Imagine you're about to pick up the hottest date of your life. You arrive at a house to pick him or her up. You knock on the door (just once), but no one comes.
Now, you wouldn't just leave at this point, would you?
You'd knock again (after of course waiting to make sure that they really didn't hear you if they are in fact home).
Maybe your date can't hear you because she has a giant fan blowing in her face like this lady…
Email marketing is like this.
Many of you are knocking just once and then leaving your hot date (readers) behind.
Sure, maybe they didn't want to let you in, but maybe, they just didn't hear you knocking or thought you were someone else! This analogy is getting out of hand I think… let's just dive into the meat of this simple email marketing trick that helps increase my open rates by at least 8% every-time I use it.
Warning: I am about to show you an extremely simple concept that may change the way you approach your email marketing. While the concept is simple, don't oversimplify the tact and finesse you need to apply to make it work properly for your list. You have been warned.
I have been unwittingly practicing this concept for about two years now, but I credit Robbie Richards with blogging about this method and really giving teeth to it.
Important Concepts to Understand Regarding Resending to Unopens
If an email was worth writing, it is worth your best effort to get it in front of your readers.
That is pitiful!
You and I won't have this problem though because the average email marketer isn't resending to their subscribers who didn't open the original broadcast.
Light bulb should be going on now.
Remember: If an email was worth writing, it is worth your best effort to get it in front of your readers.
Don't accept 22.87% open rates (whatever your specific industry average is). Get more out of each email campaign by resending to your unopens!
Don't Be Afraid of Unsubscribes
When you have thousands of readers on your email list, some are going to unsubscribe.
You could literally wire money to 10,000 people and at least 40 will unsubscribe and most won't open the email.
Take my good friend “yes no” here for example…
Now, I don't want to annoy anyone, but if someone wittingly subscribes to my list and doesn't press the one click unsubscribe button if I start to be too much for them, I don't feel bad.
You shouldn't either.
Aim to keep your unsubscribes between .2% and .5% for each broadcast you send. If the rates go above .5%, you need to fine tune some things.
Resend to Unopens Case Studies
Before we go too much further, let me remind you: I use and recommend ConvertKit.
The tutorial part of this blog post is focused on resending to unopens in ConvertKit, but the concept (resending to unopens) will be the same regardless of your email platform.
My open rates are not as eye popping as some of my peers (**cough** Robbie Richards **cough**), but resending to unopens has helped me get more mileage out of my broadcasts and kept me from leaving a lot of cash on the table.
Here is a very recent email I sent out to a tag in my list of people interested in learning internet marketing (oh, be sure to tag the shit out of your email list, but we will touch on that another day).
- Time Between Broadcasts: I waited three days between the initial broadcast and resend.
- CTR: 4.3%
- Unsubscribe Rate: .57% (Too high)
Mistake: Email subject line is too similar.
If you see two emails from me in the same week starting with “I wish…” you will probably feel I am bugging you again.
Resending doesn't need to be bugging but it should be tactful and not obvious.
Even though this only netted an additional 21 clicks, this did well for me in terms of conversions.
I actually only made $1 less on the resend to unopens than I did in the original email.
This email also netted five trials which may convert into $2
Here is another example…
This was a big email for me because I had really overbooked myself for the week and needed this one to get opened so my webinars would be as full as normal.
- Time Between Broadcasts: 22 hours (way too soon!)
- CTR: 4.8%
- Unsubscribe Rate: .5% (too high!)
Mistake: Not Enough Time Between Broadcasts!
This time I only waited 24 hours! Not ideal, but I wanted to experiment a bit.
This segment was larger so sending the extra email resulted in an additional 48 clicks.
Clicks on this email were lucrative (hence why I resent with only 24 hours in between).
How to Create a Resend to Unopen Broadcast in ConvertKit
The ability to resend to unopens is becoming industry standard for email marketing systems.
Here is how you would resend to unopens in ConvertKit.
Step #1 Navigate to Broadcasts
Step #2 Select “View Report” on the Broadcast You Want to Create a Resend Campaign
Step #3 Select “Resend to Unopens”
#4 Create a New Email Headline
This new subject line has to be completely different than your first one!
#5 Update Email Content Accordingly
Most of the content can be sent again without changing, but some parts of the content will need to be revised properly.
Dates are important (I am speaking from experience!)
If you said “only five days left” in the first email two days ago, you need to update that accordingly.
When Should You Resend to Unopens?
The question is not just when but IF you should resend to your unopens.
In the following cases, I wouldn't send another email to your unopens.
- If you send emails every day. Unless you email your list multiple times a day (doubtful) it will be impossible for you to pull this off without sending double emails to a huge number of people who are already not your hottest subscribers.
- If the original broadcast had lower than average click through and conversion rates. If you DO decide to resend a poorly converting broadcast to your unopens, you should consider redoing the entire copy of the email body. Even if you can double your open rates with another blast, it means nothing if your opens aren't resulting in actions (clicks). If the issue is the product offering, pocket the credibility and go back to the drawing board.
- If you just recently did a resend campaign to the same audience. Put some space between your resend campaigns. You can't do this all the time.
Imagine you're driving and your email marketing is your car. Open rates are a street you turn onto along the way to the click freeway which leads you to your final destination: sales! This concept will teach you how to get more opens first and the clicks and sales will hopefully follow (but the conversion rates shouldn't change).
Schedule Resend to Unopens in Advance
In ConvertKit, you can schedule a “resend to unopens” broadcast days in advance and ConvertKit will update the unopens at the time scheduled.
So, if I sent an email yesterday and there are 5,000 people who haven't opened it and I schedule a resend for five days later, the resend will not go to all 5,000 people who hadn't opened at the time of the scheduling but to the 5,000 minus those who will have opened the email between the broadcast dates.
Basically, Converkit won't let you accidentally send your resend to unopens broadcasts to people who actually opened the original email.
- I recommend you start using ConvertKit.
- You can only “resend to unopens” one time in ConvertKit.
- Your risk of complaints and unsubscribes is going to be much higher if you do this, so use it sparingly and with tact.
- Wait longer than a day or two to resend your campaigns.
- Do lots of your own testing and find out how your list responds to this tactic.
- Be sure to update your resend emails if necessary (dates, links, etc).
- ConvertKit is not the only email marketing program that has the resend to unopens functionality, but it is my most highly recommended solution for bloggers.
“What one does is what counts. Not what one had the intention of doing.” ― Pablo Picasso