Top re-engagement emails and some tips on how to reinvigorate your list

Top re-engagement emails and some tips on how to reinvigorate your list

Re-engagement emails seem to be some of the most popular on Pinterest at the moment, with many of them being pinned, saved and viewed hundreds of times. This makes complete sense considering that it’s becoming harder and harder to keep a large audience engaged for long periods of time. It seems like there is a new mobile app or social website coming out every few months to further distract your subscribers.

Furthermore, ISPs these days really do take a close look at the overall engagement of your emails across all of your subscribers and decide for users whether your email should appear in the inbox or the spam folder, making it even more important to make sure you are re-engaging your subscribers on a regular basis.

So, let’s take a look at some of the most popular re-engagement emails.


This re-engagement email from Surf Stitch does a lot of stuff right and is one of my personal favs. They have a friendly tone and mention that the subscriber hasn’t been reading their emails in a while, so they should check out what they’ve missed out on. You do have to be careful with this type of message since technically their subscribers could still be opening their emails with images turned off and SurfStitch wouldn’t know, however, I think it’s probably fine in this case since their emails are very image heavy.

The links to new products, brands and to check out the latest stories on the blog are nice touches, but what I really like is the call to action at the bottom of the email to update your preferences or change your email frequency. One of the biggest reasons that I and I think many others unsubscribe is because we receive too many sales emails and don’t have a way to change this. My only recommendation would be to put this call to action closer to the top of the email as I feel like a lot of their unengaged subscribers are going to miss it. Otherwise, this is an awesome example which you should take some inspiration from.

Chain Reaction Cycles


There’s also a lot to love about this email from Chain Reaction. They do a great job of telling you that you’ve not been opening their emails, without actually saying that. Plus they make you scroll through 5 reasons why they think you should start opening again before giving you a discount code.

Not On The High Street

You’ve got to love Not On The High Street’s straight to the point re-engagement email. Why not just kick things off with some bribery to get your subscribers re-engaged, nothing wrong with that, as long as you aren’t expecting that in itself to get your subscribers opening and clicking again long term. For that to happen, you really need to make changes to the types of content that you’re sending that person and the frequency of your emails. Luckily, Not On The High Street also ask their subscribers to update their preferences so that they can send them more relevant emails or unsubscribe entirely. I know that asking people to unsubscribe is scary for many marketers, but it’s honestly better than sending emails to people who no longer want to receive them or no longer see them as they are re-routed to the spam folder.



This example from Missguided has a great design which encourages you to scroll down the email and if you look carefully, has some interesting wording which mentions the fact that the unengaged subscriber hasn’t browsed their website recently. I’m not entirely sure if this email is targeted towards people who they know haven’t browsed recently, but I really like the idea of targeting those people. Why not look at website inactivity for these emails rather than just opens and clicks. I would love to know if anyone is actually doing this and how it performs. Please comment at the bottom of the page if you’ve tried this out.

Urban Outfitters

I know, you’ve probably seen this example from Urban Outfitters ages ago. It’s still one of the best creatives for a re-engagement email out there in my opinion and worth mentioning here. Urban Outfitters definitely aren’t afraid to ask for the unsubscribe and they do it with style. I think they could have potentially had a third option for updating preferences or reducing the frequency of their emails.

Top tips for re-engagement emails

  • Remind your subscribers why they signed up in the first place and what they missed out on while they were away
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for the unsubscribe. If your subscribers want to keep receiving your emails they’ll stay, if they don’t, do you really want them still on your active list? You’re going to get better deliverability and engagement by only sending to people who want to receive your emails, so stop trying to stop subscribers from leaving you.
  • Offer a discount, but don’t trick yourself into thinking that will magically improve your engagement problems, it probably won’t have a big impact in the long term. Focus more on getting your subscribers to change their content and frequency preferences so that they only receive relevant and timely emails from you.
  • If you have the technology, also try targeting disengaged website visitors with this type of email.
  • Ideally, try and automate these emails instead of sending them in batches every once in a while. It’s better to trigger a series of re-engagement emails as someone shows signs of becoming un-engaged than to do it once every six months.
  • Subject lines are key to grabbing the attention of your unengaged subscribers, so try testing a few different ideas to see what works best for your particular audience.
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