What’s a social network to do when a user slows down his or her online activities? If you’re Twitter, you use email. Here’s a lesson on how to entice your customers back with your own “come back” email campaign. Twitter has billions of dollars to craft the flashiest high-frequency newsletter campaign, but they choose sincerity and tact instead.

Sshhhh, Don’t Tell Twitter about My Other Accounts

In my rush to get in on the Twitter action, I guess I created a few accounts. So one account is used well and one was just plain forsaken. And as I’ve forgotten all about it, guess who didn’t? Twitter. I woke up today to this email:

Good Old Reliable Email

Yes, it’s true that when Twitter can’t get ahold of me via tweets then the only other option is to use email. But that’s just the point now isn’t it? People probably aren’t going to put up their cell numbers as readily as emails for contact info, but email is a reliable and viable point of contact.

Who doesn’t check their email daily? Some of you check it hourly, and you might want to see a therapist about that. You might also email me the name of that therapist while you’re at it.

“I Miss You. You Need Me. Follow Me Back.”

I like Twitter’s clean approach. From the sincere sounding subject line that let me know I was missed (it worked, I opened it) to the short email that quickly reminded me of the benefits of their product. They even included a link in the form of an easy to hit button to quickly take me back to the action.

Coy Works. Overkill Doesn’t

In contrast, I’ve been getting the lamest emails out of the blue from a declining social network with updates and info I never asked for nor would ever be interested in. “So and so sent you a message.” “Here are shows in your area.” Instead of Twitter’s one simple and direct message, I’m getting barraged by a bunch of nonsense I don’t want in my inbox.

The Two Ex-Girlfriends Metaphor

My wife won’t like this next metaphor, but it’s like there are two ex-girlfriends who somehow want to reconnect. One leaves a message that says, “Hey, how have you been? Let’s have lunch…” and leaves it at that. The other starts showing up at all my favorite hangouts, office, gym and wherever else just randomly talking about things I never cared about in the first place. I feel like that unnamed social network’s emails are stalking me.

Did I mention that this was ONLY a metaphor? Hope my wife doesn’t read this one or I’ll have to send my own “please come back” email.

In Summary

Okay, back to reality. This isn’t about ex-girlfriends, it’s about what you can learn from Twitter in using email to win back a customer. So let’s sum up the lessons:

  1. Email can always be relied upon. Even the social networks know this.
  2. Woo back your customer with a short, direct and sincere message with an easy-to-find button that brings them back to the action.
  3. Be respectful of their time and space. Your customers will respect you for this.