Creating a list of email subscriber takes time. You put in years and months of hard work to convince people to subscribe that help you to grow your business. Then you should engage your subscribers by providing content that helps them to stay loyal to you as their trust grows.
As you grow your business, you try to get new subscribers to sign up for your website to expand your presence. You nurture these new leads by providing them with the latest content. Wooing the subscribers is good, and adding them to the list is fine as long as you don’t forget your old subscribers.
First things first! What is a dead email list?
A dead email list is something that consists of people who had subscribed to your product or services long back, but eventually, they stopped engaging with your emails. These subscribers might be a significant chunk of the total number of email subscriber you have. Most of the businesses treat the “dead” subscribers as regular subscribers, which shouldn’t be the case.
But this problem is deeper than you anticipate. You built a list that doesn’t respond to your emails, seemingly dead. You don’t know what to do with them. Sending emails to people who don’t respond will also cost you your IP reputation and domain reputation too.
So the question arises about what to do with them? Re-engage email subscribers for some future promotions, or to discard them altogether?
I see it the other way! No email list is completely dead. You can re-engage email subscribers slowly and gradually to improve your business and you can win over your competitors! Looking too good to be true? Yes, it’s true.
Using these well-known but most underutilized strategies, you can re-engage email subscribers within a very short span of time. But before that, do you know why reviving a dead email list is crucial for your business?
Why must dead email list be revived?
Do you know that 58% of the adults in 2016 told that checking email is the first priority after they wake up? Now you can realize why email marketing is such a powerful channel! You are placing your brand right in the user’s personal inbox!
But how does a dead email subscribers list plays a part in it? This is because even if the list is dead you have the valuable information about your subscribers who signed up with you for a purpose in the past. There could be multiple reasons why they are not engaging currently, but they trusted your business and came to you. That means instead of investing money to get a new subscriber, you already have a database on which you can readily take action.
Also, building trust with the subscriber needs time. The new subscribers will definitely take some time to trust you. But if you revive a dead list, building trust is easy and will take lesser time. The trust factor alone could be the reason for generating most of the engagement as you try to remarket yourself.
But how to revive this dead list? Below is the step by step template created as a result of many years of experience, that will help you to reawaken the dead subscribers.
How to revive a dead email subscriber list?
Before we go on to re-engage email subscribers, you need to find out if the subscribers are really dead or not. There might be an occasion when a subscriber could be staying inactive or “sleeping” due to multiple reasons, but the duration is not long. You need to set a minimum time duration for analyzing the subscriber who might be in the sleep mode, rather than considering them as dead right away. Include them in the dead list only if they are inactive for the stipulated time duration.
Below are the detailed steps that will guide you to re-engage email subscribers.
1. Identify the reason why your email is dead
Firstly, you should look into the causes that resulted in a dead subscriber. When they subscribed initially, they did it for a reason. They must be interested in your product or value or services that you provided earlier and used to go to every email you sent. But somewhere something had gone wrong if they are not engaging anymore. So you need to find out the real cause of this inactivity. There might be a few reasons for these types of inactivity, such as:
- The recipient is not receiving your emails anymore. This can happen if your subscriber changed their active email client.
- The subscribers are flooded with emails from you and are confused about which one to check.
- The subscriber is receiving emails that no longer interests them or the quality is not good.
- The subscriber is receiving emails which are irrelevant to him. He might have signed up with a different expectation from you but receiving deals/offers/content on topics that he is not interested.
- Either the subscriber is too busy with other responsibilities, or he might not be checking his emails regularly, or some other reasons.
Research the exact reasons for the behavior of dead list’s subscriber. You should analyze all the statistics regarding the user’s journey and all his engagement onto your emails for a significant period of time. You can get this by building various cohorts.
After going through the data, evaluate the probable reasons why your subscriber lost interest in your business before formulating any specific plan. This will help you to make better strategy, without waiting for frequent feedback or a change in strategy.
2. Make a schedule
Once you identify few probable reasons behind your dormant or dead emailing list,, plan your strategies in an organized manner. Create schedules to list out and apply each strategy. Give each of the experiments sufficient time and iterations to have a valid result. Also, make a list of all the tools you will need for optimizing your performance for your records.
3. Be practical
You must realize that not everyone on the list could be revived. If you have done the root cause analysis you will notice that a lot of subscribers may not be relevant to your business anymore.
Depending on your study, trim down your subscriber base if it requires. Because less engagement will not only cost you a subscriber but also valuable IP and domain reputations. Moreover, you will have lesser bounces, fewer spam ratios, by reducing the number of irrelevant emails by improving your retargeting strategies.
4. Maintaining standards
Old subscribers might already remember you. So, before reaching out to them, prepare a series of content on the similar lines to what they engaged earlier.
If you are offering a service or promoting some offers don’t make it too apparent from the beginning of the email. It might change the perception of your subscribers.
Value proposition through emails is a good idea, but mask it with content so that you are not perceived as someone pushy. Include some call-to-action button in the email. Write some introductory texts or a re-introduce your business in the first half of the message followed by the sales pitch.
This way the customers will not be surprised upon hearing from you after a long time and will be interested in engaging with your emails.
5. Rebuilding Trust
The content you put into the email must be written in a way so that it helps in re-engage email subscribers. There might be some skepticism from them during the initial period. But if you can show them that your business values them, you can actually improve the engagement.
Poor management of email content is not sufficient to re-engage email subscribers. This, in turn, will make your task of reviving your dead list too difficult.
One technique you can use to re-engage email subscribers is to use personalized emails during various occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, or important festivals. Providing the subscriber with a personal touch in your emails can impart trust and confidence in the targeted subscriber.
While targeting the subscribers not on your primary emailing list anymore, look for ways that you can change the perception when you reach out to them again.
Engage them more with content than by promoting something. Mention any change in your business trends and scenario and what they could expect from this trend in their daily life. Send them educational emails that are relevant to him and is aligned towards your business.
Get insights about your users using various data enrichment services to get detailed metrics and then do micro-level segmentation. You may customize your emails as per your customer interest/intent and send relevant emails for getting guaranteed engagement.
Also, while writing an email copy, focus on benefits rather than features. Follow a proven framework for writing your email copy. This will help you to write amazing email copies that your users would want to read!
7. Tracking progress
Once you start doing the above-mentioned steps, track your progress on a real-time basis for gaining live insights about the campaigns you are running. It will not only help you to optimize your ongoing campaigns but will also help you to plan accordingly for upcoming plans.
You can judge the subscribers behavior, try to pinpoint their interest, and target them with more relevant products and offers. Tracking will also help you to know about the bounce-rates, open rates, and will help you to calculate the ROI of the campaigns you are running.
You must also optimize the number of emails each subscriber is receiving on a daily or weekly basis. Bombarding them with very frequent emails might confuse them, as well as the email service provider. If either of them doesn’t consider your email campaigns as received from a trusted source, the email will land up in the spam folder, thus generating no impact at all.
8. Unsubscribe option
Provide a unsubscribe button to enable the subscriber to opt out of the email subscription. It would save you a lot of trouble if they are not really interested. It will also give you an indication of the quality and re-engage email subscribers of a particular segment and help you to write more relevant emails in future.
9. Ask for feedback
When the old subscribers are awake, and responding to your emails regularly, ask them for feedback and suggestions to improve their experience.
If some subscribers are not opening the emails regularly, you can make a query about any change in mailing address. Update the new mailing id to your list to improve the chances of future interactions. This will also help your business to be more interactive and trustworthy or all the subscribers.
So you succeeded in understanding how you can re-engage email subscribers! Congratulations!
But you must understand that the whole process is time-taking and needs a lot of patience to carry out. Your old email list doesn’t need much of an additional investment for re-engagement. But the action will save you truckloads of money in acquiring a new subscribers list.
Moreover, your old contacts can act as influencers and can bring more business to you. Thus if you don’t find any progress from the first day itself, don’t panic right away. You need to give some time and iterations for your strategy to start working.
If nothing is working even after multiple attempts, revisit your strategy and check where you faltered. You will find, that in no time, your dead email contact list is alive and kicking.