Once your team has put effort and energy into an important email campaign, it’s disappointing not to see the results you were hoping for. There are so many factors that go into why someone may or may not open an email or newsletter, that it’s often worth giving your message a second chance.
In this article, we’ll share how resending emails may help you increase engagement, along with tips for strategically following up on unopened emails.
Table of contents
Why you should resend emails
When considering why you might resend emails, think about your own email inbox and all the reasons you might not open an email even if it’s relevant to you. You may receive an interesting email at a time of day when you’re busy with something else. Perhaps the email subject line doesn’t clearly match the content inside and you aren’t intrigued enough to open it.
Even with relevant information from companies we love, emails can easily get lost. Resending emails allows your team to A/B test things like subject lines, messaging, CTAs and sending times. From this data, you can determine whether your audience truly isn’t interested in your emails (or certain types, like sales emails vs. educational emails) or if you simply need to tweak certain elements to re-engage them. For example, maybe your email newsletter open rates are low because even though people are interested, it’s a long message they want to save but forget to come back to.
How to resend email campaigns that get opened
Depending on your email marketing strategy, there are many approaches you can take to optimize your emails and improve newsletter open rates. Here are a few strategies for updating your email templates, formats, designs or content in order to improve deliverability, expand reach and increase your conversion rate.
1. Consider behavioral segmentation
People likely won’t open emails, especially newsletters, if they don’t feel relevant. Segmenting your audience by behavior and demographics is incredibly important to ensuring you send good emails that feel personalized and thoughtful. Behavioral segmentation can be especially powerful when combined with subject line testing and marketing flows.
Here’s how this might look in practice. Let’s say the subject line of your original email was about a sale, offering up to 50% off all items. It sounds like a great deal, so your team may be wondering why it didn’t generate a higher open rate. If you dig into your customer metrics, you may find that there are two large segments of customers that respond to different types of incentives.
One segment tends to click mainly on scarcity language, e.g. “only 5 items left!” and another is really interested in customer reviews, e.g. “Check out our item with 1k+ 5 star reviews.” Consider testing new subject lines that cater specifically to these behaviors, instead of assuming everyone will be incentivized by a big sale.
2. A/B test your changes
You never want to resend an email exactly as it was without changing anything. That will annoy your audience and potentially make them unsubscribe to your mailing list. Sometimes, something as seemingly small as a subject line or a tweaked CTA can make all the difference.
Here are some email components to consider A/B testing.
A tailored subject line will make or break newsletter open rates. If engagement or conversions aren’t high the first time, consider how you can get non-clickers interested in your email a second time. This will work best in tandem when you consider behavioral segmentation. What can you say in just a handful of words to appeal to a specific target audience’s motivations or behaviors?
Consider testing emojis, shorter vs. longer subject lines and language that aligns with unique behaviors and triggers.
Maybe your email open rate was great, but you were surprised by a lack of conversions. Consider A/B testing new CTAs. This could be copy like “Buy now” or “Learn more”, or visual changes, like making the CTA button bigger or bolder.
A simple and intuitive user experience can be the difference between a reader completing an action or navigating away.
Most brands have several messaging pillars, for example, a clothing company may talk about its sustainable supply chain, its giveback model and fashion-forward styling. If this company sends a message to their entire email list highlighting their sustainable supply chain above all else, more than half of their audience may not be interested.
To combat this, they could consider segmenting out those who tend to click on fashion-forward content or emails and tweaking the messaging to fit their interests. Then, segment their email list to exclude those who engaged with the sustainable supply chain email.
Now, each segment is receiving an email newsletter tailored specifically to their interests, which boosts interest and engagement.
Maybe you sent your initial email message first thing on a Monday morning, when people are drowning in their post-weekend inbox. Or on a Friday afternoon when everyone is trying to wrap up the week. Send times impact open rates and engagement, so optimize what works best for your audience by testing send time windows.
Who your email is coming from can impact how many people open it. An email from your founder, for example, may feel more personalized and worth opening than general promotional emails.
3. Reach your audience in new ways
Sometimes our inboxes become overwhelming, which is where other marketing channels can be helpful. Follow-up with non-openers via SMS, for example, to test whether they actually weren’t interested in your email, or if perhaps they prefer other means of communication.
You can also leverage ads to get your message in front of your audience via social media. If someone hasn’t opened an email, they might click on the same CTA if they noticed it in an ad on LinkedIn or Facebook.
When you should resend an email
There’s a difference between thoughtfully and strategically resending an email and spamming your audience. Here are a few things to keep in mind when considering when (and whether) to resend an email:
Wait at least a few days before re-sending an email. People sometimes don’t even open emails they’re very interested in reading, so give your audience 2-4 days to open the first email.
Think about the number of emails you’ve recently sent. Perhaps your low open rate is because you’ve sent a lot of messages recently, or you haven’t emailed in a long time. Your personal email marketing metrics can help you figure out how frequently your email recipients want to hear from you.
Don’t resend every single email campaign. Only resend emails if you have a hypothesis (and ideally tested it) as to why it wasn’t successful and what you think (or are told via data) will make it better.
Leverage your email marketing benchmarks. This is important when determining whether a campaign or message is worth resending. You have existing data (such as bounce rates, unsubscribe rates, unique opens and industry average click-through rates or CTR), so if a campaign falls within expected or ideal outcomes, it’s not worth resending.
When done well, resending emails is a great way to learn more about your audience and increase engagement. Whether you’re looking to increase newsletter open rates or sales numbers, there are a lot of tests you can do and tweaks you can make to find the best way to reach your audience.