Emails & SMS

Re-Engaging Email Subscribers Part 3: Sunset Flows

November 13, 2021

This is the final part of our series on re-engaging email subscribers. 

If you’ve sent a re-engagement campaign and/or winback flow, and still have email subscribers that haven’t engaged with your brand…

It may be time to “let the sun go down” on these subs (cue the Elton John 🎵).


This is when Sunset Flows come into play: a last-ditch effort to re-engage – or phase out – customers who are no longer engaging with your brand. 

So grab your picnic basket and bottle of wine. We’re going on a walk into the Sunset. 🌞


⏲️ When to send a Sunset Flow:

Unlike Winback Flows, the trigger for a Sunset Flow is purely based on engagement.


If a user hasn’t engaged1 with your emails for a period of time2, before you take them off your list, the best practice is to add them to a Sunset Flow.

1. Remember: Email engagement post-iOS 15 = Clicks, not opens.

2. The “period of time” to trigger a Sunset Flow can vary for each brand. 👇


Klaviyo recommends basing the trigger on how regularly you email your list. For example, if you send daily emails, 90 days of inactivity is a good indicator that someone is unengaged. 

If you email more infrequently, such as monthly, consider a 120–180 day trigger.*


*Brownie Points: Send your Sunsets to the largest segment of unengaged subs 🥰  


Our Email Team at Pilothouse Agency suggests having your Sunset Flow fire on whichever unengaged segment  – 30, 60, 90, or 120 day  – tends to have the most volume.  

In other words, if you have the ability to get granular with your data, focus your Sunset on where the bulk of your less-engaged audience lives. 

This will allow you to get the most data, revenue, and retention from your efforts.


📓 The structure of a Sunset Flow:

Sunset Flows basically serve as a “breakup” or “goodbye” message to checked-out subscribers (ugh, depressing, we know 💔).


More tactically speaking, they allow you to:

  1. Give subscribers one final opportunity to stay on your list.
  2. Easily manage subscribers who still don’t engage (BUT don’t suppress them yet, we’ll explain why).


So you want your message to be crystal clear: If they don’t take action, they’ll no longer hear from you. 🔇


Here are some best practices from our Email Team at Pilothouse:

  • Limit to 1–2 emails: 3+ risk hurting deliverability even more.
  • Keep it simple and personal: Plain text emails from “real people” tend to work well.
  • CTA should promote engagement: “If you want to stay on the list, click here” or “What do you want more of? Respond and let us know” (the latter also improves deliverability). 
  • Clear unsubscribe/manage preference links: Allow them to update their settings manually rather than be removed from your list.


Also, make sure to filter out anyone who engages with an email in the Sunset Flow. Once they’ve engaged, they should be automatically removed from the flow and put back into an engaged segment.

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