Frequently Asked Questions About Re-engagement Campaigns


Did your email campaign results plummet steadily over the last few months? Are your customers going dormant? Then it’s time to wake them up! Email marketers lose about 25% of contacts from their list every year. That said, re-engagement campaigns are a given necessity.

Re-engagement emails are not exactly like your normal emails. The messaging, the frequency and the segmentation starkly differ from each other. While there are many how-to’s available online, we had our customers facing roadblocks along the way.

1. What should be the goal of re-engagement campaigns?
The success rate of every re-engagement campaign differs according to the business and the purchase cycle. It is difficult to zero in on a metric after your first re-engagement email, but as you keep sending emails a few patterns would start emerging. Like, the percentage of inactive subscribers who have re-engaged dropped off and have permanently unsubscribed. Based on this and with a combination of desired metrics like click through rate or email opens, you can decide upon a goal for your re-engagement campaign.

2. How to segment the lists for re-engagement campaign?
First, identify the ‘age’ of your customer. Calculate this from the day your customer first registered or signed up or purchased from you to the current date. If this duration is greater than your average purchase cycle then they are your target customers for this campaign. Also remember that, if there has been a complete radio silence from your customer for far too long (Purchase cycle: 3 months, inactive period: 6-8 months) then you have no choice but to bid them adieu. Separate out your regular active customers from the inactive ones frequently, to keep the list updated and clean.

3. Typically, how to structure a re-engagement campaign?
2-3 emails are a decent number. In the opening email you tell them how much you missed them and what has been happening so far. Then you ask them the reasons why they haven’t been in touch. Getting a little emotional here is Ok, to give them that personal feel. You could also enclose a survey with this one to understand what made them stay away from you. The point here is to shake things up a little bit. Use a clean and attractive email template and team it up with a nice catchy subject line like – ‘It’s been a while. We missed you’ OR ‘What happened? Did we do something to upset you?’

Once you have the results of your first campaign, filter it out to separate the customers who have come in contact with you again, and send a second (possibly last) email after, say, a week. This email should contain a deadline for them to communicate that they are really interested in staying in touch.

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If inspite of the last email in your campaign, you don’t hear from them, then unfortunately it’s time to let them go.

4. What would happen if the same email is sent to all the customers?
Sending the same message to all the customers is a bad idea. There would be customers who are anyway in touch with you and this unrelated email might put them off and hamper your spam score.

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5. How to determine what kind of messaging would work?
Test, test, test! A/B Testing is the best way to determine what works and what doesn’t. Create multiple copies of email drafts and test it on the list. Check which one gives a better response and what timing works. The ideal time gap between two emails in a re-engagement campaign is 1 week.

The best way to avoid inactive customers in your email list is to make their on-boarding process smooth. Prune and tweak your email campaign in a way that none of your customers feel the need to go silent on you. What has been your experience from your re-engagement campaigns? Let us know!