Our Challenge

As a leading internet security provider, the competition is fierce. Like many companies, we have lost customers over the years due to price. We had the challenge of achieving aggressive company revenue goals, while also re-engaging lapsed customers in a highly competitive landscape. We saw opportunities to generate new sales opportunities with a multi-touch, 3-month email campaign.


The primary goal was to accurately target lapsed customers and win them back with a competitive offer. We wanted to see how a significant discount offer would resonate as we had never attempted such a win back campaign previously. With a large pool of expired customers, we were confident this campaign could be successful. Our long-term goal was to add additional touchpoints and incentives to the end of our existing automated renewal track, as customers become lapsed for longer periods of time.


Benchmark & Current State

Our target audience was lapsed ESET consumer (B2C) customers who did not have an active ESET license. We went back three years within the data housed in our data warehouse/license database and ERP system (Netsuite). We did not have all of the records within Eloqua initially, so we had to import it manually. Our Business Intelligence (BI) unit created logic to only identify customers who had a license expiration date within the last three years with no active license. 91,000 records met the criteria.



We started with the entire 91,000 records from our data warehouse and ERP system Netsuite. Working with our web development team and Business Systems dept, we generated over 200,000 one-time use promo codes. During an import, we added these to an Eloqua custom field “Email Variable.” We did this to prevent promo code sharing. We anticipated adding more additional lapsed customers later in the campaign, so we requested extra promo codes. 


Within Eloqua we took our Email Variable field and performed a Field Merge into the URL. Our web developer made sure the promo code value would populate in a hidden field within the landing page. Once a product was added to the cart on our eStore platform, the discount applied automatically. Currently we track all revenue and orders using Adobe Site Catalyst by referencing the Eloqua email ID. This Eloqua email ID is automatically appended to all eset.com URLs sent from our Eloqua instance.


In order to ensure that we were not emailing current, active customers we used another data filter evaluating if the customer renewed in the last 60 days. We have a custom field to hold this last renewed date (HM-Renewed Date). This way, we could exclude anyone who recently purchased. We wanted to ensure our current customers did not see these emails.  


Renewed Filter:

HM Renewed Filter.jpg


A/B Testing

We randomly sorted the data via Excel and put aside half of it as the “Hold Out” group who wouldn’t receive the initial email. We imported this Hold Out data (45,000+ records) as Shared List and created a separate segment for it.


We then took the remaining data group (the other 45,000+ records) and divided it in Excel into two lists. We imported both as Shared Lists and created (2) additional segments.


We only used the higher performing offer (by orders generated) in all subsequent emails. We tested a 50% Off against a Buy One Year Get One year free (BOGO) offer.


Using a filter within the Campaign Canvas, we split the data in half to A/B test subject lines within each segment (50% Off or BOGO). In order to split the data, we created an Eloqua filter (50:50 split) containing contacts who only have an Eloqua Contact ID ending in either (1, 3, 5, 7, 9).


The emails containing the test segments (BOGO and 50% Off) were sent the first email. We then held those records in a wait step. After a week we sent the winner to the Hold Out segment.  The 50% Off CTA generated more orders (a 51% lift). Also, the “We miss you” subject line had a higher open rate in these sends, so we used a variation of it for all remaining emails in the campaign. Two weeks later we sent the 50% Off version to the Hold Out segment the with the “We miss you” subject line.


Campaign Flows: BOGO Offer

BOGO offer.jpg

Campaign Flows: 50% Discount Offer

50-percent offer.jpg

Campaign Flows: Remainder Hold Out for Winner

Hold out data.jpg


50/50 Split Filter

50-50 split filter.jpg



We sent monthly emails for about 3 months. Each month we moved the data forward to wait steps within the same canvas and repeated all steps and logic for subsequent sends. We continued to test subject lines using the 50:50 split filter in these additional emails. A final “last chance” email was sent with 1 week left, and again with 1 day left before the promo pricing expired to create urgency. We queried a report through our BI tool to include additional lapsed customers throughout the campaign as well. We imported the newer lapsed customer data and inserted additional segments to the campaign canvas.


Eloqua Courses

B2B Engagement (Personalizing campaigns)

B2B Targeting (Advanced Segmentation, Data Cleansing)

B2B Fundamentals (Emails, Campaign Canvas, Segmentation)



The campaign had a great impact on revenue for our company with over 1000 won back customers.

  • Received 1,043 orders that generated $102,851 in gross revenue
  • 400,000 emails delivered over a 3 month period
  • Attained an overall open rate of 15.2 percent and CTOR of 7.8 percent
  • Gained additional post-campaign residual orders and revenue ($6,000+) at full price.



It’s crucial to have a solid customer retention strategy. Taking a closer look at your data and determining opportunities to win back lost customers back can have a great impact on your business. Even with a challenging data set up within our company, we were able to succeed utilizing the tools and functionality of Eloqua.