As the holiday season fast approaches, marketers everywhere are beginning the annual task of planning and preparing for their various email campaigns.  One of the tasks typically tackled during this preparation is creating a plan to re-engage inactive or sleeping customers on email lists.

While a necessary task and one we recommend, this is a task you want to handle carefully because, if handled incorrectly, you run the risk of being flagged as spam and increasing your negative email reputation ranking.

To help you get ready for the holiday season, we’ve pulled together a list of suggestions for how you can re-engage your sleeping email users without risking your email reputation.

Determine Who to Re-engage With

Sleeping CustomersYour connection with your audience develops into an ongoing relationship, so, just as with any other real-world personal relationship, you need to foster and grow that relationship over time.  You never want your users to feel like you’ve moved on to something better or that you just don’t appreciate them any longer.

Even though the exact definition of an inactive subscriber varies from one company to another, they all agree it’s a subscriber who doesn’t open or click on an email in a certain period of time.

You will need to consider these when defining your timeframe:

  • Behavior Types – Most re-engagement strategies tend to be based on the email behavior, including lack of opens and/or clicks over a certain period of time, such as within the past 60 days. If significant, you might also want to consider on-site behavior and other purchase behaviors.
  • Email Frequency – Depending on your business, you will have to adjust your timeframes for inactivity. For example, a classifieds websites that specializes in daily and weekly deals might consider an inactive subscriber to be someone who hasn’t engaged in 90 days while a realtor who sends a monthly newsletter might consider a much longer timeframe such as 6 months or even a year.
  • Customer Journey – If the customer journey in your line of business is fairly long or your customers are more infrequent in their purchase cycles then you might want to consider inactivity time frames that are much longer to mirror this behavior.

 

Creation of Your Email Re-Engagement Campaigns

The first thing to keep in mind here is that since your subscribers haven’t been responding to your regular emails, you will need to send out something different. Some of the things that you can play around with include:

  • Content – Staying true to your brand values, mix up your content and communication, staying within the guidelines and present something out of the ordinary. Sending out extremely personalized emails with special messages and customized promo codes can help. Consider sending out incentivized surveys to get valuable feedback while at the same time re-engaging with your subscribers. People like sharing their opinions and they LOVE being considered important!!!
  • Style – It is highly likely that your existing emails have been designed in HTML, having your brand as the “From” name. You should consider sending out plain text email from a customer support representative with a human name.
  • Pausing – Subscriber inactivity usually happens due to email fatigue, meaning that you have sent out too many emails to make them ineffective. If that is the case then it is a good idea to pause all activity on your inactive subscribers for a while before resuming with any kind of communication.

 

Know When to Say Goodbye

Sleeping CustomersWhile you can try your luck with re-engaging with your inactive subscribers, you should consider getting rid of them if there is no response at all.  It is imperative that you keep your email lists fresh.  It is equally important to maintain regular communication with your lists to avoid them getting stale.

So if you’ve reached out and they still don’t reply, it might be time to inactivate them in your list and say goodbye.  We know, goodbyes are hard, but it’s the best thing for your long-term relationship with your email reputation.

Discover more tips for creating killer content that will excite and re-engage sleeping users in Part 5 of our Guide to Spam Proof Emails.

Want to see how the MailMonitor suite of tools can help you connect with sleepers and engage with new customers through consistent inbox deliverability?  Contact us and request a demo!

Schedule a Demo