In my last post, I talked about re-engagement. It’s important to track your email openers and clickers, so you can easily find the people who are NOT opening and clicking your emails, because those are the people you’ll want to deliberately re-engage with special offers. And by “special offers,” I’m not talking about a sale price or a discount. I’m talking about something much simpler – and lower cost. A new yummy bit of content that your perfect potential customers will give up their email address to get from you could be the perfect offer.

A Case Study in Re-Engagement

One of our clients came up with one of those yummy bits of content – a special reference guide having to do with their industry that would allow their audience to properly set expectations. We worked with them to get it nicely designed and easy to read; it’s only five pages long (and that includes the title page). It’s a short but complete picture of something big happening in their industry.

As I write this, the first email in a series of three emails offering that guide went out just a few hours ago to a list of just over 17,000 people.

In full disclosure, a portion of that list – about 60%, in fact, has been pretty cold. They’ve been receiving an email every two weeks with the latest blog post, but they’ve not been engaging with those emails. The client has rules in place that automatically put openers and clickers into special lists, so they can always segregate the non-engaged if they want to, but they haven’t done it yet. We knew this offer was coming, and we wanted to see if we would get some of the non-engaged back to being engaged.

So, back to my story. One tactical piece first…

Setting Up the Offer Emails

Don’t you hate getting an email asking you to do something that you’ve already done? As I mentioned above, the email that went out this morning was the first in a series of 3. We’ve set things up so the 2nd and 3rd emails ONLY go to people who have not yet opted in for the guide we’re offering.

The messages are slightly different, also. The first email is the big announcement that this new guide is available. The second email has more of a “I don’t want you to miss this” flavor, and the third email says “I won’t send you any more emails about this.” As you see, it’s much more than just sending the same email to the same list every time. The emails are written as letters – like you’d write to a friend or colleague – with a greeting line and a signature.

Then we spaced the emails out over a period of a week so we aren’t hammering people. These are collaborative, conversational emails, NOT promotional emails – more of a “hey, I thought you’d find this useful” rather than an in-your-face “GET IT NOW BEFORE IT’S GONE” flavor. In that vein, it’s important to space them out – almost gentle reminders that this important resource is theirs for the taking.

The Early Results

The first email went out about four hours ago, as I write this post. In that four hour time span, the open rate is over 21% and continuing to increase with every hour that passes. The clickthrough rate is nearly 30%, and over 750 people have so far downloaded the guide.

Here’s the big news – we are also seeing brand new leads come in. That’s right. The guide isn’t being offered in any way other than this one email that went out, so it seems that people who ARE on the list are forwarding the offer to others – and those people are opting in for the guide as well. Is it a huge number of new people? No, but it’s enough to make us all sit up and take notice.

Re-Engagement In Action

This post, though, is about re-engagement, and all I’ve shared with you so far is about engagement.

Here’s what you need to know. Of the 750+ people who have downloaded the guide, half of them were previously NOT engaged. Because of this offer, we have now increased engagement overall with the audience. After this offer has run its course (it concludes in a week), we’ll segregate the disengaged and move them out of our main email sending – leaving them for the next re-engagement campaign.

What will that do for them? Because ongoing efforts will focus on those who are already engaged, this client’s sender reputation will increase, which will get more of their emails into inboxes (versus promotional or other folders), which will get more eyes on their emails, which will get more potential customers, which will get more sales. (It’s a little like “this is the house that Jack built” which I mentioned in this prior post.)

The Bottom Line

This is a clear demonstration of the value of an offer to re-engage a cold or cooling list. The benefits of re-engaging are tangible, and the results are actionable insights that you can use you improve your own email sending practices. You’ll build your know-like-trust factor while serving your audience.