5 Best Practices for Resending Emails

5 best practices for resending emails

I see this a lot. People send an email to their list then, because they think it’s good practice, they resend the same email to the same group of people.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t resend an email. What I am saying is that the way you’re resending emails needs to be smarter.

The argument for resending emails is that anyone who missed or were too busy the first time might open the second one and you’ll get a few more opens, clicks and conversions.

The argument against resending emails is that some people will get annoyed by the additional email and might unsubscribe.

But if you are going to resend an email to non-openers, let’s explore how you can make the most of it. Here are my 5 best practices for resending emails.

According to a recent study by MailChimp, resending to non-opens increases open rates by on average 8.7%.

5 best practices for resending emails

1. Only resend the most important email campaigns

Imagine that you’re on someone’s newsletter email list. Now let’s suppose that each and every time you didn’t open an email, it was resent to you. How annoying would that get over time. It probably wouldn’t be long before you unsubscribed from their newsletter.

As well as being annoying, being resent emails trains you to ignore them. You could be thinking that if you didn’t open that email, it doesn’t matter because it will be resent to you.

You don’t have to imagine because this is what people do. Send an email to thousands of people and then the next day, resend the same email to the same thousands of people.

The message in this is to only resend your most important email campaigns and limit your resending to just those ones. For example, don’t resend a monthly newsletter. Do resend a limited time offer.

2. Tweak your email subject line

So, the first email you sent got an open rate that you were less than happy with. Did you know that 47% of recipients open an email based purely on the subject line? Why on earth would you resend an email with the same subject line and expect a better open rate?

If the subject line plays such an important part in capturing a recipient’s attention and encouraging them to open the email, what makes you think it will work the second time?

The second email’s subject needs to be tweaked. Not necessarily totally changed, after all, it probably took time to come up with a great subject line the first time.

One way to tweak the subject line is to add words like “reminder” or “last chance” in order to create a sense of urgency. Of course, you could just write a new subject line that takes a different approach to the first one.

Another reason to change the subject line is to let recipients know that this is a new email, and they haven’t received the first one twice. It lets them know that the email is so important and has value to them that you didn’t want them to miss out.

Can you do this for each email?

No. That’s why you need to follow tactic #1 and only resend the most important email campaigns.

3. Adjust the timing

I remember signing up for a 30 minute guide to something or other. I had no sooner downloaded the resource than I received another email asking if I found it useful and had implemented the tips.


When it comes to timing your resend, make sure you give people enough time. For example, an expensive purchasing decision needs time for people to think about it. A video could take an hour to watch. An ebook could take up to a week to read and implement the included tips.

You need to be thinking about how much time a person needs to do whatever your offer is and do NOT resend your email within this timeframe.

If you’re not sure, as a starting point, resend after 3 days. This is when 91.66% of people who open emails do it within 72 hours of receiving it.

Don’t just resend after three days though. Try resending your emails at a different time of day than your first one. Someone might not have had time to read your email when you sent it at 9am. Resending it at midday might get a different, hopefully, better result.

4. Measure the impact – good and bad

The aim of resending is to encourage people to open your offer, select a link and convert. But, as I mentioned above, this can come at a cost. Some people may not respond well to another email in their inbox, and they could end up unsubscribing.

You need to be tracking the unsubscribe rate of your resent email and compare it to any increase in conversions. If you’re losing more people than are converting, it’s probably not worth it.

Use the advanced selection feature while segmenting your lists for resending messages. Follow the step by step instruction on how to resend emails to contacts who did not open their emails and leverage the power of follow ups to see better results.

5. Adjust your recipients

A few months ago, I received an offer. I clicked the link and made a purchase. But, 3 days later I received another email with the same offer telling me I only had 72 hours before the offer ended.

Now I was confused.

Did I sign up twice? Did my purchase not go through?

Neither. The second email was just blasted out the same list with no consideration for the recipient’s previous interaction. I see this type of email a lot.

When you send your first email, it should go to the largest segment possible.

The second email, effectively the resend, should be sent to the same segment but only to the people who didn’t open the first email. Remember, tracking email opens is unreliable.

Some people may have read the email but not displayed the tracking image needed to record the open. This is where you run the risk of annoying some people. This is why we change the subject line. To not be seen as sending the exact same message.

If you need to resend the email a third time, implement all the tips above but this time, send it to people who didn’t click your call to action. Again, there’s a risk and it’s here that timing is everything and that your offer is of value to the recipient.

Wrap up

Resending emails can be a tricky but if done right, you can reap the benefits.

In summary, should you resend emails? Yes. You should. Just not all of them and not the same email to the same recipients.

Making small changes increases the chances you get engagement with your audience and, ultimately, increased conversions. And possibly more importantly, not getting the attention of spam filters.

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