Creative Edge Consultants

Dead Email List -10 Strategies to revitalize and Recover Lost Leads


Nearly 48.4% of marketers try to win inactive subscribers or dead email list contacts back via win-back emails.

Let’s face it: we’re all in this together. People drift apart and lose touch.  

In reality, if you run email newsletter campaigns, you almost most likely have a list of inactive subscribers or a dead email list.

Jump Directly to

1 . Why Should You Reactivate a Dead Email List?

2. Understanding Why Email Lists Go Dormant

3. 10 Ways to revitalize your Dead Email List and Recover Lost Leads

These are the contacts who are either missing your emails completely or actually aren’t clicking through at all.

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Luckily, these contacts are not permanently lost—sometimes, they may simply be on pause on their front.

You can get these contacts back in the form of leads by communicating with them via impactful win-back emails

Almost 44% of B2B marketers view emails as their primary lead generation source.

Why Should You Reactivate a Dead Email List?

Indeed, it would help if you thought about spending time reactivating dormant or inactive email subscribers and revitalizing your lists.


It is worthwhile to make attempts to recapture your dead or inactive contacts. An inactive contact was once interested in your brand or business, so it is reasonable that you have a chance to encourage them to rejoin your active subscriber lists before you decide to remove them from your list without trying to recapture them finally.

Look at the acquisition cost for a new subscriber and compare it to running any win-back promotions to see if you will increase interest in people opt-in to provide you their email address and let you send information directly into their inbox.

Understanding Why Email Lists Go Dormant

Inactive email subscribers (a.k.a, dormant email subscribers) are contacts in your dead email list who have opted-in for your email list and given their consent to receive information from your brand or business.

However, they have turned dormant or inactive owing to the fact that they haven’t opened, clicked, or responded to your email campaigns in any way for a predetermined time.

Usually, marketers consider a timeframe of 3 or 6 months to determine the active or dormant subscribers during their email list cleaning process.

While there isn’t a certain reason, there are a few likely reasons for your subscribers turning inactive or dormant– 

  • Your sending frequency is too frequent
  • Your contacts changed their email address and are no longer active on the address included in your list
  • Their inbox is too cluttered, and your email moved way down in their inbox
  • Your content is repetitive and lacks value
  • Send times isn’t right

10 Ways to revitalize your Dead Email List and Recover Lost Leads

1. Make sure your emails are relevant

Consumers are swamped with email these days. The overall number of email addresses is growing in tandem with the number of daily emails sent around the world.

DMR report reveals that at the personal level, an average office worker receives 121 emails per day.

However, if done correctly, the outcomes are enormous. It is really important to craft the right email for your subscribers. Without a sound strategy in place, you run the risk of delivering emails to your customers that aren’t up to par.

To build more relevant and timely emails, as well as a stronger overall experience for your list subscribers, you must close the gap between what you want to do as a marketer and what your subscribers expect from you.

2. Show Them What They Missed

When your leads turn to cold leads, that is, you have inactive subscribers in your list, it’s okay to start communications with them saying ‘we missed you.

‘ Besides that, include your business’s most recent happenings or the changes that have occurred since they left. Once you’ve engaged them, tread on value-based interactions and start serving them helpful or informative content.

Here are the tips if you are thinking about what to include as significant changes to show them what they missed:

  • Updates on the current offers
  • Price reductions and promotions
  • Service enhancements and resources

3. Craft the series of emails you’ll send to win them back

Now that you’ve decided to revitalize your list by resurrecting your dead or inactive contacts in your dead email list, you can begin by planning an automated win-back email series and brainstorm what communications you would have with them.

Each email in your win-back email series should have its own message revolving around a theme of trying to encourage your inactive contacts. Be wary of engulfing too many ideas in a single email of your series.

4. Lay off the hard sell

People don’t want to be overwhelmed with a salesy tone; instead, they want to be amused, educated, or assisted. It entails sending emails that may not result in a quick transaction but instead focus on establishing long-term customer loyalty.

Friendly recommendations, valuable tips, and content relevant to current happenings around related industries all help create a rapport and entice customers to engage with your content, paving the way to revitalize relationships with them.

5. Offer a show-stopping freebie

When you want to resurrect your dormant leads or dead email list, it should be equivalent to a show-stopping offer.

But be wary of going beyond the bounds.

Offering a freebie is an excellent idea to re-engage leads, but it needs to be so valuable that it catches their attention and even better if it registers interaction.

In other words – if you already have a paid product that you think maybe valuable for leads, then you can use that as your “freebie.”

6. Include calls to action

Your win-back campaigns should be such that they will enable you to grab people’s attention and restate your value proposition. The call to action, or CTA, gives you the liberty to be creative and grab attention. 

But, besides creativity, you should use clear and interpretive CTA so that your cold leads could easily choose between remaining on your list or unsubscribe if they don’t intend to interact with your emails anymore—sorry, but best for your email statistics.

7. Use Facebook Custom Audiences

Now, you can use the latest Facebook custom ad structure in the Ads Editor, where you can upload your entire list to Facebook and carry out campaigns directly tailored to your email list. It is quite a fantastic way to even reach out to those set of audiences present on Facebook but not in your email lists.

8. Ask customers to update their email information

Asking customers to upgrade their email details can get you unexpected results in terms of engagement. This action plan gives the customers the chance to register with a new email address if, in any case, it has changed, configure their email settings and options, and opt-in for smartphone or social media notifications. But sometimes, customers could enter invalid email or email with mistake. This is a problem, but the email finder software can help you with validating your email data.

What you are doing here is being relevant and responsible.

Moreover, such communications may help you get back dormant contacts back in your kitty as active users.

9. Offer a tripwire to turn subscribers into buyers  

Now that you’ve significantly re-engaged some subscribers from the dead email list. And, you’ve succeeded in building a new list of potential customers. It would be best if you compounded on that momentum. 

Start offering them a low-ticket product or service. 

You’ve guessed it right. 

Now, you should employ Tripwire marketing. 

Think of ideally binding your tripwire to your premium products or services. This way, you would provide a frictionless buying choice for the new customers in this manner.

10. Know when to let customers go.

If subscribers do not return despite your best efforts, always ask them if they wish to unsubscribe. 

To get rid of unnecessary emails, 73% of people use the “Unsubscribe” link or button. 

Well, we must give our subscribers this option. It’s their will to receive communications from you.

When you continue sending emails to dormant subscribers, you will get a repetition as a spammer, and email service providers (ESPs) such as Gmail and Outlook will block you from further sending emails to subscribers harming your sender reputation.

Alternatively, it is much better practice to give a polite and humorous final goodbye, which might get you a response. 

Win-back Emails Are Ray of Hope

Now, stop removing inactive contacts from your dead email list without trying to win them back. Give them options. Build a win-back strategy, follow aforestated 10 ideas to revitalize your dead email list, and get ready to succeed. 


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