What are Re-Engagement, Re-Consent, and Win-backs?
Re-engagement campaigns are specifically designed to improve your list hygiene, and therefore your email deliverability.
They are a method of cleaning up your subscribers to 'weed out' the individuals who haven't opened (read) your emails in some time.
Generally, a re-engagement campaign would be an attempt to, in some way, entice people who haven't opened your emails recently to start opening them.
The content of a re-engagement email would contain a call-to-action demonstrating the value that you can give to the recipient now and in the future.
Win-backs are very similar, although they are generally targeted towards people based on their purchasing behaviour (or lack of it).
They are a method of enticing subscribers who have more than likely been opening your emails but haven't clicked or made a purchase in a given period of time.
Generally, a win-back campaign would be an attempt to, in some way, entice those people to make a purchase.
The content of a win-back email would quite likely contain a special offer to try and entice them to purchase again.
Re-consent is a term that many clients who operate in or provide goods and services to recipients in the EU (European Union) or Canada will be familiar with due to privacy and anti-spam legislation requirements.
Re-consent is a list hygiene best practice but with emphasis on compliance, where the re-consent campaign requests that the individual provide fresh consent. The flip-side of the individual not providing fresh consent is that they are opted out.
The content of a re-consent campaign would contain an 'opt-in' call-to-action with clear messaging indicating by not opting in, the individual will be considered to be opted out and will not be communicated with again.
Why would you consider any of these types of campaigns?
As mentioned above, there are a number of varying reasons behind why you might entertain the idea of running a re-engagement, win-back, or re-consent campaign (or combinations of them).
Predominantly, if your open rate has been consistently low and you're just not getting the traction you once did it could be because the people who were originally interested in hearing from have now changed their interests or preferences and are not your ideal customer any more. Alternatively, it could be that you have a deliverability issue that is directly affected by your emailing individuals who have not engaged and this has been picked up by the domain's deliverability filters which have marked your emails as being 'less important' to their users. Receiving domains do this really well and in an automated fashion that could see your emails being filtered into 'promotions' (or similar), then junk mail (or spam), and in some cases, eventually just not being delivered at all.
Win-backs are a sales effort to increase repeat business. If you're tracking purchase or transaction history, or product lifecycle data then encouraging your customers to purchase from your business (instead of someone else's) again in the future is a logical idea and win-back campaigns are a great cost-effective way to do this. Even better, with a win-back campaign you're not looking to necessarily clean up your list, but get more value for your business from it. Repeat customers are a lot cheaper to engage with and take less of your time and effort than a cold-call or trying to get a new customer to purchase from you.
Re-consent campaigns are really only necessary when there's a legal obligation to do so, but you might want to consider them if you've recently purchased a business with an existing list, if you've changed the frequency or nature of your email campaigns, or if you haven't been in touch with your subscribers in a long time.
There is an element of 'buyer beware' when running re-engagement or re-consent campaigns as the end goal is that people will be unsubscribed and your database size will drop. The upside of this though is that you won't be annoying people who think your email is just 'noise' (or worse: 'spam') and you'll be concentrating your efforts on the people who genuinely still want to hear from you - plus, your deliverability is improved because now more of your emails are being opened, which improves their ranking with the receiving domains and increases their chances of landing in the inbox and in front of the recipient.
When should you run these types of campaigns?
Re-engagement campaigns can be once-off efforts or a series of campaigns that ultimately remove the disengaged (the non-openers) from your list. A re-engagement campaign is something you would look at as a periodic or ongoing exercise. There's no particular trigger or point in time where you would embark on the campaign, but the frequency of such a campaign or series of campaigns would depend on your sending frequency and your own business model. The period of lapsed time for the 'has not opened' criteria greatly depends on when you last contacted your subscribers and how often you contact them.
Re-consent campaigns would generally be initiated based on some event that has occurred such as a business sale, communication after a lengthy period of time, a change in marketing or sending strategy or a legal requirement.
Winback campaigns should be an ongoing effort that automates the 'we miss you' intention of the campaign content.