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Email Subject Lines To Re-Engage Cold Subscribers

A growing list is a sign of a healthy email marketing strategy, but every once in a while you need to sweep out your cold subscribers and knock that number back a little bit.

But this is a bit of a rock + hard place situation. The reason they’re ‘cold’ is because they haven’t been opening your emails. Now you need them to open and read an email and then take action on it.

How are you going to stop your most reluctant readers scrolling through their inbox and missing your plea for engagement?

With a seriously strong attention getting headline.

And not just one. You’ll likely need two or three, so you can use a series of emails rather than relying on just one to get the job done.

I emailed my cold subscribers this week and played around with some subject line ideas. Instead of leaving them to fester inside a tatty old notebook, I’ve laid them out for you to borrow in this short-yet-informative blog post.

So here goes - 20+ subject line examples for re-engagement emails to cold subscribers.

When You Want To Win Them Back

These are good for the first email in your re-engagement series when you want to gently make them aware of your existence.
1. We don’t talk anymore - thanks Charlie Puth.
2. How long has this been going on? - Also Charlie Puth…what can I say? I like the songs.
3. You seem a little frosty - Even better if you can include a snowman/snowflake emoji in the subject line and add a photo of a Mr Frosty toy in the email.
4. Don’t you want me, baby? - Best suited to British subscribers, aged 30+, who will know the song by the Human League.
5. I’m really missing you
6. Can we try again? - Good for inviting feedback about the type of content they’d like to see more of.
7. Let’s start over
8. Let’s give it another go
9. It’s a tight squeeze in here - Then add on the first line of the email ‘…your inbox that is. Thanks for inviting me in…..’ and ask if they still want you there.
10. I need to ask you something a little odd
11. I wouldn’t normally ask you this but…
12. The most important email I’ve ever sent you

When You’re Pretty Sure They Should Unsubscribe

Maybe they’ve been colder than a polar bear’s nose for months now. Maybe you’re already on your second engagement email. Maybe you brought them in on a lead magnet that wasn’t a good fit for your business. If you’re ready to wave goodbye, these subject lines will generate action.

13. Do This If You Want A Cleaner Inbox - And then tell them to unsubscribe if they don’t want you anymore.
14. Maybe we need to rethink this - They subscribed a while ago. Maybe it’s not right for them anymore. That’s fine - you just need to know.
15. Avoid this productivity-killing time-suck - Write about the time wasting habit of opening emails then deleting emails rather than unsubscribing (surely it’s not just me that does this???). Tell them to unsubscribe from the ones they don’t want, and
16. Please tell me. The suspense is agony.

The Final Goodbye

If you’re going to delete them if they don’t respond (usually after you’ve sent 1 or 2 re-engagement emails already), then the final email in the sequence needs to effectively deliver an ultimatum: ‘click to stay, or you’re off my list’. But do it in a friendly, positive way, that makes them want to stay.

17. I’m sorry I have to send you this
18. Whether you open this or not, they’ll be consequences
19. Whether you open this or not, things are going to change
20. You need to make a decision
21. Are you in or out?

Post Re-engagement Nurture: What to do with them next

If someone’s taken the trouble to click on a link and confirm they want to stay on your list, it’s time to help them fall in love with you all over again.

I use Convertkit, and in my re-engagement emails the ‘Yes I want to stay’ confirmation link is clickable and directs the reader to a landing/thank you page. I use that page as an opportunity to give an overview of my blog, freebies and products, giving the reader a chance to see any new value-adding content they may have missed over the last three months (when they were not opening my emails #notbitter).

You may also want to track your recently reconfirmed subscribers so you can send a couple of extra nurture/value-add emails and you don’t hit them to hard or fast with a sales pitch.

Wondering what to send your email list?

You’ve gone to the trouble of collecting email addresses to build your subscriber list.

And yet now you have no idea what to send them?.

Do you sell your services or digital offers to other small businesses?

The simple sales system for little businesses selling their expertise to other businesses (coaches, copywriters, ads managers, social media managers, OBMs, VAs, website designers and friends).

Want to bump your subscriber numbers up?

After you’ve culled your cold subscribers, you can get your numbers back up with these lead magnet ideas.



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