Figuring out what resonates with your readers can be a head-scratcher for even the savviest email marketer. Why does one campaign perform well, while another perfectly good one seems to fall flat? Follow-up emails to your nonresponders may be able to help.

Nonresponders are the people who didn’t read an email the first time around, but that doesn’t mean an email campaign is lost on them. Perhaps the message got buried in their inbox, arrived when they were too busy to open it or simply didn’t appeal to them at first glance. Follow-up emails are great for promotional content like sales, events and fundraisers that have a specific goal or expiration date – whether it’s redeeming a specific coupon, registering for an event or donating to a current fundraising campaign — but they can be used for nearly any type of email campaign.

Here are three tips to wake up those nonresponders and give your open rates a boost:

1. Segment your list

The first order of business is to segment out subscribers that didn’t open your email the first time around and create a new list of these nonresponders. VerticalResponse automatically does this for Basic and Pro users. Click into an email you’ve already sent, and look for this box to easily and quickly send a Follow-Up Email to those nonresponders, without having to manually segment them first:

Then, there are two quick changes you can make to your original email to try to get more people to open your follow-up:

2. Try a different time of day or day of the week

Determining the best time to schedule your email takes some trial and error. If you sent the first email early in the morning, try sending the nonresponders’ version later in the day. Check your email reporting to see when the majority of your opens and clicks happen to determine when your readers are more likely to open your messages. Additionally, if your first email went out on Monday, try a different day of the week. Don’t be shy about testing on weekends, either.

3. Tweak your subject line

Aside from timing, the other way to make nonresponders notice your follow-up email is to change the subject line. Fantastic email content does little good if the subject line prevents people from opening the message in the first place. For your follow-up message to nonresponders, try making your subject line emotionally resonant. Or if your campaign has an expiration date, try adding urgency to the subject line with phrases such as “hurry,” “ending soon,” “last chance” and so on.

Using these three tips can help you re-engage nonresponders and get them opening and clicking your emails. That gets you better results.

Join 140,000 small business owners

Get expert tips and email inspiration biweekly. Subscribe today and download our FREE Guide to Email List Management eBook.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in May 2015 and has been updated for accuracy and relevance.

© 2017 – 2018, Contributing Author. All rights reserved.

Related Blogs

Ready to apply what you've
learned about Email