Campaign Playbook: Re-Engagement Campaign

  • Updated


Market B2B & B2C
Program Increase Engagement & Deliverability
Campaign Re-Engagement Campaign

Campaign Goal: (1) Target unengaged email subscribers to get them re-engaged or opted-out.; (2) Increase overall email metrics, which in-turn improves inbox deliverability; (3) Organically ensure that you have a clean Marketing List filled with quality email addresses. 

Executive Summary

The Challenge

Many subscribers may no longer be interested in receiving content they had initially subscribed to, or they may have transitioned to an entirely new email address that they monitor. Unengaged subscribers use up Active Contacts and lower email metrics. Low email metrics have a negative impact on inbox deliverability over time.

The Solution

Identify how long no engagement signifies an “unengaged” status. This can vary by company and is typically dependent on a combination of email volume, cadence, and sales cycle. Build a Re-Engagement Automated Program to identify unengaged subscribers who might still have interest. This will allow you to accurately sunset email addresses who continually do not engage after a specified amount of time.

The Impact

Over time, email engagement has increased due to natural cleansing of unengaged email addresses. Inbox placement organically increased, which has a direct positive impact on subscriber email metrics. In addition to this, Active Contact usage is now prioritized for quality email recipients.

How to Build This Campaign

You can build a simple re-engagement campaign in just a few steps. Everything you need is below.

Included Assets


The campaign uses two segments:

  • Unengaged Subscribers
  • Recently Engaged Subscribers

Below are screenshots of the segment settings.

Defining Unengaged Subscribers: Due to the individual nature of each sender’s engaged group, it is critical to define engagement for each sender. An engaged individual has done some type of recognizable “action” within a certain time frame, which is largely dependent on the cadence that individual receives. Basing the engagement segments on the cadence allows for a nuanced and effective email strategy.

Note: If you’re unsure where to start, here is a chart to assist in identifying how you might be able to define who your unengaged audience can include. This table shows expected engagement based on regular sending without accounting for sales cycles.:


Unengaged Subscribers Segment: Segment records who are considered “Unengaged” - Once you have identified who you would consider as unengaged, you will want to build a Segment that will allow you to populate those who meet your unengaged criteria. This segment will allow you to pull folks into your Re-Engagement Automated Program.

Here is an example of an Act-On Segment that is identifying records who have not engaged in 6 months after being sent at least 9 emails:

UnengagedSegment.pngThe second segment will be a general Segment that identifies whether or not someone has opened any email in the last 30 days. This segment will allow us to run a final check on anyone within the Re-Engagement Campaign to see if they have opened anything prior to sunsetting their email address. We’re going to call this our “Recently Engaged Subscribers.” This is a simple segment that can be created using the criteria below:


Note: Identifying all unengaged or engaged records is easiest when utilizing a Primary List structure within your Act-On Marketing Lists. This allows you to build a single segment underneath a parent Primary List to identify all records who meet your unengaged criteria.


Create a series of emails that you would like to use in order to re-engage your unengaged subscribers.

The content of these emails should vary and the subject line should be enticing enough to get an unengaged recipient interested in opening this email series.A good rule of thumb would be to include at least 3 emails within this series as a last ditch effort to get the recipient to show interest. Below is an example of 3 types of example emails that can be included within your Campaign

Email 1: “Still there?”
Email 2: “Reasons to keep us around!”
Email 3: “We’ll be sad to see you go!”


Automated Programs

The automated program will be used to send unengaged recipients your series of re-engagement emails. The "Unengaged Subscriber" segment referenced above, will determine who gets pulled into the Automated Program, which will then send the Re-engagement emails weekly until we eventually re-engage or sunset these email addresses

General Settings Tab

Screenshot of the General Settings tab. The “Unengaged” segment is used as the source list and the program will enter contacts once a day as they meet the criteria of this segment.




The program will include any email messages that you intend to use for your Re-Engagement Campaign. In our example, we have a series of 3 emails that have been added to our Program.


List & Segments Tab

Here we will add the Recently Engaged Subscribers segment so that we can reference it within our Program Flow. In addition to this segment, you should see your Source List segment “Unengaged Subscribers” listed here if you have added as a Source List in the General Settings tab (this section is listed within the video above):


Program Flow 

Below is a screenshot and of all the steps in the program. 


Early Exit Condition

You will want to set an Early Exit Condition on this program to immediately remove anyone who is no longer considered “Unengaged”. In this case, you will be removing anyone from this program who lands in your Segment titled “Recently Engaged Subscriber.” This will be sure to remove anyone who may have engaged with an email that you sent out, regardless of whether or not they engaged with an email within this Re-engagement Campaign (E.g. A Newsletter email, Event Promotion email, Promotional Email, etc.). We want to avoid sendign re-engagement emails or even sunsetting email addresses who for those who have engaged in any capacity, and this allows us to do so.



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