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Instead of simply deleting cold subscribers, why not try and reactivate them? Here’s my step by step guide to running a reactivation campaign for your cold subscribers.
We all know that regularly cleaning your email list is super important. But before you hit the delete button, is there a better way?
Running a reactivation campaign first, before you delete your cold subscribers, will help you make sure that you are not accidentally deleting warm subscribers and give cold subscribers one last chance, before they get removed from your list.
The problem with open rates…
One of the problems with cleaning your list of subscribers who never open your emails is the way open rates are calculated. A subscriber is classed as having opened an email if the images from that email have been displayed or if someone has clicked a link.
But it is entirely possible for a subscriber to have read every single one of your emails – but in the preview pane, or without displaying images. This means this subscriber would be incorrectly classed as cold, even though they are actually very warm!
One way to get round this problem is to send a reactivation campaign.
What is a reactivation campaign?
A reactivation campaign is a short sequence of maybe 2 or 3 emails designed to reactivate cold subscribers on your list. In this kind of campaign you send emails asking your subscribers to do one thing – click a link if they want to stay on your list (and do nothing if they don’t). A few days after the last email is sent, you will simply delete all of the subscribers who did not click the link.
Here’s how to do it step-by-step…
How to reactivate cold subscribers – step by step
STEP 1: Create a tag
The first step is to create the tag ‘Cold Subscriber: Doing Reactivation Sequence’.
STEP 2: Create a success page
Now create a simple ‘success’ page on your blog that subscribers will be sent to if they click the link in your reactivation emails.
This needn’t be fancy – just a simple page with a title that says SUCCESS! and some text along the lines of ‘Thank you for clicking the link! You are still on the list 😀’
You can see my success page HERE
STEP 3: Create a rule
Now create a simple rule that when anyone clicks on the success page link, they are tagged with ‘Cold Subscriber Reactivated: Do Not Delete!’
STEP 4: Create a reactivation automation
Next, create a simple automation which goes like this: when someone is tagged with ‘Cold Subscriber: Doing Reactivation Sequence’ they are sent a 3 email sequence.
If they click on the link in any of the emails, they are tagged with ‘Cold Subscriber Reactivated: Do Not Delete!’ (because of the rule you created in Step 3) and automatically removed from the sequence (set an ‘event’ of ‘tagged with Cold Subscriber Reactivated: Do Not Delete!’ to pull them out of the sequence).
If they do not click on the link in any of the emails, set a timer delay of 3 days. After this time, tag all the subscribers left in the automation (who didn’t click on the link) as ‘Cold Subscriber: DELETE!’.
Your sequence should look something like this…
If you are a ConvertKit* user, you can copy this exact automation straight into your ConvertKit account by clicking on the special link in my FREE Cold Subscriber Reactivation Swipe Copy download.
STEP 5: Write your reactivation emails
Now write the emails in that reactivation sequence. In each email you should:
- Explain why you are writing…
‘I want to make sure that I’m only sending emails to my readers who are getting a lot of value from them. So I’m removing everyone who isn’t engaged from my list.’
- Tell them what to do if they want to stay on your list…
‘If you want to keep getting my blogging and productivity tips in your inbox every week, click this link to keep receiving emails from me!’
- Include the link to your success page, that you created in Step 2…
‘>>CLICK HERE TO KEEP GETTING EMAILS FROM ME<<‘
- Tell them what will happen if they DON’T click the link…
‘If you no longer want to get emails from me, no action is required. You’ll get removed from my list sometime next week.’
- Tell them how to resubscribe if they change their mind (or don’t read your email for weeks)…
‘If in the future you’d like to hop back in, you can resubscribe any time at productiveblogging.com/subscribe.’
Want me to write the emails for you? Your wish is my command! Just enter your details below and I’ll send you my Cold Subscriber Reactivation Sequence Swipe Copy…
(If you have copied my reactivation automation into your ConvertKit account, these 3 emails will already be loaded into your automation – but do make sure you go into each one of them and adapt them to suit your personal style!)
STEP 6: Set your automation to LIVE
Don’t worry – no-one will get the reactivation emails until they get tagged with ‘Cold Subscriber: Doing Reactivation Sequence’!
STEP 7: Test your automation
It’s always a good idea to test new automations. Tag your email address with the ‘Cold Subscriber: Doing Reactivation Sequence’ tag and check to see that you get the first couple of emails and that when you click the link you get tagged ‘Cold Subscriber Reactivated: Do Not Delete!’, you don’t get any more emails.
STEP 8: Tag your cold subscribers
Follow the instructions in this article to create a segment of all your cold subscribers (or just use the pre-set ‘cold subscribers’ option if you use ConvertKit*). But instead of deleting all of these subscribers, use the bulk action option to tag them all as ‘Cold Subscriber: Doing Reactivation Sequence’.
STEP 9: Let the automation run
You will now need to let the automation run. It is likely that, though some of your email subscribers will click the link, the vast majority won’t. But that’s OK – if they didn’t click any of your links, they really don’t want to be on your list!
STEP 10: Delete the cold subscribers
Now is the scary bit – you need to go into the ‘Cold Subscriber: DELETE!’ tag and delete all the subscribers who have that tag. It might feel a bit scary, but your resulting list will be much cleaner and better!
Repeat every 3-6 months
Now you’ve done it once, you need to keep doing it. Make a note in your diary to redo this process every 3-6 months to keep your list clean and active.
Get my reactivation sequence swipe copy
Want to make your life super easy? Grab my reactivation sequence swipe copy! This 3 email sequence is the exact sequence I send to my email list during a reactivation campaign. Simply copy and paste these emails into your email marketing software, then tweak to match your style.
If you are a ConvertKit* user, I have got even better news for you! As well as the swipe copy, you will get a link that will allow you to copy my entire cold subscriber reactivation automation straight into your ConvertKit account – including all the swipe copy!
Email Marketing Jumpstart
Did you enjoy this blog post? Want more like this? This blog post is actually a sneak peek inside one of the bonus units of Email Marketing Jumpstart – my online, self-access email marketing course for bloggers.
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*This blog post contains affiliate links, this means if you click on a link and go on to buy the product I recommend, I will get a small commission, but you will not be charged a penny more – thanks in advance!