Re-engage email lists that I haven't emailed in 1-2 years...

26 replies
Hi Warriors!

I have several "largish" email lists in the niche I am in. I acquired them all through double opt in ...or they are customer email lists who bought products from me in the past.

I have been developing a product for the past 2 years and haven't emailed them or kept a relationship really (stupid, I know!). Some may have totally forgotten who I am (most probably have actually).

The thing is, I will be launching this new product pretty soon and the lists I have were interested in related products 0-3 years ago and were extremely targeted to my new offer (so I'm sure at least some will still be interested in my new product).

I know no matter what I initially email this list, a lot will just think - who the heck is this and unsubscribe... BUT how would you recommend I reengage as many subscribers as possible ...and then get them to buy my new product?

I appreciate any helpful advice, links to resources/templates, or past experience with this sort of thing that anyone may have?

Thanks!
#email #emailed #lists #reengage #years
  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    You will have to re-introduce yourself. I wouldn't just blast out an unknown email to your list. I would warm them up, get them to remember you, get them to love your product(s) again.. and then eventually pitch them on your new product. Usually i would say don't use humor in your marketing... but in this case, i would recommend it.
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    • Profile picture of the author Steve B
      I would begin by immediately reminding the customer how he/she got on your list. Address the customer by name (mail merge) and remind him/her why they are on your list. If you can, offer a date that they purchased "such and such" (your product name) and ask them how they like it and if you can offer any help or answer questions.

      I would then tell your story about contacting the customer because you have a wonderful product that will benefit them immensely. You want to give them a 50% off coupon (for the new product) just to acknowledge that they are a valued previous customer.

      Remind them that they can opt out at any time (through the link below).

      Yes, you are bound to lose a certain percentage of your list. But I think if you do what I'm suggesting I think you will have a good chance of also sparking some renewed interest for what you have to offer.

      Good luck to you,

      Steve
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      • Profile picture of the author moneywithtim
        Originally Posted by Steve B View Post

        I would begin by immediately reminding the customer how he/she got on your list. Address the customer by name (mail merge) and remind him/her why they are on your list. If you can, offer a date that they purchased "such and such" (your product name) and ask them how they like it and if you can offer any help or answer questions.

        I would then tell your story about contacting the customer because you have a wonderful product that will benefit them immensely. You want to give them a 50% off coupon (for the new product) just to acknowledge that they are a valued previous customer.

        Remind them that they can opt out at any time (through the link below).

        Yes, you are bound to lose a certain percentage of your list. But I think if you do what I'm suggesting I think you will have a good chance of also sparking some renewed interest for what you have to offer.

        Good luck to you,

        Steve
        Agreed and great answer!
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      • Profile picture of the author Kay King
        I agree - at the beginning of the email remind them they signed up...but I would follow up quickly by saying something like....

        "I don't bombard those on my list with "buy this" or "buy that" every day, week or even month. Unless I have something to tell you - I don't add to the clutter in your inbox."

        Then go into sales mode....
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  • Profile picture of the author TheWebGuy
    Great advice so far everyone. I really, really appreciate this great feedback.

    Do you all think I should link to my product's sales page in the first email (after I do what you all recommend with the re-introduction and explaining why I don't bombard them with emails)?...

    Or do you think I should do some kind of series where I give away a few things, link to good free blog posts, or just write several helpful emails? ...then hit them with a sales email after a couple days of this?
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    • Profile picture of the author ChrisWrok
      Originally Posted by TheWebGuy View Post

      Great advice so far everyone. I really, really appreciate this great feedback.

      Do you all think I should link to my product's sales page in the first email (after I do what you all recommend with the re-introduction and explaining why I don't bombard them with emails)?...
      No. I suggest sending them a few emails with content first
      As stated, remind them that you have sold them a product in the past
      and that is why they are getting your initial email
      but they prob don't remember who you are,
      so you should treat them like new subs, that you know buy.

      if you didn't know that they buy, your reintro campaign would be longer 5-10 days
      but since you do, know they buy, your reintro campaign can be 2-3 emails
      and then you can market to them with more confidence that they will respond


      Or do you think I should do some kind of series where I give away a few things, link to good free blog posts, or just write several helpful emails? ...then hit them with a sales email after a couple days of this?
      much better
      I would not offer them any "free" products yet...
      they are already buyers.
      give them value, and info for a few days
      and then market your new product to them with a discount for being a customer in the past.
      Make sure you mention the product that they bought if you can.

      jog their memory.
      have fun
      Chris
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  • Profile picture of the author loaf1011
    This is something I've recently done, and I highly recommend you make a quick video with some valuable information/tips. When it's a cold email, a human face and charisma can make people feel connected to you right away.
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  • Profile picture of the author ChrisWrok
    I agree...video can help.
    almost as much as making sure they remember (and liked) the products you sold them before

    Chris
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  • Profile picture of the author WillR
    3 years is a LONG time on the Internet. Many email addresses would no longer be used and I would imagine majority of the people are no longer interested in what you have to offer. Think about what you were up to 3 years ago and how much has changed in your life since then.

    Sorry but that's just the reality of the situation. You may be able to 'rescue' some of them but you'll have a hard time finding an autoresponder that will want to take on lists that are so old and have not emailed. Unless you have them in an autoresponder already in which case you want to be careful because if you end up with a ton of bounce and unsubscribes, they could deactivate your account.

    I would at least reach out to the service you are planning to send the emails through before doing so.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jtraits
    you definitely need an introductory text. who you are, something to remind them who you were when they subscribed. then you have to mention that you did not contact them now after 3 years just to sell them your new product...
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  • Profile picture of the author RobertWatkins
    You're going to have one helluva job! Climbing Everest on a pogo stick would be easier.

    Send out a broadcast with a subject something like...
    "I'm Back! ... Here's Your Super Free Gift"

    Re-introduce yourself and tell them what you've been doing. Then give them something really good... And promise them more.

    Good luck! (You'll need it!)
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  • Profile picture of the author Joseph Then
    You will need to clean your list before you even email them. Use email cleaning service to remove hard bounces and invalid emails before you start emailing them.
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    • Profile picture of the author TheWebGuy
      Originally Posted by Joseph Then View Post

      You will need to clean your list before you even email them. Use email cleaning service to remove hard bounces and invalid emails before you start emailing them.
      Do Aweber and GetResponse do this for you? ...stupid question by me but ...how do they know there will be hard bounces or invalid emails if I don't email them?
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  • Profile picture of the author TheWebGuy
    Hey guys,

    What do you think about giving a way a 3 day mini course in a related subject? With 3 steps...

    The first 2 steps will just be good free content ...then the 3rd day will be some helpful information but will require my new product to complete.

    I could either just start sending them this 3 day series OR drive them to a squeeze page and make them opt in (and maybe get some segmentation)...

    What do you think of this?

    Should it just be 1 free .pdf they opt in for ...or a 3 day mini course they opt in for?

    Should I just send this to them ...or make them opt in at a squeeze page?



    And what do you think of this email?



    ----------------------------------------------

    Hi there ____,

    I know it’s been a while …but this is ___ from _____.

    About 2 years ago you signed up on my email list to get information I was working on that would help you [talk about benefits they wanted].

    I'm not someone who emails you unless I have something to say...

    My small team and I have been working really hard on a little (free) mini-series that will show you [talk about benefits]!

    You can check out this free publication here:[opt in page at my website for mini-series]

    [tell them this won't be hard with the mini-series ...i.e. sell it]

    I want you to have this as my way of saying thank you for being a valued newsletter subscriber (and it’s also my way of saying sorry I haven’t kept in better touch)!

    Again, if you want to get the free mini-series, please go here: [link to opt in page]

    I hope you enjoy it! And please… let me know about the great results you get!

    Talk soon,
    ________
    ---------------------------------------------------
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  • Profile picture of the author TheWebGuy
    ...or maybe just start sending them the 3 part series (don't make them opt in) and if they want to take part 3 (on the 3rd day) to the next step they can opt in to learn more.

    Then when I have that interested segment I'll do a promotion of my new product to them...

    Any thoughts on that? Or on the previous strategy I suggested?
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
      Originally Posted by TheWebGuy View Post

      Any thoughts on that? Or on the previous strategy I suggested?
      I think I prefer the email in your post just above, to be honest. I think that's pretty good, in the circumstances.

      Sorry to sound dispiriting, but it isn't worth putting a huge amount of time/effort into this, because you're just not going to have a high open-rate, let alone click-through rate or interest rate with this, after all this time. That's just the way the yak crumbles, I'm afraid: email marketing's mostly about continuity. But a good try, the email above, I think - and good luck, whatever you try.
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  • Profile picture of the author soulsick
    This is a tricky one, I would do something that's a mix of what has been suggested.
    My experience with old, disengaged lists shows that they can be painful. You can end-up with a high bounce rate (and with high, after two years, I mean 20% +)

    So if you are planning to send it through your primary mailing infrastructure, be sure to cleanse it before. Depending on the size and on the service you choose, this can be expensive. I've been using briteverify, in the past, with mixed feelings - but it surely helps.

    Then, I would suggest to re-opt in these customers into another list, especially if you plan to construct a new relationship with them after this single offer. If you just want to sell this single product, then it is not really the case.

    Then...do A/B tests, if the list is big enought. You want to see which is the best sending day/time and subject. Take your time.

    Finally, I think the copy is too long. I would go for a very short message, possibly with a bit of humour, a very visible call to action... and I'd rather explain what the product is and the benefits in an appropriate landing page.
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      In the very first email, it really doesn't matter all that much what you say. Reminding them how they got on the list and hinting at why you haven't kept in touch is plenty. Use a touch of humor if you can, and tease something valuable in the next email.

      Why?

      Because, with a three year old list, a large percentage of those addresses will be no good - hard bounces from abandoned emails, repeated "mailbox full" errors, etc. So that first message is almost purely house cleaning - getting rid of the dead wood.

      Those that remain should get the best you have to offer. They stuck around even though you effectively disappeared for a couple of years. They should be rewarded for their loyalty.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Ray
    In my opinion that list is probably burned out and the response rate will be abysmal.

    If you are going to try and try to get some life back in the list then you will probably want to start off with a email explaining on who you are, why they are getting the email and probably a link to a page with a video that reintroduces yourself and briefly goes over everything you said in the email.

    That will probably be your best bet to try and bring some life back to the list.
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  • Profile picture of the author TomBuck
    I did this, but got it wrong a bit. I went straight into saying Hi again, have a look at this......

    It wasn't an offer or anything that cost people money but I think you need to remind them of "That thing they signed up for" before actually going into new information, even if its free.

    Sidenote: Wouldn't try any offers for a while too
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  • Profile picture of the author Javisito
    Email them straight out and tell them the truth and that you are sorry for not keeping in touch. And why not ad a free gift in that initial mail to even make it more valuable?
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  • Profile picture of the author freedomquest
    I think that a great method of reviving your list is to reintroduce yourself with a free offer that provides value in exchange for an opt-in to segment your list.
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  • Profile picture of the author Member8200
    have them re-optin in another list, most of the owners of these email addresses doesnt know you by know or changed email address already, so what i can suggest is try to re-opt in some active users again by giving in some good info/freebies or a trap like if they subscribe again to your new list they get a freebie
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  • Profile picture of the author talfighel
    I would not sell to them right away. Get them to know you. Talk about yourself.

    Do this in your first few emails and then start to promote what ever you want. Worst thing that can happen is that no one buys and you get a lot of people to unsubscribe.
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnnyPlan
    Email lists are about relationship building and you don't have an established relationship with these people. You had a large list (of possibly responsive subscribers who took time to double opt in) and you ignored them. So now, they will have no reason to respond to you. And, now you will possibly have to build another list for your new product.
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  • Profile picture of the author Edwin Torres
    Hey I was in a similar situation. I had a old backup of one of lists and completely forgot to load it up into my current autoresponder. It was about 1,000 names that could of been making me money haha.

    Anyways I imported them to GetResponse and sent them an email to one of my squeeze pages to get them to re-optin.

    The copy was something like:

    "Hey this is Edwin and its been a while since I last emailed you.

    I was wondering if you're still interested in making money online? If so click here:

    http://mywebsite.com

    Thanks!

    Talk soon,
    Edwin"

    I used an email almost identical to the one above. Since you're trying to re-engage people try to get the click so make the copy as blind as you can.

    Another way to re-engage is sending them free content, but I like getting people to re-optin so I don't waste money on dead subs.
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