6 min
read •
May 14, 2024

How to: Write Reactivation Emails that Work (AI Templates + Examples)

Josh @ Hoppy Copy
3x founder, CMO, loves email marketing
Published in

Reactivation Emails are one of the most overlooked and ignored emails of the lot.

They're not sexy per say, but are super necessary for any successful email strategy.

And without them, you could actually end up in some trouble.

To see what I mean, here's a story all too familiar to us:

A business owner starts an email newsletter to build an audience and drive business to his website. They manage to drive a steady amount of signups to their list every month. They're excited about the growth, but… Even though they have a good list size, their engagement starts to go way down the faster they grow. Their contacts aren’t opening their emails as much, and they aren’t clicking either.

You too may have faced a similar problem.

And we know from our own experience, this can be frustrating, especially if you've put in a lot of effort into building your list.

So, what can you do in such a situation?

  1. You could keep sending emails to everyone, even those who are not engaging, hoping that they will eventually become active.
  2. You could delete all the inactive subscribers from your list to improve your email marketing deliverability.
  3. Or you could create a reactivation segment and set up automated emails to try to win back those inactive subscribers. Once they show zero interest, you can then safely clean your list of them.

Which option would you choose?  

If you're thinking #3… you nailed it.

So what exactly is a reactivation email?

A reactivation email is an email or series of emails designed to get inactive subscribers to *finally* open up your email, click on it and start re-engaging with your brand and business again.

(hint: You can build solid reactivation emails in a few minutes using Hoppy Copy →)  

Generally, if someone hasn’t opened an email in the past 6 months, they’re an inactive subscriber. A whopping 60% of email lists are made up of inactive subscribers, and not addressing these inactive contacts means you’re leaving money on the table in these 3 ways:

  1. For one thing, email marketing plans tend to charge you for your email list size. So leaving inactive subscribers on your list means you could be paying too much for your email marketing tool.
  2. Another way you’re losing out on money is even though they’re not engaging right now, they did show interest at one point. That means they could still be someone worth marketing to but they just need a little more personalized attention.
  3. Finally, you don’t want to keep inactive subscribers on your email list because doing that will damage your deliverability and make it harder for your email marketing to succeed overall. But before you remove them, you should put them through a reactivation campaign to try and win them back. After all, it is 5X more expensive to acquire new customers than to keep an existing one, so you shouldn’t be too quick to remove them.

Types of reactivation emails that work

There are several different approaches you can use in your reactivation emails. Each approach can be effective for different types of businesses.

The Reminder Email: This approach is good for businesses with products or services that customers may not need on a regular basis. For example, a fitness app might send a reminder email to a customer who hasn't used the app in a few weeks.

Netflix: "We Miss You! Come Back and Finish Watching [Show Name]" Headspace: "It's Time to Get Back to Your Meditation Practice"

The "What's New: This type of email is useful for your businesses if you've recently or frequently released new products, services, or features. You can use this approach to remind customers of what you have to offer and encourage them to come back for more.  Examples: Spotify: "What's New in Music: Discover the Latest Playlists" Evernote: "Come See What's New: Get Evernote Premium"

The Incentive Email: This approach is good for businesses that offer products or services with a high level of competition. For example, an online retailer might offer a discount to encourage a customer to come back and complete a purchase.


Sephora: "Don't Miss Out! 20% Off Your Next Purchase"
Grubhub: "We're Hungry for Your Return - Here's 25% Off Your Next Order"  

The Feedback Email: This approach is good for businesses that are committed to improving the customer experience. For example, a software company might send a feedback email to a customer who has stopped using their product, to gain insights into why they stopped using it.

  • Grammarly: "Help us Improve Grammarly - Share Your Feedback"
  • Dropbox: "Why did you stop using Dropbox?"

The Personalized Email: This is good for businesses that have a lot of customer data and insights. For example, a travel company might use a customer's previous travel history to suggest personalized travel packages and encourage them to book another trip.

  • Amazon: "Recommended for You: Books Based on Your Recent Purchases"
  • Spotify: "Discover Weekly: Your Personalized Playlist"

The Surprising Email: This approach is good for businesses that want to create a sense of excitement and anticipation. For example, a music streaming service might offer a free trial of a new feature, such as high-quality audio, to encourage customers to come back and try it out.

  • Uber: "Your Next Ride is on Us - Surprise!"
  • Airbnb: "Unlock a Special Price on Your Next Stay - It's a Secret!"

The one you choose will highly depend on your business and customer. Our suggestion: try a couple veryl different approaches to test, and go from there.

How to write reactivation emails

Whether you use a copywriting template, an AI prompt, or use a Reactivation AI template in our tool (Hoppy Copy), here are some general tips to keep in mind when writing your reactivation email:

  • A catchy subject line that grabs the recipient's attention and entices them to open the email
  • A reminder of who you are and why they signed up for your emails in the first place
  • A personal touch, such as addressing them by name and including any relevant information that you have on file about their interests or past interactions with your company
  • A limited time offer or incentive to encourage them to engage with your brand again (this could be a discount or free trial, for example)
  • A clear call-to-action that prompts them to take a specific action, such as clicking through to your website, updating their preferences, or making a purchase
  • A sense of urgency or scarcity to create a sense of FOMO (fear of missing out) and encourage them to act quickly
  • A friendly and conversational tone that feels approachable and human, rather than overly salesy or robotic

And if you're really looking to stand out

Here are some ways you can add some extra umph to your reactivation emails:

Gamification: Make your emails interactive and fun with a quiz, game, or even a brain teaser. Reward customers with a prize for completing it, or give them a discount for solving the puzzle!  

Personal Story: Connect with customers on a deeper level by sharing a personal story or experience related to your brand. For example, tell them how the product or service has helped you, or discuss a company milestone they may be interested in.  

Exclusive Content: Show reactivated customers how much you appreciate them with exclusive access to content or resources. Offer a free e-book or guide related to their interests, or provide a discount or special deal on a premium service or upgrade.  

Just make sure to avoid these common mistakes  

  1. Sending too many emails: Bombarding inactive subscribers with too many emails can be counterproductive and result in further disengagement.
  2. Ignoring segmentation: Sending a generic reactivation email to your entire inactive list is not effective. Instead, segment your list based on engagement level, behavior, and interests to personalize your message. You should have unique reactivation emails for each key segment on your email list.
  3. Not offering value: Your reactivation email should offer a clear and compelling reason for subscribers to engage with your brand again. Offer a special promotion or exclusive content to show them what they've been missing.
  4. Being too pushy: While it's important to encourage subscribers to take action, being too pushy can turn them off. Instead, use persuasive language that highlights the benefits of re-engaging with your brand.
  5. Neglecting the subject line: Your subject line is the first thing subscribers will see, so make sure it's attention-grabbing and relevant to the content of your email. Avoid using spammy or misleading subject lines that could damage your reputation.

Here's how you can do it quickly with Hoppy Copy

Remember, there is money to be made with these emails. If some people aren’t engaging with you anymore, that’s a signal you can’t afford to ignore.

And just leaving them there or deleting them without testing the waters will harm both your engagement in general and your bottom line.

Josh @ Hoppy Copy
3x founder, CMO, loves email marketing

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