Win them back (and boost engagement) with a winback campaign!


Anti-spammers and deliverability folks might think of this as a Permission Pass email. And indeed, Spamhaus has a whole guide describing how they think you should do it properly. But in addition to confirming and cleaning up certain types of problematic email lists, an email message process similar to this can be helpful to boost engagement, and boost deliverability and marketing success at the same time.

Deliverability people call them re-engagement emails, while marketers call them winback campaigns. By either term, they're extremely valuable as part of a "lifecycle management process" where you you might take one or more tries to "re-engage" (request a response / look for a sign of life) from non-responding recipients, and then, if they don't respond, either suppress them (or apply other strategy) to get them out of the way of most mailings. The goal at the end of the day is to reduce the amount of mail sent to people who don't respond, because lower engagement metrics are likely to hurt your sending reputation and land your emails in the spam folder.

So, it's good for spam fighting, good for marketing, good for deliverability reputation and engagement. Find people who haven't responded in a while, and give it your best shot, sending them something interesting and compelling to see if they respond.

And what strategy should one apply to these winback campaigns? What kind of content or messaging should you use? Valeria Shulga from email marketing platform ECOMZ (Unisender) recently posted excellent guidance on both of these points; when to start and what kind of messages to send, with some great examples. It's not necessarily a "one size fits all" scenario, but this guidance is a great starting point. Check it out here!

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