How to re-engage subscribers (Pt. 1)

To me, one of the most exciting elements of email marketing is the fact that you can measure what your readers did NOT do. It’s powerful because you now have the ability to segment and target your emails to specifically reach subscribers who are not opening and engaging with your emails.

What immediate action can you take with this knowledge?

Consider re-sending your most recent mailing to those who did not open and engage with it. This strategy can work very well – but must be planned and done with care. I have worked with customers on this process, and have seen a 3-5% additional engagement from this re-send.  It’s important to view a re-send as a highly targeted mailing; it’s based on data that you have gathered from the first mailing, you have to accurately identify non-opening subscribers and segment them (eg through Newsweaver’s Saved Search facility). This accuracy ensures only they – not everyone on your list – receive the second mailing. The timing of the second send will be based on the urgency of the message, how frequently the publication is sent and how much time will pass before the next mailing. So for a regularly published monthly email newsletter, I would recommend a re-send 4-5 days after the first mailing. (Tip: Use the same subject line as the first mailing. When you conduct your next re-send, try a different subject line in the second mailing. This will now give you data and insight to make an informed decision on your re-sends to get the best lift in opens and clicks.)

What long-term actions can you take with inactive subscribers?


Set up a report to identify inactivesIf you are using Newsweaver you have access to this depth of reporting, and you should take advantage of it. Create a list, using Saved Search, that will automatically tag users who have not opened a mailing.  (Newsweaver customers – How to set up a saved search video or FAQ)


Trend long-term inactivity – Focusing on an individual send is a good first step. But it is really ‘over time’ that you get a truly accurate picture of your subscribers. And by setting up the list, you now have dynamic tracking of all non-openers.  And, because it’s dynamic, subscribers will be automatically removed from this list if they do open any mailings. This means you can monitor activity over the course of three, six or twelve months. Because most subscribers, even when they are highly engaged, don’t open every issue, this trending will give you a more accurate picture.


Put together a plan to engage long-term inactives – My next blog post will take you through your options for getting those subscribers to re-engage with your emails.

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