The *Best* Way to Do Email Resends

I see a lot of marketers doing email resends — but I rarely find anyone doing them the way I do them with my clients. Here’s the very *best* way to extend reach, relevance, and revenue with resends, without the potential pitfalls of most resend strategies.

In email jargon, a resend is sending an email to someone a second time within 7 to 10 days of the first send. Sometimes you make small changes to the subject line or headline; sometimes you don’t. The idea of a resend is to deliver the same message in a short timeframe to get a second ‘touchpoint’ and drive incremental conversions and/or revenue.

I was auditing a new client’s email marketing program last week. As bottom line performance declined, the marketing manager did more and more resends — which only hastened the decline.

Why?

Because as performance declined, they implemented an aggressive resend strategy in an attempt to turn things around. Initially they resent almost much every email to the entire list — at least once. If it worked pretty well on the second send, they would tee it up and send it a third time.

At first they saw a boost in revenue. This isn’t unusual when you first increase your send frequency. But then there was a steep, steady decline.

When you resend to your entire list, your best case scenario is half the open, click, and conversion rates you got on the first send. Often it’s a lot less than that. So there’s an erosion of effectiveness.

Frequent full file resend also have the potential to create an over-mailing issue. When you suddenly increase your send frequency, your subscribers can feel bombarded. As a result, they will open your mail less frequently or stop opening all together.

Full file resends are one of the major causes of list performance degradation due to over-mailing; the fact that people are receiving the same email over and over again makes them even less likely to keep opening your messages; they figure there’s a good chance they’ve already seen the message.

Some email marketers look to decrease the negatives that result from full file resends by sending only to those who opened the email on the first send but didn’t convert. But this isn’t really much help. Think about it. These subscribers opened the email, looked at it, and decided not to take action. So why do you think they will take action when you send it again?

Here’s how I do strategic resends; I resend the message to subscribers who clicked on the first send but didn’t convert.

It sounds counter-intuitive, right? But bear with me.

We leveraged strategic resends, just to those who clicked but didn’t convert on the first send, extensively in a holiday 2020 campaign I managed for a client.

The metrics on these resends were incredible. We saw open rates that were double or triple the open rates on the initial sends. The click-through rates (CTRs) were even better — two, three, four, five more times the CTR on the original send.

But what really matters is the revenue generated per email sent (RPE). RPEs were consistently way above the original sends. When I say way above I mean, like a:

  • 425% lift in RPE over the original send (October 6, 2020)
  • 1,492% lift in RPE over the original send (October 8, 2020)
  • 4,422% lift in RPE over the original send (November 19, 2020)

Why does this work? I have a theory. People who clicked were interested in taking the action in the email. Perhaps when they got to the landing page their child walked in with a skinned knee they needed to attend to — this is a reality for consumer and even for some business people who are working from home due to COVID-19. Or maybe they got a phone call they needed to take, from their boss or a key client. Or maybe they were just a little hesitant to move forward. Or maybe they needed to check with a spouse or a colleague before taking the action you wanted them to take. Basically they got distracted, and forgot to come back and complete the action.

So when they get the resend, they are reminded of the first send and many are motivated to move forward.

These resends are relatively small; if you average unique click-through rate is 3.0%, then you’ll be sending to slightly less than 3% of your list after you suppress those who converted.

This is a good thing for list fatigue. Because you aren’t bombarding people who weren’t interested in this email the first time. The resend is limited to those who had a lever of interest.

Is the return a boatload of money? No. But it’s money you would have left on the table had you not done the strategic resend. And if you had done a full file send to try to pick-up this revenue, the negative impact on the rest of your list probably would have canceled out the additional revenue.

So the next time you’re looking to do a resend, try it my way. Just resend to people who clicked but did not convert. You’ll be collecting that additional revenue that you might have missed out on without risking the health of your list. Let me know how it goes!

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