Your list is growing colder by the day. Maybe you haven’t emailed them for a while. Maybe you’ve been emailing all along – nice valuable bits of content, and some of the people on your list have been enjoying what you’ve been sending. What I’ve just spelled out for you is two different scenarios. The good news is that there’s one good answer to both: a re-engagement campaign.

Scenario 1: Brrr. It’s cold!

You haven’t emailed your list in a while (maybe a long while, but no judging here). Your list is going cold. Ice cold. You’ve been busy; we get that. It happens to all of us. Here’s a fun fact. It takes 42 days for people to FORGET YOU. That’s right. If more than 42 days have passed since your last valuable bit of wisdom was sent out through your email, the people in your list may not even remember who you are – let alone what value you bring, or can bring, to their lives.

Scenario 2: What about the rest?

You’ve been emailing, as I said above. Your open rates are in the 30-40% range. That’s great. But what about the OTHER 60-70% of the people in your list? What are they getting from you? What about the people who open, but don’t click through your email? Do you think they actually read it? (It’s possible that their email system is set to automatically download the pictures, so remember an open rate is not a measure of engagement, as we’ve said roughly 1572 times before. Here’s one of them.)

Either way, it’s time to re-engage

If you are truly dialed into your perfect potential customer, you know what they need – what problems they are trying to solve. You understand their challenges, their fears, and their frustrations. So your first step in this re-engagement campaign is to create a piece of content that speaks to one of those things. Remember, you’re simply trying to get them to come back into the fold, to declare their interest once again. So create something that will be meaningful to your perfect potential customer.

BUT WAIT. Don’t make it anything too big or too complex. You want to move them one inch – just an inch – along the way to becoming your customer. So make this piece a simple piece – something suitable for people who are “just looking” but are not yet ready to set a meeting or make a purchase. Think checklist, quick-start guide, or a numbered how-to list (5 Ways to Do X, or 7 Top Strategies for Y, or something like that).

You COULD re-purpose something you already have created, and use it for this re-engagement campaign – but ONLY IF… it hasn’t been generally available. This needs to be something “special” or “exclusive” or otherwise noteworthy – tempting to those who have not engaged with you (whether they’ve been hearing from you or not) for a while.

To be clear, this piece of content is NOT a blog post. It should be a file that they will download, usually a PDF file. You’ll create an opt-in form for this download, put it on your website or on a landing page, and deliver the document via email to the email address they enter.

What’s next?

You caught that above, right? Create an opt-in form, put it on your website, and deliver the document via email. That’s important. It’s the only way you’ll know if you have a valid email address. Plus it fulfills the “contract” you make with people in a trackable way – give me your email address, and I’ll give you this document. Simple.

There’s just one thing left to do. Offer it.

That’s right. Now you’ll want to offer this valuable piece of content – something your perfect potential customers will love – to those who haven’t engaged with you for a while. Don’t offer it to your entire list – at least not right away – unless you’re living in “Scenario 1” described above. If that’s the case, then by all means, offer it to your entire list. But, if it’s only a portion of your list that has grown cold, separate those people out into a separate list and make your offer only to them.

What some people do is off-load their disengaged people into a separate list and then use a different email system to send the re-engagement campaign. This is a good practice if you can do it, because your invisible sender reputation will improve if you improve engagement, and sending emails only to people who are already engaged means that automatically your open and click rates will go up. Pretty cool.

Craft an email. Keep it short, and make sure the valuable gift you’re offering can be seen “above the fold.” Remember that many people open emails on their phones, so you want your valuable offer to be visible without scrolling – so no big header images please. Keep it simple. Provide a link to your opt-in page with a brief explanation about what they’ll get. Simple.

Wait – don’t do this… unless

In all seriousness, there’s a reason NOT to attempt to re-engage with the people who haven’t heard from you or haven’t been reading your emails for a while. Don’t re-engage if you don’t intend to KEEP ENGAGING. That’s right. The last thing you want is to set yourself up for running re-engagement campaigns all the time because you’re not engaging. Have a plan for how you’ll keep the people on your list engaged. The simplest way of all to do this is to regularly publish blog posts. I wrote a post about that a while back – check it out.

In conclusion…

So many marketers are so concerned with creating customers that they forget to make people WANT to be customers. Pushing offers at people all the time doesn’t make them trust. It doesn’t make them want to be customers. Don’t be one of those marketers. Engage with people, recognizing that everyone on your list isn’t going to buy from you – at least not today.

If they aren’t engaging, offer something that will make them sit up and take notice. You’ll get one of two things – either more people who are engaged and could become one of your customers or evidence that you aren’t as dialed in to your perfect potential customer as you thought you were. Sales are great, without a doubt. Knowledge is also great. Celebrate both.