Re Engagement in the era of privacy

Pratik Rupareliya
9 min readJul 13, 2022


As a business marketer, you know how hard it is to identify leads and convert them into customers. But you also know that it is just as easy to lose a loyal customer.

Re Engagement in the era of privacy

But, the amount of time, money, and resources that go into building that initial connection are huge and shouldn’t be wasted because of the lack of a re-engagement strategy.

It pays to focus on customers who have already shown a keen interest in your products and are willing to spend their money on your brand, rather than fixating only on acquiring new customers.

What is Re-Engagement?

By re-engaging with customers, marketers serve targeted advertisements to users who had shown intent in the product or service through earlier engagements such as clicking on advertisements or purchasing products.

Re-engagement doesn’t necessarily mean retargeting users. In addition to spending time and budget on acquiring new leads, marketers have more chances of conversion when dealing with users who previously showed interest in converting.

What is a Re-Engagement Campaign?

Your re-engagement campaign should be drafted, keeping in mind some of the following questions.

Are you reaching out to those customers who have bought products from you once but haven’t purchased again?

Are you trying to reach out to customers who have had a negative experience?

Or are you trying to get your email subscribers who aren’t engaging with you?

The messaging should be different for each of these customers.

The main intention behind re-engagement is to rekindle the lost flame you once had with customers who had initially interacted with you. You remind customers of their experience with your brand and make amends for the negative experience.

Regardless of the amount you spend on targeting ideal customers, there will always be some people who will not be converted into customers.

Re-engagement is an excellent way to get in touch with these individuals and get them to re-engage. To re-engage with individuals, they should have engaged with your brand at some point in time. And with a re-engagement campaign, you are warming them up to your brand once again.

Approaching Re-engagement

In the era of privacy, user re-engagement is a challenge. Marketers should take several steps to counter it, and the strategy should include,

· Plans to bring back customers who have shown intent

· Getting users to engage with your brand and application more consistently

· Streamlining user journey, finding pain points, and improving your customer service

· Finding ways to engage with your now-dormant users and get them to engage more often.

One aspect of digital re-engagement is delivering personalized content to customers. But, when there is a heightened sense of privacy concerning the users, engaging with them using personalized content seems like a challenge.

Privacy has always been a touchy point for consumers — what details are collected by companies and how this information is being used.

The Issue of Consumer Trust

According to a KPMG survey, it was reported that about 86% of customers were concerned about data privacy. A whopping 78% were also concerned about the number of data companies collect. Customers are less enthusiastic about sharing their private data.

Consumers’ unwillingness to trust a company to acquire and put their data to the best use is quite apparent.

Nearly 30% weren’t willing to share private data with businesses at any cost. Only 12% said they were willing to share to make advertisements more relevant.

Three-quarters of users are willing to share their private data, providing greater transparency in data collection, usage, and need.

How is Apple’s MPP Impacting Re-engagement Strategies of Businesses?

With its changes to Mail Privacy Protection, Apple has taken the role of digital disrupter by announcing its new privacy changes. Unfortunately, privacy wasn’t a top priority for most marketers in a world thriving on personalized content.

In 2021, Apple created a lot of digital buzz with its Mail Privacy Protection policy that prevents senders of emails from accessing invisible pixels that gather user information. In simple terms, this new feature helped users prevent senders from accessing their IP address and knowing when they have opened an email. It also prevented the sender from determining user location and accessing their other online activities.

Does this matter?

Of course!

· Less accuracy in open rate monitoring

· The segmentation is becoming less dependable

· Geographic targeting is taking a hit

· Retargeting customers using data collected from unique identifiers will also become a challenge

· Accurately measuring application performance becomes a challenge

The MPP will impact email marketing strategies that have been built on personalization, design, deliverability, optimization, and analytics. Moreover, with the open rates becoming an unreliable metric, it is time to focus on clicks as the engagement signal.

How do you re-engage with users after data privacy updates?

It is time marketers focus on dealing with data privacy updates, specifically when it has much to do with engagement and re-engagement with the audience.

From mail opens, marketers derive useful information from subject line optimization to segmentation. But now we have to start preparing for the post-update email marketing.

· Start by analyzing the impact of MPP and start working on new baseline metrics (since open rates don’t matter anymore).

· Take a relook at the active subscriber list, and include other engagement signals such as signup, purchase, social media conversations, etc.

· Spruce cleans your subscriber list and targets the re-engagement audience (those who aren’t responding to your emails).

Rethink your email design for re-engagement purposes. For example, instead of providing the most valuable content on the body of the email, move it to the landing page.

We understand that getting your customers to leap from the email to the landing page is tough. But when you give them some incentive — in the form of a discount or new product information — they are more likely to take the leap of faith.

When talking to customers on the re-engagement list, you should make sure there are as few steps as possible for conversion. Provide subscribers with compelling reasons to click, such as interactive components, videos, animation, etc.

Most importantly, focus on human behavior. It generally doesn’t follow the set norms. Customers will not receive your mail; open it promptly, read the entire content, click on the link and complete the intended action. It almost never happens. They might take any route to conversion, and asking them to take the exact same action we can measure doesn’t deliver them the value they seek.

The idea should be to provide value at each interaction step rather than banking on failed strategies like clickbait headlines or subject lines.

Successful Re-engaging Strategies to Adopt Now

All is not lost in terms of re-engaging with customers. You can take several steps to make the best of the present scenario and still win.

Successful Re-engaging Strategies to Adopt Now

Overhaul Email marketing Strategy

Let’s first deal with email marketing, seeing that it will probably take the first hit in digital marketing.

  1. Look at your communication channels.

Take a relook at the communication channels used for advertising. Studies prove that having a cross-channel approach delivers high performance.

  • Paid media: The most common method to get in touch with your customers is through paid ads in videos, banners, social media, and in-app advertisements.
  • Owned media: Your blogs and email campaigns are owned media completely under your control.
  • Earned media: Marketing tools that you earn because of your credibilities, such as social media sharing, reviews, influencer marketing, and more.
  • Web–to — application: Funnel your users from web to app using deep linking scripts and banners.
  1. Go beyond open rates.
    Look beyond open rates to measure your engagement and performance. Instead of creating email campaigns and drafting emails solely as a metric, think about the end goal — user engagement and shopper experience.
  2. Take the first-party data route.
    You can use 1st party data collected with explicit consent from users — through apps, forms, and websites. With this information, you can create a re-engagement campaign and content and attract them with a nice incentive or loyalty program.
  • You can find first-party data from various sources — names and addresses given on websites, mobile web and applications, call centers, email and SMS communication, and point of sales.
  • First-party data allows you to create targeted advertising that is precise and personal. It reduces ad waste and redundancy and drives return on investment.
  • With first-party data, marketers can accurately map the path customers take to reach the conversion. It helps deliver the right message at the right time.
  • Brands can also use the first-party data to map out customers’ various channels to complete the purchase. They can start their sales journey from your website, move on to your mobile app, and finally make the purchase in-store. Brands can segment the audience and optimize content for each omnichannel.

Rethink Segmentation and Communication Channels

Smart segmentation holds the key when it comes to re-engagement. You don’t always need more downloads. Sometimes, you need users who will continue to engage with your app rather than missing in action.

  1. Leverage real-time interactions
    Real-time interactions indicate whether the contact made is going to last or not. For example, customers who have engaged with the application or email within the first week of contact are more likely to buy.
  2. Maximize Cross Promotion
    Cross-promotion is a great strategy to advertise your products to your competitors’ users. Through promotional posts, emails and events, you can target the customers of one product with the promotion of a related product.
  3. Work on engagement metrics based on smart segmentation
    By using smart segmentation and aligning it with the campaign’s performance, you can measure the performance of your engagement strategy and refine it.
  4. Make Your Social Presence Count
    You can maintain a great recall value by consistently being on top of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and others with top-notch content. So, when you launch a new feature or product, you’ll have more chances of re-engaging.

Go Personal

Nothing engages like personalized content. Rather than seeing the same generic mails in their inbox, users prefer something put together with customized content and thought.

  1. Establishing Trust
    Use the user’s profile and shopping history, and design a customized communication strategy. It builds trust and credibility. When you are trying to wake up dormant users, random notes aren’t going to do the trick. Instead, personalize communication at every customer touchpoint to earn their interactions.
  2. Design communication through data-driven analytics
    In times of limited data access, you have to rely on analytics to ascertain user behavior and shopping milestones to judge whether the user will stick with the brand or abandon it. Then, you can draw up and execute a re-engagement strategy based on predictive analytics.
  3. A strategic approach to personalized push notifications
    When done right and in moderation, push notifications can drive downloads, engagement, and interaction. Make the push messages about the people, customize the content and target them based on location.

Take Help from Automation and Technology

Automating digital communications helps retarget customers across their sales journey. Curated automation gently nudges customers along the sales journey.

You can offer creative targeted advertising to customers across multiple platforms with the latest technology. In addition, technology can help you automate your customer re-engagement journey across verticals.

Measure Conversions

Measuring re-engagement strategies gives you an insight into the usefulness and performance of your campaigns. It is important to understand which conversions resulted from a specific campaign and which conversions happened organically to accurately determine the campaign’s value.

Testing incremental conversions requires a good testing environment, skills, and analysis for the interpretation to be accurate. In addition, measuring the result of a campaign helps manage test campaigns, curate campaign focus, and create specific campaigns for specific end goals.

Make customer journeys seamless.

There won’t be much need for constant engagement activities if your customer’s seamless journey.

However, this is never the case.

You will find gaps in the customer journey, negative feedback, and difficulties engaging with your brand. Look for such gaps, identify patterns in disengagement and feedback, and devise the right strategy to bridge the gaps.

The Future is Private — Design a privacy-centric Re-Engagement Strategy.

The future belongs to data privacy. There is awareness and activism toward increased privacy controls. However, businesses have to work around such rules while making sure customers’ needs for privacy and personalization are met — at the same time.



Pratik Rupareliya

Techno-commercial leader heading Intuz as head of Strategy.