5 Best Customer Retention Emails (With Examples)

Every email you write is a customer retention email. Fact.

Don’t treat emails as merely transactional, think of them as opportunities to build relationships and trust in every step of the user journey.

Whether it’s – a password reset, a new feature announcement or a discount offer – this is your chance to remind your user of the value you bring them.

I first wrote about some of the best welcome onboarding emails, this time I want to focus on those emails that get your users back into your product with a clever hook.

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What to Look for in the Best Retention Emails

The rule of thumb:

Don’t wait for a user to leave before you try to implement retention tactics. Every email, every interaction, even every conversation you have with your customer is a chance for you to continue driving growth.

When looking at the best user retention emails, some of the qualities that made them stand out were:

  • They focus on the user’s outcomes and goals
  • They provide insight and tips to continue engaging with the product successfully
  • They’re personalized to the user’s unique journey and actions thus far
  • They show off the company’s brand, style, and approachability
  • They are truly memorable and make an impression

We’ve written plenty about the anatomy of copy writing, HTML vs plain text and catering to the user’s journey, so I won’t keep you waiting any longer!

Here is a round-up of some of the best user retention emails out there.

Retention Email #1 – Airfocus

Is everything ok?

Another example of a thoughtful email focused on me, not the product.

Airfocus nails this email by asking about my needs, outcomes, and if there’s anything they can do to help me reach my goals after not having engaged with the product after a week.

Airfocus user retention email
Airfocus user retention email

What I like

  • It’s not flashing product features at me, rather focuses on what I am trying to achieve
  • Even if I did a quick skim-read through it, my eyes can very clearly focus on one line: What’s the one obstacle keeping me from engaging?
  • Another example of how plain text and human-centered content goes a long way
  • It’s written by a real person I can simply hit reply to

Retention Email #2 – Typeform

Get inspired. Their subject line was so simple, yet so powerful.

Remember how I said every email is a user retention email? Here’s a perfect example by the Typeform team.

After having set up my first form, I received an email as a direct follow-up, offering me tips and advice from other successful customers.

Typeform Retention Email
Typeform Retention Email

What I like

  • It’s personalized to the action I just carried out
  • “Don’t stop now” is a strong and simple statement that inspires me to engage further.
  • It puts focus on my success with real examples – and it isn’t flashing a bunch of features that make no sense at this point in my journey

Retention Email #3 – Grammarly

Grammarly wins points here for shamification 🤣

Noticing lack of use, Grammarly has managed to mix gamification with an excellent sense of humor to remind me I should be using their app.

Grammarly winback email
Grammarly Winback Email

What I like

  • Say what you will about HTML emails, but if it’s shiny and pretty it’ll get my attention. It’s a delight to look at
  • It shows the company has a sense of humor and is fun and approachable
  • Has a fun CTA – comic sans-style font included. Not sure if that was on purpose or not, but I like it
  • Dog-fooding: Grammarly knows grammar, and that is a pure delight to my grammar-loving self. As I’ve said before, good grammar never goes out of style

Retention Email #4 – Shinesty

Brian Hennessy, CEO at Talkoot, shared with me one of his favorite retention emails by Shinesty.

There is no doubt in my mind that Shinesty know what they’re doing – and they do it well! This is another great example of how even during the offboarding process, you shouldn’t lose your sense of brand, or sense of humor.

This example would 100% make me want to give them another chance (as a matter of fact, it makes me want to give them a first chance!)

Shinesty Retention Email
Shinesty User Retention Email

What Brian liked

The reason I love this so much is because it builds trust in three different ways:

  • Authenticity = trust. It’s completely on-brand. It sounds exactly like everything else they do. When you’re able to nail your brand voice at every consumer touchpoint, it gives the impression it’s a very authentic company
  • Care = trust. Taking the time to write such incredible emails, even when you’re breaking up with them, shows they really care. It makes me think that if they get these kinds of details right, they must also be getting the big stuff right: product, price, shipping, returns, etc
  • Humor = trust. It’s just plain funny. It’s not trying too hard. It delivers the information I need if I want to start the subscription again. But that bit of humor they inject in everything they do proves that they understand me on a human level

Retention Email #5 – MyProtein

Some people say less is more. In this case, more is more.

I’ll be honest when I say that MyProtein emails me about 15 times a week, and they are overwhelming at times (tone it down, y’all!) – but the one thing I know I will always find is a discount code in my inbox.

MyProtein user retention emails
MyProtein user retention emails

If you run an e-commerce site and are in the position of giving out discount codes, this is a great example of how to entice people to come back for more.

Why haven’t I unsubscribed yet?

  • They’re a brand I know and trust
  • I buy from them constantly
  • Their discounts are at times only available via email, not on their site ⭐

Unlike other sites that just target me with random fluffy discounts for things I don’t even care about (ahem, Etsy) – MyProtein knows exactly what I purchase and what to offer me a discount for, so I know I can always get good deals no matter what when I am purchasing.

What I like

  • The discounts and offers are targeted to the products I purchase
  • Consistency – I know I will find a discount code if I check my inbox!
  • Because this is a product that is generally bought in bulk, getting a discount immediately makes me want to purchase more at a time (talk about that PLG!)
  • They’ve built FOMO by offering exclusive codes via email

How Userpilot Helps With Retention

Any good product focuses on enhancing the customer’s experience when transitioning between information provided in an email, with what they then see when they reach your app.

Userpilot can help boost user engagement by keeping track of customer segments and providing that unique in-app guidance that helps transition the user from an email to your product, helping you drive growth and ultimately, retention.

Userpilot Customer Segmentation
Userpilot Customer Segmentation

By specifying which users see certain experiences, tooltips, and even checklists, you can customize their experience more closely and make sure you’re driving growth based on their specific journey and interactions.

⭐ If you’d like to learn more, let’s jump on a chat! ⭐

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