The right way to resurrect an old email list


Lately, I’ve been getting tons of emails from companies that I haven’t heard from in years. I suppose this is a result of the recession, as companies try to get more value from their existing opt-in lists. But as a recipient, it’s a little weird to be ignored by the marketing team for five years or more, and suddenly be worthy of getting regular promotions now. And I’m guessing this type of resurrected mailing list tends to have a very high rate of unsubscribes.

Is there a better way to proceed when you’re unearthing a dormant email list? Definitely. In the first message, acknowledge to the reader that you’re getting back in touch with old customers and prospects. Explain what your company does today and how it may be useful to them. Tell them how often you plan to send email updates. And give them an easy way to opt-out or transfer the subscription to a colleague, in case the topic is no longer relevant to them.

By taking these steps, you’ll be re-introducing your company in a friendly and customer-centric way. This should lead to more conversions from the email marketing campaign, while burning far fewer bridges than the hard-sell tactics that most companies use when resurrecting an old list.