Email Re-Engagement Strategy #4: Looking for Answers and the Last Chance

Recent EMI blog posts discussed the growing importance of email engagement and the roles of preferences and pursuing new tactical and multi-channel approaches in re-engaging customers. But even after you deploy all of these tools, some customers will inevitably remain unengaged. Typical engagement best practice advice will tell you that this is the time to pull out the ultimate arrow in the re-engagement quiver: the Last Chance email. But this is a scary step, especially if you are a company that nurtures a relatively small email list. A Last Chance is, after all, the end of the road—a non-response shuts down all email communication.

For this reason, if the number of remaining non-responders is great enough to justify the investment, we recommend conducting primary research among the unengaged to learn:

  • Are they chronic non-responders? That is, do they sign up with other companies as well and then not view or click on emails?
  • If not, what are the content, messaging, and media elements that drive their response to other companies’ emails?
  • What is their actual, current level of interest in your product and their position in the buying process? 

If this research indicates that there is little hope that changes to the re-engagement program would deliver a strong return, then the Last Chance is an appropriate next (and final) step. If you do implement this tool, think of the Last Chance as a series of emails rather than a single one. Over the course of two or three emails, introduce the recipients to the idea that you will be ending their email communications and then incrementally increase the pressure on them to respond. With the final email in the series, you close the book on the non-responders and treat them like unsubscribers, secure in the knowledge that you have done everything you could to re-engage them.