Isn’t it funny that email marketing remains one of the best tools for reaching your audience despite being such an old channel? This is all thanks to its cost-effectiveness and high ROI potential–the average stands at $36 for every $1 spent.
But email marketing also has its faults. The main one is the inevitability that some of your email contacts will eventually either unsubscribe from your email list or stop engaging with your emails. The former is very disheartening, but the latter still gives email marketers a chance to fight.
So, how can you get the passive, unengaged subscribers to enjoy your emails again? Enter re-engagement emails.
These emails, as the name suggests, aim to recover the attention of inactive or lapsed subscribers. This article will provide a roadmap to unlocking the full potential of your email list by discussing re-engagement email examples and best practices.
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16 Re-engagement email examples
Let’s begin by sharing 16 real-life examples of successful re-engagement email campaigns from which you can draw inspiration. This should help you create an effective re-engagement email.
The one thing that stands out most in this Dinnerly re-engagement example is the directness. The brand makes its intention clear right from the start, and it works.
Here is the thing about being direct in your re-engagement email, though. You must avoid being abrasive. There’s a very thin line between the two.
You must also offer something that keeps users engaged. In this case, Dinnerly offers their inactive email subscribers a discount offer. Notice how they highlight their offer multiple times in the email.
Besides that, they’ve used a clean and quite simple design. We also see some elements of email personalization, like the use of the recipient’s name.
Their CTA is placed above the fold. Such a prominent placement makes it easier for readers to notice. In addition, they’ve made it compelling enough by using a different and conspicuous color for both the text and button and surrounding it with enough white spaces.
This re-engagement email example from Animoto is as simple as it gets. The email doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of typical re-engagement emails. It doesn’t offer any discounts, free shipping, or other similar incentives. They just want to know if the subscriber is still interested in receiving their emails.
So what’s the lesson here? Well, sometimes you need to take a step back and stop trying to sell to your inactive subscribers. Instead, try and understand why they are inactive in the first place by giving them two simple options.
First, they can update their email preferences to get the content they’re actually interested in. The other alternative is to make them aware of the unsubscribe option.
Both options are good for your business. The first will re-engage the customer. The second helps you clean your email list.
This Netflix email is another brilliant example of a re-engagement email. Notice how the email draws attention to and reaffirms the product value.
Netflix’s greatest value proposition has always been the ability to watch whatever you want, whenever you want, and on any device you want, without any distractions.
They also prominently place their compelling CTA button above the fold, making it hard to miss, and use action-oriented language, “rejoin” and “today.”
Netflix keeps the email copy brief and concise but still includes an image that makes the email visually appealing. They also don’t forget the unsubscribe link, allowing their uninterested subscribers to leave their email list.
4. Marriott International
Marriott International offers inactive subscribers an opportunity to optimize their experience by updating their email preferences. The subscribers are given a chance to choose the type of email communication they get.
Some of your inactive subscribers may have fallen off, not because they don’t want to hear from you but because they’re not interested in the type of content you share.
Therefore, by allowing the recipients to update their preferences, you help them re-engage with your brand on their terms.
Marriott International also includes an unsubscribe link. This is smart because it’s always better to have fewer email contacts than a list of majorly inactive contacts–we’ll discuss this further in the next section.
Besides that, the email highlights some of the updates they’ve made to the Marriott rewards program, includes relevant visuals, and keeps their CTA button above the fold.
This re-engagement email example uses the classic exclusive limited-time offer, where subscribers get a bonus product for making a purchase.
We all know people love gifts. Therefore, such an email would definitely re-engage several subscribers. The email includes an eye-catching visual, too.
Loft also includes a “rate this email” action button, which links to an email survey. This is a great way to collect the subscriber’s feedback.
6. Adobe Creative Cloud
Your re-engagement strategy can take many forms. Some brands focus on incentives like discounts and free shipping. Not Adobe Creative Cloud, though. The software giant decided to highlight its new features and performance improvements. They also reiterate their value to customers.
See how they mention that their photography plan now includes Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, which makes it easier for users to edit, organize, store, and share full-resolution photos from anywhere. Such a statement will intrigue inactive customers, encouraging them to check the product out.
They also include a visually appealing image that aligns with the brand and the message they are conveying.
Udacity uses emotions to connect with its inactive subscribers. They reminisce on when the recipient joined the Udacity community, even going a step ahead and including the exact date — a classic strategy for trying to pique the interest of an ex.
Udacity also includes a fantastic limited-time discount of up to 50% for all their online programs.
Besides that, the email example incorporates relevant visuals that match their product offerings and include their top program recommendations. The recommendations have their own clickable action buttons to encourage immediate action.
This LingQ email is another excellent example of a re-engagement email. It starts with the popular “we miss you” angle used by most re-engagement emails.
But it goes ahead and teases the changes they’ve made to their product that subscribers will love. Doing this piques the recipient’s attention. They will want to know more.
They also include a limited-time offer on their premium plans, which users can redeem through the coupon code.
Their CTA placement is also very strategic since it comes right after the supportive text about their Premium plans offers. This way, the user can easily understand the CTA’s context, encouraging them to take action.
Finally, we must mention just how brief and concise the email is.
Loft’s re-engagement email combines FOMO, a great discount, and a free shipping offer.
They start by highlighting their new benefits in terms of sizes and new outfit options, which has allowed them to be more inclusive. So, if that was the reason a subscriber turned them off, then this new development will most likely get their attention.
The re-engagement intent is made completely clear after the benefits, which is a brilliant idea since subscribers are more likely to take action after seeing what they stand to gain.
It is also very well executed through the phrase, “It’s been a while – we’ve missed you”. Also, the whopping 50% discount and free shipping are very hard to ignore.
Additionally, Loft gets their CTA buttons right in many ways. First, they provide different CTAs to ensure readers can go to the specific product pages they’re interested in, not the homepage. They also use action language and contrasting colors to make the buttons stand out.
This YouTube TV re-engagement email uses a limited-time discount and reinforces its value to get the email recipient’s attention.
The email is quite long, but YouTube breaks the text with relevant visuals. That makes it easier to skim through and get what the email is about.
Also, notice that the email has a CTA button in two strategic places, at the top and bottom. Readers won’t miss it. They also don’t have to scroll to the top to take action.
11. Product Hunt
Product Hunt uses straight FOMO to get readers’ attention by highlighting their most recent products.
The email design is simple and straightforward. This is great for a re-engagement email since it’ll encourage recipients to read it.
Additionally, they include a link to collect customer feedback. The brand can use insights from the feedback to understand why subscribers stopped engaging and how they can win them back.
This Brain.fm email tries to connect with inactive users by reaffirming their value in the recipients’ lives. The brand has also personalized the email by using the subscriber’s name, which makes the email feel more personal.
The email includes a product recommendations section with relevant graphics.
13. Marley Spoon
Marley Spoon uses emotions to get the recipients’ attention. The dramatized sad-face ingredients and the title “We Miss You” are the first things the recipients see when they open the email.
The brand also highlights the changes they’ve made to its meal kits and offers a limited-time discount to entice subscribers further.
This re-engagement email from Webflow is social proof heavy. First, they tell the inactive customer how many other designers started using the platform since they left. Next, they have a customer review right before a contrasting CTA button.
The email also includes a video, making it even more interesting and engaging.
15. Paul Mitchell
Not every story gets a happy ending, unfortunately. Sometimes you have no option but to let your subscribers go. This is what the Paul Mitchell email below does. It’s a classic break-up email.
This email works well as a part of a re-engagement email sequence. It’s the last email you’d send to an inactive subscriber if they’ve been unresponsive to previous re-engagement emails.
We’ll show you how to set up this sequence in a few minutes using the GetResponse automation platform in the section below.
This Grammarly example uses humor to re-engage subscribers.
They present them with a “wrinkle in time” badge–which they actually visualize–and use a witty voice in their copy.
Their prominent and unique CTA button also makes it easier to tempt users to take action.
How to write re-engagement emails: 9 best practices
To run effective re-engagement email campaigns, you must ensure the emails you craft resonate with your target subscribers. Here are some best practices you must follow when sending re-engagement emails.
1. Segment your subscribers
Before you start crafting your re-engagement emails, you must segment your inactive subscribers. Segmentation is an essential practice in email marketing. It becomes even more crucial for re-engagement campaigns.
By dividing the inactive contacts in your email list into distinct segments, you can target each disengaged subscriber with content that speaks directly to their needs and preferences.
There are various ways you can segment your subscribers, including:
This is the most basic way to segment your target audience. Use demographic factors like age, location, industry, or gender to personalize your re-engagement emails.
Demographic segmentation is especially effective when you have a diverse target audience or customer base.
You can segment subscribers based on specific customer engagement data.
Identify those who haven’t opened or clicked your emails in a certain period. This period can vary, but email subscribers are typically considered inactive after a three to six-month period. Here is how you can classify subscribers you’ve identified as inactive.
- 90 days: This category has just started to lose interest in your brand.
- 90 –120 days: Those in this category are uninterested and close to becoming lapsed subscribers.
- 120 –180 days: The subscribers in this category are completely lapsed and no longer interact with your brand at all.
This method of segmentation will help you adopt the appropriate strategy based on how long the subscriber has been inactive.
For example, you can still try to re-engage inactive subscribers who haven’t engaged with your brand for 90 to 120 days. But for folks who’ve been inactive for longer, you may want to send them a goodbye email and remove their email contact from your list.
Analyzing purchase history can also help you identify patterns that inform your re-engagement email content.
For example, you can tailor the re-engagement email content around the products the customer has purchased in the past.
Recency, frequency, and monetary (RFM) analysis
The RFM analysis segments customers based on how recently they interacted with your brand, how frequently, and their lifetime value (CLV) based on their past spending.
This helps you identify and rank your most loyal and valuable subscribers to pursue through your re-engagement email campaigns.
2. Create compelling email subject lines
Your subject line is your emails’ first impression, and considering you’ll be sending them to inactive subscribers, you can’t afford to drop the ball here.
Also, remember that 47% of email recipients open an email based on its subject line.
Keep your email subject line brief and personalize it by referencing the subscriber’s past interactions or even just mentioning their name.
Create a sense of urgency to trigger immediate action using phrases like “Don’t Miss Out” or “Last Chance”.
Pique the recipient’s interest with a subject line that hints at valuable content inside the email. You can do this by asking a question, including your offer, or tease a surprise through email preview text. This will entice email recipients to open the email to learn more.
Lastly, ensure your subject line aligns with the content of the email. Gimmicky or misleading subject lines will only damage your brand’s credibility and frustrate your inactive subscribers, leading them to unsubscribe from your email list.
3. Craft engaging content
Once you’ve captured the reader’s attention with a great subject line, ensure your email content delivers on the promise.
First, make sure your content is brief. Remember, the email recipients are already disengaging from your brand. The last thing they need is to be overwhelmed with a bulky re-engagement email.
Next, incorporate eye-catching visuals, such as graphics, images, and videos. But ensure that they align with your brand and the message you are conveying. Additionally, use great storytelling and humor to keep the email readers hooked.
Ensure your email content communicates or reaffirms your value proposition. It’s probably why they felt comfortable enough to sign up or make a purchase in the first place. So be clear about what they stand to gain if they choose to reengage.
You can also go the FOMO way by showing them what they are missing. For instance, do you have an ongoing seasonal campaign, or have you updated your products’ quality or features? Whatever it is, highlight it to get the readers interested once more.
4. Highlight your incentives
Incentives are part of the value you can offer your inactive subscribers. After all, people really love free or exclusive things. You can offer discounts, limited-time offers, freebies like ebooks and product samples, or exclusive access.
To encourage the email recipient to act, ensure your incentive is relevant and compelling enough for them. So offer them something they want to have.
For instance, the ideal incentive for eCommerce businesses is discounts or a sale. An informational site, on the other hand, could offer access to exclusive content or a course.
5. Have a clear call to action (CTA)
A re-engagement email should have a well-defined and prominently displayed call to action (CTA).
A great CTA will make it easy for recipients to understand what you want them to do next. It will also compel them to take that specific action, whether to make a purchase or confirm they want to keep receiving your email messages.
The standard CTA guidelines still apply in your re-engagement emails. That means creating the button design in a contrasting color and including white spaces around it for easier visibility.
Use clear, action-oriented language like “shop now” or “restart my subscription” to encourage immediate action.
Also, place your CTA above the fold to ensure your recipients can see it as soon as they open your email.
6. Include an unsubscribe option
You have to face the fact that sometimes people just don’t want to get emails from you anymore, and even the most meticulously written email can’t win them back. This is why your re-engagement emails must have an unsubscribe button.
It’s also better to have your lapsed subscribers willingly opt-out rather than continue to ignore your emails or mark them as spam. This will harm your email deliverability and the sender reputation. So you should also be using re-engagement emails as a way to clean your email list.
Send them an unsubscribe confirmation email afterward, which you can use as an opportunity to ask for feedback. Though they are no longer your fans, they could still have advice to help you better your email marketing strategy or product.
7. Optimize for mobile devices
Mobile optimization is non-negotiable in today’s email marketing landscape. Studies show that at least 81% of all emails are opened and read on mobile devices. Therefore, your re-engagement emails must look presentable on smartphones and tablets.
Use a responsive email design that automatically adjusts your email’s layout to the device it’s being read on. Additionally, ensure your email design is clean and simple. Choose a font size that is easy to read, even on smaller screens.
Finally, ensure any clickable elements like action buttons and links are big enough to make it easy to tap on them from smaller devices.
8. Create a sequence
While there are inactive subscribers you will win back in a single email, there will still be some who need a little more push. Therefore, it’s good practice to create a re-engagement email sequence instead of a stand-alone email.
A re-engagement sequence typically has 2-5 emails with different messages but with the same purpose–to re-engage subscribers. The emails in the sequence build on each other.
For instance, you start with a simple “we’ve missed you” email, maybe send an offer after that, a reminder email, and finally close with an unsubscription email.
You can create this email sequence workflow with an email marketing automation software like GetResponse. The workflow will look like this.
It only takes a few minutes to set up this automation workflow in GetResponse. You can read more about setting up a win-back sequence here.
9. Monitor, improve, and iterate
The secret behind successful re-engagement email campaigns is to never stop improving.
Continuously test the efficiency of different elements of your re-engagement emails, like the email subject line, email content, visuals, CTAs, and send times. Analyze the data and make data-driven adjustments to continually improve your strategy.
If you’re running your first re-engagement email campaign, it’s advisable to save your best-performing email version among your target audience. You can use it as a reference for your future email campaigns.
Re-engagement emails are one of the crucial components of any successful email marketing strategy. They’re a secret weapon you can use to reignite that spark in your email subscribers.
This article shared some effective best practices for creating successful re-engagement emails. They include subscriber segmentation, crafting compelling content, offering incentives, having a clear CTA, creating a re-engagement email sequence, and optimizing for mobile devices.
You’ve also seen some real-life examples that you can take inspiration from and start re-engaging your audience effectively.
Remember, the key to a successful re-engagement campaign lies in understanding your audience and constantly offering value that rekindles your inactive subscribers’ interest. All the best!