There may come a time in your email marketing career when you realise that the campaigns that you have been working so hard on are starting to fall on blind eyes. Some of your subscribers, you now realise, haven’t opened or clicked through your emails in quite a long time. They have essentially become ‘inactive’. You might think that your opt-in list has been thoroughly researched and compiled but the reality is that an estimated 25-33% of your list can be deemed ‘inactive’, according to a preliminary email marketing analysis.
Before flat panic sets in and you send off a barrage of ‘why don’t you love me anymore?’ emails, you need to try and work out why they have become inactive. From there, you can then take steps to woo them back to your side of the court.
First, you need to decide on the level of your subscriber’s inactivity, which can be roughly separated into two categories. The first, is the group that is just not interested anymore in what you have to offer. The second are those that are simply too busy or preoccupied to take the time to read your email.
You will, at this stage, start to question why your subscribers are no longer interested. So, what we have done for you is to identify the top reasons why subscribers become inactive, which may help you to identify what’s gone wrong for you.
1. Your subject line is badly planned
It can’t be emphasised enough if your subject line doesn’t grab your reader’s attention immediately it isn’t going to get opened. It’s that simple. Make sure that your subject line is personalised, states clearly what’s on offer, creates a sense of urgency and gets put to the test before you send out your campaign.
2. Frequency/Relevancy of your campaign
This can go a long way towards a person not bothering to open your email or simply ignoring it. Do you bombard their inbox every day with reminders, offers and updates? Do you send exotic travel package deals to people who have zero interest in travel and have not in fact ventured beyond the borders of their state? Do your homework. Reduce the number of emails you send out by consolidating the information into one campaign that gets sent out once a week. Investigate your target market and your subscriber list and ensure that what you do send out is relevant to that group.
3. Changed interests/financial changes
This is always a sensitive subject. Perhaps your reader no longer has an interest in the products and services you offer. People change and you need to accept this fact and delete them from your list. The recession has meant that subscribers are also less likely to click on products or services directly from your campaign. People might simply not be able to afford the luxury anymore and their priorities change. They might be waiting for their situation to change or improve before they start buying from you again.
4. Dormant Email Address
These days’ people often have 2 or 3 private email addresses. The problem is that although they are essentially active, they are rarely all used. There is a good chance that some of the addresses on your list fall into this category, in which case you need to attempt to get the email address that your subscriber checks every day.
5. The dreaded Spam Filters
Are you sure every recipient received your email? Did you check the spam rating of your campaign before you sent it off? No? This is a vital step in the creation of your campaign and will mean the difference between your email landing in the inbox or it getting relegated to the spam/bulk folder. Your email marketing service should allow and in fact prompt you to run your campaign through a comprehensive spam check and make any changes if necessary. It is a prerequisite and will save you time and money in the long run.
6. They only signed up for the competition/incentive
…and aren’t actually interested in your product. Most people have done this at some point in their lives. You see a competition to win something grand, fill in the obligatory details and promptly forget about it until you start getting emails offering products or services you have no intention of buying. You can’t be bothered to unsubscribe and the emails start getting ignored. Why though, has no one taken the time to see if you are in fact interested in receiving their emails? It’s an easy enough process that will erase any uncertainty the marketer might have.
So there you go, these are some of the most common reasons for subscribers becoming inactive. It is important that you identify the reasons behind your subscribers’ inactivity so that you can custom-design a reactivation campaign that is personal, direct and relevant to them.