Are Your Emails Underperforming? Do Resends Work?

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Email resends

Have you ever hit the send button for your email campaign expecting to break your open rate records, only to then see that your email has drastically under performed? If you’re anything like me, after mulling over the time, money and effort which has gone into your campaign, you want to pretend that this first send never happened, resend your campaign and try to squeeze as much ROI out of it as possible. BUT, there are times when you should and shouldn’t re-send, so it is essential to apply this tactic with genuine caution.

Repeat When Necessary, Use With Caution

Perhaps your subscribers are away on holiday and can’t catch up with the copious amount of emails built up in your inbox, or maybe they are simply to busy and just don’t have the time to go through every single email. In circumstances like these, it is worth considering re-sending a high-value email (like your newsletter or new-product announcement), giving them another chance, within a considered time period. However, it is important to only resend to subscribers who have been active in the past 90 days.

Some email service platforms, like Maxemail, have advanced segmentation functionality allowing you to segment your list based on who did or did not open your last email. However, it’s not quite as simple as clicking the send button again. Never resend the email with the same subject line – this may make the customer wonder why they have received the email twice and think it is an error, or worse, SPAM!

Technology and ISPs are evolving and become more and more aware of SPAM and Phishing scams so a resend of an existing campaign soon after the original can trigger an alert across ISP networks. For this precise reason, it is essential to review and consider the copy of the content for the resend. Never send to customers who have previously opened the email. You don’t want to risk annoying your active openers and creating email fatigue. Have them suppressed from the main mailing list if you’re looking to re-send the same campaign.

Getting more from resends

Follow up with clicker-non-converters

By identifying those who didn’t just open your email, but also clicked, provides you with a more detailed view of engagement. We have no way of knowing if someone who is reported to have opened an email actually looked at it. If a prospect has clicked, however, we can see what part of the email received a click, providing us with the knowledge that they are at least interested enough to engage with the content. But the same timing concerns that affect opens can affect conversions. This group of “clicker-non-converters” can be considered qualified – or at least curious – prospects who, given another opportunity or extra incentive to convert, will buy.

Don’t just resend the same message to this group— as well as tweaking the subject line, adjust the copy of your follow-up campaign so it doesn’t look like you have cut corners or even worse, look like you’ve messed up and resent the same message. Consider testing a better offer to make conversion irresistible. If timing was the issue first time round, they’ll appreciate a follow-up opportunity to act.

Successful marketing requires relationships to be built over time. Setting up automated re-marketing email campaigns triggered by response action (or lack of action) shows that you’re paying attention and you’re interested in an ongoing, two-way conversation.

Deployment time and/or day affected the performance

If you believe the time and/or day of sending affected the campaign’s email open rates, and that resending the email at a more optimal time will help boost performance.

Look at your email performance trends, determine when is the best time to send emails, and resend the email at that time. You can do the same analysis for day of week, and resend on the best performing day.

Examples of this may be if the email went out on a Friday night when most people are probably not checking their email, or on a Monday morning when your message might have gotten buried under hundreds of other emails. In addition, recipients may be on a two week vacation and are not in a position to check your email. Therefore resending the same campaign could be detriment to the relationship.


So, do resends work? Yes, they do, providing that you understand that resending an email isn’t quite as simple as just clicking the send button again. Here’s a quick recap of what you should take into consideration.

  • Never resend a campaign with the same subject line
  • ISPs may mark resends as SPAM if the original content remained the same.
  • Review and analyse why there was a shortfall in open rate. Is it seasonal? i.e. recipients on annual holidays? Was it poor subject line? poor timing?
  • Only resend to active non-openers. Why automatically resend an email to non-engaged users?
  • Re-targeting campaigns should be thought out with a clear strategy.

Hopefully this blog has provided you with some useful pointers of when and how you should think about resending emails. For more information or to find out how we can help with your email marketing efforts, speak to our experts today.

About Mikal Tang

Mikal heads up the Client Services team of EmailCenter, Northampton. His knowledge and experience of email marketing is expansive through working with numerous high profile and blue chip clients from different industries including retail, hospitality, travel, real estate, finance and charity.