Here’s a cold reality about email marketing: Subscribers are going to lose interest in your messages (and maybe even your brand). This loss of interest is not a phenomenon to ignore either. So, how you get these folks to re-engage with you?

Here are some surefire tips on how to create a winning re-engagement email campaign to win back your inactive subscribers or customers.

Identify Your Inactive Subscribers

Start by identifying those subscribers who have been a part of your list for at least 6-12 months and have never engaged with your emails. Put them to one side in a separate segment or group. Decide whether to delete them altogether or throw them in with the next group we’ll talk about.

Then, identify subscribers who haven’t engaged with you in a set period of time. How you determine these factors comes down to:

Type of Behavior: Review the email, onsite and purchase behaviors of your subscribers, and base your identification methodology on the results. Note the number of opens or clicks as well as the number of purchases over a fixed period of time.
Frequency: Base the timeframe on your email sending frequency. If you send monthly, you may decide a year or 6 months of inactivity is a proper timeframe. If you mail daily, your inactive group may start at 30 days of inactivity. If you’re somewhere in between, a good starting number may be 90 days of inactivity.

Once you determine what constitutes an “inactive” subscriber, you can move on to segmentation.

Segment Your Inactive Subscribers

Once you have identified your inactive subscribers, segment them out of your normal list. For this segment, create relevant content to run innovative and exclusive re-engagement campaigns.

Note: We put together a great eBook with Adestra on the “Foundations of Email Marketing: Targeting & Segmentation.

You can further segment your inactive subscribers based on the following criteria:

  • Geographic data
  • Demographics
  • Personas
  • Purchase Habits
  • Lifecycle Stage
  • Email Clients
  • Sign-up Source
  • Social Profile Activity
  • Their Last Interaction with You

Do Something Different

Re-engagement campaigns need to be radically different. If your “special” emails look and feel too much like your regular campaigns, they are just as likely to be ignored.

Create emails that jolt your inactive subscribers out of their slumber. Use a different tone which grips them and makes them read. Include never-before-seen offers that catch their eye and arouse in them a sense of excitement. Here are some things you can change or add in your re-engagement emails:

  • Tone and style of the email content as well as that of the subject line
  • Personalized messages and salutations
  • The term “We Miss You” (or some derivative of it)
  • Different offers, discounts, & incentives
  • Videos and cheat sheets
  • Links and prominent CTAs buttons

Give Them A Way Out

Simply put: An unsubscribe is better than a spam complaint. They essentially mean the same thing, but complaints hurt you much more in the long run.

In your re-engagement campaigns, provide your recipients with easy, obvious ways to unsubscribe. Include a big, bold and prominent unsubscribe button in all your re-engagement emails if you want.

There is no point in holding back someone who doesn’t want to be part of your business.

Wrapping Up

Re-engagement emails can help to convince your inactive subscribers about your brand value and the benefits they stand to gain by coming back to your “family”.
Want expert help in setting up your re-engagement campaigns? Contact InboxArmy now for a free consultation.

What happens if your emails don’t make it to the inbox?

No matter how innovative your design, content, and testing strategies are, they don’t matter if your emails don’t get delivered. So, how can you ensure your emails get delivered? By building and maintaining a solid, positive sender reputation.

Your sender reputation determines whether the email you send is delivered to subscribers’ inboxes, spam folders, or, frankly, at all. Sender reputation essentially refers to how trustworthy your domain(s) and IP addresses (the infrastructure behind your email marketing program) are to spam filters and Internet Service Providers (ISPs). This reputation is determined by a number of factors, including:

  • Sending domain authentication (is your SPF/DKIM/CNAME set up correctly?)
  • The volume of emails being sent from your domain/IP address
  • Positive engagement with your emails (opens, clicks, etc.)
  • Negative engagement with your emails (spam filtering, deletes without opens, complaints)
  • Bounce rates

Remember this: Every email you send can affect your overall reputation in a positive or negative way.

Sender reputation is crucial for delivery—and delivery is essential for a successful email marketing program. So, let’s take a look at what you can do to develop and maintain a positive reputation and best avoid potential email deliverability issues.

Learn what you’re starting with now

If you’re coming to this article truly in the dark about how your domain or IP addresses are performing, start here: Go to and type in your domain or IP. If your score is high, great! If your score is low, you’ve got work to do.

Build and Manage Your Email List the Right Way

First thing’s first: Build your email list organically. Don’t buy lists.
Now that we have that out of the way, here are some other ways you can maintain your list:

Remove bad email addresses: If you need to, employ double opt-in procedures and bring in list verification/validation services (from Webbula, BriteVerify, Kickbox, or FreshAddress, to name a few)

Monitor and manage spam complaints: Treat these like unsubscribes. Continually mailing to folks who’ve marked you as spam will only make them continue to mark you as spam. And more spam complaints can spell doom to reputation.

Separate “Active” subscribers from “Inactive” subscribers: Treat these subscribers differently. Mail your actives more. Mail your inactives less. If necessary, remove inactives from your list altogether.

Clean your list periodically: If your list is reasonably new, you don’t have to worry as much. But if you have subscribers on your list from 5 years ago, it’s time to make sure those email addresses are still valid. The same folks I mentioned in the bullet above offer list hygiene services.

Send Great Content

Make sure your email content is relevant, mobile-friendly, and code-perfect. If your reputation is borderline, you may want to avoid spammy words and phrases like “guarantee,” “free,” and others. Test frequently and find what works best for your subscribers. There is no “silver bullet” and no “best time to send.”

Maintain Expectations

If you got subscribers to sign up by offering weekly emails, send weekly. If you said you were going to send daily, send daily. Whatever you do, make sure your email send frequency matches the expectations you set at the beginning. A big uptick in frequency (beyond the occasional holiday sale or the like) can spell long-term trouble for programs seeking short-term gain.

Ideally, a solid reputation means you should see this in your metrics:

  • Very low bounce rates
  • Very low complaint and unsubscribe rates
  • Solid open and click-through rates
  • Happy subscribers and great conversion rates for you!

Get the Deliverability E-Book!

Deliverability is a complex topic, much more complex than one blog post can help you with. That’s why we partnered with our friends and deliverability experts at Inbox Pros for an E-book of The Foundations of Email Marketing Deliverability.

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