How To Email Your-Abandoned List

How to Email Your Abandoned Email List

You've abandoned your subscribers. You sent them the freebie they signed up for or the product they bought, but you haven't emailed them in ages. They've forgotten about you. So how do you reactivate an email list? How do you go back to emailing your poor abandoned subscribers and keep them engaged and happy? 

Well, wouldn't we all love the know?!

So let's get into it. 


(2:45) Why you can't just email your subscribers when you need something from them.
(4:33) Why you should look at your email marketing from your subscribers' perspective.
(5:30) Why you don't want to start bombarding your subscribers out of the blue.
(8:48) Why you need to hold your hands up and come clean with your subscribers.
(9:32) How to remind your subscribers of who you are and what you sell.
(10:12) How to build expectations for what's to come.
(13:00) Why you should give your subscribers permission to opt out.
(14:30) How to decide on a frequency and stick with it.
(16:05) Why the best time to reactivate your email list is now. 
(17:32) Subject line of the week.

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Is it time to reactivate your email list?

So you've done what a lot of people do.

You've neglected your list.

The question is… how do you go back in their good books now? And what are some of the dangers of just emailing them out of the blue? 

Thing is, you can't just email your subscribers when you need something from them – when you have something to sell. It doesn't work like that. If you don't give your subscribers value on a regular basis, they won't be there when you need them

The dangers of emailing your list after a long time

If you've abandoned your subscribers, fear not! There are ways to reactivate your list. You just need to do it carefully and with a bit of thought. And the first thing we suggest you do, like our friend Kath Pay suggests, is to look at your list from your subscribers' perspective.

The first thing you don't want to do, in fact, is to suddenly start bombarding your subscribers. Because when you leave your email list for too long, your subscribers forget who you are. And if they can't remember you, you're the random guy or gal who's emailing them out of the blue because you want something. 

Not. Cool. 

So put yourself in the shoes of your subscribers (who, by this point, don't remember you or your business) and think about how you randomly emailing them will look like. They might be upset and frustrated and unsubscribe, right? Clearly, your relationship with that person isn't positive by this point, and you can't sell to someone you don't have a positive relationship with. This definitely affects your reputation as an email marketer.

But there's more. It also impacts your deliverability rate. Because if you have a bunch of people who suddenly unsubscribe and report your email as spam on the same day and within hours of each other, then you might have a bit of a problem. 

So what's the solution? 

How to reactivate an email list 

Hold your hands up. Come clean and be honest with your list. Tell them you haven't emailed them for a long time, and that you know that's not very good of you. What you want to do now is to slowly start to re-engage them and bring them back in

Remind them of who you are and what you sell 



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So get in touch and remind them of who you are and of what brought them onto your list in the first place. Did they sign up for a lead magnet? Did they buy something from you? Make sure you mention the product – people are more likely to remember the name of the product or what it did than your name. So remind them of who you are and what you sell. 

Manage expectations

The other thing you need to do is to build expectations for what's to come next. Tell people what they can expect from now on and why this is going to benefit them. What will you include in your emails? What value do they offer to your subscribers? People don't care about your emails – they care about what they're going to get out of them. So tell them how often you're going to be emailing them and remind them of the benefits that your emails deliver to them. 

Inside The League, we share the Terrible Friend Campaign with our members. That teaches you how to seed a piece of content that's to come inside your email, so you can start to build an email campaign that isn't just about re-engagement and re-building and nurturing a relationship. You can weave in your product as well if you do it in the right way and embrace value-driven email marketing.  

Give them permission to unsubscribe

That's right. You read that right. 

Because it's important is to give them a way out. Tell them what's coming next and, in the same breath, give them a chance to opt out. Spammy, bad people don't do that. So that sets you apart as a good guy. A good guy who made a mistake. Because let's face it – it's your fault. You're the one who didn't show up and maintain that relationship with your subscribers.

And of course, by telling them exactly where the unsubscribe button is, you'll have fewer people actually taking that option because you've been honest and upfront. And because, hopefully, you've sold them the benefit of sticking around. 

Don't do it again

And now you're on your way to fixing things, just don't do it again. If you said you're going to show up, show up!

Make email marketing a habit. Because email marketing is the highest ROI activity of businesses of all sizes and stages around the world. And if you create an email habit, you'll find it easier to stick to it.

We find it easier to email every day than to email once a week, for example. Because it's just a thing we do every day now – not something we need to remember to do once a week or whenever. So decide when you're going to email your subscribers, tell them, and then show up when you said you would!  

The best time to reactivate an email list is now

We call it Dreaded Dentist. The longer you put off going to the dentist, the worse the issue gets. Reactivating your email list is the same.

The best time you could possibly start re-engaging your list was yesterday. Or the day before. Or last month. Whenever it went cold. The second best time to start re-engaging your email list is right now. And the longer you put it off, the worse off you'll be. So start now! 

Subject line of the week 

This week's subject line of the week is, “Dodo versus toenail”. This is a subject line that Kennedy used at the back of a conversation with his partner Emma, where he used the expression “dead as a toenail”. To which Emma said, “Don't you mean dead as a dodo?”. So which one is it? Toenail or dodo?

Anyway, that's the story behind the subject line.

But why did the subject line work? Because Kennedy put together two totally unrelated things. Sure, the back story here linked them together. But you had to read the email to find out what it was all about because, at face value, the two concepts were unrelated. And that triggers curiosity. Clever, huh? 

Useful Episode Resources

Related episodes

Subscriber-Centric Email Marketing with Kath Pay, author of Holistic Email Marketing.

How Often Should You Email – Emailing More Often.

What should I talk about in my emails? Email marketing content ideas you’ll use.

FREE list of the top 10 books to improve your email marketing

If you want to write better emails, come up with better content, and move your readers to click and buy, here's how. We put together this list of our Top 10 most highly recommended books that will improve all areas of your email marketing (including some underground treasures that we happened upon, which have been game-changing for us). Grab your FREE list here

Join our FREE Facebook group

If you want to chat about how you can maximise the value of your email list and make more money from every subscriber, we can help! We know your business is different, so come and hang out in our FREE Facebook group, the Email Marketing Show Community for Course Creators and Coaches. We share a lot of training and resources, and you can talk about what you're up to.

Try ResponseSuite for $1

This week's episode is sponsored by ResponseSuite.com, the survey quiz and application form tool that we created specifically for small businesses like you to integrate with your marketing systems to segment your subscribers and make more sales. Try it out for 14 days for just $1.

Join The League Membership

Not sick of us yet? Every day we hang out in our amazing community of Email Marketing Heroes, where we get to share all of our training and campaigns and a whole bunch of other stuff. If you're looking to learn how to use psychology-driven marketing to level up your email campaigns, come and check out The League Membership. It's the number one place to hang out and grow your email marketing by applying everything we talk about in this show.

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