I recently released The Ultimate Email Playbook — 43 Scripts for Startups, my 78-page tome based on my work helping hundreds of startups step up their email marketing game. Today I wanted to share some templates and further thoughts on one of the biggest problems in email marketing — how to reactivate dormant subscribers. We’ll start out with a crash course on dormancy in email marketing, and then get into some templates below. ———- While it’s sexy to acquire new users (just google image search “new user acquisition sexy” and you’ll see what I mean), it’s smarter and cheaper to do as much as you can to reactivate the users and subscribers you already have. Duh! And yet, if it’s so obvious… why is it that most businesses don’t do reactivation, at all? In looking through my vault of top emails — including many from my email marketing heros — this came as a shocking observation. I was receiving email after painstaking email, not opening them, and then getting more of the same. For most of these lists, I had become a fully dormant subscriber (more on that definition later), and yet, I was being treated exactly the same as someone who was opening and engaging with every single message. It’s disappointing. Between 60% – 75% of subscribers on email lists around the world are dormant, meaning those people haven’t opened an email from that list in 6 months to a year. It seems obvious, but the reality is that very few businesses are proactively re-engaging dormant subscribers, buying into the distracting sex appeal of new user acquisition. But, healthy growth is about a lot more than top of funnel activities. If you’re even thinking about reactivation, you’re already ahead of most businesses — and your competition. Email can be a very effective (but not the only) way to reactivate users for a few reasons: 1. It’s your OWNED channel, not a rented one. Retargeting works, but it’s pay-to-play. By contrast, it’s basically FREE to send through reactivation efforts via email. If users have already given you their email addresses (or you’ve acquired them otherwise), wouldn’t you rather work what you already have? 2. It’s one of the most direct channels in your multichannel mix. Really good reactivation happens on multiple channels at once; you need to create a crescendo effect to overcome the powerful inertia of dormancy. While email isn’t the only channel to reactivate… …you should also pull in paid retargeting, SMS and phone where available, and content marketing as a layer on top of it all… Email is your bread and butter reactivation channel because your message has the potential to go straight to the user (theoretically). Later on in this post, I’ll set you up with a few actual email templates you can paste in right now to start working on that dormant list.
What’s a “Dormant” subscriber?You want to send reactivation messages to a dormant segment of your list to move them up the food chain. Josh Egan’s User States model maps over to email marketing well, even though the exact intervals are longer when it comes to email subscribers. New ==> Core ==> Casual ==> Marginal ==> New ==> Dormant ==> Resurrected What counts as “dormant” on an email list? When it comes to email marketing, keep in mind that not everyone is going to interact with your emails every time you send. Most people may not even interact within a 28 day window, depending on how frequently you send those messages. For example, if you only sent 1 this month, and they didn’t open that one message, that doesn’t mean you’ve got a dormant user on your hands. Instead, subscriber engagement — and dormancy — need to be measured against the actual volume of emails that you send. Not: “Did they open an email within the last 6 months?” But instead: “Did they open one of the last 10 emails we sent them?” Or whatever number fits for you. It may be fewer than 10, or more, if you’re sending at a higher frequency. The emails in this next section are designed to wake up users that have fallen dormant. (Btw, The Ultimate Email Playbook — 43 Scripts for Startups has 43 of these that you can steal immediately.)
TEMPLATE 1: $10 on AmazonWhat all’s going on in this template: 1. A paid survey is a great way to do 2 important things at once:
- It’s an engagement device
- It collects customer insights