Ever subscribed to a company’s email list only to find you never actually open their emails?

Your customers do the same thing.

That lack of engagement with your emails not only hurts your open and click-through rates, but it also impacts your ability to get your emails to your contacts’ inboxes in general. The less engagement your emails receive over time, the lower the priority mailbox providers will give to emails sent from your address.

The solution is to keep a “clean” email list, meaning pruning inactive contacts — even if it means a smaller list size. One of the most effective ways to clean your list is with a re-engagement campaign. Re-engagement campaigns first attempt to bring back these cold contacts, reminding them of why they fell in love with your brand and, if unsuccessful, they remove them from your list.

Determining If Re-Engagement Is Needed

If you’re monitoring your email open and click rates and notice a decline, it’s likely a good time for a re-engagement campaign. In Ontraport, you can view your rates via Performance Mode within a specific campaign or in your Contacts collection.

Additionally, a high number of bounces or unsubscribes are signs it’s time to clean up your list.

With Ontraport, you can bypass all these steps by setting up an automated re-engagement campaign to fire any time a contact is inactive for 90 days. Ontraport tracks contacts’ activity, such as when contacts open emails or click to visit a landing page. When the system detects that a contact has been inactive for 90 days, it adds the contact to your automated re-engagement campaign.

Creating the Perfect Re-Engagement Email Series

A re-engagement campaign typically involves sending inactive contacts a series of three emails encouraging them to regain interest in your products and services.

Your first email invites them to visit your website and claim a special offer, followed two days later by an email reminding them you value their time and only want to send emails they’re interested in. After another two days, your final email will make one final request before you will remove them from your list.

Here’s a breakdown and examples of each email:

First Email: Invite them to visit your website and offer a discount on a product.

Jack Wills is a British heritage-inspired, high-quality clothing company for a spirited youth. With this email, the company is reaching out with an enticing offer of £10 off when spending £30 with a coupon code. This not only gives their subscribers a great deal, it shows Jack Wills who’s engaged, clicking and ready to buy.

Second Email: Let your contacts know you value their time. Invite them to renew their activity by clicking a link in the email, logging in to your membership site, or taking any other action you prefer.

Duolingo is a language learning app that allows people to learn just about any language they want. In their email, the company states that they haven’t seen you in a while and want to know if you are still interested in learning a language.

Another example of re-engagement outreach is from Typeform, a super cool interactive form creator (which by the way, can be integrated with Ontraport using Zapier). Typeform reminds customers of their subscription and urges them to revisit the amazing things their product can do using their template gallery.

Third Email: This is the “sorry to see you go” email, where you thank them for their past activity and let them know you won’t be contacting them again … unless they indicate that they want you to by clicking a link or visiting a landing page, etc.

As we saw in the first email example, Jack Wills gave their list a great offer, but sometimes that’s just not enough, so they went a step farther and asked if these contacts would like to be removed from their list altogether.

Though this might not seem like something you’d like to do, it allows you to market and tailor your content to contacts who actually want to hear from you.  It shows them that you value their time and only want to send them email when they actually want it. Having a large list of unengaged users is not the goal.

Re-confirming permission regularly is a great way to get a solid “yes” or “no” response from your current subscribers as well as a smart way to help keep your email list clean.

Another good example of this tactic is from GoPro. They are reminding their subscribers that there are still great deals on their products, and they are pruning their list for more engaged customers. In a case like this, users can be removed from their list if they decide not to open this email or if they select to opt out from receiving these emails in the future.

They use their clever wording and imagery to entice their adventure-seeking audiences to stay active on their list.

Peace of Mind With a Clean List

Based on your subscribers’ actions with your email campaign, they will either be automatically removed from your list or will remain on it. With the campaign running continually in the background, this all happens without any work on your part — leaving you with a continually clean list of active contacts to keep you on the path to high delivery rates.

As an Ontraport user, you can import a pre-built re-engagement campaign into your account through the Campaign Marketplace and get started right away.

About Loren Cook
Ontraport visual designer Loren Cook was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri, where she earned her BFA in Graphic Design at the Kansas City Art Institute and developed her passion for all things creative. Soon after graduation, Loren relocated to sunny Santa Barbara to work for Ontraport. Outside of work, Loren enjoys freelance designing, laughing until she cries, inserting sarcasm into the crevices of conversations, and perfecting her floral gouache paintings.