Email marketing is an immensely valuable tool for having a direct line of communication with your customers… as long as they are opening your emails! When subscribers are engaging with your email content, or, at the very least, opening your emails, they are considered “active” subscribers. But once they stop opening your emails for a certain period of time, they are “inactive” subscribers.
Don’t overlook these very important “inactive” subscribers! For starters, they have not unsubscribed from your email marketing, they’ve just stopped opening your emails. And you have the potential to get them back and engaged again!
After all, “inactives” make up an average of 60% of the full email subscriber list. You can’t afford to ignore these people; you simply need to connect with them again. But how do you do this effectively?
Let’s take a look at 10 methods for achieving just that.
Identify What Makes Someone Inactive
You can’t address the issue of inactivity in your email recipients before you know what that is. Ideally, you email out material frequently, so someone who is inactive doesn’t mean someone who hasn’t responded to the last couple of emails. In general, we’re talking about people who haven’t interacted in the slightest in somewhere between 6-12 months. It depends a bit on your type of company and what you are selling, but for most businesses, we’re talking somewhere in that window. Identifying who those people are is the first step to working for a solution.
Mail Chimp offers that service as an email marketing provider and you can easily access it and use it.
Ensure Relevancy Of Your Content
Email marketing is at its worst and least enticing when it feels stale. Stale emails lead to stale email recipient behavior, it’s as simple as that. Maintaining relevancy in your emails doesn’t mean keeping them up to date with your fresh stock, it means you being aware of current events, trends and other things that will appeal to your customers and include it with your marketing. If it seems like you’re out of step with the times, your emails are likely to be ignored.
To find the type of topics that are trending at the moment, you can use Google Trends, look to BuzzFeed which always has their eye on the latest trends, use BuzzSumo which is a paid service or use free resources like Reddit and Quora where you can see trending questions and topics.
Cull A Section Of Your Email List
One drastic solution to trying to re-engage a section of your email list is to remove a portion of it that you consider to be in a ‘no hope’ category. Whilst this seems a tiny bit counterintuitive since you are trying to re-engage customers not lose them altogether, the additional time and segmentation concerns that there are may simply not be worth it. For example, when identifying your inactive email recipients you might see that there are some who have been inactive for more than 12 months and you might decide that your best option there is to lose them altogether, rather than waste any more time and effort on them. Again, the MailChimp tool is perfect for that.
If people are inactive, there’s almost certainly a reason. Establishing what that reason is more important than saving face and, sometimes, it’s better just to ask. Asking can take many forms, you can even open up to them and say that you have noticed their lack of activity and would like to see what you can do to change that. The open approach is good because it also draws attention which may, in of itself, be enough to tempt people back to your company.
Reformulate And Grow Your Relationship
Once you identify everything that you need to about your inactive recipients, it’s time to act. There are a lot of different ways to go about this, but what the primary focus of most of them is, is trying to change the way things are. Change is vital. So, if you’ve been sending them non-stop emails with offers for your online store, then change it up. Send them something that they won’t expect. Get that initial interest to be re-piqued and go from there. You could offer them a free gift card for your site or send them tutorials and articles. Changing the email design might also catch their eyes.
You can use some of the tools mentioned to discover trending topics or change the design of your emails through Mail Chimp too.
Utilize Calls To Action
When handled correctly, this is one of the most valuable tools you have in trying to motivate your inactives into some activity. The call to action can be anything, but it needs to be very clearly stated and very obvious on the layout of the email. You can ask them to do a survey for a reward or tell them to vote for a design for an item, anything that motivates concrete activity. If you need help with wording this quite challenging aspect to your emails, you can try using online services. Here is an article that can help you make better CTAs in emails from Crazy Egg.
Inject Some Freedom Of Choice
One major problem with email marketing in the face of inactivity is the question of choice. On the one hand, users do typically click the button that has allowed you to email them at all. On the other hand, the feeling of real autonomy, of personal choice and responsibility still feels absent from the average recipient. Give your email customers choice. Tell them that they can receive useful tutorials, tips, articles, and video or offer them the chance to receive deals and get them to choose. Reintroduce their role in the relationship. Use some of the survey tools we mentioned above or create several email lists and allow them to choose which one they want to join.
Utilize Facebook Custom Audiences
Upload your email list to Facebook’s new advertising model and change the way you do ‘email’ marketing forever. It’s an incredible new tool and one which could be particularly useful for companies hoping to reinvigorate some of their less involved recipients. They will never expect it, and that element of surprise is always a good thing.
Slow Your Output
Mostly, email marketing advice tells you that you ought to be consistent and frequent with your emails. When it comes to inactives, going quiet for a bit can actually really help. The reason for this is that it surprises clients who are used to being bombarded non-stop. When you do finally come back, the impact of that email can really ruffle some feathers. Going quiet will also lower your chance of un-subscribers since they won’t be constantly reminded. Un-subscription rates are 22.5% a year, so it’s worth combatting.
Get Customers To Update Their Email Info
Sorry to end on this mundane tip but it’s a really important one. Inactivity is absolutely guaranteed if the email address you have doesn’t work. Frequently ask customers to update their email to the one they use most to avoid this.
To Sum Up
Don’t be discouraged by your email recipients’ inactivity statistics, it’s nothing to be too concerned about provided you are willing to do what it takes to try and solve the problem. Hopefully, amongst all of the options included in this list you’ll find one that will work for you and help to solve your problems with ease.
Chloe Bennet is an editor at Paper Fellows and EliteAssignmentHelp websites. She writes about communication and email marketing. Also, Chloe teaches grammar for ESL students at Dissertation Help portal.