How to revive existing but not-emailed-to Customers/Contacts without spamming

We have a legally acquired Contact/Customer list that has not been emailed to for a significant time. We recently tagged a relevant section of it and added these to a Black Friday Campaign (evidently emails fly out without Double Opt-In or GDPR preferences being asked for by Infusionsoft). This triggered an Excessive Spam Complaints warning from Infusionsoft. A Chat was initiated but they do not offer help with how to overcome this issue i.e. how to go about reviving dusty Contact’s email. Anyone able to advise? Many thanks in advance for your help.

Hello, Han. I am a user but not an expert, so take this with a grain of salt. '-)

We created a re-engagement campaign which we use with anyone who has not engaged for awhile. I think it would work well with a newly, legally acquired list as well.

String together four weekly emails, the first two with a valuable and free offer. One of ours is our ten most popular blog posts from the last year. Another is a free email series.

If they bite on either of those, they get what they asked for as well as a recency tag so we know we are back in business with them.

The third email is a ‘love me or leave me’ email. In it we let them know we value the sanctity of their email inbox and do not want to continue to email if they do not wish it. They can click on the button to stay on our list or click on the button to leave our list.

If they do neither, the get one last email a week later in which the subject line says ‘Your email status is changing’. We let them know that unless they click on the button to stay on the list we will take them off.

If they click, we keep them. If they do not click we remove them.

We feel this gives them every opportunity to stay with us if they wish, it is very transparent and respectful, and it offers significant value in those first two emails. Really, if anyone on our list does not want either of those, and does not click on the ‘keep me’ button in the last two, then we are confident it is not, or is no longer, a good fit.

If the list is very large, consider doing this is much smaller chunks. I believe it is less likely to trigger a spam complaint and if after you do it with a couple of batches you are not getting engagement, then perhaps the list is simply no good and you should walk away.


Hi Linda, sorry to bother you but how small was the batch that you sent out? Our Black Friday Campaign was sent out to a mere 1,440 Contacts comprising of historical customers of one particular SKU. It triggered 6 complaints. The percentage of complaints is what gets Infusionsoft into a flap. Some of the complainants were old (2012) double opt-in Contacts. But tagging Contacts and starting a Campaign on tags doesn’t allow one to filter any further… Clearly in the batch you sent out, the complaint percentage remained below the 0.1% threshold. So I am struggling with batch size vs percentages! Infusionsoft is singularly unhelpful in advising me how to restart my emailing. They are in contrast exceedingly forthcoming in telling me that they will remove our email functionality if I get it wrong again. Beyond taking your advice and creating a charming re-engagement campaign I am also looking at alternatives to Infusionsoft. Kind regards, Han.

Hansen, my team did this but I would not be surprised if we did a few batches that were only 100 to see how it went. But if IS only cares about % rather than number of complaints that could still be a challenge. Sorry I do not know more.

Many thanks for your input Linda, it is much appreciated! Kind regards, Han.

Hi Han. I would highly recommend you nurture them as recommended prior to sending them an offer or sale for something such as Black Friday. People are already on high alert for spam with so many other brands doing the same thing. I’d personally hold off on the email during the black friday / cyber monday craze. Instead I would do a nurture / warm up campaign before hitting them with any offer.

We have a warm list that we have nurtured for many years. I’m not doing any black friday offer and instead of have been nurturing them the past month. We will then send some sales offers on Cyber Monday. I sent an email to our list today with high value and no sale and literally had less than 5 opt outs to more than 25k suscribers. We sent in multi and highly segmented lists, not one list.


Hi Han, I’m guessing you used something like datavalidation (Sign In | Emailable) to check and then validate the email addresses before uploading them? This will check for old emails and also emails that are prone to spamming complaints?

Secondly, we built a staging campaign, that divided the contacts into 26 groups which each group being tagged with a letter of the alphabet. Then scheduled the whole group in one go. Those tagged with A would be sent on the first day, B on the second day and C on the third day and so on and so on. This keeps the numbers really low and under the radar.

The other ‘trick’ we use is a ‘fake’ spam button. Place a very big button on the email that when clicked took the contact to a landing page telling them they were unsubscribed. Obviously they are not official unsubscribing and you need to go in manually and remove them but at least your deliverability isn’t affected. Obviously the real unsubscribe link is still in place but the big button is more ‘in your face’.

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Hi Han,

I had a list with dust and used a very simple email with 2 buttons. One question, are you still interested?

They had the option of clicking Yes or No. Yes, brought them to a form requiring name email phone and check boxes for interest with tags. This brought them back to life. We were able to breathe life into about 60% of our dusty contacts.

The No button simply helped me to delete inactive contacts.

I hope this helps.


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Even though you have acquired email list organically, it is important to keep your subscribers engaged. Also, an email account decay over a period of time due to “n” number of reasons.

As you have not emailed your subscribers for a long time, cleaning your email list will come in handy. Using a list verification service will remove all emails other than valid/deliverable accounts. Cleaning your email list will solve bounces from your campaigns.