the content

An Ingenius Way to Get Inactive Subscribers to Open Your Next Email

It brought in an extra $3,386 in sales.

If you run a newsletter, especially a large one, you might have experienced your list slowly degrading over time, with more and more people not finding your emails as relevant as they did before.

It’s likely not your fault – people sign up for things and just aren’t interested in them not long later – but there is something you can do it about it.

My friend Ryan Kulp recently had a genius idea to possibly ‘bring back’ inactive readers to an eCommerce company he was working with.

Ryan was inspired by the birthday paradox, which states that even if you have just 23 people in a room, there’s a chance that two of them will share the same birthday.

Based on this, Ryan sent out an email wishing all of his inactive users a Happy Birthday!

As he was emailing a huge amount of people (78,000 subscribers), it meant that there was a huge chance many of them really were celebrating their birthday when they received the email.

As detailed in a recent GrowHack article, Ryan’s efforts resulted in over 470 warm replies from people who hadn’t replied to an email of his for a long time.

To make his email relevant to more people, Ryan went with the subject line of “Happy [belated] birthday!”

In his own words,

This gave us the flexibility to be ‘off’ by a few days (weeks? months?), yet score big in case it really is their birthday.

For a list of this size, the math works out that we likely emailed nearly 840 people whose birthday was within +/- 1 day of our message.

As the birthday messages came with a promotion code for their product (Wine), they were able to directly track its impact on sales.

Not bad for a few hours of work and the click of a ‘Send’ button.

I love stories like this because they show that out of the box thinking still exists when it comes to marketing, and it’s something that anyone with an email list can implement.

Of course, it works better if you have more people on your email list, but any sales from stale subscribers are sales you would likely never achieve any other way.


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