It’s a sad truth that every email marketing list will lose some subscribers over time.

But we’re not just referring to unsubscribes.

There will be people on your list that didn’t open your last few campaigns, but haven’t unsubscribed either. These subscribers are no longer engaged, but they’re still part of your list.

Why does this happen?

There are many reasons subscribers can grow a little cold when it comes to receiving your emails. They may feel that content isn’t varied or well-targeted to them, you may sell products with a lower rate of purchase frequency, or they may consider your sends too frequent. Whatever the reason, it can be very valuable to run an re-engagement campaign to determine whether these inactive subscribers are still interested in your content, and win them back.

It’s worth noting that some addresses may be out of date, and there may be a number of subscribers on your list who no longer wish to receive your emails, they just haven’t taken action and unsubscribed yet. It’s important to keep your data clean, as the way your subscribers respond to your campaigns can affect your reputation with ISPs (internet service providers), and affect your deliverability in turn.

So how do you decide who to keep and who to stop sending to? By segmenting your data and recapturing interest with targeted re-engagement campaigns.

Identifying inactive subscribers

To create a segment of inactive subscribers, you first need to determine a timeframe that works for your business. Take into consideration how often you send campaigns and how long your customer lifecycle is. If you send monthly campaigns, you’ll need a longer timeframe than if you send daily updates to get an accurate representation, and infrequent buyers may be less active, so your timeframe will need to reflect this.

As a general guide, you could consider subscribers that haven’t opened or clicked your campaigns for six months to a year as inactive.

Create your segment

MailAway users can create segments by clicking on the ‘Lists & Subscribers’ tab in their account and selecting the list to target. Select ‘Segments’ on the right-hand side of your screen.

From the drop-down menu, select ‘Specific campaign’ and choose from your list of campaigns. Underneath, click ‘+And’, repeating the process for each campaign you want to include in your segment.

Once you’ve added all the campaigns in your timeframe, select ‘Save and preview’. This segment can now be viewed and edited at any time.

Re-engagement campaigns

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Ocado Re-engagement campaign

These campaigns give you the opportunity to reach out to inactive subscribers with a new message, one that will remind them why they love your brand and your products. Keep this in mind when choosing content for your campaign.

Because these inactive subscribers are no longer responding to your usual content, you could choose to send something a little out of the ordinary. An image or copy that uses humour can help to recapture attention, so have fun with your message – but be sure to stay on brand.

Put yourself in their shoes

Think from your subscribers’ perspective and what would interest you. This example campaign from Ocado begins with a sincere message, letting the customer know they are valued and missed, going on to remind them of the benefits of receiving their emails, and finally an offer to incentivise engagement.

The results

Once you’ve reached out to your inactive segment, you may find that engagement rates are still low. Once subscribers become inactive, it can be tricky to bring them back, but any successfully re-engaged customer is worth celebrating!

When it comes to those who haven’t responded despite your best efforts, remember that continuing to send to these subscribers will have a negative impact on your engagement rates and your reputation with ISPs. Although you don’t need to unsubscribe or delete them, we recommend you stop sending to them and keep your data healthy by separating these addresses from your main lists.

Do you have any questions? Get in touch today.

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