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Handling Unresponsive Email Subscribers

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Not everyone in your email list will read your message—that’s perfectly normal. You might reach an above average open rate of 60% or higher if your email subscription is highly valued. The remaining 40% of your subscribers, however, are either avoiding your email tracking or worse – ignoring your message. Even less subscribers will click on your links. You might reach a 15% or higher click-through rate (CTR) while the rest will decide that your links are not worth a click. Learn how to win back your unresponsive subscribers, and what do you do with those who continue to remain silent.

Identify Unresponsive Subscribers in Your Email List

Learning how engaged your subscribers are with your email marketing efforts can help you understand what you’re doing well, and where you can improve. Identifying your most valuable subscribers, and those sitting on the sidelines, is the key to more efficiently target your marketing efforts.

Begin with email segmentation of your master email list. Select the recipients based on the following criteria:

  • Those who have not opened your emails or clicked your links in the past 6+ months. Selecting the period of time that denotes an unresponsive subscriber is entirely up to you, and will vary depending on a variety of factors, including whether you’re marketing to a consumer or business audience, and the frequency of your email broadcasts
  • Exclude recipients that bounced back as well as those who’ve unsubscribed

Email segmentation not only gives you the list of unresponsive subscribers, but it clearly defines your engaged recipients as well. Take this opportunity to devise a strategy that rewards your engaged segment.

Ask Again for Subscription Confirmation

Now that you’ve zeroed in on your unresponsive subscribers, you can send them an email reminder to rejoin by reconfirming their subscription. Take this opportunity to also ask for their feedback on the quality of your communications, and to further describe their interests. From their responses you will gain a better understanding about their inactivity, and learn how to transform other unresponsive subscribers into engaged readers.

Strategic email marketers prefer to use multi-message campaigns – usually a sequence of three emails sent roughly once a week. These email sequences start with an initial reminder, followed by a second reminder, then a final notice. The success of your re-opt-in campaign will greatly depend on persuasive subject lines and compelling email copy, as well as other reputation factors, such as using a branded FROM address.

Analyze Response From Your Email Segmentation

By analyzing this response to your re-opt-in email or email sequence, you can more clearly determine your next steps. Those who continue to remain dormant should be removed from your email list.

Why remove unresponsive subscribers? The quality of your email list is far more important than its size. Data hygiene best practices combined with regular cleansing of your unresponsive subscribers will:

  • Improve your reputation by reducing spam complaints. Unresponsive subscribers are likely to view your email as irrelevant and report you as spam. Studies indicate that approximately 40% of opt-in subscribers push the spam button, rather than using the normal unsubscribe interfaces
  • Reduce email marketing costs by processing less records and consuming less bandwidth
  • Improve email marketing ROI by focusing on relationships that matter to your business

Reach your attentive subscribers with managed email marketing services from Single Entry Point. Branded email marketing, mobile device rendering and dedicated data hosting and are just a few of the capabilities deployed by our proprietary email marketing technology. Contact us today to learn how we can help you.

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Mike LascutMike Lascut is Principal of Single Entry Point® Marketing, focusing on the search, email and analytics practice and leading the development of the Single Entry Point Email Marketing next generation product. Mike's professional career spans over twenty years, including twelve years of intelligent search and email marketing and over a decade and half of software architecture and development. When he's not pointing businesses in a smarter direction, Mike spends his time pointing his lens at wildlife. Connect with Mike on Linkedin, read his Nature Research Photography blog, or reach him via email or phone.