How to run a reengagement campaign in Mailchimp

by | Mon 18 Mar, 19

When it comes to your contacts we would always opt for quality over quantity – there’s absolutely no point in having 100,000 contacts on your list if 99,999 of them are flat-out not interested in what you’ve got to say.

In a previous post we explored why it’s important to keep your contact list current and up-to-date. Now it’s time to put this learning into practice. This blog will show you how to go about setting up a re-engagement series in our favourite email service provider, Mailchimp.

It’s important to give your list the attention it needs, we’d recommend running a re-engagement campaign at least twice a year, depending on the frequency of your emails.

Other variables to consider are who you want to target, the level of integration you have set up and the frequency in which you send out messages there are a number of options available to you in Mailchimp, from automation series’ or independent campaigns that can be set up which will make sure you weed out the contacts not worth having on your list.

For these examples we’re going to make certain assumptions, you can choose which one is the closest fit with your situation. For our examples you need to decide who you want to target, lapsed customers or disengaged subscribers.

For an automated series it’s worth noting that although Mailchimp makes suggestions you can play with this as much (or as little) as you’d like. The benefit to running an automation series is that at the end of them, if a subscriber still hasn’t engaged you can automatically unsubscribe them using the ‘Post-send action’ – but always give them the opportunity to resubscribe!

So, let’s get started…

Mailchimp’s Win back lapsed customers automations series
Requires a store connection and targets contacts based on eCommerce history

HOW TO: Create > Email > Automated > E-Commerce > Win back lapsed customers

This pre-populates with Mailchimp’s recommendations and automatically comes with a set of 3 emails (you can add or remove emails as you require) and these are sent over the course of 360 days (you can increase/decrease to what suits your requirements). This series will run continuously in the background and will be automatically be sent to those who have not purchased from your online store in XX amount of time (depending on how you set it up).

We’d expect the messaging within this series to be along the lines of:

How to: set up a re-engagement campaign in mailchimp

NOTE: Edit the triggers for each email to make sure they work for your business.

The theory for this option is that when a contact hasn’t purchased in XX amount of time they automatically get added to this workflow in the hope that one of these emails piques their interest – if they still haven’t opened/clicked/purchased by the time the last email gets sent they will automatically get unsubscribed and you don’t need to worry about having disengaged customers on your list.

Custom automation series
Based on subscriber activity

HOW TO: Create > Email > Automated > Custom

With this automation you have total autonomy for how you’d like to spur your contacts into action.

As you can see from our snippet below it is a blank canvas for you to design and edit as you see fit.

How to: set up a re-engagement campaign in mailchimp

If you’re looking for inspiration for this, you can always copy the workflow from our previous example, but you’ll need to change the trigger to subscription activity (rather than e-commerce). Assuming you have your email series in place, you now need to identify and target contacts who have not opened with emails in X amount of time.

To identify your disengaged contacts, you need to do the following:

  1. Head to the ‘Lists’ section of your Mailchimp account, select your list.
  2. In the tag list add the tag “Disengaged”
  3. Update the first trigger in your automation to match your disengaged tag.
     (Edit > Select a new trigger > List management > Added tag > Disengaged tag)
  4. To apply the tag return to the appropriate list and create a ‘New Segment’
How to: set up a re-engagement campaign in mailchimp

5. Here is where you identify your contacts who you want to target, for example contacts who did not open all of the last 5 campaigns (if you have a pro Mailchimp account you can be more specific with your conditions)

How to: set up a re-engagement campaign in mailchimp

6. Now when you preview this segment it will only show contacts who fit your conditions. Save this segment as disengaged contacts for future use

7. Apply the disengaged tag to this segment and they will automatically be added to the workflow that you’ve set up.

NOTE: This is the best method for when you do a bi-annual list cleanse as it requires the tag adding manually so you can control when it gets sent. Don’t forget to add your ‘Post-send action’ to unsubscribe contacts who still don’t engaged (but always give them the opportunity to resubscribe)!

You can always create a one-off independent email that you replicate each time you choose to run a re-engagement campaign but this will require you do a lot more work in the background to make sure it has an effect – you will manually need to identify who you’re targeting, and you will manually need to unsubscribe them. This way also means that you only give subscribers/customers one email (opportunity) to re-engage which from our experience, isn’t enough.

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