Re-Engagement Email Series

Over time, your subscribers – prospects and customers – will gradually tune out of your email. They’ll stop opening. They’ll stop clicking. And they’ll stop buying.

This is the campaign you use to get them back. It’s the campaign that reengages and reactivates inactive subscribers.

You want to do this to get more sales, of course. But that’s not all. You also want to do this to show Google and the other email providers that people actually want your emails. In other words, if a large portion of database is inactive (ie. they don’t open or click your emails), you’ll be much more likely to hit the promotions tab, or worse, the SPAM folder.

In this interview with Campaign Monitor, a Gmail representative with the Gmail Anti-Abuse Team said that they want to “see evidence that your recipients love, or at the very least, want your messages”.

So yeah. This is hella important for your business.

Does it work?

MarketingSherpa reengaged 8.33% of CNET’s database with a win back email, and then another 8.57% with list-cleansing emails.

That’s over 16% reactivated. An additional 16% of CNET’s database responding to emails, clicking links and buying things.

As you can see, re-engaging your database of prospects and customers is a clear path to revenue. Just do it.

How To Set It Up

While there are a few ways to run campaigns like this, there are some fundamentals to remember:

  • Begin with a reminder (such as “We’ve missed you” or “Where are you?”)
  • Follow up with an amazing offer
  • Inform them that you’re going to delete or unsubscribe them soon
  • Unsubscribe them

Simple, right?

Here’s the reengagement campaign structure we use for clients (send to subscribers who haven’t opened or clicked an email in 60 days):

Email 1 – We’ve missed you

Often includes a cute cat or dog with a sad face, some supporting copy to generate some sympathy and links to cool products (a small discount works great here).

Email 2 – Big discount

If they still haven’t responded, it’s time to bring out your biggest gun. In other words, what’s the best, biggest, most awesome offer you can give them? 20% off? 50% off? 90% off? Maybe a bundle? Think. Make them an offer they can’t refuse.

You want to use something that’s going to get them racing to your website to buy.

Be willing to lose money on this sale, as once they’re reengaged, they’ll spend more money with you in the future (and that’s where you’ll make your profit).

Email 3 – You will deleted in X days

Kindly inform subscribers that they will be deleted in 7 days if they don’t respond or make a purchase. Remind them of the crazy awesome offer you made in the last email.

Email 4 – You have been unsubscribed

Let subscribers know that they have been unsubscribed. Remind them of the crazy awesome offer again, and give them a link where they can resubscribe to your email list.

Recommended Tools

Unless you’re using one of the better providers like Klaviyo, you may need to massage your database in excel to get your inactive leads. To segment and remove inactive subscribers from MailChimp, read their documentation on the topic. However, once you’ve got your list of disengaged subscribers, you can use any email platform to send the campaign.

Example 1 – True Citrus

In this case study from WhatCounts, you can see all the right elements of a reengagement campaign at play. The campaign was sent to contacts who had not opened or clicked an email in 60 days.

Email 1

This email kicks things off with a bang. It immediately explains the reason for the email (you’ve been a little distant lately) and explains that True Citrus isn’t going to continue sending emails unless “you’re still committed to this too”. Kudos to WhatCounts for blending personality and pizazz with marketing strategy. The special offer included with email is also well-timed.

true citrus customer retention email

Email 2

A beautiful follow-up. Explains in simple terms what needs to happen for the subscriber to remain on the list, and reminds them of the offer.

true citrus improved retention email

Email 3

The final email in the campaign unsubscribes the subscriber nicely. Sending an email like this will do a few things: One, build respect with your subscribers, since you followed through on your promise, and two, improve your deliverability score, since you’ll no longer be emailing people who don’t respond to your emails.

true citrus subscription expired

Example 2 – WeddingWire

Here’s a simple example from WeddingWire.

Instead of just making an offer, you can also ask for feedback on why they’re not responding. You will gain some fascinating insights that will help you to improve your overall email marketing approach.

wedding wire email

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