5 Tips to Win Your Readers Back with Re-engagement Emails

Has a segment of your subscriber list gone silent? You’re not alone.

No brand can avoid an occasional decline in engagement from subscribers. The remedy is to stir up renewed interest in your brand with re-engagement email campaigns. With special promotions, limited offers, and—of course—good design, re-engagement emails can help reinvigorate inactive subscribers. Here are five design tips to help you win back your customers.


Tip #1: Use the subscriber’s name

Get personal by using your subscriber’s name. You want to grab attention right away and make a reader feel special. So in addition to making a great offer, make the reader feel like the email was tailored just for him/her.

This re-engagement email from Showtime uses the subscriber’s name in the subject line. That means that, while scanning through an inbox, the reader can see immediately see how the email was personalized.

Rebecca, We Miss You! Special Offer Inside

Showtime reengagement emails

Like Showtime, Netflix takes a similar approach, using the subject line: “Kelly, enjoy another free trial on us.” Here’s the email:

Netflix reengagement emails

Netflix also uses great text on their CTA button. “Enjoy another free trial” is specific and engaging. It’s more interesting—and compelling—than more typical, expected messages like “Click here to shop” or “Shop now.” Your CTA button text should also include a great action verb, be personal (maybe even saying your free trial), and be short and sweet.

Here’s another personalized re-engagement email from the digital TV & film industry. Sling Television includes the recipient’s name, too, this time in the body of the email. The subject line reads: “Come back and watch for free!”

sling television reengagement emails


Tip #2: Recommend new products

Do you have a new look? Have you introduced new items? Did you recently start a new program or offering? Entice inactive subscribers to come back by telling them about what’s new and improved with your brand.

This re-engagement email from ATG Stores is all about what’s new. In fact, the first statement a reader’s eyes land on in the body of the email is, “A lot has changed since you’ve been gone.” (The subject line of the email is “We miss you! Enjoy 20% off site-wide as a warm welcome back.”)

ATG Stores reengagement emails

Can you count how many times ATG uses the word “new” in the email? We count five—including one in the CTA button. The message is simple: if you didn’t see something you liked before, maybe you will now, so come back to the site. The message is bolstered, of course, with a great discount: 20% off. This is a smart approach for e-commerce brands that need to keep up with competitors’ near-constant churn of new items. So show you have the latest and greatest.


Tip #3: Get personal with browsing or shopping history

Aside from a subscriber’s name, what other data might you include to catch their eye? Similar to abandoned cart emails, which include shopping items left behind, a re-engagement email can include personalized information from a subscriber’s browsing or shopping history.

Pottery Barn‘s re-engagement email (subject line: “We’ve missed you! Here’s 20% OFF EVERYTHING – even furniture!”) features “recommendations just for you” based on a subscriber’s browsing history.

Pottery Barn reengagement emails

Thrive Market, an online grocery and goods store, takes a slightly different approach. Instead of showing a subscriber the items she’s already purchased or might be interested in, Thrive highlights how much she’s saved with her previous subscription. See it? The amount is in a narrow horizontal strip near the top. (Subject line: “Come back and thrive, Kelly! Here’s a $15 gift on us”).

Thrive Market reengagement emails

Tailoring an email to a particular subscriber can improve the connection that person feels to your brand—and maybe improve re-engagement.


Tip #4: Don’t rely on words to make an impression

A picture says a thousand words. Okay, okay, we know that’s cheesy and clichĂ©, but you know what we mean. Your re-engagement email shouldn’t just say “Come back” or “We miss you”—it should show it. We found a few re-engagement emails in our inbox where the sender went the extra mile with a well-designed hero image. This animated GIF from Ticketfly was our favorite.

Ticketfly reengagement emails

And here’s the full email (with the subject line, “Did we somehow skip a beat? We miss you.”):

Ticketfly reengagement emails

Did you catch the brand’s use of a clever bulletproof CTA, fabulous single-column modular design, and clean gray background color? Nice work, Ticketfly. This re-engagement email has our interest piqued.

Online marketplace Zazzle also expressed their “sadness” at missing inactive subscribers with this cute kitten. A campaign like this shows how a simple stock image can go a long way when paired appropriately with your message. (Subject line: “We miss you! Come back to Zazzle & spend your $10 today!”)

Zazzle reengagement emails

 


Tip #5: Don’t be afraid to keep things simple

Re-engagement campaigns don’t actually need to reinvent the wheel. We’re big fans of design simplicity, and this kind of email is no exception. We spotted a few re-engagement emails that kept it short and sweet—with good design decisions, too.

This message from cost-splitting app Splitwise is personal, to the point, and easy on the eyes. The subject line is “Long time no see, Kelly.”

Splitwise reengagement emails

The CTA button is easy to spot and easy to tap on mobile, and the message is simple and heartfelt. Unlike most re-engagement emails, instead of offering a discount (it’s a free app), Splitwise invites readers to offer feedback. This tactic makes the brand seem personable and considerate—possibly enough to get subscribers interested again.

Digital photo app Mpix also keeps their re-engagement emails simple (subject line “Long Time, No See”).

Mpix reengagement emails

We love how Mpix used a bold HTML background color for an email like this, and the CTA button is festive, too!


Key takeaways for a great re-engagement campaign

  1. Use the inactive subscriber’s name (in the subject line)
  2. Show off new products or services
  3. Incorporate browsing history or user-specific data
  4. Create custom content that shows you care (like an animated GIF)
  5. Keep it simple—bold HTML background colors and CTA buttons go a long way

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