The Secret Ingredients to Successful Re-Engagement Emails

Email engagement

Think about your email inbox for a second.

If you’re like most people, doing so might bring you a sense of anxiety.

You may feel your heart rate quicken as little beads of sweat suddenly appear on your forehead.

Ok, ok, that was a bit overly dramatic.

However, we believe there’s some truth in this hypothetical scenario.

Unless you’re part of the small percentage of hyper-organized people who have an impeccably clean inbox, you likely have dozens of unread emails.

And we’d like to bet that a majority of those unread emails are from brands you subscribe to.

In a business, it’s important to acknowledge that not all of your subscribers are going to open or engage with your emails.

Don’t take it personally–remember, the amount of email we receive is overwhelming.

However, it’s important to take steps to improve engagement with your emails.

According to Marketing Sherpa, on average, marketers lose 25% of their email list each year due to attrition.

The good news? There’s a concrete strategy that can work against this phenomenon.

It’s called (drumroll please)…your re-engagement email strategy!

Re-engagement emails are used to reactivate interest in your emails and business offerings from inactive subscribers.

There are several ways to create effective re-engagement emails–but before we dive into that, we’ll cover why you should bother optimizing your re-engagement strategy.

When done well, re-engagement emails can…

Reduce list churn rates: As GetResponse explains, churn rate is “a percentage of how many subscribers leave your list in a given period of time.” If a subscriber isn’t engaging with your emails, it’s often an indicator that he or she will, at some point, unsubscribe.

Boost incremental engagement: As your subscribers increase their engagement with your emails, the further they’ve moved down the sales funnel. Re-engagement emails can work wonders in encouraging customers to stay engaged when it comes to purchasing from your business. Before you know it, they’ve gone from subscriber to customer, and customer to return customer.

Improve deliverability: When your subscriber engagement levels drop, ISPs will often consider you a low-quality sender, block, and make your engagement problems even worse. As HubSpot explains, “as a great percentage of your list stops engaging, the greater the risk you run of damaging your sender reputation and your email deliverability rates.”

As you can see, list retention should be an absolute must for all businesses.

Moving on–here are four ways to optimize your re-engagement emails for success…

Share your improvements.

Have you decreased your estimated shipping times?

Or maybe you recently made changes to your return policy?

Or perhaps, you’ve expanded your product catalogue?

Use re-engagement emails as an opportunity to tell your subscribers how you’ve improved your business–whether it be new products or improving your customer service.

See how Lowe’s highlights their improvements in the example below…



As you can see, the company notes that they have made improvements while also highlighting the fact that they have 5 million members.

This both improves their reputation and encourages the subscriber to discover the new benefits of being a Lowe’s subscriber.

Offer a Discount or Promotion.

Who doesn’t love a good promotion?

Re-engagement emails present the perfect opportunity to highlight a new promotion or discount.

For example, fitness membership company ClassPass recently offered a 50% discount to subscribers who rejoin their service.

Utilizing the subject line “Work out with us again. For 50% off.” this brand’s win-back campaign is hard to decline.


Personalize It.

According to Aberdeen, “personalized email messages improve click-through rates by an average of 14% and conversions by 10%.”

It’s no surprise. Think about it–when scrolling through a cluttered inbox, our eyes naturally gravitate toward our own name.

For example, Netflix sent an email with the subject line:

“[first name], enjoy another free trial on us.”

Utilizing both personalization and a promotion, the TV and movie-streaming service successfully re-engages email subscribers and increases conversions.


And with that, I’m off to binge-watch Family Guy. Kidding, but you’ve got to admit–it’s a compelling offer!

Provide Options.

Giving subscribers choice is more important than you may think.

People have their preferences. When it comes to engagement and sender reputation, making a point to ask and then deliver based on preferences can make a world of difference.

Give subscribers the chance to update their preferences–whether it be the frequency of email delivery or receiving emails focused on a certain product category over others.

See how Animoto ensures that their subscribers receive content that is “interesting and relevant to them” using the re-engagement email below…

email re-engagement

Now it’s your turn!

Take some time to outline a re-engagement email sequence that you think would speak to your inactive subscribers.

It’s worth it–getting them back on board will be a big WIN for your business!

Re-engagement emails aren’t the only sequence that can help increase conversions and engagement–click here to learn about three overlooked post-purchase sequences.


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