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When looking to win back unengaged subscribers there are a lot of factors to be considered in order to do it well and to avoid risks. 

The risks of emailing unengaged subscribers include:

  • Generating high customer complaints (i.e. subscribers marking the email as spam).
  • Subscriber email addresses no longer being in use.
  • Hitting spamtraps.
  • Being blacklisted.
  • Causing sends to your engaged audience to be blocked or delivered to the spam folder.
  • Being blocked by a mailbox provider, either as a result of their own filtering or due to being on a blacklist.

Note: ‘Engagement’ in this guide refers explicitly to contacts opening email marketing emails over a period of time, and does not necessarily relate to Ometria’s email engagement bands, which are calculated based on your account averages.

To mitigate these risks, we advise that you set up automated re-engagement campaigns to target subscribers as when they’re no longer opening your emails.

Automation campaigns allow you to set triggers for sending re-engagement campaigns so they can run as part of your automation programme, reducing the need to create large scale re-engagement campaigns for old segments.

Inform your customer success manager if you plan to run a re-engagement campaign, as they can help advise the best way to set this up.

Re-engaging large segments

To re-engage a large segment of contacts, follow this strategy to minimise risk to your deliverability:

Segment your contacts

Separate the contacts you wish to re-engage into smaller segments, starting with the most recently engaged. 

E.g. If you want to re-engage users who haven’t opened an email since 100-180 days ago, a good strategy is to break it down by month, so:

  • Segment 1: 100 days unengaged
  • Segment 2: 120 days unengaged 
  • Segment 3: 140 days unengaged
  • … etc.

Go to Segment explorer and use the Customer Filter to create a dynamic segment with the following condition:

Date of last opened email - on (relative) - 100 days ago.

Note: It’s important to ensure that these segments are not larger than your engaged sends. If they are, then you should divide them again.  Large unengaged segments risk hurting your sending reputation.

Click Save as new segment, name it and select Dynamic from the drop-down to ensure the contacts in your segment will dynamically update:

Create as many segments as you need for your campaign.

Design your campaign

In Automation campaigns, create a new re-engagement campaign.

Set to the Entry trigger as follows:

The contact has… changed segment membership

Contact has entered a segment which is one of…

Select all of the segments you created, then click Save.

Next, begin adding your segments to your flow using the condition: 

Customer belongs to segment which is - then selecting your segments: 

Make sure you use wait nodes to schedule enough time (minimum 24 hours) between sends to monitor the success of your campaign. 

We recommend that you use a template which stays true to your brand’s style, but is also different enough from your usual campaigns to catch your contacts’ attention.

Schedule your campaign

When you’re ready to start sending your campaign, it’s best practice to begin with the most recently engaged contacts, e.g. those who have not opened an email since 100 days ago, then since 120 days ago, etc.

Note: Do not send to multiple re-engagement segments on the same day. This is to ensure you have enough time to monitor the outcome of your sends and can pause sending in case of errors. 

Monitor your campaign performance

You can check the progress of your re-engagement campaign from Campaign performance

Things to look out for:

  • Number of bounces
  • Number of unsubscribes

If either of these metrics are high, it could cause any of the deliverability problems mentioned in the overview.

For automation campaigns which run continuously, it’s important to periodically review the success of this campaign, and adjust either segmentation or content for continued best effect.

If you begin to see problems with deliverability as a result of your re-engagement campaign, you should pause the campaign as soon as possible, even if you have a number of contacts still in the flow.

The less engaged your contacts become, the more damage they will do to your deliverability. You should consider suppressing any contacts still in the flow, and - where possible - use an alternative method such as social media to continue your re-engagement plan.

Suggested content

Single shot re-engagement campaigns are easy for subscribers to miss, so consider a series of two or three, with different content for each send.

Re-engagement campaigns don’t always need to include a discount; alternatives include:

  • Encouraging subscribers to update their preferences (if your preference centre allows for this). 
  • Using alternative editorial content. 

Click here for examples of great editorial content in the Ometria Academy.

If you are using discounts, don’t run them too early, too often or offer too large a discount. If subscribers get used to seeing a coupon code after a short period of time, e.g. six weeks of no orders, they will start waiting for the offer, which will devalue your brand and cost you revenue.