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Running An Email Re-Engagement Campaign: What You Need To Know

Re-engagement campaigns have emerged as a powerful tool to breathe life back into dormant subscriber relationships. But like any potent tool, they must be handled carefully and precisely. Our article delves into the intricate art of reconnecting with inactive subscribers without crossing the line into intrusion. From understanding what a re-engagement email campaign is to unraveling the cold hard truth about their frequency, this article offers a comprehensive guide to navigating the delicate balance of rekindling interest while respecting boundaries.

This article will equip you with the insights and strategies needed to implement a successful re-engagement campaign without jeopardizing your deliverability or subscriber trust. Read on to discover the actionable steps, key elements, and hidden truths behind re-engagement emails, and learn how to turn inactive subscribers into loyal customers once again.

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What Is A Re-Engagement Email Campaign?

A re-engagement email campaign is a strategic approach designed to rekindle the relationship with inactive or less-engaged subscribers. It’s a series of targeted and personalized emails that aim to reignite the interest of subscribers who have become dormant over time. The ultimate goal is to motivate these subscribers to interact with your brand again, whether it’s by opening your emails, clicking through to your website, or making a purchase.

Re-engagement email campaigns are crucial because they help you retain your existing customers, which is more cost-effective than acquiring new ones. They also help you maintain a clean and healthy email list, which can improve your email deliverability and overall email marketing performance.

The Cold Hard Truth: How Often Should You Send Re-Engagement Emails?

The cold hard truth about re-engagement emails is that they should be sent sparingly. Overdoing it can harm your deliverability rate and, ultimately, your relationship with your audience. It’s essential to understand that if a reader hasn’t opened your emails in 90 days, the chances of them doing so in the future are significantly reduced. This doesn’t mean you should completely write them off, but it does mean you need to approach the engagement strategy differently.

Segmentation is key in this process of an effective re-engagement campaign. Segment your audience based on their engagement level, and tailor your re-engagement efforts accordingly. For those who haven’t opened your emails in a while, consider sending a single re-engagement email. This email should be carefully crafted to reignite their interest and remind them of the value your content offers.

However, it’s crucial not to bombard these users with consistent re-engagement emails. Sending re-engagement emails to uninterested subscribers could lead to them marking your emails as spam, negatively impacting your sender reputation and deliverability rates. Instead, focus on providing value and relevance in your communications.

Remember, re-engagement campaigns are not about pestering your audience but about reminding them of the value you offer. If they still choose not to engage after your re-engagement attempts, removing them from your mailing list might be best. This can help maintain a healthy and engaged email list, which is far more valuable than a large, disengaged one.

The cold hard truth is that re-engagement emails should be used as a tool to reconnect with your audience, not as a means to target unresponsive users consistently. It’s about balancing reminding your audience of your value and respecting their inbox.

Key Elements of a Re-Engagement Email Campaign

Re-engagement email campaigns are more than just sending a series of emails to inactive subscribers. They require a well-thought-out strategy that encompasses various key elements to ensure success. From identifying the right audience to crafting personalized messages and offering compelling incentives, each element plays a crucial role in rekindling the interest of dormant subscribers. Here’s a closer look at the essential components that make up an effective re-engagement email campaign:

  • Identify Inactive Subscribers: The first step is to identify who among your subscribers have been inactive. This could be those who haven’t opened your emails or clicked on any links within a certain period, usually 30-60 days.

  • Personalized Emails: Once you’ve identified your inactive subscribers, you can start crafting personalized re-engagement emails. These emails should be tailored to the recipient’s interests and previous interactions with your brand. They should also provide value, whether it’s through exclusive content, special offers, or personalized product recommendations.

  • Incentives: Offering incentives such as discounts, free shipping, or freebies can be an effective way to entice inactive subscribers to re-engage with your brand. These incentives should be prominently featured in your re-engagement emails.

  • Clear Call-to-Action (CTA): Your re-engagement emails should include a clear and compelling CTA. This could be a prompt to check out your latest products, take advantage of a special offer, or update their email preferences.

  • Option to Unsubscribe: While a re-engagement email campaign aims to re-engage inactive subscribers, it’s also important to give them the option to unsubscribe. This can help you maintain a clean email list and ensure that you’re only sending emails to people who are genuinely interested in your brand.

How Do Re-Engagement Emails Work?

Re-engagement emails are sent to segments of your audience who are less engaged or completely unengaged with your emails. The primary goals are to win them back, inspire them to open emails regularly or let them go to maintain a healthy subscriber list. Keeping an engaged audience improves open rates, click-through rates, customer retention, ROI, and email deliverability rates.

Crafting the Message

The content of re-engagement emails should remind people why they subscribed in the first place. You can tell them about new products, and features, or express that you miss them. Personalization is key, with personalized email subject lines having 29% higher open rates and 41% higher click-through rates.

Utilizing Incentives

Offering discounts, free shipping, or other incentives are proven ways to encourage subscribers to return. For example, Old Navy uses freebies to gather relevant data, while Design Within Reach combines sales and free offers to pique interest.

Why Incentives Work

Incentives work because they create a tangible benefit for the subscriber. They offer something of value that can motivate the subscriber to re-engage with the brand. Whether it’s a discount on a favorite product or free shipping for a limited time, incentives provide a compelling reason for subscribers to take action.

Testing and Optimization

After designing your re-engagement email sequences, use A/B testing to determine what type of subject line and send times work best. Optimize accordingly to ensure that your emails resonate with your target audience. Try these re-engagement email subject lines to boost your open rates.

Leveraging Loyalty Programs

Points or other loyalty programs, like the one used by Starbucks, can turn dormant subscribers or inactive customers into repeat clients. Clearly communicate the long-term benefits to encourage opt-in.

Monitoring and Adjusting

Regularly monitor the performance of your re-engagement emails and adjust as needed. Understanding your audience’s needs, preferences, and communication styles will enable you to craft relevant content that wins back subscribers.

How Do You Write Implementing a Re-Engagement Email Campaign

Here’s how you can implement a successful re-engagement email campaign, drawing from various expert sources:

Step 1: Identify Inactive Subscribers

Start by identifying the subscribers who have not interacted with your emails for a specific period, such as the last 1-3 months. Utilize your email marketing software to filter contacts based on opened or clicked emails, and label them as inactive users.

Use your email marketing software to filter contacts based on opened or clicked emails, and label them as inactive users. Many tools offer a new re-engagement campaign type that makes it easy to automatically target subscribers who haven’t engaged in a certain period of time. You can choose the cutoff, and the tool will handle everything else for you.

Step 2: Segment and Personalize

Segmentation is crucial for targeting your re-engagement efforts effectively. Personalize your emails by understanding the interests and previous interactions of inactive subscribers. Show them that you understand their needs and are willing to provide valuable content and offers.

The segmentation of unengaged subscribers is crucial. How do you define what an unengaged subscriber is? Is it someone who hasn’t engaged with an email in a week? A month? Two months? A year? We usually recommend around one or two months should be used as the bare minimum to consider a subscriber “unengaged.” 

Step 3: Craft Your Re-Engagement Email Sequence

Typical re-engagement email examples might include:

  • Example 1: A friendly “We Miss You” email with a special discount or offer. This emotional appeal can show how much the company will miss their customer if they unsubscribe.

  • Example 2: An email highlighting your brand’s and products’ benefits, possibly featuring testimonials or user-generated content. This can include personal messages from staff or updates on how you’ve been using their feedback.

  • Example 3: A reminder of the initial discount or offer, with personalized product recommendations. This can include exclusive offers for subscribers only.

  • Example 4: A final “Goodbye for now” email, informing the subscriber that they will be removed from your email list unless they choose to stay. Provide an opt-out option or unsubscribe link in every email.

Step 4: Automate the Campaign

Utilize email automation software to set up the re-engagement email sequence. This includes setting triggers, adding wait periods, and applying conditions like email opens. Automation ensures that the right emails are sent at the right time, increasing re-engagement chances.

Step 5: Monitor and Analyze

Track the performance of your re-engagement campaign. Monitor engagement metrics for your emails like open rates, click-through rates, and conversions. Analyze the data to understand what works and what doesn’t, and make necessary adjustments to improve the campaign’s effectiveness.

Step 6: Respect the Subscriber’s Choice

If an inactive subscriber chooses not to re-engage, respect their decision and remove them from your list. Keeping a clean and engaged email list is more valuable than holding onto disengaged contacts.

Time To Re-Engage Subscribers!

The key to a successful re-engagement email campaign is personalization and value. By showing your inactive subscribers that you understand their interests and are willing to provide them with valuable content and offers, you can increase the chances of re-engaging them and turning them into active subscribers once again.

Implementing a re-engagement campaign is not just about winning back lost subscribers; it’s about building a relationship and showing that you value and care for your audience. By following these actionable steps, you can create a re-engagement campaign that resonates with your subscribers and brings them back into the fold.