Inactive Email Subscribers Reactivation Strategies

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Inactive Email Subscribers: Tips for Taming the Beast

Inactive email customers and subscribers are potentially the largest pain in the posterior of many digital marketers today. However your organization defines "inactives," they often can comprise one-third to one-half of your database. These unengaged subscribers are costing you significant resources: money, time, potentially inbox deliverability and, most importantly, revenue.

In this Webinar, Carey Marston, email marketing manager with SmartPak, presents a case study on how they've attacked the non-engaged challenge' and Silverpop's vice president of industry relations Loren McDonald covers several aspects and ideas for dealing with the inactivity beast, including:

Defining what is an "inactive"
Determining root causes of non-engagement
Steps to minimize inactivity
"Activating" never-engaged subscribers earlier in the process
Segmenting types of inactives
Reactivation tactics and programs
When/whether to suppress inactives

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  • Campaign centric currently. Through re-engagement campaigns, we have reactivated about 13,000 names back onto our active mailing list. We reactivated about 5x more names when we targeted those who hadn’t opened in 6 months vs our current definition of open + purchase history.
  • We have learned that it is OK to suppress these recipients from the file. Through reactivation campaigns, we win back very few subscribers and have proven that much of our inactive list is truly inactive. We have also learned that you need to have the right message as to not confuse current customers. Before we integrated purchase data into email, we only looked at open rates as our inactive indicator (customers who had not opened/clicked in 6+ months). Our first attempt at a reactivation campaign did get some recipients’ attention by us indicating that we missed them and hadn’t heard from them in a while…there was a response from customers getting our monthly automated shipments who were quite confused. We tweaked the next campaign’s messaging by focusing it solely on the fact that they had not been viewing our emails and they were missing out on great offers, healthcare tips, etc. A bit more “big brother” but there was less of a response from current customers, if any at all. Our current creative (now that we also take into account purchase history) ties a message of both email non-responsiveness and come back and buy from SmartPak. Lesson learned: know your audience and tailor your messages to all potential recipients. A reactivation campaign can certainly be confusing if the recipient is not truly inactive, and you could potentially be throwing a reactivation offer to customers currently buying from you.
  • *Automation and identifying these subscribers earlier in their email life to attempt to wake them up before we view them as inactive. We know we have them on our list, and it’s a problem for all companies, but how can we do something about it to prevent such a dramatic loss of recipients? Send them exclusive offers to entice them to make another purchase or open the email. Subject line and offer testing with inactives. What entices them to open and make a purchase? Looking forward to testing some programs with Silverpop. I would also like to set up a process that tracks these recipients. After reactivation, are they more likely to fall into the definition of inactive again? Are they serial inactive email recipients who constantly need a jolt?
  • Inactive Email Subscribers Reactivation Strategies

    1. 1. Inactive Email Subscribers: Tips for Taming the Beast#SPOPWebinar
    2. 2. Speakers• Carey Marston • SmartPak • Email Marketing Manager • Cmarston@smartpak.com• Loren McDonald • Silverpop • VP, Industry Relations • Twitter: @LorenMcDonald • Google+: +LorenMcDonald
    3. 3. Agenda Framing the Challenge SmartPak Overview Action Plan Summary/ Q&A
    4. 4. Framing Today’s Topic
    5. 5. Remove your inactives; Send less email! Don’t removeyour inactives; Send more email!The Inactives Debate
    6. 6. “Inactives” are about human behavior… not deliverability.
    7. 7. Goal for this Webinar… Get you to think a littledifferently about inactives…
    8. 8. 1. Reactivate early 2. Automate/Programs3. Focus on mimimization
    9. 9. Why Do You Care About Inactives?
    10. 10. Inactives Are a HUGE Issue
    11. 11. Typical Actives vs. Inactives Ratio
    12. 12. Impact of Inactives Lost potential revenue Inefficiencies/Reduced ROI Fuzzy metrics Potential reduced deliverability
    13. 13. Retailer X Inactives Challenge450,000 Subscribers 40%-50% Inactive (no opens + clicks for 12 months) 200K-250K non-responders
    14. 14. Hypothetical Revenue Loss Actives Inactives # Subscribers 250,000 200,000 Average Revenue Per $0.12 Email Delivered 4 X week X 53 weeks $6.4M ~ 212 emails Potential Lost Revenue $5.1M
    15. 15. SmartPak Program Overview
    16. 16. About Our Email Program• ~1MM emails sent, per month Email Volume Transactional• Email generates 34% of all online Promotional & Triggered Email, 11% marketing channel revenue Email, 89%• Healthy transactional and triggered email program drives high return• Email team comprised of: – Email Marketing Manager Email Revenue Transactional – Email Designer & Triggered … and three businesses to support! Promotional Email, 37% Email, 63% In 2010, launched 11 automated campaigns with Silverpop, growing revenue 40% year-over-year 16
    17. 17. SmartPak’s Email Program Framework Email Channel Promotions Transactional Lifecycle SmartPaks On-Hold SmartPaks Newsletters Confirmation Welcome Order Confirmation Order Reminder Offers Shipment Abandoned Cart Confirmation SmartPaks SmartPaks On-Hold Confirmation/Welcome Today, 26 transactional Post Purchase and lifecycle emails per Password Review day, and 10+ promotional Recovery emails per month Credit Card Failure SmartPaks Up-sell Notification SmartPaks Cancel Confirmation 17
    18. 18. SmartPak: Inactives History Became aware of impact in 2007 Analyzed database = ~50% inactive Tested suppressing inactives = exact same number of opens/clicks
    19. 19. SmartPak: Current View Win-back = Revenue opportunity Potential deliverability impact Reach through other channels
    20. 20. SmartPak: Current Inactive Definition NoNo Opens 6+ Months Purchases 40%-45% of database
    21. 21. Inactives Action Plan
    22. 22. Inactives Action Plan Root Causes Define & Minimize Segment Automate Reactivate
    23. 23. Why Recipients Go Inactive Never fully engaged - just wanted the incentive Interests / needs have changed Content did not meet expectations Emails are being routed to junk folder You send too often for their taste You send un-personalized, irrelevant emails Long sales/purchase cycle Inability to update email address / change preferences
    24. 24. Determine Root Causes Are certain acquisition sources producing a higher rate of inactives? Has increased frequency numbed them? Is your email program stale and boring? Are you attracting the right audience? Are you delivering against expectations? Do you have deliverability issues?
    25. 25. Analyze… By list source Age on file Customer segment/profile Subscriber survey responses Creative test results Response by message type/frequency changes
    26. 26. Action Plan – Define & Segment
    27. 27. Defining Inactives – Sample Parameters Email activity (opens & clicks) Time on list Purchase/Conversion activity Web site/Other channel activity Sales/Purchase cycles/Seasonality Customer value/Ideal profile
    28. 28. All Inactives AreNot Created Equal
    29. 29. SmartPak: Analysis/Definition
    30. 30. Understand Your Inactive Segments More Potential? Less Potential? Past customer Never purchased Organic Opt-in Sweepstakes Recent purchase Long ago purchased High customer value Low customer value Engaged in other No engagement channels anywhere
    31. 31. Are inactives worth keeping? Do we treat segments of inactives differently?
    32. 32. Predicting Subscriber Value Potential• Leading online retailer• Suppressing inactive subscribers• Hypothesis that “high value potential” subscribers existed among inactives• Leveraged third party data (purchase behavior, demographics, etc.) and advanced modeling to predict Subscriber Value Potential.
    33. 33. Approach & Results• Segmented inactive Campaign Revenue per subscribers by Value Subscriber Potential and conducted $0.18 reactivation test 8.4x• Results: High vs. Low $0.02 segment • 1.8x higher Open Rate Low Potential High Potential Segment Segment • 8.4x higher Revenue per subscriber
    34. 34. Action Plan - Reactivate
    35. 35. Typical Reactivation Rate: 1%-2% High Performers: 10%+
    36. 36. Re-engagement Series - Incentives
    37. 37. Re-engagement Series Results• Performs poorly (as expected) – 5.8% Open rate – 1.8% click through rate – 1-2 orders per fiscal quarter• Non-responders are removed
    38. 38. Tell us what you want
    39. 39. LinkedIn: Reduced Frequency
    40. 40. SmartPak: Attempt #1We miss hearing from you!As a valued customer and subscriber to our e-newsletters, you are the first tolearn about new products, promotions, sales and healthcareinformation. Don’t miss out on all of this valuable insight that comes straightto your email inbox. If you prefer to receive your e-newsletters at a differentemail address, please click here to update your profile.We hate to see you go! But if you choose to no longer receive our e-newsletters, please click here to unsubscribe. We hope to hear from youagain soon.As a thank you for being our valued customer, please use this code (xxxx) toapply free shipping to your next order with us.- Your Friends at SmartPak
    41. 41. #2
    42. 42. #3
    43. 43. SmartPak: Reactivation Metrics Metrics Reactivation Other Emails Bounces 3% - 7% 0.57% Open Rates 3% 18% Reactivated 13,000 so far AOV $111.19 $119.09 Avg Rev/Email $0.06 $0.20
    44. 44. Action Plan - Automate
    45. 45. Automate: Activate Early Inactives New subscribers don’t open/click first XX messages/X weeks Move these early inactives into “activation” track Send survey, different offers; best of, diff subject lines, testimonials, etc.
    46. 46. Sample “Month 4” and “Month 7” Program Broadcast emails: 3-5 per week No activity for 3 months – moved to reactivation track Month 4: 1 email per week UpdateSweepstakes Unique Offer New Brands Preferences Month 5-6: Normal 3-5/week Month 7: 1 email per week Promote other What You Are Unique Offer Survey channels Missing
    47. 47. Action Plan – Minimize
    48. 48. The best reactivation strategy is to minimize inactives to begin with.
    49. 49. Opt-in processPreference mgmt. Expectation mgmt. Minimize! Targeted / Relevant Welcome / Content Onboarding
    50. 50. Opt-in Source / Process
    51. 51. Setting Expectations
    52. 52. Welcome / Onboarding
    53. 53. Ask for More Information
    54. 54. Relevant Content – Post PurchaseFollow-UpEmailsSent after1st Supplyorder
    55. 55. Crazy Content See Our ModelsNearly Naked in OurNew X-Ray Catalog
    56. 56. Footers – Make it Obvious Include links to all 3 main options: - Update preferences - Change email address - Unsubscribe
    57. 57. Enable Preference Changes Change: - Preferences - Email address - Frequency - Topics - Publications
    58. 58. Opt-down alternative to opt out
    59. 59. To Remove or Not?
    60. 60. NoMaybe Yes
    61. 61. Remove, suppress or retain? • Send less • Treat differently Retain • • Monitor reactivation Have resources to deal with • Deliverability • Business decisions / low value Remove subscribers • Cost/Resource Savings • Make sure they are truly inactive
    62. 62. Takeaways / Q & A
    63. 63. SmartPak: Some Lessons Learned OK to suppress Most inactives ARE inactive Right definition/approach is key Be careful
    64. 64. SmartPak: What’s Next? Early activation/automation Testing Track the life of inactives More behavior-based automation
    65. 65. Takeaways Don’t ignore inactives – be proactive Focus on minimizing Automate reactivation, rather than one-offs Test and Analyze
    66. 66. Questions? Carey MarstonCMarston@smartpak.com Loren McDonaldTwitter: @LorenMcDonaldlmcdonald@silverpop.com Google+: Loren McDonald
    67. 67. Resources• Resource Center • White papers • Webinars • Blogs • Case studies • Newsletters • http://www.silverpop.com/marketing-resources/index.html• Many presentations on SlideShare • www.slideshare.net/Silverpop
    68. 68. Thank you! On Twitter: @Silverpopwww.slideshare.net/silverpop www.silverpop.com

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