Getting email marketing right can be a tough job as you have to find the right balance. Hence, if you don’t keep your subscribers engaged with your campaigns, the relationship will hit a stale stage, and it will require extra effort on your behalf to try to win them back. Researchers have suggested that on average, around 60% of subscribers will be inactive at any given time. By trying to re-engage with them, it can potentially bring their interest back. Hence, the probability of making a sale is higher.

Win-back email: something you got to do

If you're about to lose the engagement, you GOT to work to get it back. If you lose them, you might lose that potential buyer or reader forever. A win-back email strategy is, above all else, something you got to do to keep your list healthy, functional and profitable - it will help your ROI tremendously. Now, time to understand HOW you create the ultimate win-back email:

Understanding the reasons

If someone has subscribed to your list, it means that they are interested in what you have to offer. Thus, users will have a higher expectation from your behalf, and you have to meet their expectations. Inevitably, with time, this interest will diminish, and they will be in situations such as:

• They still receive the campaign, but they don’t open it or unsubscribe from the list

• They accept it, open it, and unsubscribe from the list

A good position will be when the user doesn’t unsubscribe from the list. If you analyze data, take surveys, and understand how to improve your campaign, there’s a chance that you will bring them back.

Before you get to work, you must understand the reasons why some people are becoming inactive. Take a look below:


The user receives too many emails, and they don’t have enough time or patience to get to your email. Even though they haven’t read your campaign in a while, they are still interested in what you have to offer. Arguably, this is the best situation to be in as the user doesn’t want to unsubscribe.

Changes in Preferences

Sometimes people’s opinions and preferences will change. This will not have anything to do with you or your email campaign. In the majority of cases, people are too lazy to unsubscribe from your email list, so you still have some time to win them back. Nonetheless, it can be argued that some will inevitably unsubscribe.


Some people will subscribe to the list to take a look at what you’re offering, but they aren’t interested in purchasing. If you’re lucky, you can try to get them to purchase, but this isn’t guaranteed. In addition to this, people in this category will not open emails all the time. The probability of them engaging with the campaign depends on the subject lines.

Of course, there are other reasons why some people will become inactive. One of them will be the fact that you send too many emails, too frequently. In addition to this, your subject lines are missing the creativity. Also, some people have signed up for the one-time offer, and they aren’t interested in what you have to offer further.

What Qualifies as An Inactive Subscriber

TheChecker is an email verifier service that will clean your list from outdated emails within a short period, so you don’t have to do it manually. In addition to this, you’re guaranteed accuracy at a cost-effective price. It’s much more accurate to allow an algorithm to do it rather than checking each email by hand.

However, you have to decide for yourself what type of business you are. There are two strategy people focus on, such as:

• Customer-centric: This strategy will focus on inactive users who are opening your emails, but they’re following the CTA, and they haven’t purchased anything for a while. The end goal will be to motivate the subscriber to make a purchase.

• Subscriber-centric: This approach focuses on inactive users that are not opening the campaigns. The end-goal will be to drive the user to open the emails rather than to make a purchase.

It’s important to understand that if you send campaigns each weak, some people will be inactive for as long as three months. As well as, if you send emails every month, people will stay inactive for at least six months.

Ways to Tackle Inactivity

Subject Lines

Subject lines are the most essential part of an email because this is the very first thing a user will see. Thus, many businesses choose to use high-impact words such as:

• “Come back; we miss you.”

• “Is this the end?”

• “Where are you?”

Such action will motivate a person to at least open the win-back email. The best advice we can give is to use shorter subject lines are they are the most effective when winning back subscribers. For example, researched achieved by the Return Path has highlighted that subject lines containing “miss you” have an open rate of 13% higher. Also, subject lines with “come back” have a higher opening rate of 12.7%.

Congratulations! The high-impact subject line has worked, and the subscriber has opened the email. Now it’s time for the content within the email to make an impact. There are two most commonly used strategies used, such as:

• Provide an incentive such as a discount code

• Tell them to update their preferences

This will not only allow people to engage with the campaign, but it will also enable you to provide better-tailored emails. Remember, personalized emails have a transaction rate of 6 times higher than non-personalized emails.

To measure how valid an win-back email was, you have to consider the clicks on the CTA button. This is very important if you’re in the situation of winning back subscribers. The golden rule to remember is that those that are inactive aren’t going to check out all of the products or services you provide as soon as you send a win-back email. Hence, you must use only one CTA.

As you can see from the example above, even though Grammarly has used only one CTA button, they got creative with it. This is what you must do if you want people to engage. Keep it simple yet effective.

It’s clear to see that you don’t have to be serious about it even if the situation that you’re in is quite critical. The minimal text message has effortlessly made an impact as it’s different from the rest. This is precisely what you have to do if you want to stay ahead of your competitors.

Win-back email goal: make them stay

Great! Now the majority of your subscribers are back on track after your ultimate win-back email. However, as the time passes you notice that they’re slowly yet surely are becoming inactive again. If this is the case, it only means one thing. This is a clear indication that the content within the email is not engaging enough, and it needs massive improvement - keep reading our blog and we're going to keep helping you with that!