Eating fruit and vegetables. Drinking water and exercising. Writing daily. Emailing our email list.
You’ve done it. I’ve done it. We all know neglect is not right. No one is proud. Yet, we’ve still done it.
Have you neglected your email list?
Don’t take solace in other people bad deeds. Don’t!
That is me throwing guilt your way.
But, neglecting your list is neglecting your business.
Enough of this self-abuse.
Let us look forward. Plot a plan to recoup credibility and reintroduce you to the people on your list.
Follow along as I give my top approaches to reviving a neglected email list. The standard disclaimer of ‘your millage may vary’, as always, applies.
Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure
The ‘ounce’ is regular and consistently contact your list. The ‘pound’ is grovelling and reading tactical articles, like this one, tying figuring how to revive your neglected list. Oh my.
Let us make a pact together? Shall we? The pact is simple — we lift an ounce of work a week (message our list) and stop lifting the pounds later (loose money, time and people from our list).
People will love you more and your wallets will be fatter. Care for the pact? Good. Let get it on.
What Is A Stale Email List?
MailChimp, an ESP, is one of many email marketing service providers, there state “permission (to email) generally goes stale within 6 months”. There it is. No contact and people forget about you. Ouch.
Common sense stuff really. The needs and wants of people change over time. Priorities shift, competitor swoop in and pick up the pieces we dropped. Ouch.
Before we list the ‘7 Ways’ let us review the ground rules we need some rules of engagement, if you will.
Email Marketing Re-engagement Ground Rules
- No selling allowed
- Focus on getting your readers’ attention
- Keep expectation low
- Use a email service provider
- Be relevant
- Measure results
- Double opt-in process for subscribing people
- Let ’em know this is voluntary
- Use a CTA
- Be human
Starting from the top what is your goal?
Are you gonna turn yourself into a email ninja with one email? Neglect your list again?
Plan baby, have a plan.
What is your Plan for After the ‘Engage Your Neglected List’ email?
Now is a very good time to review your base line email marketing strategy.
The best situation (I hate the phrase ‘best practice’) is to condition people to take action from your emails.
We are creatures of habit and routine. Hitting the snooze button, coffee with a paper, lunch with friends, Netflix and chill.
You get the idea. Habits and routine.
Get your readers into the habit of doing something. Not manipulating people, get people into a habit of doing something:
- Clicking on a link
- Clicking a button
- Answering a question
- Opening your email on a Tuesday
- Reading your sale email at the end of the month
- A snippet of your blog post then click to eat the full version
Habits and routine. Get people to taking an action.
Effective email marketing is getting people in the habit of always doing something. Click, read-more, share, reply.
Start with small action, be consistent, then work your way to larger requests.
Email Marketing builds Relationships
The inbox is the place to build trust and nurture relationships.
Yes, you want sales, but, hitting a neglected list with your ‘special offer’ will work sometimes and alienate always.
The goal of this re-engagement campaign is to get subscribers to click, reply, be happy to see you and eager to learn. Not to buy from you.
Here are the 7 ways reengage a neglected email list and find out who’s still interested.
1) ‘Confirm Your Subscription’ Approach
Reconfirm the email su8bscription is choice #1. “Please confirm your you want to be on this list”.
Reconfirm is the most ethical method, endorsed by all, best in the business, top of the pile, the mega clear-out, see who is left standing approach to re-engagement.
Also, the most unforgiving and no second chance for people.
MailChimp says the reconfirm the subscription is the best way to clean up an old inactive list. Cannot disagree there.
The process is simple, quick and effective — send a message with the appropriately worded apology and ask people to opt-in to your list again. With the subject line “Please Renew Your Subscription?” send people to double opt-in on your website.
Why a website? 1) so people get used to clicking on a link in your email, and 2) people get re-introduced to your website and what service/products you offer.
Cons — Pares your list the most. You get the most unsubscribe and the fewest subscribers.
Pros — What is left is the highest quality people ready and willing to engage with you.
2) The Honest Apology
Make the first e-mail an apology and explain what you’ve been doing for the last couple of months – the short version.
“We’re updating our database (true) and want to know if you still want to receive our (insert your name) Newsletter. Click on the link if you still want to receive emails from us”.
To ensure maximum delivery use plain text for this email. Plain text has a much better chance of getting through spam filters than graphics, images and loads of links. Also consider giving something of value with a redirect to a landing page to download.
Tactic 3-7 should all begin with an apology. Each different approach on what content your email should contain.
3) Actionable Email Series
The message of this campaign is ‘Learn this’, ‘Get this outcome’, ‘Solve this part of your problem’.
This campaign is being helpful and “actionable” (easy to implement) in series of emails. Still a re-engagement process and still begin with the apology email.
Build a series of emails messages describing how to solve your main users problem as it relates to your core offering. The goal is to remind people why they signed up with your in the first instance.
5-7 series of email each packed full of actionable information.
4) Update Your Account
Ask people to update their email information.
This tactic gives the people an opportunity to enter a new email address, customize their delivery , and sign up for social media updates.
Again begin with the apology.
5) A Video series
Videos are hot, hot and more hot (if you follow fads).
Don’t jump just to jump. Instead, your goal for a video (series) is reintroducing yourself to your subscribers. Using video to accelerate the know you, like you, and trust you.
6) List of Articles
Begin with an apology, and then introduce yourself with a list of articles you’ve published in the last while. As always the articles have to relate to your niche.
7) Contest time!
Run a contest – the premises of this re-engagement tactic is people want free stuff. I don’t agree with just giving away for the sake of giving away. In some niches a contents as a re-engagement tactic would work.
A giveaway does condition people to expect free from you. Not always good when you want to get paid in the future. As always your mileage may vary.
8) Your Amazing Offer
Well yes, but, actually No.
One of the ground rules was not sell something as your re-engagement tactic. However, I am mentioning this tactic, because if I ignore than I am ignoring.
The ‘here is my special offer’ offer ploy is one gray shade away from spam. The premise of re-engaging a neglected list is to kick start a dialogue and build a relationship. Such that when trust is gain you can ask for the sale.
Most people on your list have forgotten you and forgotten why they signed or downloaded your super special lead magnet in the first place. Asking for a sales not always the best tactic.
Use this tactic with caution and ‘your millage may vary’
Now What? I’ve sent My Re-Engage Email
What is next? Segment. If you choose the ‘Confirmation your Subscription’ approach then your list is good to proceed with your ‘normal’ email marketing routine.
You might have lost 40% or 60% of your list. That is ok. The people remaining on your list are highly engaged and want your emails. Nothing could be finer.
Approach no. 2-7 has an extra step to reengage the ‘dormant’ people on your list. Besides sending a second ‘hello are your still there’ message.
These ‘dormant’ subscriber become a Facebook custom audience.
Put your ‘dormant’ Subscriber Into A Facebook Custom Audience
‘Dormant’ subscriber, have not opened your email, but, have not unsubscribed either. So they
- are fair game for targeting, and
- probably need a bit of a reminder, on Facebook, that you still exist.
A reminder in the form of an Facebook Advert, will be the reminder they need.
Sneer if you like or applaud with your ‘a ha moment’.
Setting up a customer audience in Facebook will match between 30-60% of your email list with Facebook users.
Build an intelligent and a sympathetic campaign to reengage. Do not follow my example on the right! Make your creative and wording similar enough to your email campaign so it cannot be missed. The goal is re-engagement not selling ‘Hey, Remember me?”
7, Well 8 And A Bonus (that is 9) Ways To Engage A Neglected Email List
This is the first steps in the process of reengaging a neglected list. Naturally, you can send a second email and re-mail your non-responders.
‘What to do next’ flows from your email marketing strategy.
Subscribe to my list and I’ll answer how to do that in your Inbox!