Win Back Subscribers with a Re-engagement Email Series

You’ve created an awesome email welcome series, and your open rate is around 31% the average open rate in 2020 for welcome emails. 

But open rates for regular content are diminishing. You had great success with your email welcome series — so what happened?

You’re feeling discouraged, but it’s normal for subscribers to disengage over time. 

So take a deep breath and relieve some pressure while we explain.

“Email list decay” occurs when people unsubscribe from your email list, but you also lose a lot of subscribers who never unsubscribe. How? They stop opening and engaging with your emails. 

Reasons vary for email disengagement. But we love this simple reminder from Stephanie Nivinskus, founder and CEO of Sizzleforce Marketing: “It’s critical to understand that people disengage for one of two reasons: either their needs change or your emails aren’t meeting their needs.” 

Oftentimes, this is true. To effectively market your product or service via email, you’ll need to keep asking these questions: 

  • Are the needs of my target audience changing? If so, can I meet their changing needs with new content?  
  • If their needs are the same, how can I improve my content so it meets their needs?


But we believe there’s a third reason people disengage from emails: 

They need a reminder that you’re still there.

Yes, you send regular content, but think about your own inbox — chances are brands are vying for your attention every day

A re-engagement email series is often the gentle poke subscribers need to re-engage with your brand again.   

We know a re-engagement email series frequently falls to the bottom of your digital marketing to-do list, but it’s important for two reasons.

First, it reminds inactive subscribers that you’re still here and encourages them to open your emails if they haven’t in a while. By the way, did you know it’s as much as five times cheaper to convert subscribers to customers instead of acquiring new customers? 

Second, it keeps your subscriber lists clean. When the number of subscribers opening your emails drops significantly, Internet service providers flag you as a “low-quality sender” and block your content. 

Now you understand the importance of a re-engagement email series, but how does it work? You can create and automate a re-engagement email series that’s triggered when a subscriber hasn’t opened your emails at all after a period of time. The timing of your re-engagement email series depends on your target audience and how frequently you send emails. Maybe you wait until subscribers haven’t opened your emails in 30, 60, or 90 days — 30 days is usually a good number.

Here are four good rules of thumb when creating your re-engagement series:

  • A good re-engagement email series will increase the stakes for unsubscribing or not engaging with your brand anymore. Have subscribers been missing really good content like blogs or podcasts? Give them a taste of what they’re missing by linking to some of your best content. Are they bypassing sales or perks when they don’t open your emails? Tell them and offer a coupon or discount code so they consider buying your product or service again. 
  • Get your disengaged subscribers to open your emails with a strong, straightforward subject line. The subject line is the first thing your subscribers see when your email pops up in their inbox. Make sure your disengaged subscribers know that they’re missing out on exclusive content or a great discount if they’re not opening your emails. 
  • A good re-engagement email series won’t pull out all the stops in a single email. We recommend a re-engagement email series instead of a single email because you don’t want to overwhelm subscribers with too much content. Maybe your first email tells subscribers, “Hey, we miss you!” Then in your second email you offer free content or a coupon code. 
  • Segment your disengaged subscribers for more impact. Sort your subscribers into different lists based on their past behaviors. You can send different re-engagement flows to different subscribers based on previous purchases, which products they’ve interacted with on your site, or the length of inactivity. Target them with specific content based on the behaviors they were taking when they were engaged. 


Your last email will let subscribers know you’ll be removing them from your email list unless they tell you they want to continue to receive your emails. 

In a re-engagement campaign, your call to action asks subscribers to indicate in some way they still want to receive your emails. 

If they opt out of your email list, don’t be discouraged and don’t believe the worst. Maybe they found what they were looking for when they purchased your product or service, but their needs are different now. It happens. This doesn’t mean they won’t share your brand with someone else if they had a good experience! 

We hope this blog clears up any confusion about what a re-engagement email series is and encourages you to move it up your email marketing to-do list! If you’re feeling overwhelmed, our team at Sigl Creative would love to help take your email marketing game to the next level. Schedule a call today, and we’ll craft the perfect re-engagement email series (and other great email campaigns!) for your business.

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