How to Activate Old Email Lists?

by Timothy on July 29, 2011

Have you ever built a list of people, got out of touch with them, then hopelessly felt that you had thrown away a great marketing asset?

Maybe you’ve compiled these people from a past:

– webinar
– live event
– seminar you’ve given
– past customers
– ….something else?

It can be kind of gut-wrenching to sit there and watch the list do NOTHING for you, yet wish there was something that you could do.

Here’s a solution…

1. Segment your list into the following categories:

a) people you’ve spoken with recently (less than 90 days)

– specific commonality #1… e.g. networking group
– specific commonality #2… e.g. friends from New York
– specific commonality #3… e.g. past customer
– etc….

b) people you haven’t spoken with for a long time (3 months or longer)

– specific commonality #1… e.g. networking group
– specific commonality #2… e.g. friends from New York
– specific commonality #3… e.g. past customer
– etc…

2) Based on each segment, send a really personalized message.

…in all situations, you really, really want people to feel as though you are speaking directly to them. If someone fits two categories, i.e. networking group member *and* past customer, I’m guessing that the “past customer” list would likely be the most intimate level that you could speak with someone at… so speaking to them from that perspective.

Notes:

1) Keep in mind you’ll be lucky to get 25% to re-activate, although 25% is better than 0%!

2) For those that are interested, that you have recently chatted with, it’s probably okay to add them more directly to your autoresponders, etc… won’t require incentivizing them as hard.  Might even feel impersonal if you do… in a few rare cases, you might even add them directly to your list.

3) For those that are over 90 days since you’ve chatted last, you most *definitely* want to send them an intermediary, reminder-of-who-I-am-and-what-I-can-do-for-you type of email. Likely with some kind of incentive to re-engage. You must be valuable and interesting to them.

4) Also, remember that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) usually get a little freaked out when they see 50 or more emails flooding through at the same time… they might flag your message as spam if you have any one segment larger than 50 people and you do a mass mail-merged broadcast to them (through Outlook or something like that).

Onwards and Upwards!

Tim :)

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