Acquiring a genuine email list is not easy, and adding new subscribers to your list has become tougher in the GDPR era. Thus, before chasing new customers, you need to make sure that you are not losing out on existing subscribers due to poor engagement and lack of communication.

Why Do Subscribers Become Inactive?

Intent, engagement, and purchase are the most common reasons of subscription, but eventually a significant number of subscribers go cold. Before you try to re-engage your subscribers, you must try to figure out why they became inactive.


Are you sending too many mails without adding any value? If yes, your subscribers have probably added you to their spam folder or they have started ignoring your mails. Never keep mailing indiscriminately. If you do, then you will never be taken seriously.


Is your mailing frequency too low? Is the fear of spamming your subscribers preventing you from sending them adequate number of mails? If you do not have an active presence in their inbox, they might soon forget who you are, and what you can do for them. If you are out of their sight, you might be out of their mind.


This problem is solely related to the content of your emails. Even if the frequency of your mails is optimum, poor content will drive your subscribers away. In this age of customization and personalization, people do not expect generic content. They want content relevant to their interests and needs.


There might be several people on your email list who may have subscribed for a one-time purchase, or a specific facility, coupon, perk, etc. and they may not be interested in continuing their relationship with you in the future. Ensure email list hygiene and filter such subscribers at the earliest, so that you do not end up wasting your resources on them.

Apart from the ones mentioned above there might be several other reasons why the subscribers on your list have become inactive. Once you have a rough idea about the reason of inactivity, then you can design an appropriate re-engagement strategy.

How to Re-Engage Subscribers?

As the name suggests, email re-engagement aims to re-establish the line of communication with your inactive subscribers. The three major goals of an email re-engagement campaign are:

  • To identify the subscribers who might be interested in doing business with you, but are unfortunately not in touch with you.
  • To ensure list hygiene through list cleansing, so that inactive subscribers with zero scope of re-engagement can be removed from the list.
  • To minimize the risk of being marked as SPAM.

Along with the objectives mentioned above, your campaign can have goals like, reduce the percentage of inactive subscribers in a specific duration, increase click-through rates, etc. Every successful email re-engagement campaign hinges on the following:

Identification of Inactive Subscribers

Specify an inactivity window, and monitor your list for inactivity. Only if you isolate the inactive subscribers, the success of your re-engagement campaign can be measured. You can use marketing automation solutions which will help you spot inactivity and automatically trigger reactivation mails.

Content and Offers

An email re-engagement campaign gives you an opportunity to test new content and offers. Change the style and voice of your content. Your goal is to attract the subscriber, use better font, visuals, colours, buttons etc. You can also give exclusive incentives and special offers, to convince them that the business relationship with you is worth continuing.

Easy Opt-In and Opt-Out

Earlier companies made subscribing easy, but exiting an email list difficult. Today, if you desperately try to keep your subscribers even if they show no interest of staying in touch, then you are not only making your way into their spam list, but also violating GDPR guidelines and attracting severe penalties.

Through a well-designed email re-engagement campaign you can wake up sleepy subscribers and persuade them to do business with you again. Frequent email re-engagement campaigns will keep your email list up-to-date and effective.