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How to Write a Re-Engagement Email

Jan 25, 2023

Email marketing is a solid strategy that most businesses use in modern times. They are an excellent way to connect to the masses, get your message across, offer promotions, and boost engagement with your platform.

Yet, just like anything, these emails can sometimes drift away from the intended recipient and be left unread in their inbox week after week. When this happens, it is time to introduce a reliable re-engagement email to see if you can re-spark the interest that inspired the subscription in the first place. The following advice is centred around writing a good re-engagement email, and some tried and tested methods for doing so.

What is a Re-engagement Email?

A re-engagement email primarily focuses on bringing a user back to the subscription platform with enticing or emotive strategies. When a person initially signs up for email marketing, there is usually a reason behind it. For example, a voucher was offered as a reward or to access members’ content. When this has long been forgotten about, the emails that follow may be left unread and sit desolate in an inbox. The target, therefore, is to draw the customer back in and re-engage them. Most companies have a multi-faceted content strategy; email marketing is just one component of that, but it is nevertheless important.

The Advantages for Companies

Why do companies need this format? Multiple advantages can be gained from sending out these types of emails to users and customers, even if the customer has never completed a purchase. Read on below to find out more.

Re-engagement Opportunity for Unsubscribe Potentials

If someone has failed to open the last ten or more subscription emails, regardless of the format (newsletter, promotion, etc.), they are at a higher risk of unsubscribing entirely. A well-worded, client-focused re-engagement piece may turn the tide and spark some long-lost joy.

Makes Customers Feel Valued

Finding the balance between personalising the customer experience and appealing to the masses is hard. While re-engagement emails may be sent out to multiple people and have pretty much the same content word for word, they still act as a validation tool. Why? Because the company has noticed that you’re not paying them attention, they want you to try again. The act of reaching out is, in itself, an empathetic move that inevitably creates a connection. This connection might, at the very least, persuade a customer to stay a bit longer and possibly even lead to a sale.

Boosts Sales Potential

The main goal of re-engagement emails is to produce a sale lead. Enticing customers back into the fold when they have been ignoring emails is an unpredictable task. The results are never consistent, and the outcome depends on multiple factors. However, when a customer does accept the intentions of the re-engagement narrative and consequently re-engages, there is an increased chance that a sale is on the way.

A Chance to Highlight Promotional Offers

If the company is only running a promotional offer to new customers, it is an excellent opportunity to extend to the ones you are trying to reconnect with. Offering a promotion or highlighting a currently running one is a good way to get customers excited again.

A Core Part of Marketing

Marketing has to consider every single customer profile, even the ones that have never bought anything. Analysing the data helps define customers into categories and highlight what works and doesn’t. Re-engagement tactics are just one part of this.

The Potential Disadvantages

Of course, there are always potential disadvantages to be taken into consideration.

May Be Treated as Spam

The emails may never find their home. The customer may mark it as spam if they haven’t already, which means not only will the effect be lost bu,t the marketing strategy will also be redundant, wasting time and money.

Potentially Annoying

There has to be a reason why the customer has not been looking at the correspondence from said business. Whether they have had the promotion and therefore see no further use, or there are too many being sent over a week, or the content is just a bit boring. All these reasons are valid to the customer; therefore, a significant gesture email may not have the desired effect and instead be seen as annoying or even leave them feeling harassed.

Could Be the Nail in the Coffin

Sadly, it could be the last straw that inspires the unsubscribe click! So, this is always a risk.

Re-engagement Email Examples

The Discount Email

Dear Thea, we noticed you haven’t shopped with us in a while. Here is 15% off to help you find a great deal!’.

The theory is simple here. Offer the client a discount to bring them to your site or into the store. People are more likely to engage with a sale if there is a voucher to make it feel like a good bargain. Make it too good to miss but be realistic with what you can offer.

The We Miss You

‘Hi John, we miss you! You haven’t been around in a while; where have you got to? There have been some great new products you’re missing out on!’

This is supposed to create an emotional connection and give the impression that you’re thinking about them and noticing their absence. It helps businesses make the experience more personal and enables customers to feel appreciated.

Asking a Leading Question

Hi Leah, did you know we have a new range in for the winter? There are lots of products waiting for you to browse.’

Asking a leading question is thought-provoking. It draws upon an organic cognitive process that is natural to all humans. It is a solid strategy to draw upon because when we’re asked a question, we want to provide an answer.

Highlighting Recent Changes – The Catch-Up

‘Dear Max, there have been some big changes around here! Don’t miss the latest range of condiments just released this week. Our company has been looking to be more eco-forward, and we’ve really nailed it with this recent launch.’

There might be something that catches the eye, and it emulates the relationship between old friends. Let’s have a catch-up! Why not? This is a great window for highlighting recent developments.

Reminder of Subscription

Hey you, it’s been a while since you’ve opened our emails. Your subscription matters to us, and we want you to get the best out of it.’

Sometimes, if it’s an old email or someone’s been away, a simple reminder email is enough.

Feedback Request

Dear Jeremy, we were wondering if you could fill out this quick survey about your experiences with our brand. It is only a few questions, and it would be wonderful to hear your opinion on your customer experience with us.’

Creating Urgency

Hi, you’ll have to be quick if you want to take advantage of our most recent promotion! It runs out THIS SUNDAY at 10 PM, so click here to get your orders in before stock runs out.’

Tips for Creating a Re-engagement Email

Regardless of the format, or even if you see a combination of types over a few weeks, you have to get the content on point. If it isn’t, the whole thing becomes pointless.  

Create the Perfect Subject Line

The subject line is what grabs the reader. It has to be good enough to make them click on the email and open it to read further. So, it is crucial. It can’t be (no subject) or ‘read me’ it has to grab and pop. Try using alliteration or a one-liner, or personalise it with their name.

Use the Customer’s Name

Using someone’s name is better than a generic greeting. It automatically makes them more important to you, and calling someone by their name is an immediate attention grabber regardless of whether it’s verbal or written.

Call To Action Phrases are a Must

Don’t forget a call to action because this well-known marketing trick engages with motivational language and inspires active choices. Phrases like:

  • Act now!
  • Don’t wait!
  • Check this out!
  • Make sure you…

These are all fine examples of either tag lines or end of email sign-offs to add for completion.

Don’t Spam, But Do Follow Up

There is a sweet spot between harassment and follow-up correspondence that is crucial for re-engagement. If a company doesn’t hit it right, they risk being unfollowed, unsubscribed, and even in some cases, boycotted.

Make it Visually Appealing.

Stun them with fancy graphics if it’s within the capacity of the budget. A plain text email is excellent for B2B but B2C merits something more visually focused.


Re-engagement emails are a useful tool when used correctly. If a customer has been leaving you unread, it’s time to try to bring them back and ignite the sales process. Many formats, as shown above, help complete this task, and it’s best to use a few for greater impact.

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