In the busy lives of B2B marketers, there’s always the temptation to resend an email message – unaltered – to the same campaign list. The reason is simple: it’s a last-ditch effort to generate maximum results with the least amount of extended resources.
But is “resending” considered best practice? Like many things in life, the answer isn’t black and white, and there are pros and cons to consider.
The pros include the obvious ability to repurpose your existing work in the face of your busy schedule and workload. With no creative or production costs, the ROI of incremental clicks and conversions as a result of simply resending your last email message can be high. After all, we all sometimes open or respond to that second email – maybe because it arrives at a better time when we have a bit more bandwidth – assuming the email is compelling and potentially valuable in the first place.
A recent Forbes article shows that one firm’s resend efforts allowed them to reach 53% of their target audience, and delivered almost a third (32.6%) of its unique opens, compared to merely a single email send campaign.
What are the cons? The recipient, who may have deleted your first message intentionally, is now potentially more annoyed to be receiving it again, and may now take action – by unsubscribing from your list. In addition, resending the same email twice increases the risk of being flagged for spam or even blacklisted by internet service providers (ISPs). Inevitably, the second (or third) follow-up (unaltered) email will simply not perform as well as the first. The firm in the Forbes article showed a 44% drop in its open rate and 46% drop in click-through rates compared to the initial email. These results seem intuitive, as those who were interested in your offer may have already responded, and you’re now merely sending again to those already uninterested, unengaged or inactive.
Weighing the pros and cons, here are six things B2B marketers can do to strike a balance:
- Change up the date and time: People often have different work schedules, and prefer emails at different days and times. Some read emails first thing in the morning, some at the end of the day. Some do so early in the week, or save their messages for the end of the week or even the weekend. It makes sense then that your second email should be delivered at a different day and time than the first one. This will not only catch your audience at a potentially more convenient time, but will also reduce the red flags of the ISP spam filters.
- Give it a rest: Although this might seem obvious, don’t resend to your email list the day after sending the first message. You don’t want the same message to be unopened (again) in a recipient’s mail queue. Allow some time – at least a week, but experts say two weeks is even better.
- Reach the different planning types: As we all know, some people are early-bird, advanced planners, while others only jump at the last minute when the hard deadline is upon them. (They are the ones in line at the post office on the tax due date.) Savvy B2B marketers reach both types. For example, if recruiting registrants for a webinar, send the first promotional email two weeks before the event (to catch the early birds), the next message 1-2 days before (to hit the ‘tweeners), and the final one the day of or an hour before the event (to land the last-minute procrastinators).
- Make a few minor changes: Changing the subject line, the headlines, the colors or the graphics (e.g. photo) might be easy enough to do, and offers the appearance that the email is new -- both to the recipients and the spam filters. Better yet, turn up the heat by increasing the urgency: “only one more day to register for Thursday’s thought-provoking XYZ webinar.”
- Tweak your list: Don’t resend your same email to the identical group as before. Resending your message to those who’ve already responded or registered may even backfire. Remove these people from your follow-up list. It also won’t make sense to re-send your email to those who’ve already opened or clicked on it, as you should assume they have already made their evaluation and decision. (Note: feel free to send a separate note to those who may have initiated, but didn’t complete a purchase, download or registration.) The bottom line is this: just resend to those who didn’t open your initial message, which should still be the lion’s share of your list anyway.
- Test constantly: B2B email marketers should be regularly testing their campaigns to know the optimal dates and times their audience responds, the best messaging within emails, and the calls to action that generate the most interest. Tracking metrics and monitoring database health are also ongoing and essential tasks.
With all the email variables in mind, we at OMI have found that many of our clients see great results – and minimal blowback – sending three campaign messages over a three-week timeframe. This would include the initial send, plus two follow-ups – tweaked as suggested above. But as always, marketers must customize different tactics for their own markets and customers, and constantly track and measure results. With the hard data in hand, the go-forward actions – and the decision to resend or not to resend – will be evident.
Email remains the best digital channel for driving marketing ROI, so make your messages count. If you need to expand the reach of your email campaigns to gain more leads, consider giving Outward Media’s business contact data a try. Also, take a look at our complimentary new e-book on building a successful email marketing database.
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