resend to unopens in mailchimp

How to Resend Email to Unopens in MailChimp (2018 UPDATE)

A round-up on email marketing, the case for re-sending email to everyone that didn't open it, and a step-by-step tutorial in MailChimp on how to do it.

So what are we talking about today?

Email, email, email, and… email.

“You said email four times.”

I know. I like email.

And you should too.

Your email list is the gift that keeps on giving.

Your email list should be one of, if not the most valuable marketing channels you have.

You should be studying others for ideas and frequency.

Not only should you be sending out email frequently — our “anatomy of an art sales email” can help you there — actively gathering email addresses all the time; both online and off, as well as regularly importing your email list into Facebook and showing those folks your latest ads.

Whew. It’s important to be looking forward at how to grow your list wherever possible, but it’s equally important to know you’re getting the most out of your existing email list.

That’s what we’re covering today with this step-by-step tutorial on how to send emails to unopens in MailChimp.


In layman’s terms: you send an email campaign, most will not open it; so you take that same email, change the subject line, and then send it again to only those folks that did not open it.

Why would you want to do that?

One, because it works incredibly well and two, because you’re a marketing ninja.

“Yeah, but…”

  • “Sending the same email twice is too much”
  • “Sending email twice is gonna really piss people off and cause them to unsubscribe”

Those are the immediate objections you are likely have.

Both are incorrect.

You have to keep in mind that people — you, me, we — are insanely busy and do not look at every piece of email we get and for that same reason we are not likely to unsubscribe.

Moreover, if they do – who cares? They likely don’t want to hear from you/were never going to buy anyway, so let em go.

The bottom line is that this technique works incredibly well, like twisting a wet towel to get all the water out, will help you get more out of your valuable email list.

MailChimp makes doing this super easy, and we’ve had a lot of success with it.

So lets get into how to do it.

Resending to Unopens

This practice works well for both content emails (like promoting a new blog post) and sales emails (like announcing a new product).

We’re going to assume you already have a MailChimp account (that’s who we advocate our users at ASF use, but if yours is different the process is likely not all that different) — and have sent at least one email campaign.

STEP 1: Replicate the campaign you want to resend

From your Campaigns list, select the one you’d like to resend and replicate it via the drop-down menu.

This will create an identical copy of the email, as well as replicate all the sending parameters – some of which need to be changed for the resend.

STEP 2: Rename the new campaign

Edit your newly-created campaign, and add (RESEND) on to the end of the name so that you can clearly track its stats separate from the original email.

STEP 3: Add the Unopens Segment

This is the key step.

 In order to only send this resend email to your subscribers who did not open the original campaign, you’ll need to add a segment condition.

To start, click the Edit Recipients button.

Your first iteration of the campaign will likely have “Send to entire list” selected, but for our purposes here, select “Group or new segment.”

From there, select the following parameters from the drop-downs:

Campaign Activity > "did not open" > [your original campaign]

So if the original campaign we want to resend was called "Austin Arts Festival Follow-Up," here's how that would look:

Finally, click the "Update Recipient Count" and check the number to the left – this number must be lower than your total subscriber count, considering the email is only supposed to send to those who did not open the original campaign.

STEP 4: Update the subject line

Give the subject line a quick change so that your subscribers aren’t seeing the same email hitting their inbox twice. If you don't want to think of a new subject line, just add "ICYMI" (In Case You Missed It) to the beginning.

However, it is best to come up with a brand new line as this is your lucky second chance to get them to click or swipe open your email - make the most of it!

STEP 5: Add a note identifying the resend (Optional)

This part isn't critical, but a nice touch is to add a note at the head of the email mentioning the fact that they’re reading a resend. This will prevent any confusion if they go back in their inbox and find that original email.

STEP 6: Send the Email; Track the Results

That's it! Send off your re-send email, and be amazed at how many extra clicks you squeeze out of the very same email you already sent. 

PRO TIP: It’s easy to forget to resend these emails, so why not create your resend campaign immediately after you send your original email? Just schedule the re-send for 2-5 days after your original email is sent, MailChimp will take care of updating the segment accordingly (ie: it will say 0 recipients in the "Update Recipient Count" area from Step 3, but don't worry - it will work properly when the re-send actually goes out). Resending is quick and easy, and makes us feel confident we’ve put the email and links in front of as many eyes as possible.

Wrapping Up

Re-sending email to un-opens is a highly effective technique that costs nothing and, better still, takes very little time to execute on.

How often should you do this?

Every single time. 

Of course, keep an eye on your stats and make sure your unsubscribes don't climb too high (a few is okay, a lot is a problem), but the general practice is just too effective to ignore. Enjoy!

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Leave a Comment:

Dominique Hurley says

This was great! Thanks Patrick! My stats on my campaign this month were really low and one person said she didn’t even get it, so now I feel like folks have another chance to fill their day with my art & inspiration. I had no idea we could do this!

Art Storefronts says

Dominique do it! Its a free and easy tactic that just plain works. Takes mere minutes to setup as well.

You will do great with it. Just remember to change the subject line up a bit.

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