contact re-engagement email campaign

OTime to complete: 4 Hours

Did you know that the average email list loses 25% of its active contacts every year? What if you could salvage some of those contacts and drive re-engagement with your emails? This project will help you:

  • Identify the dormant contacts in your database
  • Select a compelling offer to entice them toward activity
  • Automate the process of re-engaging customers
Looking for a more customized project?  Check out Premier Services!
Step 1: Identify your inactive contacts
Learn how

To-do

  1. Pick a starting "age" for each of your contacts. The typical metric is the date the person became a contact, but you might also choose the day they were sent their first email, the day they became a customer, or something else that is relevant to your business. It all depends on which contacts you are looking to reactivate. 
  2. Define the length of your buying cycle. Consider: how long it typically takes a contact to purchase your product or services, and how long is the typical cycle between purchases. 
  3. Decide the length of time that will qualify a contact as inactive. 
  4. Decide the metric you will use to track inactivity. It might be email opens or clicks, form submissions or website activity, or even a combination of these. 

Pro Tip

The rule of thumb for inactivity is 3-6 months, but for some businesses, it might be longer or shorter. If a contact has been inactive for months, don't include them in the re-engagement campaign at all. They will most likely be inactive addresses or mark your email as spam, which will hurt your sender score.

Step 2: Build a list of inactive contacts
Learn how

To-do

  1. In Step 1 you identified the starting age (essentially the type of contact you are looking to engage), the length of inactivity, and action that defines an unengaged contact. Build a list using these criteria. 
  2. Be sure to create a list that uses "rolling date" logic so that contacts will receive your re-engagement as they become inactive (see example).
  

Example

Pro Tip

You can create different list segments if you plan on sending re-engagement campaign content that is specific to, say, a particular buyer persona. For example, if you're a contact lens retailer but you also sell glasses frames online, you might create three separate re-engagement campaign list segments -- one for your recipients who purchase contact lenses, one for your recipients who purchase glasses frames, and one for your recipients who purchase both. This will allow you to create more targeted content that increases the likelihood your campaign actually does re-engage some subscribers. 

Step 3: Select an email re-engagement type
Learn how

To-do

Select one of the email re-engagement email strategies listed below:
  1. Update email preferences: Offer to change the frequency of the emails you send or to customize the subject matter about which your recipient receives emails. This helps recipients that are struggling with inbox overload.
  2. Email them a feedback survey: Ask your subscriber if there is something you can do to improve your email content to make them engage more frequently. Worst case scenario, you get feedback on your content
  3. Incentivize email activity: Offer freebies or coupons, but make sure it's based on their past purchase or download history. Offers typically become more enticing the longer a contact has been inactive. 
  4. Get emotional: Tell the customer how much you've missed them. These types of emails don't always work, but they do strike a chord with some folks. 
  5. Set a deadline: This is typically best used as a final email attempt for unengaged contacts. this email graciously asks recipients to opt in by a certain date or be removed from the email list. Sometimes the deadline is enough of an impetus to get a subscriber to confirm that they do or don't want to receive your emails.

Pro Tip

For best results, select only one of the following types of re-engagement tactics for each email in your campaign. If you combine them, it will be difficult to isolate which tactic was most effective.

Step 4: Pick an email template
Learn how

To-do

  1. Determine the components you would like to have in your email. How many columns will there be? Will there be images? Will you include social sharing?
  2. Navigate to the Email dashboard and then select the blue "Create New Email" button.
  3. You are now on the template page. Select the "Example Templates" link in the middle of the left-hand column menu. Here are 20 different fully-responsive templates to select from. Think of a template like a blueprint for your email. It's the layout for your content. If one of these don't suit your needs, you will have to create a template of your own. 
  4. Type in the name of your email and click "Create."

Pro Tip

You have the option to use a HubSpot-provided template, create your own, or purchase one from the template marketplace
Want to create your own template?
Follow these instructions
Step 5: Create your email and save it for automation
Learn how

To-do

  1. After selecting your email template, you will be taken to the email editor. Now it's time to write your email. 
  2. Write an email subject line that will be relevant to unengaged contacts. Be sure that it clearly outlines the value proposition of the email. 
  3. Create a clear and compelling Call-To-Action and place it prominently in the email.
  4. Write the copy of your email. The copy, subject line and call-to-action of the email should all be aligned around the email re-engagement type you selected in Step 3.
  5. Save your email for automation.
  

Pro Tip

Always be sure to send a test version of your email to proofread it and make sure everything works
Need help writing and sending your email?
Click to learn how!
Step 6: Build and activate your workflow
Learn how

To-do

  1. Navigate to Workflows and select "Create New Workflow."
  2. Give your workflow a name. Something clear and recognizable is best. 
  3. Select the "Standard" workflow type and click "Create New Workflow." 
  4. Add the list you created in Step 2 as the starting condition of your workflow (see example). 
  5. Add the email you saved for automation in Step 5 to your workflow
  6. Activate your workflow. 
  

Example

Pro Tip

This workflow will automatically send out your reengagement email every time a new contact becomes inactive. 
Looking for an in-depth guide to building a lead nurturing workflow?
Check out our Lead Nurturing Project!
Step 7: Set yourself up for future success
Learn how

To-do

  1. Set clear expectations in your opt-in process about sending frequency, subject matter, and types of content that contacts will receive. Consider setting up email types if you haven't. 
  2. Invest time in segmenting your contact database. Whether you segment by engagement, lifecycle stage, persona, industry, or something else, segmentation will ensure that engagement with your lead nurturing emails stays high. 
  3. Continue to refine these lists based on new on-site and off-site behaviors that you learn about your prospects and customers. 

Pro Tip

The success of your next re-engagement campaign (and your email marketing program) depends on your ability to keep your currently healthy and engaged list