Resurrect a Dead List

by Equire
15 replies
My list email list has a little over 300 people on it. I have never abused this list, but I probably also have not nurtured it very well either. It is pretty unresponsive.

So I am wondering if it is even possible to resurrect this list or if I am better off just starting over. Part of me thinks I should just abandon the whole thing... I'm torn.
#dead #email #list #resurrect
  • Profile picture of the author Troy Broussard
    Why abandon them?

    Just start giving more value with some quality free information (something enticing like a free, no optin PDF report or something) and try to bring them back. After two or three posts like that if you're still not getting responses then they have probably already checked out.

    Today list counts really mean little. So many people have multiple emails and actively just ignore list marketing, so you really do have to 'take care' of your list all along. But before you give up on them you might as well give them a shot...
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  • Profile picture of the author James Howard
    Send them a message and see if you get any opens, that would be the simple way to see if they are worth keeping.

    Give them some content, send them to a worthy blog post if you have one or a gift that will give them value.

    It is always worth trying to save your subscribers before just dumping them,(remember they are people not just numbers) maybe they have forgotten about you and will not open or maybe they will open to find out who you are.

    Send them an email 2 - 3 days apart for the next week or two, you will either wake them up and remind them of who you are if you provide content or they will unsubscribe and make it easier for you.

    At least you will find out if any of the people that subscribed are worth helping in the long run and if so continue to give them value.

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    • Profile picture of the author Equire
      Thank You Troy and James. What you have said makes perfect sense. I will take that advice.

      I guess I am just wondering about the feasibility of email marketing anymore. I know that I ignore most of the messages myself. I only open those where the subject line really captures my attention and I guess that is the answer :rolleyes:
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  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
    Originally Posted by Equire View Post

    It is pretty unresponsive.
    Do you know what your open-rates are?

    How old is the list, and how frequently have you communicated with them?

    I'm asking these questions because for me, what I tried to do now would depend on whether they're unresponsive because most aren't opening your messages or because many are opening them but not taking any action. They're really two very different situations calling for different approaches.

    Their potential value may depend on the "urgency" of the niche, too, surely?

    But they do say that, in general, it's easier to give birth than it is to raise the dead.
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    • Profile picture of the author Equire
      I don't track the open rate. The CTR is usually about 1.5%,which I guess wouldn't be so bad if my list had 10,000 people on it.
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      • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
        Originally Posted by Equire View Post

        I don't track the open rate. The CTR is usually about 1.5%,which I guess wouldn't be so bad if my list had 10,000 people on it.
        I feel differently about it: I'd say that with a list of 10,000 people it would be a disaster and a tragedy, because the opportunity-cost would have been 33.3 times as great. With 300 it's not too painful.

        Everything James says above is perfectly logical and correct, of course. I wish you well with trying, anyway.
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  • Profile picture of the author TonyNorton

    I just posted a detailed step by step plan for reviving a dead list here. I think it would help you out a lot with this problem.

    Actually, I'll just go ahead and re-post it here for convenience.


    ----------------------Begin Re-post----------------------------


    A lot of people have a email list that they've ignored for a while. Well if you'd like to revive that list and get them to start giving you money, pay close attention to what I'm about to show you.

    This is a step by step method that I can virtually guarantee to wake up that sleeping list and get them to pay attention to you again.

    It's an 8 day plan that engages the list with a survey at the end. The survey is important because it gives you a chance to find out exactly what the list wants you to sell them, and it also gives you a chance to pitch something after your reader has finished the survey. That way you get to bond with your list, find out what they want, and still make some cash along the way.

    Anyway, here's what to do...

    Day 1 - Send an HTML email (formatted to look like plain text, no pictures etc) with a subject something along the lines of "I just posted a awesome new video on my blog".

    Then the body copy would be something like...



    I just posted a really cool video on my blog. It goes over everything you need to know about (insert some subject they're interested in). Check it out.

    Also I'd really like to hear what you have to say about it so please feel free to post your comments after you see it.

    Your First Name


    This is assuming you have a blog in place. The same thing will work if you send them to a static page on your site, but you really want to send them to a blog to consume the content. Trust me, it's just more effective that way.

    Also be sure to turn on click tracking in your email management system, and DO NOT pitch anything. The stuff you send has to be 100% valuable content.

    Day 2 - Segment the list and resend the same email to everyone who did NOT open the email you sent on Day 1. You can either use the same subject line or change it slightly to test response.

    Day 3 - Send great content piece number 2 to the entire list. Same email strategy, catchy subject with short body copy that sends them back to your blog.

    Day 4 - Same as day 2. Segment and send to everybody who hasn't clicked yet.

    Day 5 - Send great content piece number 3 to entire list. Same drill.

    Day 6 - Again same as day 2.

    Day 7 - Here's where you send out your "Can I get a little help?" email. Body copy something like...



    I've been getting a ton of replies to the content I've been sending out and I want to start by saying "Your Welcome"!

    It's been a pleasure and I know you'd do the same for me if our positions were reversed.

    Anyway, I could use a little help with something. See I'd really like to know what kinds of stuff you'd like me to send you and just get to know you a little better in general. That's why I've set up a quick survey here.

    (put an obvious link to your blog here.)

    You'd be doing me a big favor if you'd take a couple minutes to fill it out. That way I can get to know you better and find out what kinds of content you want.

    Also I've arranged a nice surprise for everybody that's willing to help me out with this!

    Thanks in advance,

    Your First Name.


    When they click the links in your email they go to your survey page where you can get some valuable info, I'd try to keep it short enough to complete in just a couple minutes.

    Then tell them that when they submit their answers they'll be redirected to a page where they can get their "nice surprise". In case you haven't guessed, the surprise is something that makes you money. Maybe a free 7 day trial to your product, maybe a nice discount, whatever. Get creative but make them a offer that leads to you getting paid.

    Day 8 - You segment again and resend the "I need your help" email to everyone who hasn't opened it yet.

    Now, there's obviously a little more detail to it than this. There's no way I could explain it fully here, but this should give you a good starting point.

    The whole thing is a reciprocity play. See you keep sending them good stuff over and over without giving them a chance to do anything for you in return. Then you give them that chance by "helping you out" with your survey.

    The survey isn't seen as an obvious sales piece so more people will fill it out since it doesn't seem like you're trying some lame cash grabbing tactic. Of course you do still try to get some cash, you just do it after they've filled out the survey.

    I didn't invent this strategy, lots of people having been using it in one variation or another for a long time. But trust me it works and it's something you can repeat over and over with slightly different content pieces and offers. Over time you'll find you can "wake up" quite a lot of your previously sleeping list this way.

    Hope that helps,

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  • Profile picture of the author theory expert
    Disclaimer: I haven't tried this, and, you may not want to listen to me.

    Send out an email with the headline: What I learned from Bill Gates and Warren Buffet

    Inside go into what you learned(make it as compelling, tearful, emotional, and, with almost an implication you were with them directly. Then ask your list to send you a response of what they thought, what are their hopes, dreams, and, what could you do to help them with products in a questionaire format.

    Make it real, real, real, slick!

    If they don't respond to that then they are dead!

    Check to see how many open it within that week.

    Send a 2nd email the following week.

    UPDATE: I see you're new, so, do not take my words word for word, spin it into your own personality.
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  • Profile picture of the author Big Al
    As Alexa said... it's only 300 odd so very different to a ten thousand odd mailing list.
    I'd say you've got nothing to lose by trying just about anything from email daily (that'll get you noticed, even if it is to unsubscribe) to sending them to a new squeeze page with a new free product.

    Experiment with a few headlines to see what happens to your open rates and see what happens.

    Go for it.

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  • Profile picture of the author theory expert
    Secondly: Here is a link of why people buy.
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  • Profile picture of the author LB
    When was the last time you mailed them?
    Tired of Article Marketing, Backlink Spamming and Other Crusty Old Traffic Methods?

    Click Here.
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  • Profile picture of the author Equire
    Thanks for all the replies.
    Special thanks to Tony for laying out a step by step plan to turn a list around.
    You folks are great!
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  • Profile picture of the author iSoftware
    Let me tell you a quick story....
    Imagine this. You're out with your girlfriends late one Saturday at a bar. You don't usually go to bars (give out your email address), because it never turns out right.

    But for some reason, you meet this really charismatic, attractive guy (read good squeeze page copy) and you think "what the heck", I'll give it a shot (enter in your name and email to the squeeze page form and opt in).

    A few days go by and nothing. A few weeks - nothing. Suddenly, you get a call (follow up email) from this guy acting as if he knows you!

    Hey "esquire!" he screams in the email subject line "Here are three secret tips to get xyz" (or whatever).

    /End of Story

    Now the question is, how would you feel? Because chances are if you are thinking "who is the person/company, I don't know him/her/them"......SO ARE YOUR SUBSCRIBERS!

    So what you have to do is re-establish the connection.

    What I would do is this. Send an email with the subject like:

    SUBJECT: I've been gone. Got Questions? Call 123-555-1222

    First line:
    Hi [first name] (if you have collected that). I'll admit it. I've been gone. Far far to the land of "too busy" for you. But I want to reconnect. So if you have any questions about (subject email list is about), call me! I am spending all day (day here) taking questions for readers, just so we can reconnect.

    If you can't call, no worries. In the next several days I'll be sending out some valuable information about (subject of email list) that's guaranteed to add value

    Your name.

    And Yes - actually leave your number. Why? Because just OFFERING to take their calls will establish some trust with your readers. At most 2 out of 100 will even call. But the fact that you offered will help them see "wow, this is an actual real person on the other end of that email and they do care enough about this subject to allow me to call them - for free!". It will also establish you as an expert.

    Now here's a word of warming: maybe 1 out of 200 would ever use this strategy - 'cause it requires work. And, it is out of the box thinking. The good news is, if you do, I'm guess you will be VERY pleasantly surprised by the results - and so will your subscribers!

    Then again only 1 out of 200 people can generate a 50+% open rate a 40+% clickthrough rate an over 11,000 clicks from one email (yours truly). I'm not saying this to brag. I'm just trying to relate to you what I have established here is based on knowledge grounded in direct experience.

    I hope you get the results you want!

    All the Best,
    shola@ iSoftware
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  • Profile picture of the author 2011profit
    You have to try them first. Give a message and if they happen to have a response make use of them that way you can start eliminating those who are not really useful and can be considered dead already.
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