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Here’s a hypothetical scenario: Let’s say you’ve been building your subscriber list for a while. You’ve slowly gathered a list of customers and clients that gave you the proper permissions to send. You’ve been sitting on this list for a year or so now, but you’ve never sent to it.

So you decide, there’s no better time like the present! Let me get started with my email marketing today! So you put together a campaign and hit SEND.

Bad idea

Bad idea

The campaign is sent out. Straight away, you see that 40% have returned with a hard bounce, and another 25% of your recipients immediately unsubscribe. That’s more than half of your list gone in one fell swoop. You’re now starting to realise that your idea had some problems.

Problem #1: Email addresses change

Email addresses have changed

Here’s a fact you probably wished you’d known before starting: email address churn averages at about 30% a year. What this means for you is that roughly a third of your list has a new email address before you’ve even managed to send to them for the first time.

Problem #2: Permission has a shelf life

no junk mail

So 60% of your list didn’t change their email address from when they added themselves to your list a year ago, but do they remember you? Permission is like bread, it goes stale after a while. If you aren’t talking to your subscribers regularly, they’re going to forget who you are and why they wanted to hear from you in the first place. Those are the unsubscribes, and many more will follow in the next few days.

Good Idea

Good idea

You might be thinking “well, this is a waste of my time now! I’m not going to bother to send to that list at all”. But hang on, the situation is salvageable. Go back in time, to before you hypothetically sent to that list. Now, hypothetically set up a new campaign to that list. But this time, you’ll be doing things slightly differently.

Sending a reconfirmation campaign

A reconfirmation campaign is exactly what it sounds like. You’re sending a campaign to make sure that these people still want to be on your list, before you start sending your actual campaigns. These are the must-haves for your reconfirmation campaign:

  • Explain to your recipients exactly when, where and how they previously subscribed to your list
  • Show them the benefits of remaining on your list, with a snippet of what you’ll be sending them in future. If you can’t think of any compelling reason to show them, then you shouldn’t be sending to them at all
  • Lastly, you must include a confirmation link that the recipient will click on to confirm that they want to stay subscribed. The best way to do this is to link to a subscribe form for a new list.

Once your reconfirmation campaign has gone out, you can now happily send campaigns to the new list of subscribers that have re-added themselves. But remember, you can only send to the new list. Anyone that doesn’t actively confirm that they want to hear from you hasn’t given you their permission.

If you’re worried about the people that didn’t reconfirm their permission, you shouldn’t. If they didn’t take the time to add themselves back, chances are they won’t be reading and responding to your campaigns anyway. This way, you’ll be saving yourself time and money by only sending to a list that really wants to hear from you.

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