How to Re-Engage Your Email Subscribers

Avatar for Kat Garcia Kat Garcia
Avatar for Kat Garcia Kat Garcia

March 21, 2023

7 min read

How to Re-Engage Your Email Subscribers

Every marketing team should know how valuable their email marketing strategies are. Many have worked tirelessly to build an email list that came from persuasive emails or high lead magnets. But as time goes on and your list matures or you aren’t sending consistently, you may have a big problem on your hands. Is your email list dead? Are you subscribers even there anymore? One of the biggest questions email marketing faces is how to keep your subscribers engaged.

Re-engagement campaigns are an amazing way to spark a renewed interest in your company from inactive email subscribers. Surprisingly, 71% of marketers say that re-engagement campaigns are effective but only 57% of marketers actually use this type of campaign.

If you have yet to dip into the pool of re-engagement, today’s post is made for you. Engaged lists mean better inbox placement and overall ROI. So let’s get started and dive into the best ways to re-engage your subscribers and how your re-engagement will affect your ROI.

Why Re-Activate Your Sleepy Email Subscribers?

Why would you walk away from money laying there? You wouldn’t. So don’t let your inactive subscribers go so easily. Email marketing has the biggest profit margins out of all marketing efforts.

Your subscribers have joined our email list for a specific reason. You and your value proposition have resonated and they want to keep up to date about new products or any deals. If you take their interest for granted you’re selling yourself short.

Re-engaging your email list is one of the best ways to re-invest in yourself. You don’t have to go through the hustle and bustle of trying to acquire new subscribers when they are already there waiting to hear from you. You should be measuring, optimizing, and reiterating your marketing strategies with existing subscribers.

Each subscriber represents a profit. If you don’t try to win them back you’re leaving a ton of potential revenue on the table. As a business, it’s your goal to make a profit, and by leaving unengaged subscribers you’re walking away from untapped potential.

Before You Hit Send

Email marketers have three options when it comes to inactive email subscribers. They can ignore the inactivity and continue to send emails, they can remove the subscribers from their list entirely, or they can target them with a re-engagement campaign. Although the first two options seem the easiest way and the least amount of work, there are many risks associated with these courses of action.

Before you hit send and start emailing inactive subscribers keep in mind that this can impact your open rates. If your open rates drop low enough the internet service providers (ISPS) will see this as a red flag and this can affect your overall sender reputation score.

The next option would be to remove inactive subscribers altogether but studies have shown that on average, an inactive subscriber is worth 32% of an active subscriber. If you don’t attempt to win back inactive subscribers, you are leaving almost ⅓ of your revenue on the table.

Why You Have Inactive Subscribers

  • It’s important to step back and take a look at what could have caused your subscribers to disengage. Is there something you could have done differently? Typically there isn’t a universal reason but there are usually a few culprits that everyone has experienced.
  • There was a disconnect somewhere between your email capture process and it’s likely that you did not collect targeted, or high-quality leads. You may have attracted people who only wanted your promotion at the time but didn’t hold any real interest in your brand.
  • Your email content may not be up to par with the rest of your brand or your competitors. Most people don’t have a strategy for their email content, but you should. You should be consistent with what you send and have it well thought out. You can’t send every email subscriber the same email, every one of your subscribers is unique. A little personalization can go a long way.
  • Make sure your emails aren’t getting delivered. This issue could be due to outside forces. Emails go to spam folders, email addresses change, or they don’t get delivered at all. A lot can go wrong from the time you hit send and the time the email lands at its destination. You should be cleaning your email lists to ensure that all the emails you send are getting to the right place, the inbox.
  • Be consistent and transparent with your subscribers. You want to show up every week and add value to your subscriber’s inbox. Inconsistency erodes trust, and trust is what makes up a healthy email list.

Your 6 Steps to Re-Engaging Sleepy Subscribers

1. Identify Your Inactive Subscribers

Before we do anything, the first step is to pinpoint those sleeping subscribers and define an inactive lead on your list. The majority of marketers gauge inactivity as anyone who has not responded, opened, clicked, or acted on any email sent in the past 6-12 months. Most email marketing lists have an average of 60% inactive subscribers on it. For example, a list of 1000 has only 400 true subscribers reading the post. Email marketers spend a lot of time and effort crafting these emails and strategies for only 40% of their recipients to open them.

2. Categorize Your Inactive Subscribers

You need to segment your list accordingly because you tend to create a custom engagement sequence for each subset of your list. You can’t do that unless you define what these segments are. Think about each category of an inactive subscriber. For example:

  • Subscribers who have never purchased but still visit your website and open your emails. Those are spectators. You have their attention so now make it worth their while.
  • Customers who have purchased from you in the past but have not engaged with your site ever since.
  • Users who have put their email on the subscription list used the free resources but then vanished.

Each of these segments presents its own unique challenges so you will need to have a different strategy for each.

3. Crafting Your Email Sequences

You have successfully gone through your list and divided your subscribers into categories. It’s time to target them with the appropriate email sequence. The nature of each segment will tell you the best strategy to get started.

For those who will visit your site but have yet to purchase anything, these will be your more easy adversaries. Check out their engagement history, what content have they engaged with, and what they have the most automatic response to.

Use the data you have to make curated content that will help make a successful conversion. Find out why they are subscribers, not buyers and use it to help make your case. This should be the thought process for all your segments, analyze past behavior and tailor your emails accordingly.

4. Ask For Feedback

A great way to understand your inactive email subscribers is to simply, ask them. Perhaps some of them are interested in your brand but want a different form of communication. Or they only want to receive a specific type of email. Or they want out and want to have the option to opt out of your emails. (Remember, having subscribers opt-out is better in the long run when it comes to sender reputation score).

One way to determine your subscriber’s preferences is to implement an email preference center in your re-engagement emails. With these options it allows subscribers to customize their own email preferences without hassle. They can update their contact information, choose what emails they’d like to receive, adjust frequency, etc… Your subscribers will appreciate the effort you’re making to try to understand their needs.

5. Use A Call To Action

Now it’s time to use the segments we’ve built in order to start your re-engagement campaigns. For example, use the subscribers that have not opened your emails or clicked links in the last 3-6 months. Send them your re-engagement emails but be sure to include a call to action (CTA).

You can send them emails that allow them to change their preferences or that force them to click a link to continue receiving communications but for re-engagement emails, it’s crucial for you to use a CTA because you want to ensure that you can separate those who are still interested in your brand from those who have checked out.

6. Clean Your Email Lists

You can have thousands and thousands of emails but only one surefire way of knowing if those are valid emails or not is by cleaning your list. The best way to maintain a healthy email list is by cleaning your emails. This means running your many emails through a verification software such as Emailable that allows you two separate valid emails from any risky or undeliverable emails. This helps you maintain a good sender reputation score and overall deliverability rate.

You Have The Tools

Many email marketers often neglect re-engagement with their subscriber list. The steps mentioned above can have a huge impact on your business because most subscribers are interested in how your services help them. They just simply need to be reminded of your business from time to time.

Take the opportunity to communicate with them, invite them to fill out a survey, and provide a free webinar so they can connect with your business and its values again. Find out their interests and provide the necessary resources they need in order to help them. The most successful businesses are those that help their customers. If they are no longer interested, no hard feelings, It will save you time and energy over the long term to not have these subscribers on your list.

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