Are Email Re-engagement Campaigns Worth the Effort?

Email marketing has quickly risen to be one of the most influential areas of digital marketing in today’s environment. With more users gravitating toward their email inboxes for information, brands are using newsletters and marketing emails to engage with customers and build relationships.

However, one of the challenges of email marketing is connecting with subscribers who have lost interest or shown little engagement with the emails they receive. While there are multiple metrics to track for email marketing, engagement is perhaps the most valuable. Keeping a high unique open rate is an objective that any email marketer should be working toward, and often this involves some strategy for re-engagement of idle subscribers.

This presents a challenge, though. The cost of subscriber acquisition can rise quickly, and often going after disengaged subscribers can be a more cost-effective option. However, the effort put forth doesn’t always equal out to be a massive success, especially if a company starts the re-engagement campaign too late.

Research shows that re-engaging with subscribers around the 30 day mark has the most success. This gives brands an opportunity to check in with the subscriber before they forget that they ever subscribed to the list in the first place. Chasing after subscribers who have shown no engagement in months may not be worth the effort involved.

Encouraging subscribers to engage with content will help boost the open and unique open rates of the mailing list — a more valuable metric than just the number of subscribers. After all, if a mailing list has 100,000 people on it, but only 10 percent of those users are opening emails, how valuable is that to the brand’s marketing efforts and/or to any advertorial partners?

Another way to ensure that a brand is engaging with subscribers consistently is to put out high quality content. Consider putting in unique content that users won’t find elsewhere. Tweak the subject line of the email to be more enticing. Track the heat map of clicks in the body of the email to find out what content is converting at a higher rate. Find out what time of day users are opening the email, and what devices they’re using to view it.

All of this information can bolster the email marketing strategy that a company designs, and it provides more insights on audience behaviors so that re-engagement can be more thoughtfully initiated.

The great aspect of email marketing is that many steps can be automated. For example, re-engagement emails can be triggered at a certain point in time, by certain behaviors. A user who signs up for the mailing list but fails to open any emails in a 30 day period could trigger a re-engagement email. A user who starts out strong but then drops off after 30 or 45 days could also trigger an email to check in.

Brands shouldn’t be afraid to remove inactive users from their list. This action accomplishes different things: it increases the quality of the open rate and it ensures that a user won’t be “turned off” by too many emails that they won’t read. Remember, the open rate is a metric that should be carefully nurtured, and going for the high subscriber count won’t always accomplish the right goals.