I Want You Back [Infographic]

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Win-back emails ask subscribers for one more chance.

“Oh baby, give me one more chance” is a well-known lyric from The Jackson 5's 1969 hit “I Want You Back.” Many email marketers sing the same tune when it comes to win-back programs. Along with wanting to get back into subscribers' hearts, marketers want to be let back into their inboxes.

Brands leveraging win-back emails experience an average inbox placement rate of 92%, according to Return Path's new research study: “Email Win-Back Programs: Everyone Recommends Them, But Do They Work?” However, the overall read rate was not as high. According to the study's sample, just 14% of subscribers who received win-back emails read them. AOL subscribers had the highest read rate at 23%, according to the study, followed by Gmail (16%) and Yahoo (15%). In addition, some consumers who interacted with win-back emails continued to engage with the brand that sent them. In fact, 45% of win-back recipients read subsequent messages from brands' email programs; however, only about one quarter (24%) of this segment read the win-back emails.

To show subscribers that they know wrong from right, marketers must include effective words in their subject lines. According to Return Path, reactivation emails containing the words “miss you” in their subject lines experienced a 13% read rate, while messages with the words “come back” in their subject lines had a 12.7% read rate. In addition, win-back emails featuring a certain dollar amount off in their subject lines had open rates that were about two times higher than emails containing percent-off discounts.

And while some marketers were too blinded by desire to let their subscribers go, others don't know when to call it quits. According to data from Return Path, about 20% of the email that marketers send out is sent to inactive subscribers.

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