“I don’t want to be a pest”

The shiny premise behind automatic resends is:

You avoid “bugging” your subscribers by segmenting out people who have already seen an offer, and only sending the offer a second time to the non-responders.

The assumption here is that everyone who saw the offer the first time around has already made up their mind about whether to click, or buy, or whatever.

How does that assumption hold up though?

I recently ran an experiment on a list of 81,000 subscribers.

The experiment came at the end of a 3-part email sequence.

For the final “last chance” message, I sent the exact same email to 3 different list segments:

  1. People who had opened AND clicked the first 2 emails (aka “clickers”).
  2. People who had opened but NOT clicked the first 2 emails (aka “openers”).
  3. People who had NEITHER opened nor clicked the first 2 emails (aka “non-responders”).

By the time this email went out, groups 1 and 2 had seen this specific offer twice already, and many of them had already clicked through.

So wouldn't it be better not to bug them with yet another redundant email?

Seems logical.

Here's what actually happened:

The “non-responders” clicked through at a rate of 1%.

The “openers” clicked through at a rate of 2.7%.

The “clickers” clicked through at a rate of 9.4%.

More than half the clicks for this final email came from subscribers who had already seen, and in many cases, clicked on, this exact offer twice before.

This is the group you'd be missing if you decided you “didn't want to be a pest” by sending the same offer again.

The lesson here:

Just because some of your subscribers have seen an offer before doesn't mean they're done making up their mind about it.

Don't deprive the people who showed interest the first time around of a second (and even a third or fourth) chance to take action.