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Regaining A Captive Audience: Email Re-Permission Campaigns

Have you ever spoken in front of a large crowd and felt like nobody was listening to you? That’s how it feels when you are sending marketing emails to your customers and receiving a low open rate. But how do you fix it? You’ve spent the time and effort collecting these email addresses from your customers and yet nobody is “listening.” The solution: an email re-permission campaign.

What is an email re-permission campaign?

In an email re-permission campaign, you send an email to all of your subscribers asking them if they would like to continue to receive emails from you. You can conduct either a soft or a hard re-permission campaign.

  • A soft re-permission campaign involves sending an email to your current subscriber list, asking if they would like to be removed from the subscriber list. The customer has to take action in order to actively be removed from the subscription list.
  • A hard re-permission campaign involves sending an email to your current subscriber list, asking if they would like to stay on the subscriber list. The customer has to take action in order to actively stay on the subscription list.

How do I conduct an email re-permission campaign?

Set up an action within the re-permission email that allows customer to opt out or stay opted in to your store’s email subscription. Create a new list (or lists if you have multiple locations) that separates the opt-outs from the opt-ins.

We recommend that you send at least two (but no more than three) re-permission emails in case a customer doesn’t see or deletes the first message.

What happens to all of those contacts who don’t opt back in?

Consider them “inactive” contacts that you won’t send to anymore. Shift your focus to building your list organically with new, more engaged subscribers. If you’re worried about losing a large number of subscribers, consider a re-engagement campaign before you conduct a re-permission campaign. A re-engagement campaign gives more incentive for a subscriber to open the email. For example, you can offer a coupon in a re-engagement email. If a subscriber still doesn’t open the email, consider removing them from your regular list because they are either completely ignoring your emails or they have abandoned the email account.

Why should I conduct a email re-permission campaign?

As Jason mentioned in one of his first blog posts, email is the number one form of contact customers prefer when receiving a sales message from a company. Your email subscriber list is important because it’s a direct line of communication to your customers. Cleaning up your list will streamline your marketing dollars for the best return on investment.

The proof is in the numbers. We recently worked on a re-permission campaign for an independent grocer with nine stores in a major metropolitan area. Their email account had reached more than 27,000 contacts over more than a decade of collecting email addresses through various channels. With that many email addresses over that amount of time, you are bound to have emails accounts that are no longer active or individuals who simply abandoned that email account and will never again open a message sent to it.

Their email open rates proved this point. Prior to the re-permission campaign, their average open rate was 10% (the industry average is 25%). So we conducted a hard re-permission campaign for this group that included two emails sent four weeks apart. The new list is now at a little more than 10,000 subscribers and their open rates have increased dramatically, averaging around 32%.

Why is this important? Sending emails to a large subscriber list costs money. You want to make sure that the people who are receiving those emails actually want to see them and are, in fact, actually opening them to read your message. Conducting an email re-permission campaign will save you money on email marketing in the long-run and ensure that you have a captive audience for your next email message.

Why do I work at AWG? “I like working for a company that supports local, often times family-owned, businesses in everything they do in order to help them succeed and stay competitive. It’s great to interact with the stores on a daily basis and learn about their story and the communities they serve.” -Melanie