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How to re-engage a dormant subscriber list

Author's avatar By Robert Allen 08 Mar, 2016
Essential Essential topic

The majority of your email list is probably dormant. Re-engaging its members brings big benefits

Many business owners spend a great deal of effort into crafting emails that are meant to engage users on your subscriber list. Studies have shown that over time engagement levels such as open rates and click through rates naturally decline over time. For the average email list, 60% of all subscribers are inactive. Inactive users are defined as anyone who has not opened, clicked or responded to any email sent in the last 6+ months.

It is up to you to be proactive in re-engaging your subscriber list before users leave all together. So how can you go about doing that? Reachmail has put together a comprehensive infographic that covers how to go about re-engaging a dormant subscriber list.

The challenge of reactivation in email marketing

So why exactly do open rates decline through time for a cohort? It is natural that it will since new subscribers will initially have more interest in a company and it's offer. But the trend can be accelerated if you are sending too many emails. 69% of American email users have unsubscribed from a list because emails were being sent too frequently. The right amount of email can vary widely by industry and audience. It is important to monitor your own email campaign data to find exactly where frequency leads to reduced user engagement. Asking for preferences can help. A case study by B2B marketer Littlefuse found that by simply sending a welcome email asking new subscribers to set email preferences had a success rate of over 53%.

Another big reason that open rates decline is because of large, unsegmented lists. All email lists, and larger ones in particular, need to be segmented in order to help target content and offers more closely to individual subscribers. Yet this takes time and email can be a victim of its own success; it can create results without segmentation. Our recent State of Email marketing research with GetResponse showed that 42% of respondents had ZERO segmentation.

The infographic goes on to cover why subscribers stop engaging, why you should be focusing on deliverability, and how to define inactive users. Even with this information, a majority of inactive subscribers will tend to stay that way. Use this information to help re-engage as many users as you can from your subscriber list.


Auhtor's avatar

By Robert Allen

I was the Editor of Smart Insights between 2015-2017. I managed the blog and you will find blog articles on a range of subjects- Marketing Technology trends and latest tech developments are a regular focus, as well as exploring key marketing concepts. You can get in touch with me on Twitter and connect with me on LinkedIn. The new Editor is Carolanne Mangles.

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