The Art Of The Resend

Resends became popular a few years ago when marketers realized that sending the same exact email twice would get incremental opens, clicks, and even conversions. The boost to results is small, but since there are few creative or production costs with a resend, the ROI is very attractive. So, how do you get started?

Let's begin with some assumptions about how resend works. Of course, you start with sending an email to your target audience. After the first send, you make the decision to send the exact same email to a portion of that audience. But who do you resend that email to? There are a couple of options to consider:  

1. Resend the email to non-openers. Here, you assume that people who didn’t open may have lost your message in their inbox triage. So sending a second time might make it through the clutter, especially if you pick a different day of week or time of day for the resend.

2. Resend the email to openers who did not convert. In this case, you have a much smaller group to resend to. The assumption is that people who opened were interested, but didn’t have time to complete the purchase. Marketers report this type of resend tactic has very good incremental conversion results — as long as you’re not also sending an abandoned cart email.



Once you’ve decided who is getting the resend, you still need to put some thought into timing. Some of this will be dictated by your goals:
-- If your emails are about a sale that ends soon, it may make sense to wait a mere 24 hours and then resend.
-- If your primary concern is engagement, a resend one week later will definitely help boost those numbers.

What’s the catch?

No tactic is perfect, and resends can be very annoying to some. Among the potential downsides:

-- Resends can easily appear to be spam and annoy the very person you are trying to coax into taking action after reading your email. This can happen because opens are often underreported, especially in email clients that suppress images. At least 20% or more of resends will go to people who actually did read the original.

-- The timing of resends can also pose a risk of spamminess. If your recipients haven’t cleared out their inboxes before you send a second version, there will be two of the same email waiting.

-- Finally, getting a resend after making the decision that the original wasn’t something of interest can be off-putting to some people.

So it’s very important to pay very close attention to timing. It’s also a good idea to change a subject line or explain near the top of the email why the recipient is being asked to open a reminder.

More is better – up to a point

Resends sound pretty good at this point, good enough that you might be wondering, “Why not use this on every email I send?” Well, you could — but you might want to test that idea very carefully.

Frequency definitely helps boost results, but resends can get annoying.  So think about increasing the frequency slowly and paying careful attention to complaint rates and other email list health metrics. Once you go overboard, it can be hard to recover your audience. Once or twice a month is a good starting point for resends. You may not want to push beyond that.

6 tips to building a resend strategy

1. Decide which group to target the resend emails to. Ask yourself whether your business needs will be best served by resending to email openers, non-openers, or some other group.

2. Resend your email on a different day and at a different time from the original to catch people with varying office hours and work schedules.

3. If your goal is engagement (instead of conversions), consider testing a two-week delay between original send and resend.

4. Change the subject line. While you may have success without making this change, it’s inexpensive enough and can help the resend look a bit more fresh.

5. Splurge, and add a one-line message near the header image. This can help increase the sense of urgency and make the resend appear less spammy as well.

6. Test, test, and test again. Don’t forget to watch your list health metrics very carefully.

Any other ideas on how to improve the resend? Please share them in the comments section.

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