Dangerous Reconnections

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Reconnection Campaigns

A recent email marketing craze has been the reconnection campaign.

With the big B2C ISPs focussing more on recipient engagement to allocate reputation and deliverability, chopping off the people who just aren’t opening the emails is a must.

You then email your engaged recipients as usual, maybe a little better now you know who they are and target the non-openers differently.

What appears to have happened is people are adding older lists onto these reconnection lists to try and wake even older addresses up.

While this may have seemed like a logical decision, empathetically it’s moronicy!
We know this because the recipients of these reconnection emails are hitting the spam button across the board.

When I call senders up and ask them about it they are surprised at my concern and often quite put out at my audacity. They are able to prove that they had permission – about 3 years ago – so why should I have a problem with them sending them an email. They will then blame me when their IP can’t get into Yahoo too!

If you are going to re-target your emotional unsubscribers and tie in some older lists here are some tips:

  • Get the subject line & preheader right.
    • These are the bits that will get the email opened and not marked as spam
  • Make it obvious that you know it’s been a while.
  • Tell them why they are getting the email
  • Tell them how they gave you the email
    • If you can’t prove to them you have permission, don’t send them an email
  • Ask for permission again, nicely
  • Be humble
  • Sell the opt-out;
    • if they don’t want your emails they are of no value to you, so help them hit the unsubscribe link and not the spam button – stick it at the top and the bottom and even in the middle!
Super Safe: the opt-in email

This is when you send people an email with a link to click to stay on the list!
Yes you read it right, if they don’t click that link, they don’t get emailed again!

Sometimes called the ‘List Killer’, however, if you only want addresses of value, this will iron it out.

Of course there is the concern that if it just gets missed you’ve lost them, so some people like to do a three stage process:

  1. Send them a reconnection email, asking them to optout if they don’t want it anymore.
  2. Retarget the non-opens with similar email but a little more blunt.
  3. Take the non-opens from there and send them an optin email, and anyone who doesn’t click the link, take them off all lists.
Old lists are full of Spam Traps

We already know that many ISPs, especially Hotmail & Yahoo turn off inactive addresses. What you may not know is that the ISPs will let these addresses hard bounce for a few months and then wake them up again as spam traps. So people who don’t clean their lists and list sellers who stick in old addresses to get more money get caught in the spam traps and the IP sending the email gets battered!

In my opinion any address that has been inactive or not been emailed for over 9 months, is worthless, so sack it off! It’s not worth the consequences.

And don’t buy lists – it’s not what email is for!

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