An email marketing campaign is dependent on the list, which – let’s face it – is only as good as its active members. Inactive email subscribers represent a potential audience that just aren’t engaging with your business or brand, something that naturally occurs for any business, but there are ways of winning them back.
Why You Should Attempt To Re-engage
While it’s a great opportunity to remind inactive email subscribers why they signed up in the first place, email accounts that don’t open marketing newsletters can help tip the balance into your content being branded as spam, relegating your message to the junk mail box or – worse – blocking your campaigns altogether. Gmail and Outlook both use engagement metrics to help determine if senders should be considered spammers.
It’s also true that customer loyalty takes work, but the pay off is an engaged audience that not only repeat purchase, but will help spread the word about your business to friends, family and social media circles. Free advertising in the form of friend recommendations? The best kind of advertising you can hope for.
Who To Win-Back
We’re going to assume you’ve segmented your list, because these aren’t messages you want to be sending to your active and engaged subscribers. It’s a good idea to identify accounts that have never opened a single email you’ve sent, it may be they have an email account set up solely for marketing newsletters that’s different to their personal and active account. While you can try to win these customers back, chances are the inbox is never checked. Know when to step back.
It’s also important to segment those customers who’ve had a bad experience with your business, for whatever reason. The campaign you target them with will need to acknowledge the issue(s) and work to resolve the situation to a) ensure it won’t happen again and b) regain the trust of your customer.
How To Ensure an Engaged Audience (Including Your Inactive Email Subscribers)
Your starting point should be to decide when an account becomes inactive; timescales will vary depending on the nature of the business and product or service offered. Be sure that the contacts you’re segmenting from your list are at the right point to be targeting with a win-back campaign.
Remember that old adage: who are your customers? It needs to be applied to your email campaigns too. Give subscribers a reason to not only subscribe, but subscribe with their personal email address during the sign-up process. Content should be targeted at your customers needs and interests – why did they choose your business in the first place?
Test, test, test, test, test. Before sending out a campaign aimed at reactivating those inactive accounts, make sure you test out your messaging and content on a control group. Change it up, see what graphics, tone of voice and incentive work best before rolling it out to your entire list.
Acknowledge individual customers through personalisation of email messaging. Take it beyond using their name and utilise past purchase history to create offers that will matter and, crucially, be relevant to their needs. While it’s an email campaign for the benefit of your business, never forget that it also has to benefit your customer to keep them interested in what you’re selling. For those persistent inactive subscribers, take a step back and simply stop sending them emails, allowing them to return at a later date by themselves.