5 Ways to Re-Engage Your Inactive Subscribers

You have diligently gone through the process of establishing which of your subscribers are actually inactive and more importantly why. There could be a number of reasons for this, but one of the most likely is that your content simply isn’t interesting enough to grab their attention, either in the subject line or in the body of your emails. These are the subscribers that you want to target your re-activation campaign at.

Re-engaging (re-activating) your subscribers is a good idea for a number of reasons. Firstly, the process costs less than if you were to try and acquire new subscribers. Also, having inactive subscribers on your list can harm your reputation and deliverability. This is because client interaction is becoming increasingly important in the filtering decisions with ISP’s. With the aim of identifying spammers, these ISP’s turn old email addresses in to ‘spam traps’ or ‘honeypots’ and monitor email marketers that constantly send emails to these invalid addresses.

Your campaign goal is to peak your subscribers’ interest again and win them back to your side of the court, but how can you go about doing this? We’ve looked at some of the most effective methods that you can apply to re-engage these inactive subscribers before you lose them for good.

Offer an incentive/special offer. This should be the first step in your re-activation campaign. Consider offering something for free, such as a coupon, white paper, survey, entry into a competition or a discount on your products or services. It needs to be eye-catching, succinct and hard to pass up; you don’t want to give your subscribers any reason to ignore this special email.

Remind them of the benefits of being a subscriber. Once they have opened your hard to resist message, now is the time to remind them of subscriber benefits. What are they missing out on? What further special offers are they eligible for? What interesting articles can they expect to read in the next newsletter? You could at this stage also allow them the opportunity to update their profile. Make sure this is a painless process whereby they can change their email address, their preference to how they receive their emails, their demographics and even their interests. This updated data is very important and can help segment your subscribers so you can send them more relevant emails, which will go a long way to peaking their interest once more.

Conduct a survey on inactive subscribers. This email needs to stand out as much as possible. Remember that your subject line might be one of the reasons that your subscribers aren’t opening your messages, so look at changing your content here first and see if it has a positive effect. For example, you could try personalising the email more. In the survey, ask them what they would like to see in your newsletter and what they are interested in. If you’re brave enough you could also ask them if they feel you are meeting their expectations. Also take the time to find out if they are actually still interested in receiving your emails.

Include links to past articles. Gather your most popular articles and write-ups from past newsletters and put them together into a special ‘best of’ email. A trip down memory lane will help remind subscribers why they signed up in the first place.

Test different send days, times and frequency. If you are not generating desired results with your current roll out plan then perhaps it’s time to reassess your strategy with regards to when and how often you send emails.  A lot of research and testing has been done with regards to this and although the information might differ depending on who your target market is, it is well worth investigating. Many companies and individuals have had success by simply changing the day or time of day that they send their emails.

If there’s still no response at this stage, then prompt them by letting them know with a friendly reminder that their subscriptions will be expiring soon. Let them know that if they still want to be on your mailing list then they’ll need to reconfirm their interest and email address. Make the link to the details update form simple and easy to find.

Once you’ve taken these re-engagement strategies into consideration and put them into practice, you’ll find that you needn’t delete any inactive subscribers from your list just yet.  If you put the right amount of time and energy into winning them back and doing everything you can to keep them interested, you might not have to think of the prospect of re-engaging them again in the future.


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