing team decided that it was a good idea to include me in a reactivation campaign.

The email subject line, We Miss You!, sounds like I’m valued as a customer. But, when I opened it, this is what I saw:

Walmart customer reactivation email no images

It got worse when I downloaded the images:

Walmart email customer reactivation

Is it a reactivation email or a clearance sale? This email is wrong on so many levels the people responsible should be moved from the marketing department to shopping cart retrieval. The only thing they got right was my email address.

  • The subject line focuses on Walmart, not me. Successful reactivation campaigns are all about the customer.
  • The high ratio of image to text often triggers spaminators and reduces deliverability. Even if it makes it past the filters, people are less likely to open it.
  • It screams BUY NOW! with prices dominating the message. Wooing missing in action customers works better than blasting them with promotions.
  • There’s nothing in the body of the email to support the subject line. Could this be a subject line test? Nah. That would require too much effort.

Great marketers always have reactivation as part of their marketing mix. They invest their time in creating personalized messages designed to lure people back into the fold. It provides an excellent return on investment when done well. Do it well or don’t do it at all.

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Email Optimization: How Simple Changes Increase Open Rates, Click Through, Response, & Average Order Size

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  • Dick Phister

    nice blog post, just added to my Blog Network

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