Ending up with a cold email list can happen to the best of us. You spend time growing your email list and sending out consistent messaging, but then you get busy, and now your list is cold. People can forget you seemingly overnight so sending a message out of the blue is a bad idea. The good news is you can recover your list and get them to be more engaged than ever. Let’s look at how to organize your database, what type of re-engagement email to send and how to stay on top of sending email moving forward.
Get Your Database Organized
If you haven't defined your marketing and sales funnel you need to define it before you move forward. You need to have a clearer picture of who is in your database.
Everyone's funnel is a little different, but basically, you have Leads, Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL's), Sales Qualified Leads (SQL's), Opportunities, Closed Won or Closed Lost. Once you have determined your funnel, then you need to add it to your CRM. There are a lot of software programs out there so do your homework and find out which one is best for you. I have found success with HubSpot, and I highly recommend it. It automatically connects all of your marketing and sales so it easy to keep track of everything.
For example, if someone signs up for your blog they will become a lead. If someone downloads an eBook, they become an MQL. If someone asks for a demo, they become an SQL.
Next, you need to scrub your lists for any duplicates, unsubscribers, and people who haven't engaged with you recently. It's ultimately up to on how you define recently. Email databases naturally degrade by about 22.5% every year. Contacts’ email addresses change as they move from one company to another. Others abandon old addresses they don't use. So, keep that in mind when you decide who to cut. If someone hasn't ever opened an email or it's been months, it's probably time to cut them. I have seen databases that people haven't opened an email in years. I always wonder why they keep those contacts? Are they a contact if they opted out two years ago?
What to Send to Bring Life Back to Your List
Now that your list is cold you need to come up with a new a few new email marketing campaigns to get people re-engaged. Setting up marketing automation is your best bet with a series to try more than once to get people back engaged.
Send them a joke about email or something related to your industry. Starting off with a little humor can go a long way to recovering your relationship.
Come out with it already and tell them you messed up. You could say something like It's been awhile since I last emailed you. I am sorry. Things got busy, and I got distracted. You are important to me, so I wanted to offer you this…(valuable content)
Give them a choice
We are cleaning up our email list and wanted to know if you still want to get offers from us. Click on Stay or Go.
Provide them with a deal
It’s been awhile since we have contacted you. We want to apologize for that silence and offer you % off your next purchase.
You could breeze over the fact you dropped the ball and started up a new conversation. People are so busy they may not even notice you stopped emailing them. You could let them know your email has gotten a new design and direct them to new content on your website.
Stay On Top of Email Moving Forward
Now that you have re-engaged your audience you don't want to lose them again. You need to stay on top of sending a regular email.
So, what does that look like for you? Why did you stop sending email?
A lot of people will be gung ho and then lose momentum over time. If you were sending weekly emails out before you dropped out you should consider dropping the emails back to bi-monthly. If you were sending bi-monthly emails, cut them back to monthly. The goal is to be consistent with high-quality content and offers.
Lack of Content
It can be hard to write and create new content for your own business. We all get stuck inside the business and can't see what people want from us. Consider sending out a survey in your re-engagement email. Use it to figure out what topics people are interested and then craft your upcoming campaigns around it.
Lack of Planning
You need to be planning out your marketing campaigns in advance. Start with getting ahead by 30 days, then 90 days, then six months and then a year. Even if you just outline what that would look like you will be better off. Having a clear direction on what you want to share with your list is a vital part of your business. You should also take advantage of email marketing automation. It will make your life so much easier!
Lack of Time
I get it. You're busy. We are all busy, but we do all make time for the things that are most important. Statistics show time and time again that email marketing is the number one way to convert leads into customers. You need to carve out time in your calendar to create and schedule your emails or get some help.
Length of Emails
Gone are the days of writing a monthly newsletter with multiple topics. We used to write about what was new, an employee spotlight and even a recipe. Now short, sweet and to the point is the way to go. You don’t need to put a lot of information in your emails.
I talk to people all the time that their email lists are out of date, unorganized and ineffective. Email marketing plays a critical role in your marketing and sales funnel. It’s where a lot of your leads convert into customers. So, don’t beat yourself up over dropping off the grid. However, you do need to get back on track and stay on track.