There may be affiliate links in this post which means I may receive a commission if you purchase something through a link. However, please be assured that I only recommend products I have personally used and love!
“I should really email my list”
“I really, really need to my email list”
“It’s been 6+ months, I don’t even know what to say any more. I should just delete them all and start again ?”
It’s okay, many of us have been there. We’ve all received emails from someone after they’ve been radio silent for months, or even years.
Here are my top tips about how to write the first email after a long break:
Do remind people who you are and what they originally signed up for
You’re doing this to avoid people immediately hitting the ‘report spam’ button!
Example: “Lizzy here, Email/Online Business Strategist and ConvertKit Certified Expert. At some point you signed up to hear more about what I’m up to/The Beginners Guide to ConvertKit.”
Do explain why you haven’t emailed in so long
This is really important. You’re a real person. This email is going to be read by a real person. You don’t need to go into great detail, but do explain somewhat why you haven’t emailed in ages: you had a baby, you’ve been working on a new project, you shifted directions, you were super focused on your clients, you haven’t felt inspired, you didn’t have anything interesting to say and didn’t want to unnecessarily clog up their inbox, etc.
Do use it as an opportunity to link to things you’ve been up to
If you’ve shifted directions, or been working on a side project, wrote a book, etc, you can subtly use this opportunity to link to those things. Some people will be genuinely interested in what you’ve been up to.
Do give people the opportunity to unsubscribe if they’re no longer interested, especially if you’ve changed direction
This one is especially important if you’ve shifted directions. It’s always nice to explain who your emails are for and invite them to unsubscribe at the bottom, no hard feelings.
Example: “If you’re no longer interested in ConvertKit or using ConvertKit, it’s totally cool, I understand. Please do feel free to unsubscribe at the bottom!”.
(Please note I don’t just email about ConvertKit! This is an example. You should still totally sign up to my list if you’re finding this blog post helpful!)
Do expect lots of unsubscribers
You’re going to get lots of unsubscribers. You’re going to have lots of emails hard bounce (which means their email address no longer exists). This is to be expected. Embrace it. They’re cleaning your list for you. This is a fresh start!
Don’t be over familiar with ‘you know how it is’
If your explanation for not having emailed in ages is along the lines of ‘I just got kinda busy’, I don’t recommend following this with ‘you know how it is…’. It can come off a little, over familiar, especially if you’re B2B and you’re emailing fellow business owners who haven’t let their list go cold!
Don’t have the email be super plain text – give people visual clues about who you are
You want to be giving people as many clues as possible about who you are and why you’re emailing them. The reminder about who you are is one of them, but if you can also add a banner/logo/picture of you in where you’ve been/etc – then that will help with the recognition and they’re less likely to report you as spam!
Don’t immediately pitch something
This should be kind of obvious, but don’t immediately try to sell them something if you haven’t emailed in ages. It kinda makes it look like you’re only emailing them because you have something to sell. You want your relationship with your subscribers to be about more than that. The opposite of this is giving them some sort of freebie or thing of value – but make sure you don’t link to a landing page – just give it to them!
Don’t promise or state any grand plans for emailing regularly from now on
I’ve done this, and it’s just not good when you don’t follow through. It breaks trust. No matter how committed you are to regularly emailing your list every week from this point forward, I really recommend that you don’t state that to them. If for any reason it doesn’t happen, it’s not a good look and they’re just going to grow tired of their on/off relationship with you that’s full of broken promises! You can absolutely let them know what’s coming up in the coming weeks/months though.
Those are my top tips for emailing your list after a long break. If you’re feeling brave, I’d love for you to share in the comments how long it’s been and how it goes for you! Good luck!