what to do if you've ghosted your email list

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Ever since you started your business, everyone’s told you that it’s important AF to grow your email list.

So you put together some killer lead magnets and content upgrades. You promoted them on your blog and social media accounts. And ever since, your email list has been growing at a steady pace. Woohoo!

But one day, you realize that there’s something you haven’t been doing: sending emails to the people who actually joined your list. Oops.

Maybe it’s because you never wrote or scheduled emails to send. Or maybe a tech glitch messed up your automated sequence.

In any case, it’s now been months or even years since some of your subscribers have heard from you. And that means you’ve full on ghosted them. Yup, that’s not good.

You know you really need to email your subscribers…like yesterday. But re-engaging your list is a lot like reaching out to a friend you haven’t contacted in a while. The more time that goes by, the more awkward it feels to even think about taking that first step.

And that’s why you find yourself with 1001 fears running through your head:

“What if they don’t remember me?”

“What if people unsubscribe?

“Do I need to scrap my list and start over again?”

Well, my friend, I have good news for you: Even if you’ve ignored your email list for a while, you don’t need to scrap it and start fresh.

Instead, you can build or reignite your relationship with your subscribers and prime them to eventually become loyal fans and raving customers.

How?

Keep reading below to learn what to do if you haven’t emailed your list in a while.

 

 

 

Need help reconnecting with your email subscribers after ghosting your list?
Download my FREE re-engagement email template.

Segment your list

Before you craft an email that’s peppered with apologies and hit “send,” there’s something you need to do: you’ve got to segment your list.

After all, you don’t want to send a “hey, remember me?” email to people who joined your list yesterday. There’s no need to throw them off too.

So before you send any kind of email to re-engage your email subscribers, segment your list. Create a separate segment for people who haven’t heard from you in a while. For example, you might decide to target everyone on your list who hasn’t heard from you in 2 months. These are the people you’ll send your re-engagement email to.

Related: 17 email copy techniques that make your subscribers open and click + 63 free email subject line templates

 

Remind them why they signed up

When you email subscribers after ghosting them, they might not remember you. And if that’s the case, your email will seem like a cold email—one that’s landed in their inbox out of nowhere.

If people don’t recognize you and don’t remember signing up for your list, they might assume that you’re spamming them. That’s a problem because if they report your email as spam, it’ll hurt your reputation as an email sender. And it’ll make it harder for you to reach the inboxes of subscribers who really do want to hear from you.

 

cans of spam

 

How can you reduce the chances that your subscribers will flag your re-engagement email as spam? Start your email by reminding your subscribers about who you are and why they signed up for your list.

For example, you might say something like this:

Hey [first name],

It’s me, Nadia, your copy + content expert! A while back, you signed up to have my best tips, guides, and freebies delivered straight to your inbox.

<email-list-cleaning-spam>

 

Acknowledge that you’ve been MIA

It may feel awkward to have to explain why you haven’t emailed your subscribers in such a long time (or maybe ever). But instead of trying to beat around the bush about it, just acknowledge it.

You don’t necessarily have to get into a long-winded explanation about why you’ve been MIA. But if you acknowledge that you’ve had a baby, been caring for an ill relative, or been swamped with an upcoming launch, it can go a long way toward humanizing you. It can also help you build or rekindle a relationship with your subscribers, who (surprise, surprise) want to connect with REAL people.

And remember—all real people make mistakes. So don’t be too hard on yourself.

 

Give them a freebie

When you’ve gone MIA on a friend, you know you have to make it up to them when you finally reach out and connect with them again. It works the same way when you re-engage your email list.

Your subscribers joined your list because they believed that you had lots of amazing value to offer them. If you haven’t emailed them in a while, it’s been some time since you’ve delivered on that promise. So when you re-engage them, it’s time to go the extra distance and show them why you’re worth keeping in their inbox.

How do you do this?

Offer a freebie in your re-engagement email. It can be a checklist, cheat sheet, template, discount code, or coaching call.

 

example of offering a freebie in an email

 

Just make sure that it’s highly valuable to your audience and 100% free.

And that leads to my next point…

 

Don’t try to sell something

The point of your re-engagement email is to build or rebuild your relationship with your subscribers. It’s not to get them to whip out their credit card so they can buy from you.

In fact, if you try to pitch a paid product or service in your re-engagement email, it’ll probably backfire. After all, it’s been months or even years since your subscribers have heard from you. So if you pitch to them now, it’ll seem like you care about them only when you want something from them. And that’ll make you look like the cousin who shows up for the holidays only when they’re looking for a handout.

Instead, focus on delivering free value in this email and the next few you send. Once you’ve nurtured your relationship with your subscribers and shown them that they can count on you, you can go in for that sale.

 

 

Need help reconnecting with your email subscribers after ghosting your list?
Download my FREE re-engagement email template.

Send me the re-engagement email template

 

Be prepared for unsubscribes

When you send your re-engagement email, be prepared to get more unsubscribes than usual. I know it sucks to see your subscriber number drop. But it’s inevitable that you’re going to get some even if you’ve done everything you can to send an awesome re-engagement email.

The truth is that some people might head straight for the “unsubscribe” link in your email if they don’t recognize your name. Others might decide that because their priorities have changed in the time that you’ve been MIA, it doesn’t make sense to stay on your list.

You might also have a handful of hard bounces from people who’ve switched email addresses between the time you were last in touch with them and now.

As much as unsubscribes hurt, remember that the people who unsubscribe aren’t the right fit for your list anyway. They aren’t interested in what you have to offer, so there’s no point in paying for them to be on your list or having them pull down your open rate.

So instead of focusing on the unsubscribers, focus on all the people who decide to stay on your list. Direct your energy toward helping these people solve the problems that keep them up at night.

Related: 12 effective ways to reduce your email unsubscribe rate + 63 free email subject line templates

 

 

example of an unsubscribe link

 

Create an email editorial calendar

Re-engaging your subscribers and nurturing your relationship with them is the first part of salvaging your email list. What’s the second part? Making sure you don’t go MIA again.

The best way to build a strong relationship with your email subscribers is to show up for them consistently. This means emailing them and delivering tons of value on a regular basis.

You can help yourself stay on track with this goal by creating an email editorial calendar that spells out the emails you’ll send out over the next month or quarter. When you know what you’re going to email your list about and when you’re going to do it, you’re more likely to actually write and send the emails.

It’s also strategic to craft and schedule a batch of emails in advance. This way, if you have a crazy week or end up in bed with a nasty cold, your list won’t even notice.

Related: 10 expert tips for writing marketing emails that convert + 63 email subject line templates

 

Use a welcome email series

Want to create a solid foundation with new subscribers so they’re less likely to forget you or give up on you over time? Use a welcome email series.

A welcome email series is an automated email sequence that you send to people right after they sign up for your email list. In the sequence, you introduce your new subscribers to your brand, tell them what they can expect from you, deliver tons of free value, and set them up to become life-long fans (and eventually customers).

Don’t know how to write one? Grab my free 6-email welcome email series swipe file.

Related: 10 ways a welcome email series improves your email list + free tip sheet

Example: Here’s an example of a welcome email from Melyssa Griffin

 

write-a-welcome-email-series-1

It’s NEVER too late to make it up to your email list

Radio silence isn’t a great way to build a relationship. But if you’ve ghosted your email list for a while, don’t think that you need to delete it and start that list building process all over again.

No matter how awkward it may feel to reach out to your subscribers, it’s never too late to do it. And if you use the tips I’ve shared above, you can rebuild your relationship with your list and prime it to convert without alienating your subscribers or being flagged as a spammer.

 

 

Need help reconnecting with your email subscribers after ghosting your list?
Download my FREE re-engagement email template.

Send me the re-engagement email template

What to do if you’ve ghosted your email list + free re-engagement email template
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