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We ran a re-engagement email experiment + this is what happened
November 8, 2021
Jessie Wootton
Four tips to help you re-engage an email audience and boost those open rates.

Writing emails is hard

Writing emails that people will actually read is, well… nearly impossible. 

It sucks to think that the unread emails piling up in your inbox are the product of someone’s hard work. That’s why learning to write good emails is so important — to connect with your audience and improve your email deliverability. 

Good call.

Recently at Growclass, we ran an internal competition to test different re-engagement emails with our audience. Each team member took a different segment, and had free reign over the email content and how to get people to actually read our emails. 

The rules of the competition were simple: you write three emails, and the rest is up to you. 

For my first email, I wrote a “hey, how’ve you been, we miss you” message to gauge how people were doing since we’d last spoken. It was a simple and personal way to encourage folks to write back. 

For my second email, I created a “wins worksheet” to help people celebrate their achievements. This was my most personal email, where people got to know me better. 

The more people know you, the likelier they are to care about what you have to say.

Or, you know, this could happen.

My third email was an ode to millennials who went through an emo-punk phase in the early 2000’s (I see you, lovers of My Chemical Romance). I created a playlist to delight our subscribers with a little pick-me-up (and, yeah, I’ve been jamming to it ever since).

With these gems, I managed to win our competition — here’s what I learned along the way. 


How to write re-engagement emails worth opening:

1. Give your audience something valuable

In every email you craft, give the audience something valuable or actionable that they can apply to their own lives. This can be anything from tips and tricks, worksheets, a playlist, quiz — you name it. 

People love free shit. So give them what they want. 

A playlist is one of the simplest things to do. The Spotify playlist I sent out had a 12% click rate (and this was for a cold audience!). Use witty titles to connect with and get a laugh out of your subscribers: a win-win for everyone. 

Ain’t no party like a “mid-week playlist to soothe my aching soul at work” party!

2. Make your copy simple and personable

Lately, we’ve been talking a lot about writing at Growclass. And specifically what makes good writing. 

People need to be able to connect to your writing. Period. 

Most of us are used to academic writing. We’re taught that sounding smart in an essay equates to good writing. But this simply isn’t true. 

“Our core competency is harnessing leaders with next-generation SaaS software to accelerate their sales pipeline.”

We’re here to tell you that your high school English teacher got it wrong, and that writing simply is what makes something good

Make it personable, and your writing will be easy to connect to. When you write an email, ask yourself if you would actually read it if it landed in your inbox.

3. Craft good subject lines

This is important.

Think about it: what makes you click on an email?

A spicy subject line. 

When you’re writing an email, make a list of possible subject lines. They can be sassy, silly, witty, or just plain dumb. Write them all, and, when you’re finished writing the email, narrow it down to your favourites. 

In school, I was told to start my essays with an introduction. But how are you supposed to introduce something that you haven’t written yet? Yeah, plot hole Mrs. Brown. Subject lines are kind of the same thing. 

You can brainstorm based on the initial idea for your email, but try not to get married to any one subject line. That can come later. 

4. Don’t try and sell something right out of the gate

Picture this: you attended a webinar in January by a company that you were semi-interested in. 

You found the webinar content useful, but you haven’t received any communications from the company since. 

It’s now July, and they send you an email announcing the launch of their new product. The copy is sales-focused, and it’s clear that they want you to buy. 

What do you do? 

I would ignore it. 

K byeeeeeee!

If you haven’t heard from someone in months and, all of a sudden, they hit you up asking for something, it rubs you the wrong way. 

People need to be warmed up first, and feel like they have a connection with the people that they’re doing things for, or buying products from. 

When you’re trying to re-engage an audience, make sure that you’re warming them up first along the email journey before you try to introduce a sales email. 

It’s disheartening to think that your hard work might not get the love it deserves once it hits somebody’s inbox. You’ve done an incredible job, and we want people to see that. 

Remember these four tips to boost those open rates, and start connecting with your subscribers. 

You’ve got this. 

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