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5 Tips to Reactivate Dormant Customers

5 Tips to Reactivate Dormant Customers


All companies have dormant customers, i.e. customers who no longer respond to their solicitations and don’t buy anything new. “Waking up” or “reactivate” a dormant customer is more profitable than acquiring new ones. Here a few tips to help you achieve this.

Dormant Customers: an Invisible Scourge, Especially in E-Commerce

While companies are becoming more aware of the importance of customer loyalty, a worrying phenomenon is developing: an increase in inactive customers. An inactive customer is a former customer who no longer reacts to your sales and marketing solicitations. And who, as a result, no longer buys anything from you. They are also known as “dormant” customers.
The increase in inactive customers can be explained for several reasons.

  • Firstly, don’t underestimate the impact of changing consumer behaviour. There is more and more competition, which makes consumers’ purchasing behaviour more volatile.
  • Secondly, it is increasingly difficult to build customer loyalty. Hence the urgent need to implement loyalty strategies. Dormant customers are particularly problematic in digital-oriented companies. E-commerce in particular is one of the first industries to fall victim to this phenomenon. Which is no surprise because the Internet facilitates transient and volatile behaviour.

These changes have highlighted the importance of retention in business development and growth.Maintaining an active and responsive customer base is just as important as acquiring new customers. Acquisition is no longer enough.


Focus on Satisfaction to Avoid Dormant Customers

The best way for a company to optimise satisfaction is customer knowledge.

Satisfying customers helps retain them, keep them active and limit customer loss. A happy customer, who is satisfied with your company’s services and products, is less volatile. From a marketing point of view, customer satisfaction involves highly personalised actions and operations. The aim is to offer your customer products or services that genuinely interest them.

Dormant customers are often the result of a lack of interest in customer satisfaction and knowledge. Focusing on customer satisfaction helps to prevent inactivity.

Prevention is better than cure… But how can you retrieve, or rather reactivate, dormant customers once you have them? What techniques can you use? Below are 5 tips, mainly based on e-mailing.


5 Techniques to Reawaken your Dormant Customers


1. Segment your Customers to Identify the Dormant Ones

Firstly, identify any inactive customers in your CRM and group them together in a “dormant customers” segment. This only works of course if you have information about your customers and their buying habits.

After grouping together your inactive customers, you can send them targeted and personalised marketing campaigns. You may need to segment your dormant customers too, so as to adapt your message to the reason for their inaction.


2. Use Scenarios for Reactivation Campaigns

To wake up an inactive customer, you need to reactivate them. To do this, we strongly recommend using progressive scenarios. The objective is to limit the cost of reactivation operations.

For example, you could send a first email to simply get back in touch, without any form of promotion. If the customer doesn’t respond, send a second email with a special offer. If the customer still doesn’t respond, send a third email with an even more enticing promotion.


3. Let Some Inactive Customers Go

Sometimes, if customers don’t respond to any of your solicitations, you have to let them go. After three or four emails, an inactive customer can be considered a lost customer. They’re no longer dormant, they’re not your customer anymore. There’s no point wasting your time and energy trying to wake them up.

Repeated solicitations can also be perceived by customers as a form of harassment, which is counter-productive. Your company’s brand image could even be tarnished. Sometimes you simply have to accept that all inactive customers aren’t “reactivable”.


4. Surprise your Inactive Customers

There’s nothing like surprising a customer to wake them up from a deep slumber. Send original and surprising emails. For example, to encourage one of your customers to open their newsletters again, title your email “Unsubscribe”. For a reactivation email, use the title: “It’s time to say goodbye (or not)”. Or: “I guess it’s over…”.These are just examples. The idea is to be as creative as possible, without provoking or causing outrage. You need to try and convey a sense of urgency to your customer and snap them into action.


5. Send your Inactive Customers a Satisfaction Survey

Maybe your customers have a good reason to be inactive. Are your products too expensive? Do you send too many emails? Were they disappointed with your customer service? Do they not understand your buying journey? Ask them via a satisfaction survey!You may not be able to reactivate all your dormant customers, but it’s always useful to understand why they’ve gone quiet. You can learn a lot from your inactive customers.

Customers also always appreciate surveys. It makes them feel valued because you’re showing them that their opinion counts. The survey itself could be a reactivation lever for certain customers.

Don’t forget that these techniques are for reactivating dormant customers. The best solution is to ensure they don’t become inactive in the first place! We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, the key is placing customer satisfaction at the heart of your marketing strategy. And your strategy in general!

To sum things up, how can you reactivate dormant and increasingly volatile customers?

  • As a preventative measure, focus on customer satisfaction to maintain a stable and lasting customer relationship.
  • As a curative measure, follow these 5 steps to reactivate your dormant customers:


  1. Identify them in your segmentation
  2. Build a specific reactivation scenario
  3. Know which customers to let go
  4. Surprise them, e.g., with an unusual email title
  5. Get to know them better with a satisfaction survey



2023-EN-SKP-FM-CTA-MEMO- 15+ questions to ask your customers needs and expectations

15+ questions to ask your customers about their needs and expectations