Who Are You Again?

It’s a hard thing to hear, but your business’ mailing list is probably oversaturated with people who don’t care.

They aren’t generating sales. They aren’t reading your marketing emails. Half the time, they don’t even know who you are.

So, what can you do about it?

It’s tempting to just unsubscribe cold leads and focus on the people more likely to actually buy from you. 

But why waste the intrigue that put them on your mailing list in the first place? Somehow, at some point, you were doing something right for them.

A re-engagement email campaign could convert those almost cold leads into raving fans

Here is everything you need to know about re-engagement campaigns

What Is A Re-Engagement Campaign?

A re-engagement campaign is an email series which is triggered when a recipient hasn’t engaged with your emails in a long time. 

And when I say ‘hasn’t engaged’, I mean, hasn’t even opened anything. Not a swipe of the finger, not a ‘mark all as read’. Nada.

The purpose of this series is to ease your way back into the recipient’s line of sight. Generic marketing won’t cut it for this – you need a specific formula on specific milestones.

Re-engagement campaigns can be easily automated in any mailing software – whether your business uses Mailchimp, ActiveCampaign or something else.

So, what’s the secret recipe?

At 30 Days…

When you’ve had no opens for 30 days from a recipient, it’s time for phase one.

We call this cycle ‘soft re-engagement’.

Typically this is three emails: 2 nurture emails to include some helpful resources, then 1 action email which asks the recipient to respond in some way. This can be through clicking a link, replying to the message or another call to action of your choice.

Basically, it gives them an opportunity to unsubscribe if they want to – but usually, this results in the recipient coming back to you going: ‘No! Don’t unsubscribe me! I’ve had so much going on; I’ve been so busy…’


Not only do they remember who you are; they’ve just told you what problems they’re experiencing…which means you know exactly what to sell them to help!

It’s a true win-win without any additional money spent on marketing. 

At 90 Days…

If all of your soft re-engagement emails slipped through the net, the stakes are even higher with this next tactic. It’s time to bring out the big guns.

Hard re-engagement is best done after 90-94 days of radio silence. This (again) consists of 3 emails:

  • Nurture email 1 – give a free resource (maybe a blog post, a video to watch or a fun interactive quiz).
  • Nurture email 2 – ditto.
  • Breakup email

That last one sounds dramatic, doesn’t it? When I say ‘breakup email’, I’m not talking about spitting venom and throwing out their possessions. It’s more of a line saying: ‘take action on this email, or we’ll unsubscribe you’. Literally, spell it out.

You might be apprehensive about being so blunt with a recipient. But think of it this way: at this point, it’s been 90 days. That’s 3 months without opening your emails at all. Not even a peep at the headline.

So yes. Be blunt. If they engage, you can put them back on your normal nurture emails list.

And if they don’t engage after that, unsubscribe them.

A Note On Spam Filters 

Getting re-engagement emails right is like balancing on a tightrope. One wrong move – a hyperlink on the wrong word, or a buried ‘Unsubscribe button’, or a lack of preview text can plunge you into the Spam folder.

And if you’ve been ignored for 3 months, the spam filters will be very trigger happy. 

Google, Yahoo and Hotmail don’t like words such as:

  • Click
  • Now
  • Download
  • Buy
  • Get
  • Free
  • Book
  • Deal
  • Offer

Basically, any words that are to do with buying, selling or saving money – which makes sense. If the user has shown no interest in your nurture cycle nor in your soft re-engagement from 60-64 days ago, this email has to be a real pattern interrupt.

Get it right, and it could not only stop your subscribers dropping off the belt, but also generate profit from prospects you might otherwise have lost.

How To Be Seen

So, how do you get through to the recipient with re-engagement emails?

Here are some of my top tips:

  • Always include preview text. This is a must to attract the reader’s attention.
  • Left align the text email. This makes it seem more personal than a generic company newsletter – which the recipient will be more inclined to read.
  • Use single colour backgrounds. Again, this will make it read more like a personal email. 
  • Keep your unsubscribe button visible. Burying it will only land you in Spam.
  • Keep images and other media files small. The whole email should be no more than 850kb.

It’s Tough

If you’re feeling disheartened or overwhelmed by all this, don’t worry. Re-engagement is a very tricky thing to master. But through practice, you could be spending less on your marketing budget and keeping your subscribers loyal and engaged.

Want to know how to catch them earlier in the cycle? Check out my blog post on 6 Things That Land You In The Junk Folder.



Fill in the form below to find out how to improve your email marketing and start converting more sales from your list.

Cheat Sheet Opt-in Image (1)