Top Examples of Re-Engagement Emails: Take Out Your Email Trash
We’ll explore shortly some examples of re-engagement emails. But first, let’s understand why deliverability and a clean email list are so important.
There are several reasons why your email subscribers may become inactive. Some include:
- You’re emailing too much
- Your emails are hitting the spam folder
- You are not emailing enough, so they’ve forgotten who you are
- You didn’t set correct expectations regarding frequency, type of content, or even opt-in
- Your emails are not relevant
- Your contact has abandoned that email address
The standard best practice is to keep a “clean” list of engaged, active contacts. But why don’t you just keep sending to your entire email house file? After all, it’s “free” marketing, right? And if you can get more eyes on your campaigns, that’s better than fewer, no?
The main reason why you want to stop sending to a large group of inactive contacts concerns deliverability. Deliverability is the broad term used to refer to the ability of your emails to actually land in the inbox (versus being blocked, or ending up in the spam folder). If you hurt your deliverability, you lower your chances of getting into the inbox across your entire email list, which will really hurt in the long run, especially at critical times, such as holidays.
I’ve written much more extensively about this topic in other posts, but for the purpose of this one, below are several critical factors that determine your deliverability:
- User engagement – the number of the contacts which are engaging with your emails (opening, clicking, starring, whitelisting)
- Spam complaints – how many users are marking your emails as spam
- Spam traps – these are basically the virtual equivalent of a “landmine”. If you “hit” a spam trap, your inboxing will immediately tank, sometimes taking quite a while to recover.
Continuously sending to a large, inactive list will hurt you on all three accounts:
- First – Because your inactive subscribers are not engaging with your email content, it’s sending a strong signal to ISPs (Gmail, Yahoo!, Hotmail, etc.) to devalue your email because of the low engagement. This in turn hurts your chances to get inboxed.
- Second – Continuously bombarding contacts who don’t want to receive your emails will increase the number of spam complaints you’ll get. While many contacts will take the time to unsubscribe from your emails (which doesn’t count against you in terms of deliverability), a good portion of your list will simply mark your emails as spam (which does hurt you). By clearing out the contacts who don’t want to be receiving your emails, you will reduce your complaint ratio.
- Third – Some ISPs will take very old, inactive email accounts and turn them into spam traps. You DO NOT want to hit a spam trap. It will heavily penalize your deliverability, which can be time-consuming to recover from. I’ve seen double-digit percentage drops in inboxing rates from hitting a spam trap. If you are sending to a list of very inactive email addresses, you are taking this risk.
Two final points if you are still not convinced that you need to clean your list regularly:
- You are getting low bang-for-your-buck with the inactive contacts, as sending to them raises your CPM costs without much revenue to show for it.
- Over-sending to inactives can hurt your brand perception if you are annoying your contacts.