Wake-Up Your Email List with an Email Re-Engagement Campaign

You have put a lot of time and effort into creating a marketing email list. Your content is valuable and you include promotional savings. You have 2,000 or maybe more than 200,000 emails on your list.

Email Spam, Really?

Then one day, you email your list and bam! Hubspot, Infusionsoft, or your friendly Marketing and Sales Service Platform sends you a nasty message saying you are doing something wrong.

“Your Spam Rate is too high, we are going to stop your service! You will lose your entire list!!!” Says your service.

You start to panic. All you did was send a new offer to your list of customers. The very customers who gave you their email address. You know your customers the best. Why is your Marketing Platform getting in the way?

Everything is going to be okay. In reality, your service provider is doing you a service. They want your list to be the best that it can be. Plus, they need you to comply with the spam laws.

Email Re-Engagement Campaigns Avoid Spam Complaints


Is there a law governing sending email?  Yes!

In 2003, the U.S. Congress figured out no one likes email spam and birthed the CAN-SPAM Act. Simply put, this act is a law governing commercial email messages and gives recipients the right to have you stop emailing them. In other words, an unsubscribe option is a requirement for all commercial emails. And yes, you must take people off your list…forever.

What does the CAN-SPAM Act have to do with my email list that I haven’t used for awhile?

One of the ways compliance is monitored is through spam rate tracking and complaints. If too many people mark one of your emails as spam, you might be in violation. If too many people say they don’t remember signing up for your list, you might be in violation.

The reality is, you can shake up an old or existing email list with an email re-engagement campaign and comply with the law.

Email Re-Engagement Campaign Steps and Tips

Here is what an Email Re-Engagement Campaign Looks Like:

Include old customers in your Email Re-Engagement CampaignsStep 1: Determine who you want to include in the email re-engagement campaign.

For example, are you going to engage the entire email list or a segment of your list. Do you want to target people who haven’t clicked thru your content? Perhaps everyone who hasn’t opened your emails for the last 6 months?

Step 2:  Determine your email message and campaign.

There are as many approaches to email re-engagement campaigns as you can creatively brainstorm. Two of the most popular types of campaigns include planning a campaign around a holiday theme or sending a simple check-in email.

The Holiday Theme Example

Some businesses plan a campaign around a holiday. Such a campaign would include holiday-themed content similar to this:

We noticed you haven’t opened our emails in a while. Do you love our content and want to stay connect?  

A best practice for this example would include a call-to-action button that would say something like, “Wait, I Still Feel the Love.” This button serves the purpose of keeping people actively subscribed.

This example has a love theme and would be planned around Valentine’s Day.

Whatever holiday or theme you choose, this type of campaign tends to lean toward being informal, upbeat and somewhat playful.

The Simple Check-In Example

It’s likely that you are sending HTML emails from your company. The upside of sending HTML formatted emails is that they tend to be visually appealing and are company branded. The HTML format is also important to tracking your emails.

So you’re not really going to send a plain text email but you can send an HTML formatted email that looks like a plain text.

Analyze Results from you Email Re-Engagement CampaignA “plain text” check-in email should be sent from one person (and internally coordinated) and should be simple in format. It should look similar to the emails that you send throughout your regular day. The content should focus on offering assistance via a specific business solution.

A variation of the check-in email is to include a survey soliciting feedback on how your company can be more helpful.

Remember, you should use the HTML format in order to track actions related to the email campaign, like open rates, but keep the design simple and send it from a real person rather than the company at large.

Step 3: Track and Analyze the Results of Your Email Re-Engagement Campaign

An email re-engagement campaign is a tool to maintain your email list. The general rule of thumb is that you can expect to lose 25% of the people on your list annually. So it is important to have a few metrics in place.

Key Email List Metrics

  • Delivery Rate
  • Open Rate
  • Click Rate
  • % increase in Active Users
  • Spam Complaint Rate
  • Unsubscribe Rate
  • Undeliverable Rate

As a result of your email re-engagement campaign, you can expect to see your overall open rate increase. This is a natural result of maintaining a healthy email list. You want to consistently provide valuable content to your engaged ideal customers.