Remailing vs. Recycling: Which Strategy Is Best?

Kellie Boggs, Senior Marketing Strategist

Author Bio

With over nine years of experience in developing and growing email and cross-channel marketing programs to drive revenue, Kellie Boggs brings a track record of success in building multi-channel campaigns across a variety of industries. By working one-on-one with clients to understand their business model and goals, she provides strategic marketing guidance to increase revenue. Boggs offers experience in providing clients with industry best practices, message design, campaign optimization, list growth tactics, segmentation strategies and detailed analyses of marketing campaigns. She truly enjoys helping clients build their customer base, grow their email channel and increase revenue! In her spare time, Boggs enjoys chasing her toddler around and the motherhood adventure. She also enjoys attending NC State sporting events with her family.

In the fast-paced world of ecommerce, we’re all looking for ways to save time. We’re likely stretched thin and rarely have unlimited creative resources. With this in mind, it makes sense to reuse and repurpose as much as we can, and two effective strategies come to mind: remailing and recycling content.

Some of my clients have recently confused one with the other. While both can help you make the most of your creative content and campaigns, they’re different marketing strategies that require separate planning and execution. So let’s dive in and review the differences.


If done correctly, remailing is a simple way to gain additional revenue with minimal effort. It’s the practice of resending your original email campaign to contacts that did not open the message the first time around. No need to make changes to the message itself at all. You’re basically giving your email a second chance by changing up the subject line with something that will hopefully grab the recipient’s attention enough to make them want to open. You could include phrases like “Last Chance” or “Don’t Forget,” or you might experiment with an entirely different subject line altogether.

The setup for remailing is simple, too. You can schedule your remail at the same time you schedule your original send. You’ll need to create a segment to identify those contacts that did not open your email and select how many days you’d like to wait between sends. I recommend remailing three to five days after the initial message has gone out unless there’s some time-sensitive reason for a different date, such as the upcoming expiration of a promotion. The final step is to add in your new subject line and – boom! – your remail is set up and ready to go.

But remember: Not every mailing needs a remail. Be thoughtful about what campaigns you resend, and plan your remails ahead of time. For example, if you’re running a flash sale, you might remail your message about the promotion to non-openers when they have a few hours left to take advantage of the sale. Also, consider remailing those under-performing emails. You’d be surprised at the additional sales remailing can bring in!

For more advanced remailing, you might also resend to contacts who have clicked but not converted. You’ll want to test your remailing efforts, though, and monitor your unsubscribes and complaints to be sure they’re not higher than the numbers you see with your original sends.

Recycling Content

With remailing, you resend your original email as-is and only change the subject line. But when we talk about recycling content, we’re referring to reusing pieces of your email, such as the copy, images or artwork, but tweaking them to give a different look and feel. You’ve invested a lot of time and energy already in creating your campaigns, and this is one way to get much more out of your investment and avoid having to start from scratch.

For example, you might feature the same products from an earlier email but display them in a different way the second time around. This is a great way to change up your existing content without writing brand new copy. Customers could get used to the way you feature your products and begin to get bored with your messages. You want your content to be exciting to view and read, so consider serving up your products in a way that makes your subscribers feel special and unique.

Check out this example from Birchbox. They likely sent a number of emails during the weeks and days leading up to Valentine’s Day to promote their gift options for the holiday. For this “last chance” message, rather than displaying their products in a standard grid view, they introduced new product visuals to outline easy ways to give this Valentine’s Day.


You might also choose not to display any products at all. This strategy really allows you to repurpose your content with a minimal amount of effort. If you create a visual like Vineyard Vines’ exclusive envelope for your promotion, you can use it throughout your campaign. Then, you only need to change out the banner at the top or use another similar visual element to alert recipients to the end of the sale. No need to create an entirely new email for subsequent mailings.

Vineyard Vines

Whether you remail your original email or reuse pieces of your best campaigns, you’re stretching your investment and squeezing the most out of your team’s hard work. With so many options to repurpose and recycle, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel with every message. Save the time, save your resources and save those sales you’re potentially leaving on the table.