What Is a Re-Engagement Campaign?

No matter how effective your ads, landing pages, and emails are, some of your leads are going to disengage over time. It’s inevitable.

And that’s why there’s a whole category of email campaigns dedicated to this problem: re-engagement campaigns. This specialized series of emails targets subscribers who haven’t opened an email or taken a desired action recently. They’ve tuned you out. 

It might seem like a waste of time to keep investing time and energy in marketing to people who aren’t listening, but done right, re-engagement campaigns can be highly effective. Remember, at one point, every person on this list found your offer compelling enough to hand over their email. And they’ve made it this far because your targeting parameters included them.

They’re the right people. They’re in the right place. And with the right message, you may be able to win them over—again.

Dead leads don’t have to stay dead

Sometimes people ignore your emails because you just haven’t sent anything that caught their attention yet. Or the first email they opened wasn’t valuable or interesting to them. A re-engagement campaign is your opportunity to break the cycle and show them that your emails are worth opening.

Whenever you invest in lead generation, it’s important that you have a plan in place for getting and keeping those leads engaged. A lead nurture or drip campaign is a good place to start, but creating a re-engagement campaign is part of maintaining a healthy list.

Maybe you got a bunch of leads from a partner email you sent during a special event, or an ad campaign you ran months ago. And now your new subscribers are ignoring you. A good re-engagement campaign quietly runs in the background, helping you maximize the value of any leads you acquire and ensuring you don’t keep leads that aren’t doing anything for you.

Every email list naturally loses engagement over time. If you don’t do anything about it, your ratio of unengaged to engaged users can steadily increase. But as a small percentage of your subscribers disengage, you can recover some of them with a re-engagement campaign, slowing the attrition.

Is a re-engagement campaign worth the effort?

The alternative to setting up a re-engagement campaign is to either get rid of all your unengaged leads or continue having low engagement and risking high spam complaints. So yes, if your list is big enough, having a re-engagement campaign is worth it. The trick is knowing how much effort to put into it.

You really only need one automated email in your re-engagement campaign. More than that could be obnoxious to your subscribers, and if people don’t respond to your first re-engagement attempt (after they’ve been ignoring you for months), a second or third re-engagement email probably won’t do much good.

Once you set your email up and A/B test it to create the best possible version, it can run forever, reviving dead leads for months or even years. All you have to do to maintain it is make sure it remains relevant. (You wouldn’t want to “re-engage” someone by giving them an expired coupon.)

Not every list needs a re-engagement campaign. But if you have an email list that you’ve invested a lot of time, money, and energy into, or you’re struggling to keep subscribers engaged, re-engagement should be part of your strategy.

Just because your leads give up on you doesn’t mean you need to give up on them. Win them back.