Imagine that you sent a message to over 23,000 contacts yesterday. It was an incredible must-see offer for all your contacts, but when you looked at your email stats, only a third of them opened it, and even fewer clicked your offer link.

This leaves you with a dilemma: You know your contacts would be ecstatic about your offer if they saw it, but you can’t simply resend the email to your entire contact list — can you?

Resending an email can significantly improve your email marketing ROI but, if done improperly, it can also rack up unsubscribes and complaints.

By following these seven email resend best practices, you can avoid the risk of losing email subscribers and get the improved results you desire.


1. Don’t Resend to Everyone

Many marketers decide who to resend emails to based on email opens, but email opens aren’t reliably trackable. For example, if contacts have images disabled in their email reader, the images won’t display and their open won’t register. This happens more than you might think: Estimates show that 11 to 35% of email delivery falls into this category. Pester those contacts with the same message over and over, and there’s a decent chance they’ll opt out.

Instead, focus your resend campaign around people who didn’t click on the link within your email, and update the content and subject line to avoid repetitiveness. The combination of focusing on link clicks and adjusting your content not only gives you a more accurate measure of who is engaging with your emails, but it also reduces your chances of unsubscribes.

2. Be Picky About the Campaigns You Resend

Resending every one of your email campaigns is not only inefficient for you, but Marketing Land says it also can, “lead to email fatigue,” and cause subscribers to, ”disengage from your content.”  To save yourself time and spare your subscribers, try to select only your most important campaigns to resend, and remember why you’re resending in the first place: to share your valuable offer with as many contacts as possible.

Here’s a good rule of thumb: If the email doesn’t offer subscribers tremendous value, don’t resend it.

3. Mix Up Your Email Copy and Design

Nothing says “spammy” like an exact duplicate email in your inbox. Each email in your campaign should include an updated subject line and fresh body content and layout to keep contacts from hitting the unsubscribe button.

When mixing up your copy, also remember this: Nobody likes being click-baited. Keep your subject lines relevant to your body copy, and keep your body copy short enough to read quickly.

Our very own Email Marketing Blueprint Guide recommends, “writing subject lines that will spark readers’ curiosity and make them want to click through.”

To take it a step further, you might try reformatting the email into a new template to give it a fresh look.

4. Test Frequency and Wait Times

According to Yes Lifecycle Marketing, “The frequency of your messages depends on your brand’s objectives, industry and competition,” so it’s important to understand the service your product or company offers. For example, companies that market a dating service or offer flash sales, rely on creating a sense of urgency and will send emails within a 24-48 hour window.   However, not every marketing strategy calls for creating a sense of urgency. A proven email marketing practice is testing various frequency and wait times. Finding that ideal email frequency and wait time will maximize profit and increase email response activity.

Constant Contact recommends focusing on your timing; messages sent “too quickly after the first send could result in being seen as spam and cause complaints or unsubscribes.”

5. Only Resend Once

While resending your message only once isn’t a rule, it’s the norm across various email marketing best practices lists. Inspired Global Marketing, Beacon, NinjaOutreach and many others all dive into their email resend best practices under the assumption that the message will only go out twice total — the original and the resend.

Why limit yourself to one resend? Chances are, if your subscribers don’t open it the first or second time, they aren’t interested in the offer and won’t go for it the third time.

6. Split Test Your Resends

Want to find out which types of copy work best for your audience? Split test your email resends with two different subject lines and compare the link clicks for each. After each test, you’ll have a better understanding of what resonates with your audience, giving you the information you need to optimize your future campaigns for better results.

7. Know Your Data and Set Goals

When determining the success of your resend email campaign, it’s important to look at the right data. While open rate is a common number many marketers use to measure their campaign’s effectiveness, it’s simply not reliable.

Digital Marketing Institute says to check these stats to measure marketing metrics that truly matter.

  • Click-through Rate
  • Conversion Rate
  • Subscriber List Activity
  • Bounce Rate

Once you determine what data you’ll use to measure your campaigns, set goals to continuously work toward. Maybe you’ll want to start by working to achieve a 5% revenue increase and 10% CTR increase, then work your way up.

With these seven best practices in mind, you can map out your email resend campaign and set your marketing automation system to automatically deliver it.

An effective email resend campaign involves:

  • Adjusting your subject line and body copy for each send
  • Waiting a reasonable amount of time before resending the email
  • Creating guidelines to remove contacts from your campaign when they achieve the desired goal (clicking on the link inside your message)

Here’s an idea of what your map will look like:
If you have an Ontraport account, select the campaign in the Campaign Marketplace called “Re-Send Email to Non-Clickers” and fill in each step with your branded emails and customized wait times.

About Lindsay Kent
Lindsay is a graduate of California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and holds a degree in Journalism with a concentration in Public Relations and minors in Spanish and Integrated Marketing Communications. After working with several small businesses, Lindsay moved to sunny Santa Barbara to become Ontraport’s Content Manager.