Steps to Effectively Re-Engage Inactive Users

Step 1: Identify the inactive users on your list. This would include anyone who hasn’t opened a message in a either a set period time or a certain number of emails – such as in the last six months or the last 10 emails sent. Now take this group and make a separate “inactive” mailing list.

Step 2: Re-engage these inactive users and re-ignite their interest by sending them a special message. Let them know they’re missed and you want them back with a subject line that says just that. Include special offer, incentives, discounts or offers like free shipping etc. And be sure to provide a prominent unsubscribe link for the people who really are no longer interested in receiving your communications.

Step 3: The people who respond to your your re-engagement emails, move them to active list and send another message to the people who haven't yet responded. In the second email that you will send to inactive users, tell them that they will be removed from your list if they don’t respond within a certain period of time, such as one week.

Step 4: Remove the ones who still didn't respond to your second email. This may be tough to do, but keep in mind that even though your list may be a little smaller, the quality is much better.

Step 5: Prevent a build up of inactive users by keeping your subscribers engaged. The following are some ways to keep active subscribers interested and opening your emails:

  • Be sure your subject lines are clear and communicate what your email is really about.
  • Regularly offer incentives, discounts, contests and coupons to motivate people to open your emails.
  • Don’t overwhelm subscribers with too many emails. One way to do this is by giving subscribers the opportunity at sign up to choose the frequency of emails they are sent.
  • Use a survey in one newsletter with a promise to report results in the next issue; subscribers will come back next month just to see what everyone else had to say – a great way to keep subscribers engaged.
  • If e-newsletters are part of your email marketing strategy, be sure to limit the amount of promotional content. You can avoid too much self-promotion, for example, by simply sending subscribers to your Web site for more information.
  • Find out why people are no longer interested by asking them when they unsubscribe. Then use the information you obtain to modify your email promotions.
  • Provide a convenient change of address link on your email correspondence. Many times people change jobs or ISPs and get a new email address, contributing to your inactive user list.
  • Consider having an annual subscription renewal process where subscribers must renew their subscription to continue receiving your emails. This will help keep only those people who are really interested in getting your communications.
  • Testing is an important tool for finding out which email strategies work and don’t work.

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