How to re-engage customers through email marketing

Posted by: Tommy Tonkins

Re-engaging subscribers to your email list through email marketing is one of the most effective tools you have at your disposal and should be built into your digital marketing strategy.

So what do engagement and re-engagement mean? Every time you send an email to your subscribers a certain number of them will open and click-through. This is what’s called engagement and, industry-wide, you typically see average open rates between 15% and 30%.

Email marketing, which when done well tends to see a very healthy return on investment (ROI), is most effective when the levels of engaged subscribers are high. Good levels of engagement lead to strong returns.

There are many ways to keep your subscribers engaged, chief among these being good, relevant content. Once you have this nailed, you can then look at the best ways to re-engage your inactive subscribers.

How do you re-engage them?

1. The first step to re-engaging your subscribers is to identify who they are.

Although there are different levels of subscriber engagement, we would typically class anyone who hasn’t opened one of your emails in a twelve month period as being inactive. Industry-standard email marketing software should be able to tell you who these people are, allowing you to segment them into a separate list.

2. After you’ve identified who you want to re-engage you need to figure out the best way of bringing them back into the fold.

Offering some kind of incentive works incredibly well for re-engagement emails – this could be anything from a ‘giveaway’ to an attractive offer. Once you have your incentive, think about the way you want to talk to your customers. You’re trying to welcome them back so be warm in your approach – tell them you’ve missed them, ask them where they’ve been, tell them you want them back. This approach coupled with a friendly, personable tone will resonate with your customers.
Humour is another technique that works well, as is asking questions. Be creative and entice them back to you – it’s much easier to re-engage than it is to keep growing your list.

3. Once you have your subscribers re-engaged, make sure you identify this progress and move them to an active list.

You are then continuously improving the quality of your data and making sure your engagement levels stay high – one of the factors that will influence whether your email is sent to the junk folder or not.

4. Don’t be afraid to cull.

If you’ve sent out a number of re-engagement emails and there are still subscribers that aren’t active then don’t be afraid to remove them. A smaller email marketing list of quality, engaged subscribers is much more valuable than an unengaged one one of large volume. By doing this you’re not only improving the quality of your data, your potentially reducing your spend on volume – there’s no point paying to send emails that won’t be opened.

5. Keep them engaged.

You’ve worked hard for them, now hang onto them. The key to this is great content.

Re-engaging your list should form an integral part of your digital strategy. If you send a large volume of emails you could look at re-engaging once a quarter. Although once-every six months is a good benchmark to set.

Re-engagement emails have to offer something different, they have to stand out from the crowd and cut through the noise. By doing this, and planning it at regular intervals, you’ll keep your email marketing list fresh and ready for your next campaign.

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