So you’ve ignored your email list:
How to Re-engage the Audience that Actually Signed Up to Hear From You
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I can’t tell you how many of my clients come to me with a complete disinterest in email marketing.
“I delete all those emails,” they say.
“Email stresses everyone out. I don’t want to add to the noise!” they protest.
“Besides, everyone is having conversations on social media, not email,” they argue.
I smile and patiently regale them with what I know to be true.
of adults check their email first thing in the morning before anything else
Past studies indicate that this is the ROI you should be able to see if you adopt the right email marketing strategy
The amount of times more effective email marketing is than facebook & twitter put together
Stats from Litmus Branding
You may ignore a fair share of emails that pop into your inbox, but you’d be surprised by the number of emails you do open and care about if you tracked your behavior for a week.
Email is not going away anytime soon. And no matter how much it stresses us out, email marketing is still the number one way to engage your audience with your newest and best content, gain support for your projects, and sell your services and products.
OK, now you’re convinced. But what if you have an email list you’ve ignored for months or even years?
What do you do now?
Instead of randomly popping back into the lives of your email subscribers with your next big announcement, it’s important to re-introduce yourself, your services, what and why you email, and how they can expect to hear from you in the future.
your re-introduction campaign
I’m going to call this a “re-introduction campaign” and it’s important for several reasons.
For one, we all hate getting ghosted, because we are humans who want love and appreciation and attention. What a concept, right?! You emailing something random after a long hiatus is like your ex texting you “Sup?” after not speaking to him for over a year.
It’s not cute. It makes no sense. And the little spark it ignites feeds a larger flame of “ughhhhhh whyyy???”
Being human also has its merits in terms of your tech. If you email without warning, and your subscribers don’t remember who you are (this is what happens when you don’t show up consistently!), they may get angry and mark you as spam.
Your email program does not like spammers. You may be suspected of adding folks to your list without permission and get penalized by being sent straight to spam in the future.
So what should your re-introduction email sequence include?
#1 - An Apology
Every solopreneur or small business has lapses in communication or has to press pause on something in their marketing at some time or other in order to have time to just run their business.
That’s ok. And understandable.
But ghosting on your email subscribers is essentially saying “you don’t matter very much” to the people who are so excited about what you offer that they gave you their precious contact information.
Say you’re sorry you haven’t been around. You don’t have to give any excuses.
Important note to my ladies, in particular – don’t be overly apologetic. We say we’re sorry far more often than men do, and we should train ourselves out of that. Being human is paramount. Being honest is appreciated. Feeling guilty is unnecessary.
#2 - Re-introduce who you are and what you offer.
Don’t labor over this section very long. You probably have everything you need to say on the About page of your website.
Who are you? Why might they be on your list? What do you have to offer that’s of value to them? Remind them.
#3 - Tell them what they missed.
Depending on how long they haven’t heard from you, there may be a lot to share here. Give them the highlights.
Are there resources, tips, or tricks they missed? Share some links so they can read them.
If there are major accolades or announcements they haven’t heard about, sum them up with gusto.
If you’ve been more active on Facebook or Instagram, or you’re regularly publishing podcast episodes, link them here so they can review and catch up.
Don’t make this a self-serving laundry list. Make sure everything you’re sharing here is something your subscriber may have really benefited from when it was first available.
#4 - Tell them when they can expect to hear from you again.
You’re never going to leave them hanging again, are you? Good. 😉
So let them know when they can expect to hear from you – how frequently, if there’s a specific day of the week or month. And if you’re re-engaging them because you have something to sell soon, be sure to give them a heads up that you’ll be writing about a specific opportunity or offer.
Communication is always smoother and more pleasant when we set clear expectations.
You’ll probably get a fair amount of unsubscribes when you re-introduce yourself to your list. Breathe. This is normal, expected, and really, a win.
If you don’t take the time to re-educate your email list, you might be emailing to a bunch of people who are no longer interested in what you have to offer. Depending on your list size, you might even be paying for those people to remain on your list, not opening or clicking on anything, but being too lazy to unsubscribe.
When someone hits that unsubscribe button, it is a gift. They’re alerting you that they no longer want to hear from you, and good! You do not want to spend time on people who don’t want to spend time (or money!) on you.
Think about this process as saging your email list. You’re just clearing the space. 🔮
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I strategize, consult and manage digital marketing and communications for small businesses and creative entrepreneurs. I’m based in Brooklyn, because I have a thing for exposed brick, cozy, local coffee shops and the can’t stop, won’t stop energy of New York.
Because I work with small companies, I get the chance to really know my clients – what makes them tick and how and why they should stand out in a crowded marketplace. A lot of my clients have a smaller staff, a limited budget and are already stretched thin for time. This leads us to tailor marketing strategies and solutions to each company’s unique needs and actual capacity.