Make Your Email Marketing Great Again (Pt. 1): Re-engage Your Inactive Subscribers

Re-engage Your Inactive Subscribers - mailmonitor

According to experts, email marketers lose about a quarter of their subscribers each year. People who unsubscribe from your mailing list is one thing, but list decay is also another that can reduce a chunk of your contacts as well.

No matter how large your email list is, you’ll eventually experience losing your subscribers, especially if you leave your email campaigns unattended. To minimize the loss of subscribers while letting your mailing list flourish, you need to begin managing it the right way.

The best way you can manage your contacts is to engage subscribers who have stopped interacting with your emails through a re-engagement campaign.

What Is a Re-Engagement Campaign?

A re-engagement campaign is an email campaign that’s designed to win back inactive subscribers by increasing email engagement. These campaigns can consist of just one message or a series of messages.

Re-engagement campaigns play a crucial role when it comes to managing your mailing list. It is also integral to your email marketing success. That’s why many email marketers today are constantly incorporating re-engagement campaigns to win back contacts who are no longer engaging with their emails.

Although there are many ways to format, design, and send re-engagement emails, they are specifically grouped into three distinct categories. These are:

Emails Designed to Win Back Subscribers

This type of re-engagement campaign is perhaps the most common and widely used approach by email marketers. Win-back emails are designed to encourage users who haven’t interacted with your messages for quite some time, making it difficult to know if they are still interested in your brand.

A win-back email re-engagement campaign is ideal in identifying which contacts are dormant. After the identification process, you can decide whether to bring them back into the fold or remove them from your mailing list. When you re-engage subscribers in this way, you will quickly know what to do with inactive subscribers and make changes to your email campaign.

Emails Designed to Promote Action

With this email re-engagement category, the goal here is to motivate contacts in your mailing list to perform the desired action so that they will progress further down your planned sales funnel. One way you can do this is by enticing subscribers to spend more time interacting with your online store or visiting your other web pages to finalize their decision.

This type of email re-engagement campaign is often seen in last offer messages, recommendation emails, abandoned cart notifications, surveys, and feedback.

Emails Designed to Show Appreciation

The most unique of the three main email re-engagement campaigns is the one made to show appreciation to customers. This is because such messages coming from this type of campaign are applied to warm leads.

A great way of keeping your existing subscribers happy while showing that you value their presence is by sending them appreciation emails. These messages help you stay at the forefront of your target audience and let you maintain communications so your subscribers won’t lose interest in your brand.

Why Re-Engage Inactive Customers?

So now that you know what a re-engagement campaign is for and what it can do, you might be asking yourself, “Do I really need to send re-engagement emails to inactive subscribers?”

Well, if you value your current mailing list and want it to grow, then yes, you should run a re-engagement campaign. The messages that you send via your campaign will be very beneficial in nurturing stronger relationships with contacts while also helping you:

  • Improve your revenue since the more engagement you have, the higher the chances of generating revenue.
  • Retain your customers especially since the existing ones are easier and cheaper to bring back than advertising for new ones.

Every business, especially those operating online, should run re-engagement campaigns for their subscribers. This will help rejuvenate past relationships while also helping recover potential revenue that would otherwise be lost.

How to Re-Engage Inactive Customers?

Before starting your re-engagement email campaign, you first need to identify which of your subscribers are no longer active and place them in a separate category from the rest. Segmenting lets you send only to inactive contacts, allowing you to focus on them and not those who are actively engaging your campaigns.

Subscribers who have not opened a single email within a set period should be moved to the inactive email list. Once you have completed the segmentation, you should be able to proceed to the other steps provided below:

Personalize Your Emails and Send Them Out

One of the first things you should do after segmenting is to create personalized messages that remind your contacts why they engaged with you back then. Personalization is vital in re-engagement campaigns and your overall email marketing approach.

A great way to engage subscribers who are no longer active is to send them offers that are relevant to them. You’ll know how to personalize these offerings by analyzing their past product usage, purchases, and online behavior.

A few more tips for personalizing your re-engagement campaigns include:

  • Offer birthday gifts: Everyone expects and loves to receive presents during their birthdays, especially when they are given by loved ones. As a brand, if you give them a gift during their special day, most would be genuinely surprised at the gesture. This will not only keep them subscribed to your mailing list but also encourages them to engage with your brand later on.
  • Send discounts during your anniversaries: To celebrate your brand’s anniversary or when the contact joined your list, you can send them special discounts on items relevant to their needs. Brands that offer promos during anniversaries have a better chance of increasing engagement.
  • Provide your subscribers with recommendations: Look at the previous purchases and web behavior of your recipients. See which products you offer align with their preferences and provide these as recommendations.

Provide Valuable Content to Your Subscribers

Most consumers are bombarded with countless emails nowadays. A regular office worker can receive more than 100 emails per day, making it difficult for email marketers to get through to them. So how can you approach such a scenario?

An excellent way of catching the attention of an inactive subscriber is by providing them with valuable content. Emails that readers will find useful for their problems will have a higher engagement rate compared to those that discuss irrelevant topics.

Although sales emails are great, you want to mix them up with other high-value content that your contacts would want to open. Including an eye-catching subject line is necessary here to be effective.

Offer Inactive Subscribers Discounts or Special Promotions

As with sending personalized offers, no other email will capture the attention of a subscriber like receiving an exclusive offer. There are professional email marketing platforms you can use that will send out automated emails to engage subscribers who are no longer interacting with your email campaigns.

Offering special discounts and promotions will inspire subscribers to take action, especially when these are crafted well. Make sure you follow up with additional content that will refresh their memories of what your brand is all about.

Let Subscribers Know What They’ve Missed While They Were Away

Most email marketers lose subscribers from their mailing lists because of sending marketing materials that simply aren’t relevant to their needs at a certain time.

One approach that will have a high probability to re-engage subscribers is by sending them updates on your products or company.

If you think about it, inactive recipients in your mailing list haven’t been paying any time to what your business has been doing for some time. This means that they’ve probably missed reading the recent updates or changes you made with your brand that makes it more relevant to them.

That’s why as part of your re-engagement campaign, consider broadcasting to these subscribers anything new – whether it’s a re-designed website, a new email marketing series, or a new collection of items you haven’t offered before.

There’s a chance that when your inactive readers open your emails, they will finally find value from your brand and engage with your emails more than they did before.

Time to Create Your Re-Engagement Campaign

There are several crucial steps you need to follow when creating an effective re-engagement campaign. Here are the six steps to consider:

Step #1: Make a List of Inactive Subscribers

As mentioned above, separating subscribers based on their activity is essential to create an effective re-engagement email campaign. You want to segment accordingly as it helps you define which of your recipients are active from those that aren’t.

You can separate subscribers based on how many months or emails they haven’t opened. After determining the criteria in identifying dormant recipients, you should then proceed to the segmentation process.

Step #2: Determine the Reason Why Subscribers Aren’t Engaging Anymore

The next step you should take is to address how the problem of disengagement happens in the first place. Some of the most common reasons include:

  • Users no longer find your products beneficial to their needs.
  • Recipients have changed to new email addresses.
  • You send emails too often or at the wrong time.
  • You’re always promoting or selling something to your audience.
  • The content you provide is irrelevant to your readers.
  • Your emails aren’t worth the time and energy to go through.
  • Subscribers expected something different when they signed up to your mailing list.

After understanding what causes your subscribers to stop engaging with your content, you can make the necessary corrections, avoid repeating the same mistakes, and move forward.

Step #3: Pick Your Email Marketing Tool

The third step is quite straightforward as you simply need to choose the email marketing platform that offers all of the features you are looking for. When considering one from a list of providers, you want to select a platform that can help you analyze your email marketing campaigns and make re-engagement emails more effective.

Tools like Mailchimp, HubSpot and ActiveCampaign are perfect for this purpose.

Step #4: Create Your Email Content

After identifying inactive subscribers, determining the cause of their disengagement, and selecting the right platform, the next step is to create your email content.

We won’t go in-depth on how you’re going to design your email content, as we’ve already discussed that elsewhere. Instead, we’re going to provide you with these tips below:

  • Make sure your emails are brief and straight to the point. Providing long, boring content can easily result in readers missing out on important details, and consequently, missing out on winning them back.
  • Focus on the emotions of your recipients. Remind readers about how you helped resolve a past issue and how you were able to lend a helping hand during their time of need. Doing so may bring back their memories about your brand and how you can be of use to them in the future.

Step #5: Always Test Out Your Email Content

With your content ready, your next step is to make sure your email content matches your expectations. You should test and see how certain areas of your email content perform such as the:

  • Subject lines
  • Email copy
  • Calls-to-actions that you used

A/B testing campaigns and other similar tests are also great to see how different versions are more effective than others. For instance, you do an A/B test on two unique variants of your email content to see whether your subscribers will sign up for a special percentage discount on their shopping cart or get free shipping instead.

Step #6: Analyze Your Email Re-Engagement Results

For the last step, you want to check how your re-engagement campaign has performed thus far and if all of your efforts were worth it. Successful re-engagement campaigns may bring up to 10% of inactive users back.

The results you can get will depend on the email marketing platform you’re currently using. However, the most basic data you should go after include:

  • A broad overview of your email re-engagement campaign and how it performed.
  • A report showing you all of the details you need to help determine your return on investment (ROI).
  • Statistics showing how many of your inactive subscribers have re-engaged with your email.
  • If you have used any polls or surveys in your campaign, you should check out how they performed based on subscriber responses.

Based on your type of audience, what your goals are, and how you set up your re-engagement emails, your campaign could potentially lead to increased email opens, clicks, and revenue.

The Takeaway

People who are currently subscribed to your mailing list will eventually drop off for many reasons. They may have lost interest in your brand, no longer find your messages valuable, or they could have simply just changed their email addresses.

No matter the reason, it’s always important to continually maintain good email list hygiene to avoid being penalized by ISPs, email service providers, and spam filters. One of the best ways you can ensure proper list hygiene is to launch a re-engagement email campaign.

Such a campaign is designed to win and try to re-engage lost subscribers who haven’t interacted with your messages recently. Being able to bring back these contacts not only helps increase your engagement rate but also potentially gain more revenue from the customers you brought back.

By following all of the steps, tips, and advice provided in this post, you will know what to do with inactive subscribers and bring them back to the fold.

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