Tips for Reactivating Your Inactive Subscribers

Maintaining the list of active newsletter subscribers sounds as an easy task, but it’s actually not naive at all. Over time your list of subscribers will definitely grow. That’s good news. The bad news is that with an increase of subscribers and over a certain period of time your newsletter opening rate will probably drop. Maintaining the newsletter opening rate at a decent level and keeping your inactive subscribers at a minimum is an important task.

Why did some subscribers become inactive?

It is important to have some general idea about why some of your subscribers have become inactive. Aside from those reasonable arguments that some people may have changed their email address over time, while some others may have simply lost their interest in some topic, what are other reasons for seeing some of your subscribers turn into inactive ones?

Has your email become too generic looking with more or less the same content over and over again?
• Have you tried with a couple of different topics maybe, while still keeping the focus on your main industry?
• Do you send newsletters too often?
At this point, hopefully you have a vision what might have gone wrong and you are ready to correct some of those mistakes. In case your mailing system is flexible, try separating those inactive subscribers into a separate list and do the following in order to try to re-active them.

Option 1 – Reduce the frequency of your mailing

One of the steps to consider is to reduce the frequency of your newsletter messages. While you may have excellent emails with amazing content and an attractive offer, sending such messages too often will simply decrease the open rate by some of your subscribers and affect your campaigns on multiple levels.

Some email providers may start labeling your emails as SPAM or JUNK in case the open rate of your subscribers significantly drops. Restoring your email deliverability after once being labeled as a JUNK sender by Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail and/or other providers is a nightmare. Taking some action while it’s not too late is definitely advisable.

Option 2 – Commence the re-activation campaign

Re-think your email newsletter content well. In case you kept your focus on just one or two topics over a longer course of time, try shifting your focus a little bit and offer some variety. Steps to consider:

Create an attractive subject line that will simply appeal to users to open your message
• Add interesting content that will justify your interesting and appealing subject line
• Monitor all clicks to links from that campaign to see if you managed to re-activate some of your subscribers
• Do not include links to social media, because this campaign if focused only on your inactive subscribers and the goal is just to re-activate them
• Include relevant pictures and testimonials about your new products and offers
• Add value to that email message and offer an optional discount and benefits in case a user clicks on any link or performs any action.

In case you notice some activity of some of your previously inactive subscribers, do not immediately switch them back to your normal newsletter flow. Try slowly migrating them to the normal flow by maintaining another campaign with slightly different topics or pace.

Option 3 – The last chance – an ultimatum

If none of the previously mentioned methods helped, try sending the “Last chance” – Ultimatum email to create some sense of urgency with your subscriber to re-act. Clearly format the subject line and highlight that this is the last chance for your subscriber to show some activity if they want to stay on your newsletter list.

Clearly explain benefits of your list and make it obvious for your readers what they can lose in case they decide to remain inactive or un-subscribe.

Monitor results – remove the inactive ones

Now that you have tried a couple of tips and tricks to re-activate some of your subscribers, it is time to sum up the results. Even though you may be tempted to keep your inactive subscribers on the list for the sheer numbers, as already mentioned, you should definitely avoid doing that. Keeping your subscribers list active and healthy is important, and having inactive subscribers there just to have higher numbers can only hurt your open rate and your email list reputation.

Karin Jakovljevic

About the author

Karin Jakovljevic

Karin Jakovljevic is the head of marketing at Ximble, a powerful, cloud-based workforce management system, simplifying employee scheduling and time tracking for retailers, restaurants and small businesses.

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