Re-Engage Dormant Subscribers

According to ReachMail, since investing in acquisition of new customers is six to seven times costlier than re-activating past customers, there is a huge value in investing in re-activation campaigns. When engagement levels start to trend down for the average subscriber, it’s imperative to re-engage them before they are lost altogether.

Slideshare reports that, on average, 60% of subscribers to a list are “dead,” and according to MarketingSherpa and EmailLabs, expect a drop of between 20 and 25% in subscribers’ open rates within the first two months after signing up for an email list, and a 35 to 45% decrease two years later, says the report.

The report continues, saying that one of the main causes of lack of engagement is frequency. 69% of American email users report having unsubscribed altogether from an email list because emails were sent too frequently. Or, lower engagement than similar competitors whose communications the ISP may route through first often mark email senders to those addresses as spam.

And, if open and click through rates drop too low because of delays, ISPs may begin to route emails directly to the junk folder. The larger an email list is, the lower its open rates tend to be, says the report, possibly the result of companies being less able to tailor custom content to individual customers.

In Q1 2015, notes the report, 53% of consumers were opening email on mobile devices. This can lead to a sharp drop in open rates if your emails are not optimized for mobile viewing.

Definitions of spam aren’t as content-focused as they used to be, says the report. ISPs are focusing more on how subscribers are responding to your emails, and If the balance is off between your active and inactive subscribers, ISPs might start to think you’re a low-quality sender and relegate you to the junk folder, says the report. And, of the 95% of emails that are blocked and/or automatically routed to spam folders, 85% have it done on the basis of sender reputation.

The idea is to give the individual user what he or she will find most relevant by reacting to their opening and clickthrough habits. Clicks are not tracked as a metric for reputation, as tracking what a user does within an email is considered to be a violation of privacy, says the report. Signs considered bad by algorithms include:

  • Deleting a message without opening or reading
  • Marking as spam or moving to the junk folder
  • Reporting the email as a phishing attempt

The majority of marketers will gauge inactives as anyone who has not responded, opened, clicked or acted on any email in the past six to twelve months. The average list’s inactive rate is around 60%. This means that a list of 10,000 has only 4,000 true subscribers reading its posts. Considering the huge amount of time online marketers spend building their lists, having a majority of the list not responding after signing up is a huge loss in terms of engagement and revenue, opines the report.

The report suggests several Do’s and Don’ts in the re-engagement process:

  • Simply asking customers to update their email information can have surprising engagement results, where re-permission emails, attempting to get long inactive recipients into receiving emails again, were found to be ineffective, with only a 1.8% average read rate
  • Define an inactive subscriber as someone who has not opened/clicked within a certain amount of time using your subscriber history, says the report. Determine the average amount of time between when subscribers sign up and when they stop engaging, and develop the re-engagement program around that window of time by having a strong call to action, removing non-responders and keeping subscribers engaged to prevent those inactive users.
  • Send a survey to current subscribers asking what they think of your email campaigns and offering a small incentive to help to understand where things need to be shored up, and also to identify which customers have remained engaged over time, as they are your most likely responders.
  • Don’t immediately cull your list if you don’t see a good response to winback emails, says the report. Studies have found that 45% of people who receive a winback email will re-engage at some level with the brand, but only 24% of them actually read the winback email. The average time between receiving a winback email and re-engaging, with a subsequent message from the sender, was around 57 days.

Even in light of this information, the majority of inactive subscribers will stay that way. Having a clear idea of when you ought to disengage for good can save you problems in the future, concludes the report.

For additional information from ReachMail, please visit here.



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