Re-confirmation Emails: Should You Be Sending Them?

July 31, 2013
Written by
SendGrid Compliance Team
Opinions expressed by Twilio contributors are their own

Re-confirmation Emails: Should You Be Sending Them?

In order to maximize your email deliverability it is important to keep your address list current and clean. What does this mean and why does it matter? A re-confirmation email, otherwise known as a re-opt in email, is a good way to:
  • Remind unengaged customers about your business
  • Clean your lists with minimal impact to your deliverability
  • Prevent inadvertently spamming your clients
It’s important to remember that email addresses can become obsolete over time. Addresses might become abandoned and eventually recycled or converted to spam traps. (Read more about spam traps here.) Another possibility is that your recipients might simply become disinterested in receiving your emails after some time.

All of these can cause problems for your email deliverability. Old abandoned addresses become undeliverable and subsequent sending will result in bounces. Even your older recipients who had once opted-in to your emails might become disinterested in your content and may become more likely to mark your mail as spam, especially if there is no easy opt-out method in your email.

To prevent these problems, we recommend using re-opt-in messages. These emails remind your recipients of your services that they once opted into and politely ask for the recipient's permission to continue sending emails. A typical means to do this would be to send an email with two links:
  • one link to re-opt-in the recipient
  • one link to opt-out the recipient
If your subscriber does not explicitly opt back in with this email, this is a sign that they do not want to engage with your content, so their address should be removed from your list.

Ultimately, re-confirmation campaigns are a win-win. They remind your recipients of your services and they help you track your recipient engagement and help you maintain a clean list.

How often and to whom should these campaigns be sent to? 

If you are set up with SendGrid's Event Webhook, click and open events are an excellent way to track which users have been unengaged and who are the best targets for your re-confirmation emails. You can even make your re-confirmation emails specific to a particular segmented list if your address lists are set up in this fashion.

We recommend sending re-opt-in messages to subscribers who have not logged into their account or clicked on an email in the last three months. This may seem like a short duration, but you might be surprised with how quickly your recipients can lose interest in your emails. Of course there are many types of businesses and this recommendation of 3 months is only a suggestion. You know your business better than anyone so decide what works best for you. Ultimately, the more frequently you clean your address list, the less likely you will be to have deliverability problems related to old lists.

Summary checklist for reconfirmation campaigns:
  • Have a link allowing your clients to re-confirm their opt-in and a link allowing users to unsubscribe (any recipient addresses that don't engage, delete).
  • Remind the recipient how their address was originally obtained.
  • The email should be in HTML/plain and plain/text format. Some recipient domains do not view HTML emails and will only see plain/text emails.
  • Sending to a large list of recipients? Send these out in batches to avoid throttling issues with recipient domains.

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