7 Key Principles for Writing Riveting Reactivation Letters

Chances are, a client (or potential client) will someday ask you to write a reactivation letter. After reading this article, instead of wondering what the heck the client is talking about, you’ll able to provide him with a letter that exceeds his expectations.

The truth is, writing reactivation letters isn’t that much different than writing regular sales promotions. It’s the strategies and tactics that differ.

In an upfront acquisition mailing, the prospect is not familiar with your client’s product. With a reactivation letter, you’re convincing a past customer to buy again.

Writing a reactivation letter is much less intimating than writing a full-fledged promotion, because you don’t have to build credibility for the client or the product. The customer already knows the company and what the product does.

And you don’t have to talk in detail about the product or provide in-depth proof elements. Again, the customer is familiar with what the product does.

To write a successful reactivation letter, here’s what you DO need to do: Follow my 7 key principles …

  1. Examine the control package that got the customer to buy in the first place.

    You want to identify the core emotion of that package. That core emotion is what you’re going to use in your reactivation letter. For example, perhaps it’s a need to belong to a group. In your reactivation letter, talk about this emotion and how the product satisfies that desire.

  2. Find out what offers – price, guarantee, and premiums – have been most successful for your client.

    In your reactivation letter, you’ll want to imitate the offer that worked best. For example, if premiums generated a good response … you’ll want to include a premium in your reactivation letter. But make sure the premium is timely and provides a benefit to the customer.

  3. Make sure you use a promise in your reactivation letter that mirrors the promise in the control package.

    Restate that promise in a way that sounds different from the control. You don’t want to repeat it word for word. You want to say it in a way that sounds new to the customer. And be sure to allude to the promise throughout the letter.

  4. Ask the client to provide you with testimonials.

    Use at least three testimonials in your letter. What’s even better – if you can find them – are testimonials from customers who almost gave up on the product … but then continued to use it with great success.

  5. In your reactivation letter, acknowledge and confirm to the customer that he made the right decision to buy the product in the first place.

    Tell him how important he is … and how much your client values his business. In other words, make the customer "feel good" about his decision to purchase your client’s product.

  6. Include a reason to act now.

    Is this a limited-time offer? Are there only a handful of the premium(s) or the product in stock?

  7. With a reactivation letter, grab the customer’s attention by using an audacious (or even shocking) headline.

    For example, you might try something like this: "Quite frankly, I can’t figure out why you didn’t respond …"

The secret to writing a riveting reactivation letter lies in thoroughly studying the control. If you can identify the core emotion and promise used in the original control … and can bring them to life again in your reactivation letter … your copy will succeed.

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Published: March 28, 2005

1 Response to “7 Key Principles for Writing Riveting Reactivation Letters”

  1. I bumped into your article while searching for some information about customer reactivation. This is an excellent post!

    I wrote on customer reactivation which also talks about customer churn. Although it's slightly different than your piece here, you may still find it helpful. It also gives you my perspective on regaining lost customers.

    Let me know if you find interest in reading it and i'll post the link here.

    Have a good one!

    Guest (Corey)October 28, 2016 at 11:23 pm


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