Net Atlantic Inc. Professional Email Marketing and Email Deliverability Experts

Professional Email Marketing

Hello ... Is it my email you're looking for?

By Steve O'Brien and Andrew Lutts


Lionel Richie asked this question (well sort of) back in the ’80s, with his heartstring-tugging hit song Hello.

And you could ask the same question of your subscribers. You know, the ones who haven’t opened one of your mailings in a while. Or the ones who haven’t engaged with you in a way that shows they’re still interested.

Let’s go back in time to when you first started collecting addresses and sending emails. I’ll bet the numbers were great. Lots of people were consistently opening and engaging with your mail and – better yet – they were spending money!

Unfortunately, now, those same subscribers that made your list productive and profitable are no longer engaging with your mailings. At best, they’re just taking up space on your list and making your feel better since you still have a good amount of subscibers.

So, if it’s been a long time since a particular subscriber has opened any of your messages (and most senders agree that 12-24 months is a long time), you should doing something different to get them engaged again.

The good news is that there's lots of ideas you can try.

1) Create a segment just for your subscribers who have not engaged in a while

2) Offer them a one-time never-to-be-repeated offer

3) Send email to them infrequently. Thus, when they do see your email, they will hopefully notice it.

4) Change your mailfrom email address from ABC Company to your name Joe Sample so they see that it is different. Maybe they like you, and would prefer to to an email from you rather than your company.

5) Use a different color, style, font, and look and feel. Get noticed. Keep it fresh.

6) Give them a choice for mailing frequency: daily, weekly, twice a month, monthly, etc. Put them in control.

7) Send informative email rather than sales-oriented email. You may not sell anything, but you may get loyalty.

8) Send at unusual times. Try the weekend. Something new. Something different.

9) Survey these subscribers. Ask for honest feedback. You want to hear what they have to say.

10) Ask for feature requests, new product requests, or favorite services. Try to get them to respond: "Where did we go wrong?"

11) Send an email and remind the recipient why they joined your list in the first place. They may have forgotten!

12) Retarget them on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or other social network.

13) Clean your list through a service like . You may be suprised to learn that many of these unengaged subscribers are abandoned mailboxes, spamtraps, and worse. These addresses may be considered abandoned or invalid, which means that they could be repurposed as a spam trap by the ISP or mailbox provider, or they could be purchased by a blacklisting service to be used as a spam trap.

14) Keep a cold storage list of these less-engaged people who may be right for you, just not right now. Send email to them once or twice a year. People's buying cycles can be funny. This is reason enough to not give up on a prospect. They may still buy from you, just not this week or this month.

Realize that email provides a great way to keep in touch with people, and stay in front of people. Thus, when they do have a need or purchase decision, you will be there for them. But it also means that there can be lots of time when they are not actively buying, just reading. And that's okay too!

A few words about Reconfirmation Emails. (short answer: we don't like them)

Some people recommend Reconfirmation Campaigns. A reconfirmation email campaign provides a way for subscribers to remain on your list by reconfirming and opting in again  (that would be the reconfirmation part). Example: Click on this link and we'll keep you on our list. Otherwise, you are taken off.

We don't recommend reconfimation campaigns. Ever. Even for the poorest-performing lists. It's list suicide. All too often we've seen dreadfully low reconfirmation rates (such as only 5 - 10% of your mailing list reconfirming) when subscribers are asked to reconfirm. Avoid this strategy unless you want to feel depressed by the low number of people who reconfirm. There are other ways to clean up your list, like with list cleaning for one.

15) Note: when people do engage again with you and your email, put them back onto your regular normal mailing list so that they can get information from you with a predictible cadence.

If you're short on time and you need help executing these strategies, you're not alone. Net Atlantic offers a SmartStart Program in which we apply comprehensive program that increases delivery, improves opens, encourages engagement, and dramatically improves mailing results.


26 Real Ways to Increase Engagement in Your Email Newsletter

Six Email Marketing Case Studies

Net Atlantic SmartStart Program

YouTube: Lionel Ritchie - Hello

YouTube: Lionel Ritchie - Greatest Hits