Laura Gatsos Young talks about re-engagement email sequences

The secret to saving the sale in the long run?A re-engagement email sequence

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I'm an experienced conversion copywriter and marketer. Here I share what I've learned working with global luxury brands, founders and small business owners. Rallying cry: Belong to Your Customers.

I'm Laura
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You know those subscribers that linger on your list but never open or click through your emails? They’re doing a lot of damage to your email deliverability and your metrics.

List building is a challenging, relentless endeavor, so it makes sense to want to keep every hard-earned subscriber. They might buy eventually, right? They might, but not if if they’re not opening your emails. A re-engagement email sequence is your best and cheapest bet to retain email subscribers and save the sale in the long run.


 A re-engagement sequence is a series of 3-4 emails timed a week apart and sent to subscribers who have not opened an email in 90 days or more. With the new updates, you may not be able to tell if Apple users are opening up your emails because of a lack of data. You will be able to know if they open your emails because they’ve clicked through on your call to action. 

So it’s more important than ever to include a call-to-action button in every single email.


 According to Campaign Monitor, on average close to 22.5% of your email subscribers will go inactive each year. By proactively reaching out to your community, you will save yourself about 5x what it would cost you to acquire a new customer! In other words, they’ve come to the party, and it’s in your best interest to take care of them, versus sending out more invites!

But it’s more than a lead generation thing. If you have a subscriber who continues to receive emails they’ll never open, your email address gets flagged as spam, affecting your deliverability across the board. 

 Another impact on your business is your marketing metrics. You will see a decline if you are tracking your open rates and CTRs, but you’re not measuring against real numbers. 

Imagine the jump in the percentage you’ll see when you’re calculating on a smaller number – the number of people who actually want to buy from you! Suddenly your numbers are no longer disappointing but impressive!  

 When you plan a launch or an initiative, you’re likely to reverse-engineer your numbers, considering the percentage of your whole list vs. the launch list that converts. This number will be skewed if some of those subscribers aren’t even getting the email.


When you’re sending emails to win back your subscribers, get creative. Think about ways that will motivate them to engage with you versus unsubscribe. The re-engagement sequence is your opportunity to show them that you value them and want to create a connection beyond just straight selling to them.  

Here are some ways to make staying on your email list enticing:

  1. Subject line: get creative with your copy and think of what would make someone open it up. You may use humor, say something controversial (concerning your industry), or spark curiosity.

ex. Hey [name]! Is it me, or is it you? 

ex. Is this goodbye?

ex. [first name], do you still want to hear from me?

  1. Use their first name in the subject line to capture attention and increase their chance of reading the email. Use first names sparingly in subject lines, in general.
  2. Take a friendly tone in the email. No one wants to be accused of being rude by ignoring emails, so let them know you get it! Their inbox is overflowing, but you have a reason they should stick around.
  3. Share some value. Have a new opt-in, blog post, or podcast episode with valuable information you can share? Include that in the body of the email to encourage click-through.
  4. Solicit feedback. You can get valuable feedback from your audience by including links that qualify them.

For example, one of my clients is a fertility doctor. She may ask in her emails if they’ve become pregnant and plan on having more kids, do not plan to get pregnant anymore, or are no longer interested in the information. This gives her insightful details on what her audience needs at the moment, and she can tag them appropriately in her email system for future offers if they don’t unsubscribe.

5. Include GIFs and images. This is more likely to capture the attention of your reader than plain text.

6. Be gracious. Let them know that if they choose to unsubscribe, you appreciate them being a part of your community.


It’s easier said than done but consistently emailing your list thoughtful and entertaining or informative emails will keep subscribers engaged. Being proactive is the first step to avoid having to deal with cold subscribers and unsubscribes. 

When you’re looking at your email marketing strategy, keep a few things in mind:

  • Where are your subscribers coming from? Why did they opt-in? They likely want more of that information.
  • Are you following GDPR and getting consent for your emails in the first place?
  • Are you soliciting feedback and meeting your subscriber where they are with timely and relevant info? 
  • Is there a trend or time when you noticed a significant drop-off in subscribers? Have your offers changed? Is it possible your ICA is no longer the same? 

Email marketing is ever-evolving, and subscribers come and go, but a re-engagement email sequence is your next best step to saving the sale in the long run.

Want to do all you can to avoid this whole re-engagement stuff? Check out this post on how to turn new subscribers into loyal fans who eagerly click on everything you send!

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  1. […] How many subscribers have not opened in 90+ days? Send re-engagement sequence to see if they want to be there. […]

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I've worked with entrepreneurs and corporate brands to sell their offers and communicate their value for over 15 years.

When you hire me, you benefit from my experience working with the the best marketing minds in the game (Tom Ford, Christian Louboutin, Michael Kors), because I've learned all I know from working with them.

If you're looking for a seasoned copywriter to capture your voice and the attention of your audience, you've discovered the numbers-obsessed, detail-possessed copywriter you need.

Hi, I'm Laura.
Your new trusted copywriter & marketing strategist.

Former luxury goods pr director, mama, coffee-obsessed lover of the longread

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