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Please come back! 3 Tips to Re-engage with Contacts

Last updated by Adrin Siripala on August 28, 2015 22:15

Relationships with your contacts begin like any other, it's all good to start with, new and exciting, the traditional honeymoon period. The freshness is in the air at this new relationship with them reading everything you send them with their wide eyed excitement, their little smile when they see that it's personalised just for them.

Yet as time moves on, something else lands on their desk and grabs their attention, day after day and you start to slip from their minds, they look at your emails without the wide eyed excitement that once existed and the relationship fades into "oh another email from them" :-(

Now if things have got to this stage, you might be thinking, "well they've gone so why should I waste my time on them, who's next" - You've already done the hard work in getting them to subscribe, sign up, hand over their details in the first place - they are worth another try!

Creating a re-engagement campaign is your chance to remind them of why they signed up with you in the first place and what attracted them to your brand, while (being honest) you won't win them all back and this won't work for everyone - the secret to a successful re-engagement campaign is effective targeting, don't just blitz everyone with the messages, build groups and target them with specific things.

There are three key things do here: -

1. Establish "Who" you are going to re-engage with

2. What are you going to say to them

3. Be prepared to wave a fond farewell so the permanent inactive contacts

1 - Who are you going to re-engage with?

The first thing we need to look at here is, what causes someone to be classed as an inactive? Well an inactive is someone who has done nothing with a number of consecutive campaigns, to find this out you can go to Contacts > Inactive contacts and from here you can search on people who have done nothing with your last 5, 10, 15, etc campaigns and then group them. These are the people you should be targeting.

You may also want to take into account their other forms of engagement IE phone conversations, replies to SMS campaigns, completion of surveys, etc as these inactives might be engaging with you in a way that actually suits them better rather than just email, so you need to take that into account also.

Also, think about your customer buying lifecycle - when do customers purchased from you? If your service a yearly thing and therefore you don't hear from customers for a good 10 - 11 months of the year? If so, they might still be engaged but they just don't need to speak with you yet.

Once you've identified your inactive contacts, you can create a group to store them away whilst you plan your re-engagement campaign!

2. What are you going to say the them?

The first thing you need to think about in this stage is the fact that these are inactive contacts, which means what you've been sending them previously wasn't working or making an impact with them so we have to plan to send them something different!

As always with email marketing, or any marketing for that matter, is that what works for one, won't work for everyone - now's your chance to try something!


Don't be afraid to mix it up with the content (remaining on brand of course).

A) Personalise - Add in extra levels of personalisation on top of the normal first name - throw in things like their company name and maybe even some custom information about them and their business. Adding this can close the gap between you and the contact, showing that you know them rather then them just being another cog in your communication machine.

B) Use promotions - sending them personalised voucher codes, etc offers up value to the contact in an attempt to re-engage with them.

C) Someone else reaching out - send the email from someone more senior in your company to help reach out to the contacts. People like to deal one-to-one with people who are more senior, it makes them feel a little bit special and can get you that re-engagement.

D) Ask them a question - sending them a feedback survey can be a way to engage with them, it's asking them a question rather than constantly trying to get them to buy, buy, buy!

E) Give it a break! - Sometimes people get tired of hearing from you because they feel like they've been bombarded with generic messages and therefore they are no longer special. As they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder, so give them a break before sending them something else.

3. Be prepared to wave a fond farewell so the permanent inactive contacts

Some times we just have to say goodbye :-( it's not what we want to do but sometimes it's the right call to make. If you try and re-engage with these contacts but nothing comes of it, that sad day might have arrived where you need to remove these people from your email list and focus on the people who are responding and showing signs of life.

Even the strongest re-engagement campaign will not reach everyone (I'm sorry to say). At the end of the day, it's better to communicate with the engaged contacts rather than bombarding people who have continually shown no signs of life, it will also affect your sending reputation over time by communicating with those people. So protect yourself!

Measure the campaign!

Here are some metrics to measure your success: -

1. Are you increasing the percentage of active users in your database? If you are getting people coming back to life on your list then that's a great start to measure if you are doing things right!

2. Decreasing your spam unsubscribe and complaint rates - With successfully segmenting your list so you are targeting your active and inactive contacts differently, will naturally mean that you are decreasing your negative stats.

3. Better deliverability - again, but keeping your data nice and clean you improve your reputation and ultimately it will see you get more emails delivered off the back of your personal domain reputation

No matter how you tackle and track re-engagement, stay focused on reinforcing your brand