How to create Re-engagement Segments

Back in the previous module, about keeping a healthy list, we covered how to bring inactive subscribers back to life before deleting them from your list completely.

Re-engagement Campaign

This is done with what we call a “Re-engagement Campaign.” A campaign design specifically to to target an inactive section of your list.

It’s a practice commonly used in the e-commerce segment, to motivate new orders…

Pinkberry re-engagement campaign

But there are other scenarios to send this type of campaigns:

SAAS startups use them when a user has become inactive, never activated or went through the free trial period without signing up for a paid plan.

This is an example of a re-engagement campaign from Coschedule, my free trial is about to expire and I haven’t signed up yet.

Coschedule re-engagement campaign

Or the already classic, clean-up campaign, mostly used by bloggers.

Clean-up campaign

Do they work?

Re-engagement campaign have an obvious lower open rate, after all, these individuals have been ignoring your previous emails.

According to a study by Return Path, re-engagement campaigns can reach open rates of 12%, while the average overall is 14%. The most interesting thing about these campaigns is the after effect, the same study says that 45% of the subscribers who received re-engagement campaigns read subsequent emails.

subsequent engagement

How to segment inactive subscribers

Okay, so we know re-engagement campaigns work and could have a positive impact in your email. Now, let’s look at how you should create segments for this type of emails.

The key here, as in any other segment, is the data:

1) Campaign activity

The first piece will be based on campaign activity, since you’re after inactive subscribers, you should use “No Opens.”

Determine the inactivity by the number of campaigns that have not been opened, or the period of time (haven’t opened any emails in the last X months).

By campaign activity

2) Date of signup

While the whole thing is based on inactivity, this piece of data is crucial here, because if you simply use the campaign activity criteria, you might end up sending this to people that recently signed up.

By specifying this date, you’re excluding all those recent subscribers that should not be getting this email.

by date added


One more thing before you go.

Because of the nature of this type of campaign, many people feel like rescuing these deadbeat subscribers is all gravy, and that’s cool, but that doesn’t mean you’re not going to measure the results.

After sending the campaign, keep the segment saved in your dashboard, so you can…

  • Measure the immediate results: How many people were you able to re-engage
  • Subsequent engagement: Analyze the segment after a few campaigns to see if they kept engaging

After all, the goal of the re-engagement is not to get a click on the campaign, but that they are reminded of your brand and re-engage with it.