There's no doubt that emails are one of the most effective ways to keep in touch with your customers (and potential customers) and encourage them to return to your website more often.
But sometimes subscribers lose interest. Sometimes they start ignoring your emails and deleting them without opening them.
It's frustrating, but they may have just had enough. They may not be interested in what you have to offer any more.
And that's fine.
If so, there's little point in keeping them on your list.
But what if you could tempt them back? What if you could encourage them to open a final email and turn them back and into an active member of your list?
Re-engagement emails are designed for that purpose. Here's how to write a good one.
Choose an Appropriate Tone
First of all, you want to make sure you get the tone right. Many companies opt for a friendly, slightly quirky tone.
For example, you could use a subject line like: 'Where have you gone?' or 'We miss you!'
Or you could adopt a less quirky tone e.g. 'We've noticed you're not reading these.'
Choose the tone that fits your brand. If you write most of your emails in a fun and quirky style, stick to this. People may be more receptive to such a tone, so it's worth experimenting with.
Whatever you choose to go for, try to get the subscriber to open the email. If they ignore this email, you are likely going to unsubscribe them, so you want to tempt them to open the email to hopefully encourage them to keep on receiving your emails.
Provide a Special Offer
If people are teetering on the edge of sticking with you or going, one surefire way to steer them in the right direction is to provide a special offer.
Unengaged subscribers may be surprisingly engaged by a good special offer thrown their way.
After all, they originally decided to sign up for a reason, perhaps because they enjoyed your products and services. So sending them a great offer can be a tempting way to encourage them to open and engage with your emails again.
If you have not been sending regular emails, the subscriber's lack of engagement could be your own fault. Perhaps they signed up with the expectation of receiving an update each week, only to find that it was more like once a month.
If you know you have not been sending them what they signed up for, apologise for it. People like sincerity. Explain that you have been slack, but that you'll be improving from now on.
Target Your Emails More Accurately
Another potential issue is that you could have been sending them unwanted content. If you have different emails for different targets, offer them a choice of the type of content they want to receive or how often they want to receive emails.
By giving them this choice, you may find you can quickly turn at least some unengaged subscribers into active members of your list.
Perhaps you need more data to send more relevant information. But how do you do that with subscribers who are not engaging? Provide them with a freebie.
Starbucks did this by offering a free coffee on the subscriber's birthday, but the subscriber had to provide their date of birth first. Starbucks got them re-engaged, and they got more data.
Simple, but effective.
Spell It Out for Them
Be clear and upfront. Say clearly that you would love to have them on your list, but that if they don't respond you will unsubscribe them.
If they want to stay, they will. If they don't, they will appreciate you doing this for them instead.
Or you could provide a number of options so your unengaged subscribers can choose the most suitable one. Provide the option to unsubscribe, to update the type of content they receive or the option to change how often they receive your emails.
And make sure you remind them that they can sign up again at any time.
Move Your Emails from the Promotions Tab
Gmail sends marketing emails to the Promotions tab, and this can impact user engagement. Send a quick email to your Gmail users encouraging them to drag your email to the Primary tab.
Some of them are likely to do so, and they may be people who want to engage with your emails but were just missing them before.
Don't Lose Them For Good
Finally, if your subscribers choose to unsubscribe, this doesn't necessarily have to be the end. Instead, direct them to another page or a video where you encourage them to engage in a different way.
The obvious way is to follow you on your social media accounts. Provide a quick link to follow you, and try to capture some of the leavers.
Whatever you do, do something. Rather than just unsubscribe the people on your list who are not engaging, give them an opportunity to start engaging once again.
It takes very little effort, and it could lead to a much more engaged list and more conversions as a result.