Panic, on the right way to re-engage your readers

There are many reasons why we’re impressed by Panic (the purveyors of ‘shockingly good Mac software’), however this email back in January really got us giddy. Here is an example of a permission reminder done just right - it not only explains how they got your contact details, but why they’re contacting you and what they will be sending in the future. Finally, you have the option to jump off their list. Given how lovely this email is, you would have to possess a very hard heart to unsubscribe.

The power of permission reminders

Permission reminders are unfortunately, seldom sent, however their value in re-engaging subscribers simply can’t be beat. Here are a couple of reasons why you should send them:

  • It’s simply the right thing to do. If you haven’t contacted your subscribers in a while, there’s a good chance that they’ve forgotten signing up to your list. By sending a nice reminder stating specifically how your subscribers signed up in the first place (eg. “You signed up for our list via Transmit”), you’re much less likely to send folks scrambling for the ‘Spam’ button when they start receiving your emails. Take a look at our post on how to personalize your permission reminders.
  • It’s a great way to start the relationship. Sending a reminder email is a neat opportunity to introduce yourself and set positive expectations for the future. It can also be accompanied by a personal touch - “Thanks for being a customer or a fan. We literally couldn’t do it without you” - to let your subscribers know that you appreciate them hanging in there.
  • Your readers can get to know you better. I may have joined Panic’s list because I love their Transmit software. But now you mention it, I’d wouldn’t mind checking out their other titles… Permission reminders can peppered with tasteful cues to explore other areas of your site or business, such as a blog or Twitter feed.

In short, if you haven’t contacted your list in a while, you’re merging lists, or you plan on changing the frequency of your newsletters, then a permission reminder email is not only best practice, but graceful manners.

It’s the little things that count

There are other reasons why we simply love this newsletter - from the use of the text-shadow CSS3 property to create a letterpress effect (which degrades gracefully), the airmail motif created using / /’s, to its visual consistency with the Panic site. Best of all, the message isn’t lost with images turned off - even the “Unsubscribe From eList” button contains editable text.

We’re looking forward to seeing more email newsletters from Panic - you only need to use their products or visit their blog to see how high they set the bar. Many thanks to Cabel Sasser for letting us pull apart his snazzy permission reminder; it’s always a pleasure to see an email with good looks to rival the brains behind it.

Follow Panic on Twitter or via their blog. We’ll be going into more detail regarding permission reminders shortly in a follow-up blog post, so stay tuned!

Posted by Ros Hodgekiss

8 Comments

  • Amelia
    18th February

    What a fantastic opt-out letter! I think many companies could learn from this. Thank-you for sharing it with us.

  • Mr. Bean
    18th February

    Got me laughing - Not often an opt-out letter does that. Well done :-)

  • Jon M
    19th February

    Really well thought out, both in terms of design and copy. Will be trying to encourage clients to do something similar soon.

  • Kibsy
    20th February

    Rad! These guys really know how to do things right!

  • Chris
    25th February

    Superb. This should definitely be held up as a great example of permission marketing best practice.

  • Kenneth Dreyer
    27th February

    Maybe they just wanted to save the costs of sending out campaigns in CM? :)

  • Michael Palmer
    27th March

    Once again very impressed with Campaign Monitor .. Email marketing as it should be - properly!

  • ScubaMonkey
    7th April

    These guys are so lucky their email marketing is aimed at Mac users who in the main use clever email clients, unencumbered by the horrors of Windows. Have you seen what this lovely email does when run through the Litmus testing suite (quite impressive really) - but not in Outlook 2007 - the No.1 email client I have to design for (or else), with clenched teeth! OMG. I’d get fired if it was me who’d signed it off. It appears the 2010 Outlook version will dish up more of the same garbage.

Sign up for free.
Then send campaigns for as little as $9/month

Create an account