The Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing Re-engagement

The guide to email marketing re-engagement.

When someone subscribes to your list, it’s a two-way relationship.

Your part of the relationship is to create helpful, informative content. Their part is to read emails, click links, and purchase. If they don’t do their part, it can harm your reputation with email services.

In this ultimate guide to email marketing, you will learn how creating a re-engagement process can help your business.

What is email marketing re-engagement?

When subscribers engage with a business, they’re taking actions such as opening emails, clicking links, or making a purchase.

Disengaged subscribers don’t do any of these. They’re not taking the actions that show they’re interested in your business.

A re-engagement process will do three things:

Unlike other types of emails, such as a Welcome sequence or an abandoned cart sequence, a re-engagement process starts when a subscriber is considered to be inactive.

Why you need a re-engagement process

There are several reasons disengaged subscribers are a problem.

First, the cost.

Each subscriber is a cost to a business. Costs could include money paid for an email marketing service subscription or the time taken to create and send emails. Disengaged subscribers don’t give a business any return on investment.

The second is performance analysis.

If a percentage of subscribers aren’t engaging with emails, it’s difficult to evaluate the performance of email marketing campaigns. You can’t make good decisions needed to improve the results.

The third is deliverability.

Deliverability is the likelihood that emails will arrive in a recipient’s inbox.

Disengaged subscribers can affect email deliverability.

Email services such as Gmail, Yahoo Mail, and Outlook.com notice when recipients don’t engage with emails from a specific sender. If recipients aren’t engaging with emails, the assumption is made that they don’t value them.

If this happens for long enough, emails can be delivered to the spam folder instead of the inbox. If the recipient continues to ignore emails, these services may start rejecting emails as soon as they’re received.

But this decision doesn’t only affect one recipient. If enough recipients on a specific platform don’t engage with emails from that sender, a platform could send emails to the spam folder for all recipients.

Reasons subscribers disengage with a business

Before you try to solve the problem of disengaged subscribers, you should understand why they became disengaged.

Not everyone becomes disengaged for the same reason.

There are many reasons someone becomes disengaged. You should take that reason into account when creating a re-engagement process.

Here are 11 of those reasons.

1. They receive too many emails

This is the most common reason subscribers become disengaged. But it’s not just about you.

At peak selling times of the year, many people are swamped with marketing emails. Depending on where you live, these peak times include Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas, Thanksgiving, or Boxing Day. Then there’s the Spring, Winter, and Summer sales. Autumn sales don’t seem as popular as the other seasons.

If your emails offer exceptional value, subscribers will tolerate more emails from you than from other senders.

However, give them a way to reduce the frequency of the emails they receive.

2. You’re not sending the content they signed up for

A sign-up form and subsequent confirmation email should make it clear what a subscriber will receive in return for their email address. That’s what they’re signing up for.

If you don’t deliver on that, it’s breaking a promise.

For instance, offering a weekly tips email that has more sales content than tips.

Evaluate the content of your emails and make sure it aligns with the content you promised to send when they signed up.

3. What you are sending them isn't of value

People want to receive content that’s of value to them. Value isn’t always a discount. It could be parenting tips or a weekly cartoon.

Generally, emails can educate them, help solve a problem, or give the reader a quick win with no strings attached.

Most of all, it must be something they can relate to.

The emails you’re sending aren’t educating your subscribers, solving a problem, or giving them something they can use. It’s also possible that they aren’t likely to be close to your ideal customer.

4. All your emails try to do is sell, sell, sell.

This reason is different to the not delivering content that was promised reason. You must include emails that try to sell your product or service. But for it to work well you must:

Sales emails are okay. What’s the point of email marketing if you’re not sending sales emails? Take the “Jab, jab, jab, right hook” approach. Send three emails with valuable content then send a sales email. Rinse and repeat.

5. Your communication isn’t consistent

If you look at people who win, they win because they’re consistent. They exercise consistently, they consistently finish in the top ten, and they consistently compete against people who have the potential to beat them.

If you consistently send emails, you will be noticed. Emails don’t have to be sent daily or weekly to be effective. But they do need to be sent consistently. If you promise a monthly newsletter, send a newsletter every month. Send them on the same day of the month and at the same time.

6. Weak or non-existent calls to action

Every piece of content including emails, must have a call to action. It’s how you tell your reader what to do next. Don’t hope that they will because guess what? They won’t.

When you create your emails, it must have a goal. That goal is reflected in the call to action.

And have only one primary call to action. Make it clear what you want to reader to do. Use text written in the first person. For example, send me the discount code.

7. You didn’t have permission to send them marketing emails.

Some tactics used to grow an email list include collecting business cards at networking events. The email addresses are added to an email list and sent marketing emails.

These recipients didn’t give permission to be sent marketing emails and may feel uncomfortable about unsubscribing or flagging the emails as spam. Instead, they’ll take no other action than deleting them from their inbox.

This is especially true for business networking groups.

Don’t use purchased lists. If someone gave you their business card, send them a link to a landing page where they can learn more about the types of emails they’ll receive and opt into your email list.

8. Email design that doesn’t suit their reading habits

More people are reading emails on mobile devices. Recipients using small screens may not be engaging because the emails haven’t been designed for small screens.

The design elements that may need to be improved include:

When creating emails, focus on a design that suits small screens. This naturally flows into being usable on larger screens.

9. Personal reasons

It’s nothing you’ve done. It’s just that reading emails isn’t a priority for them at the moment.

In other words, your emails don’t offer enough value to encourage them to take time out of their busy days to read your them.

Show them other ways they can stay connected to your business. Give them the option to change the frequency of the emails they receive.

10. Deliverability problems

They want your emails but your emails aren’t making it to their inbox. Worse, they don’t arrive in the spam folder.

Deliverability problems tend to show up slowly and if not addressed, can take a drastic turn for the worse.

They may have once arrived in the inbox but suddenly the emails start being delivered to the spam folder. If this problem isn’t addressed, an email service may reject your emails.

The thing is, it’s unusual for any service to let you know this is happening.

Monitor spam complaints and bounce rates. Include seed list email addresses to ensure emails are arriving at inboxes.

11. They only wanted the offer

It’s not uncommon for someone to sign up just to get the lead magnet. They may have wanted the ebook or the 10% discount coupon but apart from that, they have no interest in your business.

Instead of unsubscribing or flagging your emails as spam, they delete them.

Catch these subscribers early. A double opt-in process will usually reaffirm their commitment to receiving your emails. Apart from that, there’s not a lot that can be done to avoid this type of subscriber.

Why you should re-engage disengaged subscribers

For most businesses, the main reason is to increase revenue. However, it’s not the only reason. All subscribers can add value in other ways.

At some point, a disengaged subscriber was interested in your product or service. It makes sense that you should encourage them to re-engage. Especially if they are a customer. Subscribers who once engaged with your business are more likely to buy from you. You significantly increase the value of a subscriber when you re-engage them.

Another reason is that even if a subscriber has no interest in making a purchase, they can add value by:

Visiting your website. The helps with search engine optimisation (SEO). Search engines notice when people visit your website. This can help improve where in search results your website appears.

Referring people to your business. If you provide helpful content, recipients are more likely to refer someone they know who has a problem you can solve.

How to create a re-engagement process

Re-engaging disengaged subscribers is a process. It’s more than identifying disengaged subscribers, sending two or three emails, and unsubscribing those who don’t respond.

Here is a summary of the steps.

Define the goal

Every email campaign must have a goal. What result do you want from those emails?

The primary goal of a re-engagement campaign is to re-engage subscribers. But, that’s a high-level goal. A goal should include parameters that can be used to measure success.

The most important goal is to re-engage disengaged subscribers. Remember those list growth tactics you’ve tried? Watch the number slowly increase. Think about that and then remember that you have these people on your list. You have potential customers. What you need to do is turn them into active subscribers and then into buyers.

While not specifically related to a re-engagement process, an email marketing goal should be to improve re-engagement rates. For example, imagine that in the first quarter, of the total number of disengaged subscribers sent a series of re-engagement emails 10% re-engaged. Evaluate the process to improve the result and have 15 or 20% re-engage.

If you are close to or have exceeded your subscriber quota, the goal may be to reduce the total number of subscribers within the next seven days.

You may want to remove subscribers who only signed up for the lead magnet and never had any intention of purchasing from you.

You may want disengaged customers to make a purchase.

You may want to learn what disengaged subscribers are interested in. Which product or blog post category?

Remember, don’t try to do too much with your re-engagement campaign. If you try to achieve too much, the benefits may not be worth the investment in time to set this up. Define two or three goals and work on those first.

Define (and create) your segments

For email marketing to be effective, you should segment your subscribers. It’s equally important to use segmentation when identifying disengaged subscribers. A subscriber who has not engaged with your business since they signed up for your lead magnet should be treated differently from a subscriber who used to open emails, click links, and purchase from you.

Start by defining segments for disengaged subscribers. Create segments for:

Leads who have engaged with your business in the past. You have the attention of these subscribers so it’s easier to convert them into buyers.

Customers who haven’t engaged with your business for some time.

Subscribers who signed up for a lead magnet then stopped engaging. They have no interest in making a purchase.

Depending on your goals, each segment can present different challenges. You need to create a re-engagement process for each.

Use your existing segmentation strategy to personalise re-engagement emails.

Identifying subscribers who appear to be disengaged

The important phrase here is ‘appear to be’. With today’s privacy features built into web browsers and email clients, someone may be engaging with your business, but the indicators are being blocked. Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection is an example of this.

You need to identify subscribers who aren’t doing any of the following.

Opening emails. Overall, email opens tend to be inaccurate but should still be considered.

Clicking email links. Clicking any link in any marketing email is the most accurate engagement indicator.

Replying to emails. This is dependent on your email marketing service being able to track replies to marketing emails.

Non-email engagement should also be monitored. This includes visiting a website or purchasing a product.

Use an email verification service

For anyone who hasn’t monitored engagement for 180 days or more, the first step in creating a re-engagement process should be to use an email verification service to verify all email addresses.

These services are not 100% accurate. However, the results can help limit any damage to sender reputation when starting to re-engage a large number of subscribers.

When will you start re-engaging with disengaged subscribers?

How long will a subscriber be considered disengaged before the re-engagement process starts?

A survey conducted by ActiveCampaign showed that most people start re-engaging when a subscriber has been disengaged for 90 days or more. The second most popular time was when a subscriber has been disengaged between 31 and 60 days.

If you’re concerned that disengaged subscribers are affecting your sender reputation, it does take time for them to have an impact. If you have good email verification practices, organically grow your list (don’t purchase lists), and haven’t had any deliverability issues, you will have more time to encourage those subscribers to re-engage.

If you are going to send re-engagement emails, there are three factors to consider when deciding when to send the first email.

The sales cycle

For each product or service, what is the average time it takes to convert a lead to a customer?

For products or services with longer sales cycles, leads are more likely to become disengaged before the end of that time.

Take the sales cycle into account when classifying these leads as disengaged.

Current sending frequency.

How often do you send marketing emails? This is the most important factor in deciding when to start sending re-engagement emails.

Take one of two approaches.

You could start sending if a subscriber hasn’t engaged for x number of weeks or months.

Or start sending if they haven’t engaged with any of the last x number of emails.

The first option takes into account different ways a subscriber could engage with a business other than email.

If you send emails weekly, a subscriber may be identified as disengaged much sooner than if you send monthly emails.

There is no perfect number. As a guide, if you send weekly emails, consider sending re-engagement emails after a minimum of 5 weeks of no engagement. For monthly emails, a minimum of 5 months.

The second option is suited for a business that sends marketing emails infrequently. Consider sending re-engagement emails if a subscriber hasn’t engaged with any of the last 5 emails.

The impact of sending emails to disengaged subscribers.

As I mentioned earlier, continuing to send to disengaged subscribers can affect email deliverability.
ConvertKit estimates that Gmail spam filters won’t act unless a recipient hasn’t engaged with emails for 180 days.

What’s the impact on deliverability if you’re sending emails to a disengaged subscriber for 180 days? If you have a very small percentage of disengaged subscribers, the impact will be minimal.

Sri Somanchi from Gmail advises the removal of disengaged subscribers after 180 days. Consider this the maximum time to wait before starting to send re-engagement emails.

If you’re concerned about the impact on your sender reputation, reduce the time before sending re-engagement emails.

How many subscribers do you have now?

If you’re close to your subscriber limit, removing disengaged subscribers could be an urgent task.

If you don’t take action to remove disengaged subscribers, you may be forced to upgrade your plan sooner than you intended.

You may have to reduce the time normally used to identify a subscriber as disengaged. For example. Leads who subscribed more than 30 days ago and have not engaged at all could be unsubscribed without attempting to re-engage.

The emails

How many emails will you send?

Most of the people who responded to a survey by ActiveCampaign send three emails in an attempt to re-engage disengaged subscribers.

However, the number you send will depend on your goals.

The number of emails should be based on the subscriber’s level of commitment to your business. For instance, if the subscriber is a loyal customer, send five to seven re-engagement emails.

If the subscriber is a lead with a history of engagement, three or four could be enough to win them back.

For subscribers who signed up more than 30 days ago and have never engaged with your business, will sending emails return any positive outcome?

This is where it’s crucial to have a segmentation strategy for disengaged subscribers.

What interval between emails?

How long will it be between each email?

This depends on the level of tolerance your disengaged subscribers have for your re-engagement emails.

As a guide, send emails between one and three days apart. Given a recipient will deal with 65% of their inbox each day, if a disengaged subscriber hasn’t responded to a re-engagement email after two days, it’s unlikely they ever will.

What types of emails to send?

If you’re going to send emails, send more than one. There tends to be a higher rate of automatic unsubscribes when only one email is sent.

One study found that several different types of emails will work, but no one type outperformed the others.

Using emails to encourage re-engagement is a process. Use emails appropriate to the subscriber segment. Each email should have a goal. The content should be focused on achieving that goal.

Think like a fish. Not a fisherman. What bait will you use to encourage the recipient to re-engage?

The first email is the most important

It’s the most important because it explains to the subscriber why they’re receiving the email. It’s also important because if it fails to attract their attention, the rest of the emails are unlikely to encourage them to re-engage.

There are two approaches you can take with this email. You could:

Assume that they haven’t engaged

Tell the subscriber you’ve noticed their inactivity. This can make them feel appreciated. Avoid phrases such as “my robots have told me …”. Emails should be personal and this isn’t making the email sound personal.

For e-commerce businesses, emails that reference them not having purchased for a while can get better re-engagement.

Not assume they haven’t engaged with your business

A subscriber may be engaging with your business. You just don’t know it. Don’t assume that they aren’t.

Imagine if you received an email that said this but you had been reading emails and visiting their website. How would that email make you feel? Take a more subtle approach.

Ask them if they’re still interested in receiving your emails. And tell them that if they don’t indicate they want to stay, they’ll be unsubscribed.

Reasons to stay engaged.

Remind them of what they’ll miss out on if they’re unsubscribed.

People don’t like to miss out.

And make it benefit-driven. How will their life be better if they stay a subscriber?

Here’s an example. As a subscriber, you can take better care of your motorcycle and stay safer on the road with our weekly motorcycling tips. Save money with subscriber-only discounts in the online store and motorcycle servicing.

Offer an incentive

Offer your readers something of value if they stay on your email list. If you offer a discount on their next purchase, make sure it’s time-based. This can also increase revenue. Don’t offer these too early in your sequence. You want this to be a last resort.

You can offer other incentives such as a free resource not normally available to subscribers.

Be aware that whatever the incentive, your subscriber could end up back on your disengaged list in a few weeks or months.

Show them what they've missed

You’re trying to build interest and give your subscribers more of an incentive to stay. Tell them the value you’ve given subscribers so far.

Show that you value them

Get emotional by showing how much you’ll miss them if they unsubscribe. Include personal messages from different team members who have interacted with them. This could be a message from the owner or CEO.

You could include a humorous graphic to highlight what it feels like when they’re no longer on your list. At the very least, they know you care enough about them to send an email.

You can let them decide what they receive and when they receive it. Show you value them as a subscriber by giving them more options than just staying or going.

Tease updates to come

If you have new products or services being released in the coming months, tell your subscribers about them. Even if you made it public, remember, they haven’t engaged for a while. They may have missed the announcement.

It could be enough to nudge a disengaged subscriber to being engaged.

The survey email

This is a simple way to show a subscriber you value them. Ask them for their opinion. Ask them what they want. You don’t have to implement every response. But an acknowledgement of their response will go a long way.

Keep it simple. Ideally, ask one targeted question. If you need to ask more than three questions, offer an incentive to anyone who responds.

The opt-down email

Give subscribers the ability to change the types of emails they receive and how often they receive them. For example, if you send emails daily, offer a weekly option. It’s better to send a weekly version than lose them completely. Send this email early in the re-engagement process.

Remind them of the option to unsubscribe. There’s no harm. If they don’t re-engage, you’re going to unsubscribe them anyway.

If you use this type of email, make sure your preference centre is easy to use. Each option should clearly describe what the subscriber will receive.

Let them know the other ways they can stay in touch

When someone unsubscribes, it doesn’t always mean they never want to hear from you again. They may prefer other channels other than email.

When someone unsubscribes, take them to a landing page that confirms they’ve been unsubscribed, has links to your social channels, and shows the latest two or three blog posts. This just might encourage them to stay engaged even if they don’t want to receive your emails.

The Evergreen email

This email is great for businesses that use content marketing. Include the excerpt of and links to three or four blog posts. These should be stories that remain relevant for a long time. That’s the evergreen part. Three or four times a year, update the posts you’re including.

The last chance email

This is the last email. Usually. It’s a subscriber’s last chance to keep receiving your emails. Keep it very simple. One, short paragraph. One simple call to action. Make it clear that this is their last chance to stay.

The confirmation email

Okay. This is the last email. It’s confirming to a subscriber that they’ve been unsubscribed. Some subscribers will re-engage with this email when they’ve ignored the other emails sent to them. Include a call to action that links to a page where they can re-subscribe.

What happens next?

When they do engage

If they act on any of the re-engagement emails, stop sending them emails from the sequence.
Don’t rely on an email open as an indicator. Opens are inaccurate. They must select a link to remain a subscriber.

And if you’ve promised something if they stay, deliver it immediately.

If they don’t engage

You’ve identified them as being disengaged. You might have sent emails to encourage them to stay. If they haven’t responded, it’s time to act. Unsubscribing isn’t the only option.

There are three approaches you can take with disengaged subscribers.

Unsubscribe and remove disengaged contacts

This keeps your list clean of subscribers who haven’t shown an interest in your emails. Some email marketing services such as Mailchimp will include unsubscribed subscribers in an account’s quota. Not removing unsubscribed contacts may contribute to increased costs over time.

This is a good tactic for subscribers who have never engaged with your business. For instance, signed up for a lead magnet but never engaged from that point on.

Unsubscribe and don’t remove disengaged contacts

This is useful if the email marketing service integrates with Facebook’s custom audiences. If the disengaged subscriber is removed, that action may remove that address from a custom audience.

Keeping the address makes custom audiences a useful tool to attract that subscriber back to your business.

Some email marketing services don’t include unsubscribed contacts in an account’s quota. For example, ActiveCampaign. Most email marketing services won’t allow marketing emails to be sent to unsubscribed contacts.

Don’t unsubscribe and don't remove

This is a useful tactic for some business types such as retail.

To use this tactic, you should stop sending the regular weekly or monthly emails. Segment them so they only receive special emails such as Black Friday or Christmas promotions.

Whichever option you choose remember the impact of keeping disengaged subscribers on your list. They could be costing you money. They could be harming your email deliverability.

Monitor and analyse results

If you’re making the effort to try and re-engage disengaged subscribers, you need to be monitoring the effectiveness of the process. It’s known as the re-engagement rate.

Here’s a step-by-step explanation of the formula.

For this formula, two pieces of information are needed.

The number of subscribers who re-engaged.

Then, follow these steps.

Divide the number of subscribers who re-engaged by the total number of subscribers who were disengaged.

Divide that number by the total number of subscribers.

For example, let’s say during the first quarter, 500 subscribers were identified as disengaged and sent a re-engagement sequence. At the end of the quarter, 100 of those had re-engaged.

Re-engagement Rate = (100 / 500) x 100 = 20%

In this example, the re-engagement rate is 20%, meaning 20% of previously inactive subscribers let you know they want to continue hearing from you.

Record the results over a given time to learn if the rate is improving or not. To improve the re-engagement rate, test different subject lines, test different calls to action, and test sending on different days and at different times.

Tips for creating a re-engagement process

Keep it simple

These aren’t the emails to be fancy. Simple text. Few images. One call to action. Generous use of whitespace.

Focus on the opt-in

You want your subscriber to stay. Not leave. If you wanted them to leave, why are you using a re-engagement process?

The email content should focus on getting the recipient to select the “stay” button.

Keep the email design mobile-friendly

More people are reading emails on small screens. Designing emails for small screens increases engagement.

Use personalisation

Personalisation is more than using a subscriber’s first name. It takes into account a subscriber’s history with your business. How did they find out about your business? What type of content do they like to consume?

Effective personalisation is only as good as your segmentation.

Attention-grabbing subject lines

Just like any other subject line, re-engagement email subject lines must entice the recipient to open your email. Be creative. Look for alternatives to the “We miss you” subject line.

Customer-focused content

Every email must be about your recipient, not you. Even if you do mention you, the recipient needs to know how that helps them.

Use emotional triggers

Reference the recipient’s pain points and what they’ll miss out on by not engaging.

Use FOMO, scarcity, and urgency. And make these real. If you offer a discount code as an incentive to re-engage make it time-limited. And keep that promise.

Strong calls to action

Use a clear call to action to make it clear what the reader needs to do.

Display the call to action above the fold. Use calls to action written in the first person.

Provide an obvious opt-out

Don’t be scared. If they’ve already decided that they don’t want to receive your marketing emails, you want them to unsubscribe. The sooner they do this, the sooner it will help your sender reputation.

Most email marketing services will automatically add an unsubscribe link in the footer. All you need to do is tell the recipient to select that to unsubscribe.

Use retargeting

This is one of the most effective strategies that you have at your disposal.

For instance, create a Facebook “Custom Audience”. Create ads to be shown to users who are in that custom audience. When a subscriber is identified as disengaged, use automation to add them to that custom audience.

Personalise your ads by creating a custom audience for each segment.

Use humour

But don’t change your style. If you normally use humour in marketing emails, don’t stop using it. If you have never used humour in your emails, use it with care.

Don’t sound desperate

You don’t need or necessarily want every subscriber. You do want the ones who are likely to make a purchase.

Sounding desperate can put doubt in the recipient’s mind.

Sending too many emails too frequently can lose you more potential customers than you keep.

Use a different ‘From’ address.

Send re-engagement emails from an address different from the one you usually send from. If your marketing emails normally come from newsletter@yourbusiness.com, try sending them from [email protected].

Along with a different address, try a different ‘Friendly from’ name. If John’s emails normally show as coming from John from Scorpion Motorcycles, he could try John Smith.

This can get your email noticed. It’s something different. Email clients may react differently to these emails because they don’t know where to place them so they’re delivered to the inbox.

Use a direct subject line

Don’t try and be too clever with your subject lines. Sometimes a ‘clever’ subject line is interpreted by the recipient as being misleading.

A subject line that is a simple “Do you still want emails from us?”, will be more effective than “Hey, where have you been?”. Remember that a subject line can include a call to action.

Send at different times

If you send your marketing emails a 8 am on Thursday, change things up by sending re-engagement emails on Tuesday or Wednesday at midday.

Use segmentation to send emails at different times depending on whether the recipient is a business or a consumer.

Create a confirmation web page

Create two web pages for this.

One is used to confirm the subscriber has been unsubscribed. Include links to your social media channels to let them know there are other ways to stay connected.

The other is used to confirm the subscriber has chosen to say a subscriber. Clearly explain to the reader that they will continue to receive your emails.

If you don’t have a website, use a service such as Carrd to create simple landing pages.

Dealing with repeat offenders

Will having repeat offenders affect you? These are subscribers who were disengaged, responded to a re-engagement process, and became disengaged again.

What should you do about them? Nothing. If they re-engage only to become disengaged again, there’s little value in creating a process to deal with them or manually intervening. Your re-engagement process will ask the question, encourage them to re-engage and unsubscribe them if necessary.

However, you should monitor the number of repeat offenders. This can give valuable information as to the effectiveness of your marketing email campaigns. After all, the whole point of email marketing is to keep them engaged.

Learn more about calculating re-engagement relapse rate.

What a re-engagement process could look like

Example 1

John has a segment for leads who have not engaged in the 60 days since they signed up for a lead magnet. It’s highly unlikely they ever will. He won’t send re-engagement emails to this segment. Because the goal for this segment is to preserve his sender reputation, he’ll unsubscribe them immediately.

Example 2

John has a segment for customers who have purchased a motorcycle but haven’t engaged for 180 days. The goal of this series is to encourage these subscribers to re-engage.

The first email

This opens the re-engagement sequence. Because John’s weekly email is scheduled to be sent on a Thursday, this email is sent at 6 am on Saturday mornings.

This is the email that explains why a subscriber is receiving it. Because he cannot be certain a subscriber isn’t engaging, he simply asks if they want to continue receiving his emails.

The second email

This is sent the following Tuesday.

He asks them to review their email preferences. He makes sure he tells them about the other emails he offers and that they can choose what they’re interested in and when they want to receive it.

The third email

This email is sent on a Thursday instead of John’s normal weekly email.

It’s his ‘reasons to stay engaged’ email.

The last email

This is the ‘last chance’ email.

In this email, John tells them that unless they select the “Keep sending me emails” call to action, they will be unsubscribed.

The last step

If a subscriber hasn’t engaged with any of these emails, they’re scheduled to be unsubscribed the following Monday. This gives a buffer in case they take action over the weekend.

Wrap up

Disengaged subscribers are a cost to your business, can impact email deliverability, and make it difficult to assess email performance.

Start by identifying subscribers who appear to be disengaged.

Don’t assume that they are. Tailor your email content accordingly.

Use segmentation to personalise re-engagement emails.

Focus on getting back subscribers who provide value to your business.

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