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The Muse

We blog here about growth and data.

3 Types of Customers You Can Resurrect Today

We all have them: customers who visit our website and then never come back. Or customers who bought something once, but never again.

If you are not tracking data the right way, they are truly lost leads. If you don't know who they are then you can't get them back.

But for data-oriented businesses, these zombie leads are very much alive. And there are resurrection campaigns that will bring them back. Read on for 3 types of customers you can resurrect and how to do it.

1. THE ONE NIGHT STANDS. Bought something once… and then never came back. Ouch.

These are hot leads. Just like doing anything for the first time (saying "yes", a glass of wine, public speaking), making a first purchase is always the hardest. Once you've transacted (if you've had a good experience) it's much easier to come back again than go somewhere new.

Why haven't they? Was it something to do with your product, onboarding, or customer service? Or something entirely unrelated?

Because of this unknown, targeted and empathetic messaging is important when engaging this group. You want to tell them you wish they'd come back but also give them the benefit of the doubt as to why they haven't.

You can try: sending them product recommendations based on what they previously bought, or something totally new. Just make sure your tone works with the content and that you A/B test every subject line. Keep track of what works for a small group and then roll it out.

2. THE LURKERS. Signed up and keep coming back to visit but never buy anything.

This group drives the best of us crazy. Unless you're one of them (and I admit to being an occasional lurker) this behaviour is very frustrating. "I mean, I know you like me, because you keep coming back… but how can I convince you to buy something?"

This group is a delicate one because if you over-communicate or pressure too much you’ll scare them away. And you definitely don't want to do that; these are the warmest kind of leads you can have.

You can try: Narrow down what they are reacting to and A/B test every email you send. Don't over-communicate or you'll drive them away. You need to get to the reason for their reluctance to buy. For this group, resurrection emails should be infrequent. You can also try a higher-touch method: call a few and see what they have in common. It's labour intensive but worth it because the chance of conversion is so high.

3. THE TOURISTS. They’ve signed up but haven’t come back since.

Once a customer has given you their contact details you can consider it an invitation to communicate. The Tourists are less likely to convert than the One-Night-Stands and the Lurkers, but more likely than those who come and go without telling you who they are.

Since you've been invited to talk to them, you should use that to lead them gently down the path to a sale. You need to use your skills of persuasion and every marketing tactic in the book to get this captive audience buying.

You can try: discounts and offers typically work with this group as do offers with an expiry. If you're worried about over-communicating, consider that unless they transact with you, you are no better off for sending emails that land in their junk folder. Be smart, test and monitor, but go forth boldly.


Resurrection campaigns are little understood and rarely practiced but incredibly powerful. We've grown engagement by 450% for our clients by setting up the right platforms in the right way and making sure that they are implemented according to business logic and strategic objectives.

You can grow your sales by getting the right platforms in place. You can also grow sales by collecting the right data and using it to inform the message you sent to your leads at each point in the sales funnel.

We’re happy to help you do that. Let's talk about how.