This story begins with a very embarrassing #fail I made with MY OWN newsletter.

I made a Big mistake. What happened?

Much like the plumber with leaky pipes…. I didn’t send out an email to my list for a very long time. And then, I did it again.

It was bad. No… it was terrible.

and I feel like the worst marketer that ever lived because of it. (maybe not the absolute worst, but close.)

Honestly, I am *quite* embarrassed about it.

Everyone subscribing to my newsletter either knows me personally or loves email marketing / making a lot of money. And I am supposed to give advice on how to combine the two (being an email marketing consultant and all). Then I turn around and display the absolute worst example.

So bring out the pitchforks, townspeople!


Trying to redeem myself.. I sat down and wrote a down all ideas I had to start sending again after being away for a long time. It is called re-engagement and it’s a thing. Here are my best, and I think you will like #3 most (because it gives the most value).

1. Ignore that it was a long time ago and just start sending again

That might be a valid option for a company – especially if there is enough other things to highlight. Might get a few strange looks though, as people wouldn’t remember signing up. And get a bunch of unsubscribes. For me, though that would be missing an opportunity to address a common problem amongst email marketers – getting out of touch or on a very low frequency. What is a good email frequency anyway? (It won’t be 6.21 emails per week for me).

2. Build anticipation for next emails

This is actually quite good. Step over the past and look at the future, there is a lot coming up. Because if someone is opening the email they are already “re-engaged”, in part. Your goal for your newsletter is to make them open the next one, so give them a peek into what is to expect:

So what is there to look forward to in my own newsletter? There are plans for:
* Best golden nuggets of curated content
* Offering more email marketing whitepapers through this site.
* Live email tests & outcomes to learn from.
* Next to helping you select email and automation software, also giving some pretty hefty discounts on them.

Of course in a first format, you are still working it out. So maybe just keep it to the

3. Give the Best of what you got, a reverse we missed you.

This is the reverse of a “We missed you” type reactivation email. Create an email with the articles they have missed. Sort of like a “best of” album. Of course, you have to have a few best of articles up your sleeve. Not like the best of would actually be just one song (called Ice Ice baby).

I like the idea of overloading subscribers with value.


So here are some great articles and resources you probably missed:

My AMP for Email Update and Webinar
A review of Online Course Software and how to select them.
Driving Maximum Customer engagement (at Sleeknote)
Radical article on email segmentation (right here!)
Resource with free email newsletter templates
Complete overview to COVID email marketing

Want more? Ok, I’ll add some more later. These aren’t my own. (but I wish they were)
How to build an email master template (by Kristian Robinson)

4. Do a mea-culpa and explain why

There wasn’t actually any good reason to not send any mailings for me (and most people), to be honest. It is not like sending a newsletter takes a lot of time to create. Pam can write a newsletter in 90 minutes. The problem wasn’t content either. I have been publishing content, blogs and articles. But most importantly – I think Nobody is actually going to care about the reasons and fake rationalization, next to a “I-feel-so-bad-for-you-shared-emotion” so that is a terrible idea.


5. Set low expectations – retroactively

Setting lower expectations will allow you to wow your audience. But does that work with frequency as well? Something like: The new normal is one email per year, haven’t you heard? Chris Penn does this with his “Almost timely newsletter” – I think that is quite a great name. But shouldn’t you set expectations beforehand? Turns out you don’t. But my intention is not to lower expectations, that would just be an excuse for lagging.

6. A reference to fact that I was thinking of sending my newsletter, personalised

Something like (a photo of) a ridiculous long to-do list or even an email marketing bucket list.
Another idea would be a dynamic image with their own name on it, inside the email, post-it on the wall next to my desk.


7. Make the whole email with articles about re-engagement

That would be pretty meta, and I kind of like the idea. There are quite some good articles about re-engagement, mostly showing examples.

You can check out:

10 re-enagement emails that work at Sendpulse
12 Re-engagement Email Campaign Examples (+29 Subject Lines) at Automizy
Re-engage with a  winback campaign at MailerLite

that plays to the point, you are able to create a very good newsletter through curated content.

8. Segment and conquer

To make the message better, more impactful, we could look at how to best make use of email marketing segmentation . So if I am talking about the lack of sending newsletters/reactivation the power-play would be to only select the people that didn’t interact with for a while. So, for instance, they just signed up the other day, there wouldn’t be any “noticeable problem” and could send a different email.

But also engagement on social or website would count. So that can be seen as an eRFM. Engagement, Recency, and Frequency, Monetary value and interactions on other sites with articles or meeting them at a conference. If it was for a company, interaction like purchases (the monetary) would work. The other side of the coin: Just be inclusive and make the content of the email interesting for a bigger group

9. Offer a bribe

This seems to be a trend in marketing, bribing people into liking you (again) or at least try to. I don’t know. What would it take to make you happy?

10. Ask for a re-opt in

That would just be silly. All the addresses are double opt-in and the moment someone is actually opening the email, they are already – partially – engaging with your email. The re-optin would be a consideration if you were planning to say goodbye to a part of your email list. Like a Hail Mary message and/or if it needed to be vetted because quality is a concern. Nope. Definitely on my list of email marketing no-no’s.

11. Write down all the ideas I had and make it into a blog post, then mail that to my list

See what I did there?