Re-engage Subscribers Without Pushing Them Away (Especially After Gmail Closures)

The recent wave of Gmail closures (as of December 1, 2023) sent ripples throughout the email marketing world, with businesses scrambling to assess the potential impact on their hard-earned subscriber lists. As Google continues its crackdown on suspicious email accounts, marketers face the harsh reality of lost contacts and diminished reach. However, this challenge presents an opportunity to refocus efforts on a critical aspect of email marketing: re-engaging inactive subscribers.

Just like a neglected furnace, an inactive email list loses its effectiveness. With recent changes in email deliverability (think Google’s Gmail closures), keeping your list healthy is more important than ever. The good news? Re-engaging inactive subscribers doesn’t have to be a chore. By implementing targeted strategies, you can transform those dormant contacts into loyal customers. This post will equip you with the tools to rekindle the flame in your email list and keep your B2B HVAC business thriving.

Let’s go over some of the does and don’ts of re-engagement!


Identify the Problem

Not all quiet subscribers are created equal! It’s crucial to understand the difference between inactive subscribers and unsubscribers. Unsubscribers have actively chosen to opt-out of receiving further emails. While it’s important to respect their wishes and promptly remove them from your list, they’re not the primary focus here.

Inactive subscribers, on the other hand, haven’t explicitly unsubscribed, but they haven’t opened or interacted with your emails in a significant period. This lack of engagement can be due to various reasons. Perhaps their initial interest waned, they haven’t found your content relevant lately, or their email address has changed.

The key takeaway here is that inactive subscribers represent an opportunity. Unlike unsubscribers, they haven’t explicitly rejected your communication. By understanding their disengagement and crafting targeted re-engagement campaigns, you can potentially revive their interest and turn them back into valuable leads.

Segmenting Your List is Key

A one-size-fits-all approach won’t work here. To effectively re-engage inactive subscribers, you need to segment your list based on engagement levels. This allows you to tailor your message to resonate with their specific needs and interests.

Here are some examples of segmentation criteria:

  • Open Rates: Subscribers who haven’t opened your emails in X amount of time.
  • Click-Through Rates: Subscribers who haven’t clicked on any links in your emails for Y amount of time.
  • Past Purchases or Service Inquiries: Subscribers who haven’t interacted with your services (purchases, quotes, etc.) in a specific timeframe.

By creating segmented lists, you can craft targeted email campaigns that address the potential reasons for their inactivity. For example, subscribers who haven’t opened emails in a while might benefit from a re-introduction campaign highlighting your latest product offerings or industry insights. Those who haven’t clicked on links might need more engaging content or clearer calls to action (CTAs). Segmentation helps you personalize your approach, increasing the chances of recapturing their interest and driving them back into the sales funnel.

Offer Value, Not Guilt Trips

When re-engaging inactive subscribers in your B2B HVAC email list, ditch the guilt trips and focus on providing real value. Remember, these subscribers are already familiar with your brand, but their previous interest may have waned. The key is to reignite that interest by demonstrating how your expertise and offerings can directly benefit their business.

Here’s how to shift your perspective:

Highlight Industry Insights and Solutions: Instead of dwelling on their inactivity, showcase valuable content. Provide exclusive industry reports, case studies that demonstrate solutions for common HVAC challenges faced by other businesses, or early access to upcoming product releases. Showcase how your knowledge and resources can help them optimize their operations, improve efficiency, or stay ahead of industry trends.

Tailor Content to Specific Needs: Leverage the power of segmentation to tailor content that resonates with specific subscriber segments. For instance, companies specializing in residential HVAC might be interested in content on energy-efficient solutions, while those focusing on commercial buildings might prioritize maintenance tips for large-scale systems. Delivering relevant industry insights demonstrates your understanding of their needs and positions you as a trusted resource.

Offer Exclusive Discounts or Incentives: Strategic use of limited-time discounts or exclusive offers can be an effective re-engagement tool. Consider providing exclusive discounts on replacement parts, early access to service appointments, or free consultations on specific HVAC challenges. Remember, the goal is to incentivize them to re-engage, not devalue your offerings. Frame these incentives as a “thank you” for their past interest and a way to rekindle a mutually beneficial relationship.

By focusing on providing tangible value, industry insights, and targeted incentives, you can transform your re-engagement strategy from guilt-inducing to genuinely helpful. This shift in approach will not only spark renewed interest but also position your B2B HVAC business as a trusted partner within the industry.

Personalize Your Message

Personalization is key to standing out in a crowded inbox. When re-engaging inactive subscribers, a generic message simply won’t cut it. By personalizing your email content, you demonstrate that you value their business and understand their specific needs.

Here’s how to personalize your B2B HVAC re-engagement emails:

Greet Them by Name: A simple yet powerful way to personalize your message is to address subscribers by name. This adds a human touch and makes the email feel less like a mass marketing blast.

Reference Past Interactions: Leverage the data you have on past interactions. Did they previously download a white paper on a specific HVAC technology? Mention it in your email and offer a follow-up resource or consultation. This demonstrates you pay attention to their interests and can provide targeted support.

Segment by Purchase History or Service Inquiries: Segmentation allows you to tailor content based on their past business with you. For instance, subscribers who haven’t purchased replacement parts in a while might receive an email highlighting new product lines or special offers on frequently replaced components. Similarly, those who haven’t inquired about maintenance services could be offered a free consultation on preventative maintenance strategies specific to their industry segment (residential vs. commercial).

Personalization goes beyond just names. By referencing past interactions and tailoring content based on their business needs, you create a more engaging experience. This demonstrates your attentiveness and positions you as a partner genuinely invested in their success. Remember, personalization shows that you see them not just as an email address, but as a valued customer within the B2B HVAC landscape.

Craft Compelling Subject Lines

In the marketing world, things have gotten pretty crowed. Being able to get the attention of your clients and customers all starts with the subject line. This is your first impression, so it needs to be clear, concise, and pique the subscriber’s curiosity. Here’s how to craft compelling subject lines for your B2B HVAC re-engagement emails:

Highlight Value and Relevance: Focus on the benefits your email offers. Instead of a generic “We miss you!”, try something like “Boost Efficiency: Free Consultation on [Specific HVAC Challenge]”. This approach clearly communicates the value proposition and directly addresses potential pain points relevant to their business.

Spark Curiosity with Intriguing Questions: A well-crafted question can be a powerful hook. Consider subject lines like “Is Your Inventory Optimized? Free Analysis Inside” or “Hidden Costs in Your Maintenance Strategy? Expert Tips Revealed”. These questions prompt subscribers to consider potential issues within their own operations, increasing the likelihood they’ll open the email to learn more.

Personalize When Possible: While bulk emailing might limit extensive personalization, consider incorporating subscriber names or company names strategically. For example, “Hi [Name], Optimize Your [Industry Segment] HVAC System” or “[Company Name]: Free Guide to Streamlining Maintenance”. This adds a touch of personalization and increases the chance of grabbing their attention.

Avoid spammy tactics like excessive caps, misleading information, or excessive punctuation. The goal is to be clear, informative, and intriguing, not to sound desperate or deceptive. By crafting compelling subject lines that showcase value and relevance, you can entice subscribers to open your email and rediscover the benefits of staying connected with your B2B HVAC business.

Provide Clear Calls to Action (CTAs)

No matter what job, industry, market or niche you work in, clear communication is always going to be important. This principle extends to your re-engagement emails. Don’t leave your subscribers guessing about what you want them to do next. A strong Call to Action (CTA) is the bridge between rekindling interest and driving action.

Here’s how to craft effective CTAs for your B2B HVAC re-engagement campaigns:

Be Direct and Action-Oriented: Instead of generic phrases like “Learn More,” use specific CTAs that clearly communicate the desired action. Consider options like “Download Your Free Maintenance Guide,” “Schedule a Free Consultation Now,” or “Explore Our New Product Line.” These CTAs leave no room for confusion and tell subscribers exactly how to re-engage with your business.

Place CTAs Strategically: Don’t bury your CTA at the bottom of your email. Place it prominently within the email body, preferably near the value proposition or after highlighting a specific offer. This increases the chances of subscribers noticing the CTA and taking the desired action.

Make CTAs Visually Appealing: Don’t underestimate the power of design. Use visually distinct buttons or text boxes for your CTAs. Consider contrasting colors that stand out from the email body, making them easier to identify and click.

By crafting clear, action-oriented CTAs and strategically placing them within your emails, you’ll guide re-engaged subscribers towards the next step in your sales funnel. Whether it’s downloading a resource, scheduling a consultation, or exploring your product offerings, a strong CTA helps bridge the gap between renewed interest and tangible action. Remember, clear communication is key to converting re-engaged subscribers into valuable customers within the B2B HVAC landscape.

Make Unsubscribing Easy

Transparency and respect are a big thing for building trust with your subscribers. While you’re aiming to re-engage them, it’s equally important to provide a clear and easy way to unsubscribe if your content no longer aligns with their needs.

Here’s why making unsubscribing easy benefits your B2B HVAC business:

Maintaining List Hygiene: A clean email list is essential for optimal deliverability rates. Subscribers who consistently ignore your emails or haven’t shown interest in a significant timeframe are unlikely to convert into leads. By making unsubscribing easy, you remove unengaged contacts, improving overall list quality and ensuring your emails reach those genuinely interested in your B2B HVAC offerings.

Building Trust and Reputation: Respecting subscribers’ wishes demonstrates your commitment to ethical email marketing practices. A clear unsubscribe option shows you value their time and inbox space. This fosters trust and strengthens your reputation within the B2B HVAC community, potentially leading to positive word-of-mouth recommendations and future business opportunities.

Implementation Tips:
  • Clear and Prominent Unsubscribe Link: Don’t hide the unsubscribe option! Place it clearly in every email, typically at the bottom footer. Use unambiguous language like “Unsubscribe” or “Manage Preferences”.
  • One-Click Unsubscribe: Avoid requiring multiple steps or confirmations to unsubscribe. A single click should be sufficient to remove them from your list.
  • Confirmation Message: Upon unsubscribing, consider including a confirmation message thanking them for their past interest and offering options to reconnect if their needs change in the future.

Remember, having a clean list means a healthy list. By making unsubscribing easy, you demonstrate respect for your subscribers, maintain list hygiene, and ultimately strengthen your reputation within the B2B HVAC industry.


Spam or Threaten

Resist the urge to bombard inactive subscribers with a flurry of emails or guilt them back into engagement. This approach can backfire, damaging your reputation and further pushing them away. Here’s why a “spam or threaten” strategy is detrimental for B2B HVAC businesses:

Unsubscribe Frenzy and Damaged Reputation: Excessive emails will likely land in the spam folder or trigger unsubscribes. Threatening language, like implying their business suffers due to inactivity, creates a negative perception. In the B2B world, trust and professionalism are paramount. These tactics erode that trust and can damage your reputation within the HVAC industry.

Focus on Value, Not Desperation: Remember, the goal is to rekindle interest, not sound desperate. Focus on providing valuable content and solutions relevant to their business needs. Highlight new product offerings, industry insights, or exclusive resources. This approach positions you as a knowledgeable partner, fostering trust and encouraging renewed engagement.

Alternatives to Spamming:

Instead of resorting to a barrage of emails, segment your list based on past interactions and tailor your message accordingly. This demonstrates that you understand their specific needs and haven’t forgotten their business.

Offer valuable industry reports, case studies showcasing solutions for common HVAC challenges, or early access to product releases. By providing exclusive content and insights, you demonstrate expertise and position yourself as a trusted resource within the B2C HVAC landscape.

Consider strategic use of limited-time discounts or exclusive offers. Focus on incentives that address their pain points, like discounts on frequently replaced parts or free consultations tailored to their industry segment (residential vs. commercial). Frame these as a “thank you” for their past interest and a way to rekindle a mutually beneficial relationship.pen_spark

By focusing on providing value, tailoring your message, and offering relevant incentives, you can transform your re-engagement strategy into a positive experience. This approach is far more effective than spamming or threatening subscribers, ultimately leading to a stronger connection and potential for future business within the B2B HVAC industry.

Make False Promises:

Building trust with other businesses is essential for success in the B2B HVAC industry.. Building trust with other businesses relies on honesty and transparency. When re-engaging subscribers, resist the temptation to use misleading subject lines or content to lure them back. This tactic may garner initial clicks, but it ultimately erodes trust and damages your reputation.

Here’s why false promises are detrimental to B2B HVAC re-engagement campaigns:

Short-Term Gains, Long-Term Losses: Clickbait subject lines or exaggerated claims might get an initial open, but they won’t convert into loyal customers. Disappointed subscribers who discover the content doesn’t deliver on the promised value are more likely to unsubscribe or mark your emails as spam. This not only hurts your deliverability rates but also tarnishes your reputation within the B2B HVAC community.

Focus on Building Trustworthy Relationships: Building trust is the foundation of successful B2B relationships. By using honest and transparent communication, you demonstrate your commitment to ethical marketing practices. Focus on highlighting genuine value propositions and solutions that address their specific business needs. This approach fosters long-term trust and positions you as a reliable partner they can depend on within the HVAC industry.

Alternatives to False Promises:

Instead of clickbait tactics, craft subject lines that pique curiosity while remaining honest and transparent. Consider questions that address common HVAC challenges faced by other B2B HVAC companies, or highlight specific benefits they might be overlooking in their current operations. For example, subject lines like “Is Your Inventory Optimized? Free Analysis Inside” or “Hidden Costs in Your Maintenance Strategy? Expert Tips Revealed” are intriguing without being deceptive. They spark curiosity and encourage subscribers to open the email to learn more, while accurately reflecting the value proposition offered within.

Furthermore, ensure your email content delivers on the promises presented in your subject line. If you offer a free consultation in your email, make sure it’s a genuine opportunity to discuss their specific needs and offer solutions, not a high-pressure sales pitch. By following through on your commitments, you build trust and establish yourself as a valuable resource for their B2B HVAC operations. This honest and transparent approach fosters long-term relationships built on mutual trust and respect, ultimately strengthening your position within the competitive B2B HVAC industry

Trust will always remain the cornerstone of successful B2B relationships. By avoiding false promises and focusing on honest communication, you can re-engage subscribers in a way that fosters long-term trust and strengthens your position within the B2B HVAC industry.

Ignore Unsubscribe Requests:

Like we said previously, building trust is essential for success in the B2B HVAC industry, and that extends to honoring unsubscribe requests promptly. Ignoring or making it difficult to unsubscribe not only frustrates subscribers but also violates email marketing best practices and can potentially land you in legal hot water.

Here’s why respecting unsubscribe requests benefits your B2B HVAC business:

Maintaining Legal Compliance: Anti-spam regulations like CAN-SPAM in the US and GDPR in Europe mandate clear and functional unsubscribe options in all commercial emails. Ignoring these requests can result in hefty fines and damage your sender reputation.

Preserving Goodwill and Reputation: B2B relationships rely on trust and respect. Forcing unwanted emails on subscribers demonstrates a lack of respect for their time and inbox space. Respecting unsubscribe requests shows you value their preferences and fosters goodwill within the B2B HVAC community. This can lead to positive word-of-mouth recommendations and future business opportunities from satisfied customers.

Focus on Quality Over Quantity: A clean email list is a healthy email list. Subscribers who consistently ignore your emails or haven’t shown interest in a significant timeframe are unlikely to convert into leads. By promptly removing them upon unsubscribe, you focus your efforts on those genuinely interested in your B2B HVAC offerings, ultimately increasing engagement rates and maximizing the return on your email marketing investment.

Streamlining the Unsubscribe Process:

Respecting your subscribers’ wishes starts with making the unsubscribe option readily available in every email you send. Don’t bury it in the fine print! Instead, place it prominently in the footer section of your emails. Use clear and unambiguous language like “Unsubscribe” or “Manage Preferences” to ensure it’s easily identifiable.

Furthermore, streamline the unsubscribe process itself. Avoid requiring multiple steps or confirmations. A single click should be sufficient to remove them from your list. This demonstrates respect for their time and minimizes frustration.

Finally, consider including a confirmation message upon unsubscribing. Thank them for their past interest and express appreciation for their time. You can also offer options to reconnect if their needs change in the future. This maintains a positive note and leaves the door open for potential future engagement, fostering a more respectful and trusting relationship.

By honoring unsubscribe requests promptly and efficiently, you demonstrate respect for your subscribers, maintain legal compliance, and ultimately cultivate a stronger reputation within the B2B HVAC industry.

Neglect Mobile Optimization:

All of us are constantly on the go these days, checking emails on our smartphones and tablets. Neglecting mobile optimization for your re-engagement emails is a recipe for low engagement and missed opportunities. Here’s why prioritizing mobile responsiveness is crucial for B2B HVAC businesses:

Majority Mobile Usage: Statistics reveal that a significant portion of emails are opened and interacted with on mobile devices. If your emails aren’t formatted for smaller screens, they might appear cluttered, unreadable, or require excessive zooming and scrolling. This frustrates subscribers and significantly reduces the chances of them engaging with your content.

Focus on User Experience: Providing a seamless user experience is key to successful B2B email marketing. Mobile-optimized emails with clear calls to action (CTAs) and concise content are easier to navigate and interact with on smaller screens. This ensures your message is delivered effectively and increases the likelihood of B2B HVAC subscribers taking the desired action, whether it’s downloading a resource, scheduling a consultation, or visiting your website.

Maintain Brand Consistency: A consistent brand experience across all platforms strengthens brand recognition and trust. Ensuring your B2B HVAC emails display correctly on mobile devices alongside your website and other marketing materials creates a cohesive brand image. This fosters professionalism and positions you as a reliable and tech-savvy partner within the B2B HVAC space.

Mobile Optimization Tips:

For optimal viewing on a wide range of devices, it’s crucial to utilize email templates that are designed with responsive layouts. This ensures that your email content automatically adjusts and resizes to fit the screen size of the device being used, whether it’s a desktop computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

When crafting your email content for B2B HVAC re-engagement campaigns, prioritize concise and clear communication. Focus on conveying the most important information in a way that’s easy to understand on a smaller screen. Avoid lengthy blocks of text and opt for clear and concise messaging that gets straight to the point.

Similarly, design your calls to action (CTAs) with mobile users in mind. Use clear and prominent CTAs with large buttons that are easy to tap on a touchscreen. This ensures that subscribers can easily take the desired action, whether it’s downloading a resource, scheduling a consultation, or visiting your website.

Finally, avoid complex email layouts that rely on multiple columns. For optimal mobile readability, opt for a single-column format. This simplifies navigation and ensures that your B2B HVAC email content is displayed correctly on all devices.

By prioritizing mobile optimization for your B2B HVAC re-engagement emails, you ensure your message reaches your target audience effectively, regardless of their device. This not only improves user experience and engagement but also strengthens brand consistency and positions you as a forward-thinking player in the competitive B2B HVAC industry.

Adapting to Gmail Closures: Maintaining List Quality in a Changing Landscape

The B2B HVAC industry thrives on building trust and fostering long-term relationships. As email marketing continues to evolve, it’s crucial to adapt your strategies to maintain a high-quality email list. Here’s how to address two key challenges posed by Gmail closures:

Double-Optin Confirmation: Building a Clean Foundation

Traditional email list building might have relied on single opt-in methods, where users simply enter their email address. However, Gmail’s growing use of automated spam filters and stricter security protocols can lead to a higher frequency of mailbox closures. This means that even valid email addresses might be flagged and bounce back.

To combat this, consider implementing a double opt-in confirmation process. Here’s how it works: After a subscriber enters their email address, they receive a confirmation email with a link they need to click to verify their subscription. This extra step helps ensure two things:

  1. Valid Email Addresses: Double opt-in verifies that the email address is valid and belongs to the intended recipient. This significantly reduces the chances of fake or misspelled addresses entering your list, ultimately improving data hygiene and deliverability rates.
  2. Genuine Interest: By requiring confirmation, you ensure that subscribers are truly interested in receiving your B2B HVAC content. This not only reduces the risk of spam complaints but also increases the likelihood that your emails reach engaged recipients genuinely interested in your products and services.
Regular Data Hygiene: Maintaining a Healthy List

A clean email list is essential for successful B2B HVAC email marketing. Regular data hygiene practices ensure optimal deliverability rates and a positive reputation with email service providers (ESPs). Here’s why actively managing your list is so important:

Removing Inactive Subscribers: Subscribers who consistently ignore your emails or haven’t shown interest in a significant timeframe are unlikely to convert into leads. Regularly remove inactive email addresses (e.g., those with repeated hard bounces or no engagement over a set period). This focuses your efforts on engaged subscribers and maximizes the return on your email marketing investment.

Combating Bounced Emails: “Bounced” emails indicate delivery failures due to invalid addresses, full mailboxes, or inactive accounts. While occasional bounces are normal, a high bounce rate can negatively impact your sender reputation. Regularly remove bounced addresses to maintain a clean list and ensure your B2B HVAC emails reach the intended recipients.

By implementing double opt-in confirmation and practicing regular data hygiene, you build a clean and engaged email list. This not only improves deliverability rates but also strengthens your reputation as a sender of valuable and relevant content within the B2B HVAC industry.

Embracing Change: Future-Proofing Your B2B HVAC Re-Engagement Strategy

Effective re-engagement strategies are an important step for maintaining a healthy email list and fostering long-term relationships with B2B HVAC subscribers. By following the dos and don’ts outlined in this post, you’ll be well-equipped to craft compelling campaigns that breathe new life into your subscriber base.

Key takeaways include identifying and segmenting inactive subscribers, offering genuine value through personalized content and exclusive incentives, crafting compelling subject lines, providing clear calls to action, and respecting subscribers’ wishes through easy unsubscribe options. Remember, transparency, honesty, and a focus on providing solutions tailored to your audience’s needs are the cornerstones of successful re-engagement.

As the email marketing landscape continues to evolve, it’s crucial to adapt your strategies to maintain a high-quality list. Implementing double opt-in confirmation and practicing regular data hygiene will help ensure your emails reach engaged recipients genuinely interested in your B2B HVAC offerings. By embracing these best practices, you’ll not only improve deliverability rates but also strengthen your reputation as a trusted and reliable partner within the industry.

Don’t let the challenges posed by Gmail closures or future email deliverability changes catch you off guard. Implement the strategies outlined in this post and stay ahead of the curve. We encourage you to share your experiences and insights as you navigate the ever-changing world of email marketing. Together, we can future-proof our re-engagement efforts and continue to foster strong, lasting connections with our B2B HVAC subscribers.

Scott Davenport

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Are You Ready To Thrive?