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To best engage the contacts who you've collected from Retention.com, you will need to set up a specific welcome flow for them.

How to manage contacts

All of the contacts we pass you are tagged with a custom property: data_source equals GE

Here's how to segment for those contacts:

Properties about someone
data_source > equals > GE > Type: Text

If you wanted to set up segments for engaged and/or unengaged contacts, here's an example of how that would look.

Engaged

Unengaged

Note: You can use your current unengaged segment criteria to create a Retention Unengaged segment. Your Unengaged segment DOES NOT automatically suppress profiles. You will need to suppress those profiles on a regular basis as a part of your list-cleansing practices.

This flow acts as a funnel that you can use to determine which contacts you want to keep engaging with. Doing that will keep your deliverability in check.

How to create a welcome flow

From inside your email service provider account, follow these steps:

1. Clone your existing Welcome Flow and change the Flow Trigger to "when they subscribe to Retention." Remember: "Retention" will only appear after the integration is complete. If it has not been integrated yet, simply clone the flow as it is without changing the Flow Trigger—and then make the necessary adjustments.

2. Adjust your content. Your flow should contain three to five emails, and its content should reflect the fact that the contacts did not sign up for your list. These contacts are lower-intent customers, so it would be beneficial to add a special offer or discount for them, as well. (See the section below, "What to send your contacts," for more information and examples.)

3. Set up the logic. Set the campaign to fire immediately. Recency and relevancy is the key to a successful welcome flow. (See "Example email flow" below for more information.") The exact filters will vary depending on the ESP, but you want to set up filters that eliminate people who have started a checkout or placed an order previously. This is how those flow filters would look in Klaviyo:

That allows everyone who had started a checkout or placed an order at any point in this flow to exit it, so you will not send an irrelevant welcome message to someone who had already started a checkout, for example. Instead, they will enter your Abandoned Checkout flow or Post-Purchase flow.

Note: If you are sending Added To Cart or Viewed Product emails, create a flow filter to remove people who Added to Cart/Viewed Products from this flow. Here's an example of how that would look for Added to Cart:

You would do the same thing for Viewed Product:

What someone has done (or not done)
Person has > Viewed Product Reclaim > zero times > since starting this flow

4. Perform A/B tests. It's important to test your subject lines, copy, CTAs, offers/discounts, etc. to ensure the best results.

Inactive vs. active

To keep your list clean and engaged, build segments for active and inactive audiences. Here are example of how to create those segments.

Active
1. 30-day openers: Has the user opened an email in the past 30 days?
2. 60-day clickers: Has the user clicked an email in the past 60 days?

Note: If you only send one email a week, use 45-day openers and 90-day clickers instead.

Inactive
The best re-engagement segments are for 90-, 120-, or 180-day clickers.

What to send your contacts

We get this question multiple times a day, so we thought we’d throw out a few examples of people engaging email-based retargeting contacts.

Tip #1: Don’t wait. 

First things first. 

The most important thing is that you contact these people immediately upon receiving the data.

The only two problems we’ve seen with customers who had problems with spam complaints came as a result of each waiting for over a week to send to the records. One was a beauty-related eComm company; the other was a political candidate.

Why would this happen?

It’s impossible to know for certain, but after running an ESP for 6+ years, it’s becoming clear to us that in 2020, it’s no longer infuriating to get an email from a brand that you recognize — especially if you were recently browsing their site.

What still IS infuriating is getting emailed by a brand you don’t recognize, which is what happens when you wait a week to email these contacts.

In “internet time,” a week may as well be a thousand years. If they hit your site once then leave, they won’t remember who you are unless you email them NOW.

Now that we know we need to contact these site visitors immediately, we’ll show a few examples of what our customers are having success with.

Tip #2: Thank them for stopping by your site.

I love the way Twin Cities Summer Jam starts off their welcome email: 

“Hi --FNAME--,

Thanks for stopping by the site.” 

Then they continue with content that is valuable (presumably) to someone who would have been browsing their website.

Remember: Don't use language like, "Thanks for joining/subscribing/signing up," in the email, as these contacts didn't directly sign-up on your page.

Tip #3: Offer them a clear way to opt-out.

Publisher Marin Magazine does a great job at both thanking the visitor for visiting the site, and offering them a clear chance to opt-out if they aren’t interested in receiving further newsletters.

Tip #4: If your company does e-commerce, offer a discount and add them to a “best practices” welcome series.

We’ve seen many examples of e-commerce companies sending Retention.com’s contacts their normal welcome series and seeing prolific success. 

Standard e-commerce best practices typically are: 

  1. Welcome + Discount
  2. Discount + Meet the Team/Brand Story
  3. Discount + Best Sellers

One e-commerce example comes from our friends at LuckyShot USA, our first paying customer! 

Lucky Shot follows it up with two other emails that are standard best practices for an e-commerce welcome series. 

Here’s Lucky Shot’s second email offering a discount along with a friendly Meet the Team message: 

And LuckyShot’s third email: a Discount + The Best Sellers.

The most important part is to just get something automated out, right when you get the data. 

For e-commerce, we’d recommend putting them into a “best practices” welcome series. For publishers, media companies, and any other type of businesses, we’d recommend thanking them for coming to your website, offering a taste of what’s to come, and giving them an obvious way to opt-out if they don’t want to continue receiving your content. 

Example email flow

To develop a one-to one-relationship with users and grow your audience, ensure you have the best email flow:

  1. Email 1/Day 0 - Immediately
    • Introduce yourself (e.g. “Thanks for stopping by the site”), make an offer. Explain how your brand is different. Try to humanize your brand, if possible, with casual photographs of you around the office. 
  2. Email 2/Day 1 - 6 to 24 hours later
    • Send your offer again and remind them! Send your “best sellers” and “best-of” content
  3. Email 3/Day 2 - 24 hours later
    • Send another value-loaded piece of content. Really position yourself and/or your brand as an expert in your field; give away the single best tip or trick you have.
    • Unsubscribe all Non-Openers at this point but keep the rest in the flow
  4. Email 4/Day 3 - 24 hours later
    • Send another value-loaded piece of content. Let others validate your brand by showing your customers testimonials and reviews!
  5. Email 5/Day 4 - 24 hours later
    • Create a “Limited-Time” offer and wrap up your sequence. 
  6. Evergreen - After the Series
    • If and only if they interacted with your series (clicks OR opens), put them into your normal email marketing! They like you, and they know you. Just keep the conversation open.

We get this question multiple times a day, so we thought we’d throw out a few examples of people engaging Email-Based Retargeting contacts.

Tip #1: Don’t wait.

First things first.

The most important thing is that you contact these people immediately upon receiving the data.

The only two problems we’ve seen with customers who had problems with spam complaints came as a result of each waiting for over a week to send to the records. One was a beauty-related eComm company; the other was a political candidate.

Why would this happen?

It’s impossible to know for certain, but after running an ESP for 6+ years, it’s becoming clear to us that in 2020, it’s no longer infuriating to get an email from a brand that you recognize — especially if you were recently browsing their site.

What still IS infuriating is getting emailed by a brand you don’t recognize, which is what happens when you wait a week to email these contacts.

In “internet time,” a week may as well be a thousand years. If they hit your site once then leave, they won’t remember who you are unless you email them NOW.

Now that we know we need to contact these site visitors immediately, we’ll show a few examples of what our customers are having success with.

Tip #2: Thank them for stopping by your site.

I love the way Twin Cities Summer Jam starts off their welcome email:

“Hi --FNAME--,

Thanks for stopping by the site.”

Then they continue with content that is valuable (presumably) to someone who would have been browsing their website.

Tip #3: Offer them a clear way to opt-out.

Publisher Marin Magazine does a great job at both thanking the visitor for visiting the site, and offering them a clear chance to opt-out if they aren’t interested in receiving further newsletters.

Tip #4: If your company does e-commerce, offer a discount and add them to a “best practices” welcome series.

We’ve seen many examples of e-commerce companies sending Retention.com’s contacts their normal welcome series and seeing prolific success.

Standard e-commerce best practices typically are:

  1. Welcome + Discount
  2. Discount + Meet the Team/Brand Story
  3. Discount + Best Sellers

One e-commerce example comes from our friends at LuckyShot USA, our first paying customer!

Lucky Shot follows it up with two other emails that are standard best practices for an e-commerce welcome series.

Here’s Lucky Shot’s second email offering a discount along with a friendly Meet the Team message:

And LuckyShot’s third email: a Discount + The Best Sellers.

In summary, just send something, but send it QUICKLY!

We hope these examples are helpful for you to decide what to send to Retention.com contacts.

As we mentioned before, the most important part is to just get something automated out, right when you get the data.

For e-commerce, we’d recommend putting them into a “best practices” welcome series.

For publishers, media companies, and any other type of businesses, we’d recommend thanking them for coming to your website, offering a taste of what’s to come, and giving them an obvious way to opt-out if they don’t want to continue receiving your content.

What’s worse than having a subscriber who unsubscribes? Try having ones that stay subscribed but no longer interact with your emails. (Don't worry, that's why we're going to tell you all about re-engagement emails.)

It’s reported up to 75 percent of email subscribers are inactive. That could be caused by the natural decay of data like the change of email addresses or the user simply not opening your emails anymore. If it’s the latter, there are a few reasons that can happen:

Whatever the reason, it’s important to find a way to either weed out these contacts or get them to interact with your campaigns again. If you don’t, these inactive users will only hurt your engagement metrics and also impact your deliverability reputation.

One of the best ways to see if there’s any chance of winning these customers back over is through re-engagement emails.

What are re-engagement emails?

Miss you

You have a segment of contacts who are no longer interacting with your email campaigns, and you want to see if you can bring them back to life, right? When that’s the case, you turn to a re-engagement campaign.

A re-engagement campaign — also known as win-back emails — is a sequence of automated emails sent to inactive subscribers with the goal of getting them to interact with your emails again.

Even if you’re unfamiliar with the term, you’ve seen them in your inbox. They’re the emails with subject lines like, “We miss you,” or “We want you back.” And the best thing about them is that they work.

Studies have shown that nearly half of subscribers who receive re-engagement emails will read subsequent emails. But to experience these (or better) stats, you need to ensure your re-engagement campaign catches their attention. And to do that, you need to make sure you’re sending the right messaging in the right order.

Example re-engagement email sequence

Before you start creating some must-open emails for your re-engagement campaign, you’ll need to figure out how many you need and what each should say. To do that, you should map out your automation journey.

Here’s an example of an automation series you could use for your re-engagement campaign:

While it can sound harsh to remove contacts — especially when you want to grow your lists — they are only hurting your metrics and reputation. 

Now that we’ve covered the basics, it’s time to jump into real examples of emails that are sure to engage your wayward contacts once again. We’ve broken the 18 re-engagement email examples down for publishers, apps and technology, e-commerce, and events — but you can use ideas and techniques from any of them for your next campaign.

Publisher Emails

The user has engaged with your publication in the past, but for whatever reason, they stopped and never signed up — or let their subscription lapse. Here are examples from publishers that show how to re-engage those customers.

Digiday

Subject line: What you’ve been missing from Digiday

Valuable content is the main selling point for publishers, so why not remind your audience about the amazing stuff you’ve been sharing since they’ve been gone? In this email from Digiday, they include a rundown of the recent edition to give the reader a glimpse at the information and topics they missed out on. We also like how they include Digiday in the subject line so there’s no doubt who it’s from and what it’s about.

The New Yorker

Subject line: Get a deeper look into right now

An email like this one from The New Yorker reminds them what they’re missing (i.e. “outstanding long-form journalism”) and also includes the cost and perks to signing up. Being specific and upfront about the costs is a good idea because it doesn’t bury the lede, as these writers might say.

App and Technology Emails

Have users stopped interacting with your platform and/or emails? See if you can bring them back in with re-engagement emails like these examples.

Uber

Subject line: Did you know we’ve made big changes in the last year?

Instead of making the subscriber feel bad about not engaging with your platform, why not try the approach that Uber used? They praise the user right off the bat in this email, “[Name], it’s so nice to see you again.” From there, they detail some of the things the user might have missed since they last interacted with the company — highlighting updates, news, and improvements.

Duolingo

Subject line: We miss you

From the subject line to header text, “We haven’t seen you in a while,” this re-engagement email from Duolingo makes it clear why the contact is receiving the email. Again, the message is two short sentences, first posing a question and then telling the user how to take action. The CTA is a little on the lengthy side, but it is customized for the brand, which is a plus.

Busuu

Subject line: [Name], we’ve not seen you in a while

Another language app, Busuu throws in an emoji in the subject line to get across how sad they are that the user hasn’t engaged with them recently. The email serves as a reminder to stick with what they started, using the CTA, “Give it another go.” The message provides encouragement and (hopefully) the push they need to re-engage.

Resy

Subject line: It’s been a while

The subject line from this Resy email is also carried over as the header of the message, followed by a series of CTAs. Giving multiple CTAs can sometimes overwhelm the user, but these are clearly defined and used as part of the overall design. One thing the brand could have done better is provide some context for what the company is all about. Resy connects users to restaurants, but you wouldn’t get that from the email. And if they haven’t interacted with you in a while, they might need that reminder.

Animoto

Subject line: Did you still want to hear from us?

You want to provide your audience with relevant content, and the first step to do that is ensuring they find your campaigns valuable. Animoto created a re-engagement campaign with that goal in mind, posing the question, “Did you still want to hear from us?” The email gives them the option to update their email preferences so they receive messages on topics they enjoy. It also tells them how to unsubscribe from the email, saving you the step of removing them if they no longer want to engage.

Bonus: Animoto

Subject line: Did you miss out on some of these new features?

In another email example from Animoto, this message focuses on telling the reader what they have missed out on since they stopped engaging. It shares new features, capabilities, and a “Learn More” CTA that shows them even more updates.

Udemy

Subject line: Hey [Name], take action to let us know if you still want to get emails from us

The branding and messaging couldn’t be clearer in this re-engagement email from Udemy. They also tell them why they should engage and offer them an incentive to do just that. While we are all about being informative with subject lines, this one might take it a bit far, considering the majority will be cut off for the user on both mobile and desktop devices.

Grammarly

Subject line: You’ve earned a new badge!

Who doesn’t like being recognized for something they’ve done? Grammarly is banking on the answer to that being “no one” with this email. Wanting to see what badge they earned, users might be surprised to see it’s one for not using the program — pretty clever, huh? Basically, the platform is letting the user know they ghosted Grammarly, and they want them back. They use a fun CTA that fits the branding and messaging, as well.

Kickstarter

Subject line: The power of updates

Been a while since your user has engaged? It’s time to not only check in, but to also give them valuable, actionable information like this email from Kickstarter — because your emails shouldn’t just be self-serving. Yes, you want them to engage, but at the end of the day, if what you’re sending doesn’t benefit your subscriber, you’re wasting your time.

Google Maps

Subject line: We miss you on Google Maps

Nothing portrays sadness as well as puppy eyes, and this email has that image covered. Google Maps keeps the message short and to the point, which is exactly what you want your email to be like. The CTA is customized to what they want the user to do — “Contribute Now” — driving home the re-engagement effort.

Skillshare

Subject line: Come see what’s new!

Instead of using the “We’ve missed you,” line as the subject line, Skillshare puts it in the header of the email — and uses something more positive for the subject line about what’s new. They show and tell the user what’s new since they last interacted, and they also offer them an incentive to come back — a winning combination.

E-commerce Emails

From personalization to incentives, these e-commerce re-engagement emails offer audiences a little bit of everything to bring them back.

Teespring

Subject line: You got this.

Again with the puppy eyes. Teespring is targeting e-commerce brands with this email, which is why it landed here. Something this email does well is providing a truly personalized experience by inputting specific stats from their account. 

Birchbox

Subject line: Lucky you! There’s still time to claim your prize

Instead of telling customers they want them to come back, Birchbox gives them a reason to return with this email. They offer their subscribers a free prize when they make their first purchase, using the fun “Let’s Play” CTA — and an image every girl can relate to from her middle school years. We like this different approach that varies from the typical, “We miss you,” messaging. It shows you how to combine both an offer and re-engagement message all in one.

Framebridge

Subject line: Goodbyes are hard...

At the end of your re-engagement email campaign series, it’s time to cut to the chase like in this email from Framebridge: If they don’t engage with your email, this will be the last they hear from you. That sounds so final, right? Well, that’s the point. You want to make it clear that you don’t want to waste their time if they don’t want to receive your messages anymore. But if they do, they can simply click the CTA, “Wait, keep me on the list,” to stay connected.

Event Emails

Whether your event has passed or is about to come up, you want to let your audience know — and that includes the inactive members, as well. An event can be a great way to catch their attention, like brands did in these examples.

Campaign Monitor

Subject line: Marketing & Mixology was a hit.

No one wants to feel like they missed out on something great — which is exactly what Campaign Monitor is counting on with this re-engagement email. Following their event, they sent this email to no-shows to give them a glimpse at what they missed out on. That does two things: It gives them valuable information via event highlights (engaging them), and the email also shows them they shouldn’t miss out on future events.

Cotton Works

Subject line: See you in Denver next month?

Not all event re-engagement emails need to come after they’ve missed the event, as you’ll see with this one from Cotton Works. The email reminds them of an upcoming event and gives them the details about when and where to find them. Emails like this are especially effective when you’re able to use a local segment because that makes it more personalized.

Ready to re-engage?

Before you hit send on a stellar re-engagement email campaign, make sure you segment your inactive audience members and have your automation schedule set up. Whether you send them updates, offers, or a “We miss you,” message, be sure it’s clear you want them to come back!

General Best Practices

How to build an authentic relationship and grow your audience using Retention.com's Identity Resolution

Table of Contents

Bring on the Challenge

How does a brand develop one-to-one relationship with users and reduce the overall friction with the user?

The Flow

  1. Email 1/Day 0 - Immediately
    • Introduce yourself (e.g. “Thanks for stopping by the site”), make an offer. Explain how your brand is different. Try to humanize your brand, if possible, with casual photographs of you around the office. 
  2. Email 2/Day 1 - 6 to 24 hours later
    • Send your offer again and remind them! Send your “best sellers” and “best-of” content
  3. Email 3/Day 2 - 24 hours later
    • Send another value-loaded piece of content. Really position yourself and/or your brand as an expert in your field; give away the single best tip or trick you have.
    • Unsubscribe all Non-Openers at this point but keep the rest in the flow
  4. Email 4/Day 3 - 24 hours later
    • Send another value-loaded piece of content. Let others validate your brand by showing your customers testimonials and reviews!
  5. Email 5/Day 4 - 24 hours later
    • Create a “Limited-Time” offer and wrap up your sequence. 
  6. Evergreen - After the Series
    • If and only if they interacted with your series (clicks OR opens), put them into your normal email marketing! They like you, and they know you. Just keep the conversation open.

Other Uses Cases for Retention.com and Identity Resolution

Targeting your best users by using Retention.com' Identity Resolution alongside your current browse abandonment or cart abandonment to reduce wasted marketing spend!