Acing Customer win-back with handwritten postcards that delight


If you take a look at the marketing departments of companies, you quickly recognize the focus: new customer acquisition. Yet it would be much more cost-effective to try to win back lost subscribers. If a company succeeds in reactivating renegade customers with interesting return offers, the result is usually above average. in this case, the quality of the chosen communication is crucial. A simple e-mail is not enough here.

12 %

Win-Back Ratio

Industry: Utilities

Used formats:

Wave #1: PostcardsWave #2: Envelopes

How do you win back lost customers?

When winning back former customers, the focus must be on making personal contact. To reach him immediately, only a direct conversation or handwritten message works, which is even much more successful than a phone call. Pensaki customers achieve a customer win-back rate of between 9 and 12 percent in a win-back campaign with handwritten postcards! This is a significant increase over normal new customer acquisition of about four percent.

“Business relationships without an emotional level are fundamentally questioned even for minor problems and price differences.”

A good example of customer win-back mailings with handwritten postcards are utility providers. Since every German household is free to choose its provider, the market is hotly contested. By law, the customer can easily and quickly switch electricity companies within just three weeks. Therefore, you quickly lose a customer to a cheaper provider if you have not established a personal relationship with him.

Even a local connection no longer protects municipal utilities from their consumers looking around and opting for a cheaper electricity supplier. A business connection without any emotional level will falter more quickly. Even minor problems are enough for an existing customer to decide to switch. It is not always just a matter of getting a cheaper offer. Some electricity suppliers are therefore trying to win back their former customers with personal postcards offering special prices and discounts.

The opportunity: reactivation through emotionalization

In fact, for most customers, an emotional bond with a provider is more important than the small price difference for gas and electricity. Should there ever be a problem, quick and easy personal contact is essential. A stable business relationship is a necessary condition for customer loyalty and is characterized by high resilience on both sides. If the customer feels valued and not just like an unimportant number, he will also accept the price difference.

Building a new foundation of trust by valuing the customer

Handwritten letters express a very personal and high level of appreciation. Our brain doesn’t receive communication, it decodes it, according to British marketing expert Rory Sutherland. He gives a good example of this automatic sorting out of message weighting:

Imagine you get two different invitations to a wedding at the same time. One is sent to you by email, the other you receive by mail in a nice heavy envelope and your address was handwritten. You immediately assign more importance and value to the handwritten invitation. Sutherland refers to this as “costly signaling.” Senders went to the trouble of selecting cards and envelopes and writing the message by hand. Moreover, no expense was spared.

Your brain immediately judges that it is important to the sender that you attend their wedding. Another association we automatically make is that we assume there will most likely be better food and free drinks at this wedding. Whereas the message sent by email is perceived as “cheaper”. We automatically assume that because of this, the wedding festivities will also be on a lower level. A handwritten message by mail has a much stronger impact.

This example makes it clear how important it is in which way you contact your customer. Send him a handwritten postcard, even if the message on it is very short and concise, the recipient will automatically assign it a higher importance. The customer feels valued, he perceives the effort and cost that you have invested. This also strengthens trust in the business relationship. Why would you want to deceive him when you put so much effort into it? This is called the reputation reflex, and customer loyalty is strengthened. By going to the trouble of a handwritten message, you send the signal to the customer that he is valuable and you have put a lot of thought into winning him back.

80% of Germans are happy to receive something handwritten in their mailbox.

Achieve higher open and response rates with handwritten mailings.

Studies have also shown that follow-up calls to handwritten messages were about four to five times more likely to be answered. The open rate of handwritten letters is up to 90 percent! Almost all handwritten letters in a mailing to win back customers are actually opened! Provided you take the success factors into account.

You can also achieve response rates of 10 to 40 percent when acquiring new customers and communicating with regular customers. Read more on this topic in our blog post “Why does handwriting work in the digital age”.

But of course, you don’t have to spend hours and days sitting down and handwriting customer recovery postcards. Our friendly and tireless handwriting robots from Pensaki will be more than happy to do the job for you! Choose the card or stationery and robot handwriting in our showroom, overlook us the message and we will take care of the rest.

6 %

Win-Back Ratio

Industry: Utilities

Handwritten Postcards