How to Re-Engage Your Stagnant Email List

by Syed Balkhi, Contributor to Business2Community

Do you have an email list jam-packed with subscribers? Here’s a better question; are your email leads actively engaging with your business and opening your messages? If not, stick around.

Email re-engagement is one of the glaring pain points marketers experience when turning prospects into buyers or boosting their retention rate with existing customers. It’s not easy to get more sales and click-throughs when no one is opening your emails in the first place.

Despite the rumors that email marketing is dead, it actually has an average return on investment of 4,400%, so it’s clear that this is still a vital strategy for growing your business.

There are several reasons why a lead list might become stagnant. Today, we hope to shed some light on some of the common causes of engagement dropoff. We will also go over some of the techniques we’ve used in the past to re-engage our subscribers.

Let’s dive in!

Define the Term “Inactive Subscriber”

The first step in re-engaging your email leads is to define the term “inactive subscriber.” Various industries may have unique definitions due to differences in pricing, product selection, and volume of repeat customers.

You can quickly frame your version of an inactive email subscriber by figuring out when a lead officially loses interest in your company. The marketing team at a pet supply store might consider subscribers who don’t open an email for 1 month inactive. On the other hand, a jewelry store might deem a lead dormant after not opening emails for 6 months. Things like order frequency and price points place a crucial role in determining when a subscriber has become inactive.

Once you’ve defined the subscribers you’d like to re-engage, segment them into their own list so you can reach them with targeted campaigns.

Create a Re-engagement Campaign

Speaking of segmenting your leads, let’s discuss how and why you should create campaigns specifically for your inactive subscribers. Consumers want content and offers that resonate with their goals, pain points, and behaviors. Believe it or not, 4 out 5 people say they want to see more personalized content from their favorite brands.

When you go out of your way to create a custom campaign to get people interested in your business again, you have a better shot at getting recipients to click through. You’re appealing to their need for personalized content when you create subject lines like, “We Miss You!” and “Was It Something We Said?” Because they can see from the preview that the email is about their inactivity.

You can also create special offers that are designed to get subscribers to come back to your site. We include a promotional offer in our re-engagement campaigns. One of our most successful coupons for breaking inactivity is 40% off for return customers.

Business leaders that pay attention to these factors tend to get more email engagement and, consequently, sales. You can put the odds in your favor by strategically sending your re-engagement campaign emails at the right time. Research shows that 6 am, 10 am, 2 pm, and 8 pm are the best times to send your emails. Just make sure you’re following your subscribers’ time zones and not your own.

Ask for Feedback

Another clever way to liven up your email list is to ask your subscribers for feedback. Consumers are more than happy to tell brands what they can do to improve future experiences, especially if there’s an incentive.

We like to send out quarterly feedback forms to our active and inactive subscribers so we can fine-tune our strategy throughout the year. The thing is, your forms might look a little different if you’re trying to re-engage inactive subscribers.

People who actively read your emails are more willing to answer surveys with 5 or more questions. However, you’re going to have a tough time getting your least responsive subscribers to respond if your feedback form is too long.

We suggest creating an alternate survey for your inactive subscribers. Limit yourself to one or two questions, and you’ll have a better chance at getting users to respond. Because you’re limited on how many questions you can ask, make sure each one counts.

You could ask one targeted question like, “What can we do to improve your experience with our brand?” These simple, open-ended questions can provide you with a wealth of data. Use what you learn to tune your email marketing strategy and get more engagement from stagnant subscribers.

Check Your Deliverability

Your email deliverability rate can also lead to lackluster engagement. It’s worth noting that deliverability and delivery are two different things. Delivery is focused on if a subscriber receives an email, and deliverability is where the email goes once it hits your subscribers’ inbox.

So, if your emails are getting kicked back to your email provider, you’re having a delivery issue. But if emails are going to your subscribers’ spam folder, this is considered a deliverability problem.

Believe it or not, a test of 1.5 billion emails showed that 70% had at least one deliverability issue. You’ll be happy to know that despite this startling statistic, there are a few ways to get more emails to land in front of your subscribers instead of going to the dreaded spam folder.

The most important factor in determining where an email goes is the authentication of the sender. If you use different servers to host your website and send emails, you’re going to encounter these issues. Luckily, there are plenty of free tools that help business owners and marketing teams align how their emails are delivered. This one seemingly small change can breathe fresh life into your lead list.

Scrub Your List

If all else fails, you should consider scrubbing your email list. If you’re not familiar with the term, it simply means to remove inactive subscribers from your list if all of your re-engagement strategies fail.

It doesn’t matter how hard you try; a percentage of your subscribers will refuse to engage with your campaigns. Instead of wasting time, money, and resources sending these people emails for the foreseeable future, you can cut your losses and start targeting users who are more likely to engage with your business.

We recommend scrubbing your list at least twice a year. You’ll want to use your existing inactive subscriber list and remove people that didn’t respond to any of the emails sent out through your re-engagement campaigns.

So, if a prospect gets your 5 emails from your recovery drip campaign, doesn’t open a single one, and continues not responding to emails, you may want to remove them from your lead list. Not only will this strategy save you money, but it will also help boost your engagement rate because you’re only sending emails to your most dedicated subscribers.

Final Thoughts

Email engagement is a crucial part of your success. If you want to grow your business, you need to reach people who are genuinely interested in your products, services, and brand. The tips presented today will help you refine your leads and re-engage your stagnant email list.

Interested in Learning More? Check out the video below – How to Win Back Customers with Reactivation Campaigns:

You Might Also Be Interested: Email Reactivation Strategies to Win Back Dormant Customers.