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You have worked as a freelancer for an agency for a year or so and then suddenly, they just stop sending you work.
So, what will you do next?
In my personal opinion, you must follow through with the client at least a couple of times before taking the extreme step of deleting their number.
The same principle applies when, as a business, you have a dormant lead in your email list who has stopped engaging with you.When someone unsubscribes from your list, you lose that user, generally forever. However, when someone stays subscribed but does not open your emails, there is still hope that you can revive them.
So, how will you rekindle your relationship with the inactive subscriber and get them to open your emails?
The answer is – sending out re-engagement emails.
A series of emails sent to dormant subscribers to reactivate them is known as re-engagement emails.
Some of the terms used interchangeably with re-engagement emails are winback emails and reactivation emails.
The primary objective of these emails is to encourage people to engage with your emails yet again and take action.
Take a look at this interesting statistic:
According to this study, more than half of the people surveyed chose to wait for 31-60 or 61-90 days before opting for re-engagement emails.
Now, I am sure you must be wondering why people stop engaging with your emails.
Let’s get to the root cause of this unfortunate event.
While it does not look that threatening on the surface, inactive subscribers can add to unnecessary expenses in your marketing budget.
To elaborate, most of the ESPs charge according to the number of emails you are sending. Therefore, it makes no sense to send emails to inactive subscribers.
Furthermore, if you continue to send out emails to inactive subscribers, it will leave a negative impact on your email deliverability rate.
So, to overcome these threats presented by subscriber inactivity, you must send out re-engagement emails.
If you want your customers to “listen” to you and do business with you, you must think like a fish, not a fisherman.
Email marketing is not just about applying the theories taught in the MBA class. It is the art, science, and strategy of understanding the customers and delivering what they are looking for. This holds true for your re-engagement emails too.
Of course, you must remember that this is not a quick fix. Your subscribers will not start engaging with you right from the first re-engagement email. Just like welcome emails and cart abandonment emails, you must send out a series of two to four re-engagement emails. This pie chart establishes the same fact.
There are two schools of thought here.
One of them believes that it might annoy the subscriber to receive so many emails. On the other hand, the second school of thought has explained that circling back to the inactive subscribers with a series will work as a nurture email campaign and convince them to reconsider your products or services.
Here’s an example to show how you can send a series of re-engagement emails:
While the first re-engagement email from Clear shares the recent updates since the user’s last interaction along with a $60 discount, the second one serves as a final reminder to avail of the offer. Creating a sense of urgency evokes fear of missing out and increases the possibility of conversion.
Subject line of the first email: Smiles Davis, we’re ready to wow you again
Subject line of the second email: Final call: $60 off a year of CLEAR
Some tips and tricks that will help you create the best re-engagement emails are:
Before launching your re-engagement email campaign, you must segment your list according to the period of inactivity. You must send out relevant re-engagement email sequences based on these different segments.
Personalization is an indispensable part of the entire email marketing strategy. Obviously, re-engagement emails are no exception.
Take a look at this re-engagement email template by Noom.
Not only have they incorporated first name personalization, but they have also used a conversational tone in the email copy. The entire email evokes a feeling of exclusivity and makes the user feel as if it is written just for them.
Moreover, they have also offered a 90% discount on the annual plan along with a 14-day free trial.
I am sure that looking at the re-engagement email series and the first two examples, you have got an idea that incentivizing goes a long way in winning your customers back.
Your inactive subscribers will not probably know what you have been up to. It is a great idea to let them know that you have made some changes to your offerings and added new features to your products. This will tempt them to click-through and go to your website to see what has changed since their last interaction.
Take a look at this re-engagement email template by Uber.
The subject line: Did you know we’ve made big changes in the last year is catchy enough to draw the subscriber’s attention. Such re-engagement email subject lines are sure to tempt the user to open the email.
The email copy lets the subscribers know how they have made things better at Uber.
Human psychology runs on emotions. Add some emotional appeal to your re-engagement emails and remind them why they had signed up on your list in the first place.
Google Maps sends out one of the best re-engagement emails with a cute, sad pug to re-engage the email subscriber. The copy is drafted in such a way that it will encourage the user to contribute to Google Maps yet again.
As mentioned earlier, one of the reasons why people stop engaging with your emails is that they are getting too many emails from you. A quick workaround for this is to ask the subscribers for their preferences and send out emails accordingly. It spares you from the guesswork of determining the right email content and sending frequency.
Here’s how Return Path sends out a re-engagement email. Through this email, the user can either update their preferences or unsubscribe from the emails.
In addition to allowing the user to update their preferences, you must also highlight the alternative modes of communication in case the user wants to unsubscribe.
Take a look at this humorously emotional re-engagement email by Urban Outfitters. At the end of the email, they have placed all the social sharing links including Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram.
Draft your CTA in such a way that it is clearly visible. Paul Mitchell has created one of the finest engagement email examples by using an emotional appeal and letting the subscriber know that this is the last email from their side. They have designed a sad face by showcasing all their products, followed by a clear CTA “Keep them coming”. Also, notice the social sharing links so that the user can interact with the brand on other platforms except email.
Remember we had talked about the 1-2-3 formula in the welcome emails? For re-engagement email, we have the nine-word template suggested by Dean Jackson. Through this template, you have to ask the subscriber whether they are still interested in something.
For example: A yacht broker won a $100 million dollar buyer by using this template: “Are you still looking for a yacht?”.
This simple template in engagement email examples works like a charm because it makes the readers feel that it is exclusively created for them. Such emails encourage the users to respond, particularly if they are still looking for your product or service.
Here are some re-engagement email subject lines that follow this template:
To give you a clear understanding, here’s how Animoto has employed this tactic in their reactivation email campaign.
Subject line: Do you still want to hear from us?
It is one of the best re-engagement emails with an engaging copy, strategically placed CTA, and a clear unsubscribe link in the footer.
Your job does not end at sending re-engagement emails. You must monitor the results of these campaigns and see if it is working for your brand. Keep an eye on the open rate, click-through rate, bounce rate, and unsubscribes.
In case the user does not engage with your first winback email, send out two to three more emails. Take the help of humor, emotional messaging, discount offers, and urgency-inducing phrases like “Last day to get the offer” in these emails.
If the user still does not engage, you must remove them from the list with a last message that says something like – “It makes us sad to see you go, but we’re unsubscribing you from the list”. Include a CTA “Keep me subscribed” in such emails, as Paul Mitchell does.
Let me sign off by serving you with some humor.
This comic strip perfectly sums up why you must not forget your existing customers while running behind the new ones.
If you need help with creating an interesting customer re-engagement email for your brand with interactivity, rich media, or other technologically advanced elements, just get in touch with us and we would love to assist you.