Successfully Re-Engage Passive Media Users with Personalized Recommendations

Successfully Re-Engage Passive Media Users with Personalized Recommendations

When we tire of brands (admit it, we’ve all rolled our eyes and thought, “Another email from them?”) it takes more than just quantity of communication to win us back. 50% of consumers will switch brands if you’re not staying relevant and satisfying their needs, so it’s key to ensure your brand is providing fresh and tailored content to users. Nowhere is this more important (or harder to pull off) than with passive, or inactive, users. Luckily, the Herculean task of winning them back can be made much easier with solid customer data and the right recommendation know-how to succeed. Check out our best practices from our Smart Guide to Recommendations: Media and Publishing for choosing the right recommendation themes to re-engage passive users who have strayed away from your brand, to deliver engaging, thoughtful recommendations.

How to prevent churn and re-engage passive users

It’s extremely normal for humans’ interests to fade — newness is associated with excitement and heightened stakes, so the “same old” just feels boring in comparison. And while it’s important to keep your brand consistent and establish a clear voice, you can’t rely on “the usual” to re-engage users. There’s only a brief window of time between passive users turning into churned users, so you’ll need to act fast. Luckily, with a solid foundation of data powering your marketing (you can learn more about the best way to structure your martech stack here), it’s a breeze to pivot and deliver dynamic, relevant content to disengaged users.

The same recommendation themes that are effective for new user recommendations and active user recommendations still apply for passive or lapsing users. However, now that they aren’t interacting on your site or app, leverage other channels such as email, push, SMS, and digital ads to remind them of all the interesting content they’re missing.

Recommendation Tip: Win back user attention by highlighting recent, expiring, popular, and notable content they wouldn’t want to miss.

How to play into FOMO (fear of missing out) for passive users

The themes you used before might still be great, but it is time to shake up the way you’re delivering content or choose themes that prioritize what’s new and fresh. You’ll want to play upon users’ FOMO, or fear of missing out, to pull them back from the brink of churn and getting them re-engaged with your content.

Here are some popular themes and strategies that have been successful for companies when marketing to passive users:

  • Recently Added/ New Content: New content is perceived to be better than the old. Highlight the latest trending content that users wouldn’t want to miss out on.
  • Content Soon to Expire: Give users a reason to immediately engage by providing one last chance to consume content before it’s gone for good (or before their membership/subscription expires).
  • What’s Trending: We look to others to validate what’s interesting, valuable, and worth our time. Highlight trending or award-winning content users have missed.
  • Editorial: Capture users’ attention and build up your brand’s value by highlighting awards that you’ve won or recognition that you’ve received.

Recommendation Tip: Passive users’ preferences may have changed since they last engaged with you, so add in broader recommendation themes to help increase the chances of capturing their interest.

More about our Smart Guide to Recommendations: Media and Publishing

This is just a small part of the information, tips, and tricks we offer within our Smart Guide to Recommendations: Media and Publishing. In this guide, we will cover all the best content recommendation themes, how to select the right ones throughout your user journey, and best practices to add relevance across every interaction with your brand. You can access the full guide, available now.

If you’re interested in continuing your learning beyond recommendations, you can discover our full library of Smart Guides here.


Learn about different content recommendation themes, how to select the right ones throughout your user journey, and best practices to add relevance across every interaction with your brand.