Send relevant, targeted, timely, valuable emails to people who have subscribed.
That statement is one of my favorite replies to nearly any email marketing related question.
- How do I get more people to open my email? Send relevant, targeted, timely, valuable emails to people who have subscribed.
- How do I reduce my unsubscribes and complaints? Send relevant, targeted, timely, valuable emails to people who have subscribed.
- How do I increase engagement in my emails (clicks/conversions)? Send relevant, targeted, timely, valuable emails to people who have subscribed.
The easy-to-say, yet hard-to-implement answer is “Send relevant, targeted, timely, valuable emails to people who have subscribed.”
Simple. Done. End of story, right?
However, what about re-engagement emails? These are emails that you send to either an older list or folks who have not taken action (open/click/convert) on your emails in a long time. While it’s possible the messages are valuable and relevant, are they really timely? They may be timely for you – the sender/marketer – but how about for the receiver/subscriber?
As we often do on the WhatCounts Marketing Team, we debated this very topic via a flurry of “reply-all” emails over a two-day period. We recently sent a re-engagement email (promoting a webinar) to some older names in our database – folks who had opted-in to receive emails from WhatCounts, yet were what we’d consider a “stale” lead. My argument was, “No! We can’t send an email to this list. It’s old. It’s stale. They don’t want to hear from us. Why would they care?” The counter-argument was simply, “Let’s test.”
As it turned out, with the exception of the high bounce rate (to be expected), the stats on the old/stale list send were quite compelling:
Bounced: 792 (11.3%)
Opted-Out: 68 (1.0%)
Complaint: 7 (.01%)
Share With Your Network (SWYN): 9 people, generating 102 additional views of email
Opened: 1,398 (20.0%)
Clicked: 203 (2.9%)
Registered for webinar: 154 (41%)
Pretty impressive, don’t you think? A 20% open rate and 41% of all webinar registrants balanced against a 1% opt-out rate (and a handful of complaints). This was to a list that I would have argued was dead. I was wrong. I hate being wrong. Hate it. However, if it helps WhatCounts grow, I’m all for it.
Now, time will certainly tell whether or not those who registered for the webinar will ultimately become re-engaged and eventually sign on as a WhatCounts client. However, it’s clear from the example that, while not timely, this campaign was relevant and valuable.
What are your thoughts on re-engagement emails? Have you found them successful or a waste of time & effort?