Have you ever gone through old photo albums and wondered whatever happened to those people? I wonder how they’re doing. I should check in on them. But then you never do.

That might be acceptable in your social life (although you should give them a call), but when you’re looking back at long-lost friends on your email subscriber list, you definitely should think about re-engaging with them.

Not only do you miss them, but they can be affecting your click rates and engagement.

The truth is—there are ways to revive them from the dead and revive that friendship you once had. And we’re here to tell you how.

But first—how did you lose their engagement in the first place?


If you’re going to find re-engage with subscribers on your “dead list,”  you have to find out how you lost them in the first place.

Hopefully, it’s not because you stopped sending them emails altogether. If that’s what you discover, you should probably rethink your entire email-marketing strategy and then resume when you figure things out.

More than likely, however, it’s probably because your subscribers just had a short attention span.

Perhaps they just needed your product or service only once or twice and then never needed it again.

Odds are, though, that your emails weren’t registering with them in a manner that would get them to engage. And that’s ok—you can fix that!

Here are a few more-often-than-not reasons that some subscribers have slipped onto your dead list:

You’re Sending Too Many Emails

Yes, I know you want to send, send, transmit, but sometimes you need to let people breathe. Not everyone is as excited about your new product or blog post as you are and email fatigue is an enormous reason why so many people around the world disengage with a company or brand.

There’s a sweet spot. Make sure you have all the data you can find on your subscribers for maximum segmentation and optimization.

Eventually, you’ll find out whether once a week, once a month, or once a day is the right amount of emails to send to your list for your particular business.

You Have the Wrong Kind of Leads

This one’s pretty self-explanatory, but if your leads don’t sync up to the content you’re sending in your emails, you’re going to have disengagement.

Take a second look at your lead generation tactics and see why you’re perhaps attracting anyone other than your ideal customer.


From there you can re-strategize and get the perfect leads which will cause you to see an uptick in email engagement.

There’s Not Enough Value in What You’re Sending

Value, in this sense, is not sending your subscribers things they find interesting or helpful. Worse than that, if they feel like all you ever do is try and sell them something, then they are far more likely to disengage.

Take a second look at the actual content in your emails. Is it something that your subscribers want to take the time to read?

Now, we mentioned segmentation up there, and we believe that’s something to take the time to do before we get into re-engagement. Let’s tell you how.


Now that you’ve taken the time to discover precisely why your dead list subscribers stopped engaging with you, it’s time to take the steps necessary to get them back. We believe that starts with segmentation.

If you don’t know, segmentation means dividing your list into different groups, or segments.

The reason segmentation is so important is because just like people you meet in real life, not every email is perfect for every subscriber.

If you have a group of people who still actively engage with your emails, they shouldn’t be included in the process.

Instead, try sending your dead list subscribers a list of questions like how often they want to be contacted, or what kind of content they want to see in an email from you.

Know this information is a crucial step in getting them back into your grasp.

The time has come. Let’s discover how correctly to re-engage your customers.


By this point, you’ve discovered why you have inactive users, and you’ve segmented them into lists according to their interests and sending-frequency preferences.

Remember, there was a reason they disengaged from you in the first place. It might be wise to change up your strategy and not try again just because you segmented your list.

Just with an effective email campaign, your subject line makes all the difference, and that’s where your re-engagement strategy should start.


The Subject Line

This is one of the first things your subscriber will see, so it has to catch their eye.

Something like “We Miss You” or “Would You Still Like to Hear From Us” are effective headlines when reaching out to your dead list subscribers.

In fact, using the customer’s name in the subject line has been known to increase their engagement by up to 14 percent. A modest uptick, but it’s something!

The Body

If you go into this with the mindset that at one point in time these subscribers wanted something from your company, you’re on the right track.

Look back at the content you were sent when they first signed up. What have you changed since then? Was there something you used to offer that you no longer do? A feature you used to have that’s gone away?

If so, try and write that kind of content again and see if they re-engage. Once you’ve hooked them, giving them extra value like a 30 percent coupon or exclusive access to something might be the shot in the arm they need to re-engage.


Your call-to-action needs to be visible and be clear to your customers what they’re going to do if they click it. Take a look at this excellent example from Netflix:

CTA example


Please be aware that typically you only want to have one CTA in your email, especially re-engagement emails as to not overwhelm your subscriber.

Don’t be afraid to play around with your strategies and don’t give up!


Odds are your re-engagement strategy will only be opened by your dead list subscribers about 45 percent of the time.

The rest of them should be cut from your list.

Oh, that’s morbid.

No, not really. That’s because inactive users hurt your emails in so many different ways which you can read about in another of our posts.

Taking the time to cut those non-active users with email validation tools goes a long way towards reaching your email marketing goals.

Hopefully, we’ve been able to give you some hope in reconnecting with your dead list subscribers. Don’t give up!

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