Re-Engagement Email Campaigns: 9 Steps

March 26th, 2012 by Marla Chupack

Re-Engagment Campaign67% of marketers saw their email list size increase in 2010, according to Marketing Sherpa. As your lists grows and matures it is smart to delve into inactive patterns among your subscribers. Use what you learn from those patterns coupled with the demographics of the group to strategically initiate a re-engagement email campaign to activate dormant segments.

According to the DMA Response Rate Report, the average open rate for a B2B house list is 15%. So, if your house list has 25,000 names, that means you are on average only reaching 3,750 per campaign, leaving 21,250 prospects on the table. I think you will agree, it is time to take strategic action to re-engage your non-responsive audience and increase the marketing value of your list.

The steps to re-engagement are as follows:
1. Determine Inactive Period. Determine the inactive subscriber period to gauge, such as 6 months.
2. Pull Records. Pull from your list(s) all email records that did not open or click on a link within that time period. Increasingly individuals are reading emails from mobile devices that may cause their email opens not to register. By selecting clicks along with opens you are less likely to email an individual who is engaged though their opens may not be registering.
3. Decide on a Motivator.  Based on list demographics and your product or service, decide what motivation appeal your email campaign will contain. Some good motivators are:

  • Guilt
  • Reward
  • Fear
  • Subscription Preference
  • Opportunity
  • Voyeuristic
  • Voting

4. Create a “Call to Action. ” Remember to tie in the motivator with the email’s “call to action.” In addition, it is best if the call to action has an expiration date.
5. Create a Compelling Subject Line.  As with the “call to action” the email subject line needs to be tied into the motivator and should be compelling.
6. Follow-through. Complete any action you promise within the email in a timely fashion.
7. Test. Take a segment of the inactive group and test approaches, including using different subjects and different “calls to action.”
8. Include Inactives in Email Strategy. Set up an automatic ongoing inactive re-engagement email program inclusive of timing and triggers.
9. Remove Inactives. If inactives still don’t respond after your re-engagement campaign, remove them from your list(s). This will result in cost effective email campaigns that yield better quality metrics.

It takes time to set up a re-engagement strategy but is well worth the effort. If you have set up a successful re-engagement strategy, let us know!


  • Pingback:   News of Note on the Inbox – July 2, 2012 by Hitting the Target()

  • ividence

    This is a great step-by-step explanation of how to create re-engagement campaigns. With deliverability levels being at a new low, this is critical info to have. 

    We linked you up from our most recent news round up as well. You can see that at: