Inactive Email Subscribers: Best Practices for Re-Engagement


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Find out how to keep your followers consistently engaged & enthused w/ this helpful how-to on email reputation management!

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  • According to MAAWG, every day about 100 billion emails are sent to valid email addresses around the world; in 2010 an estimated 88 percent of this worldwide email traffic was spam (Symantec 2010; MAAWG 2011). Negative Externalities are often used when talking about automobiles. They create air pollution, accidents, require road maintenance, etc. These costs are assumed by society, and not the automobile manufacturers or oil companies. With email, the ISPs bear the cost of negative externalities on behalf of senders. They include maintaining feedback loops, fielding customer service calls and emails at their abuse desk, abandoned mailboxes, hosting costs, etc.
  • Only 76.5% of commercial email delivered to the inbox
  • Cost of Acquiring New CustomersDMA data supports the common marketing belief that it’s more cost-effective to cultivate existing customers than to find new onesMedian ROI for customer emails was $28.50 per dollar spent, compared to a mean customer acquisition cost of $55.24 eMarketer "Email Marketing Benchmarks: Key Data, Trends and Metrics" (2013)
  • How do you define an inactive email subscriber? An inactive email subscriber is someone who no longer reads your email, but hasn’t yet taken action to stop receiving it. How long that has been going on doesn’t really matter, the point is they are no longer interested in reading your email. Don’t give up hope yet, because they also haven’t unsubscribed or worse, reported your mail as spam to their email provider.
  • All the ISPs care about is opens and clicks. They don’t see anything else.
  • However, as marketers we have more data from other channels including mobile, web, in-store, catalog, etc.So our responsibility is to balance the need for improved sender reputation and delivery, with revenue and ROI. We can’t just cut people who are not responding via email.
  • Removing Inactives Are you experiencing low Inbox Placement Rate?If No, then don’t remove anyone and move onIf Yes, then at which domain? Are your deliverability challenges at that domain related to low engagement rates?If no, then don’t remove anyone and move onIf Yes, then proceed to defining Inactive segmentsDefining Inactive segments:Domain: Identify addresses at the domains where you are experiencing deliverability challenges first. Yahoo!HotmailGmailAolDate of last email activity; create sub-segments:No historical activityNo activity within 12 monthsNo activity within 6 monthsActivity within 6 monthsDate of last purchase; create sub-segments: No recorded purchasesNo recorded purchases within 12 monthsNo recorded purchases within 6 monthsRecorded purchase within 6 monthsCustomer segments (if available); create sub-segments:Least valuable customer segmentMid-level customer segmentTop-level customer segmentDate of last website visit; create sub-segments: No website visit everNo website visit within 12 monthsNo website visit within 6 monthsWebsite visit within 6 monthsDate of last social media activity; create sub-segments:No social activity everNo social activity within the last 12 monthsNo social activity within the last 6 monthsSocial activity within the last 6 months  Removing SegmentsSegment 1Domains: Yahoo, Gmail, AOL, and/or Hotmail depending on where you are having deliverability challenges related to engagement +No historical email activity recorded +No historical purchases recorded +Least valuable customer segment +No website activity ever +No social media activity ever +If deliverability challenges subside, then move on. If not, the remove the next least valuable segment.Key measuresThe success of your program will be defined by improved deliverability metrics, especially Inbox Placement Rate, at the domains in questionb) no degradation in revenue from your email program. If either success metric isn't realized, then stop and reevaluate.These segments also inform your reengagement strategy, both in terms of the content and channel of communication. For example, if a customer has visited the website within the last 6 months, but hasn't been active in email for 12 months, then you can attempt an "intercept" on the website, perhaps asking them to take a visit to your preference center where they can choose how they want to be communicated with.
  • Retail apparel had highest amount of engaged subscribers.
  • Up from 69.7% in 2012.
  • Consider removing certain sources, or optimizing under-performers.Consider testing various levels of permission, length and content of your welcome program.Test increasing mailing frequency vs. decreasing frequency.
  • According to MarketingSherpa, only 30% of marketers use reactivation campaigns as a deliverability tactic and some only use them periodically because they find them challenging. As a reminder, it’s more expensive to acquire a customer than to keep one. Deliverability, reputation and pre-empting inactivity can be managed by keeping on top of, monitoring and measuring subscriber acquisition sources, subscription tenure (life on file), and email engagement. Make reactivationa permanent lifecycle campaign practice and weaving it into the customer’s journey is key.
  • According to a study done by a major ESP. If 2/3 of your list is inactive, a 10% reactivation rate means 6.7% new subscribers. JibJab did a winback campaign and had a 15% reactivation rate.
  • Reactivated Segment: Look to change cadence and relevancy to this groupInactive Segment:Look at these people as inactive and reduce or stop emailing them
  • What we can bring to the table is a re-engagement fmwk. We have seen tremendous success. We only scratched sfc with those two charts but we have the tools to do this. To effectively re-engage and maximize return on marketing dollars requires that you also look at customeremail engagement data, so that you can start to identify how you will communicate (what messages/offers and how often) with different segments of your file. .ActiveUse Email Engagement to define High, Medium and Low-responsive groups to test into email frequency preferences. Inactive Type 1Overlay transactional data to identify lapsed buyer vs. non-buyer. Send profitable product offers high engaged group and aggressive offers to low engaged lapsed customers to reactivate.Inactive Type 2Use the Email Engagement to identify those customers who are truly inactive (no opens or clicks) in a 24 month time period to support a COI program.
  • From Left to Right:Subject: Come back to our PLACE! Confirm your subscription!Subject: We've missed you! Please confirm your subscription!Subject: Was it something we said? Confirm your subscription...Subject: We were so happy together... Please confirm your subscription!
  • Reconfirm 1: Don't Miss Out on redbox Offers!Reconfirm 2: Don't let any great deals slip by! Confirm your email!
  • How do we engage with these users if the email is invalid or the COI doesn’t work?Do we do a reverse append and do a direct mail program?Do we reach out to them via social or mobile?
  • Don’t be afraid to remove people from your list.
  • In the follow up email, you will receive a link to download a whitepaper, which is a framework for defining inactive subscribers for your organization. Plus, all Act-On customers get 25% off their first list validation project or their first month of real-time validation.
  • Ready to Learn MoreWe are receiving a lot of questions from today’s attendees and before we move to the Q&A session, we’d like to ask….Are ready to learn more about Act-On? If so please feel free to give us a call, send us an email, or visit us on the web to get more information on what Act-On’s marketing automation solution can do for you and your business.As you may know, Act-On Software is a leading provider of cloud-based integrated marketing automation software and, among a variety of other professional awards, was named a leader among lead-to-revenue management vendors in the 2014 Forrester Wave.
  • Inactive Email Subscribers: Best Practices for Re-Engagement

    1. 1. | @ActOnSoftware | #ActOnSW | | @LeadSpend Inactive Email Subscribers Best Practices for Re-engagement
    2. 2. | @ActOnSoftware | #ActOnSW | | @LeadSpend Submit Your Questions
    3. 3. | @ActOnSoftware | #ActOnSW | | @LeadSpend Tweet Us! #ActOnSW and @LeadSpend
    4. 4. | @ActOnSoftware | #ActOnSW | | @LeadSpend Today’s Presenters David Fowler @oregonlimey Chief Privacy & Deliverability Officer Act-On Software Craig Swerdloff @swerd, @LeadSpend CEO LeadSpend
    5. 5. | @ActOnSoftware | #ActOnSW | | @LeadSpend Email is the heart of your online identity...and it’s the gateway to your digital experience…
    6. 6. | @ActOnSoftware | #ActOnSW | | @LeadSpend  Deliverability basics  Email reputation and you  Inactive email subscribers – what you can do  Email conversion formula  Wrap up and Q&A Today’s Agenda
    7. 7. | @ActOnSoftware | #ActOnSW | | @LeadSpend What is Deliverability? • Delivered vs. Deliverability • Delivered – number of messages that did NOT bounce • # Delivered – # Messages Sent – # Bounces • IPR (Inbox Placement Rate) - Proportion of messages that make it straight into the inbox • Getting filtered or blocked by the receivers REDUCES your conversions • Ignoring deliverability issues will make them worse • Great deliverability is your foundation to better ROI Key Point – great deliverability is your foundation to better ROI eec Definition of “Delivered” “…’accepted number’ of messages that make it directly into a recipient’s inbox…”
    8. 8. | @ActOnSoftware | #ActOnSW | | @LeadSpend Email Reputation • The issues that affect YOUR sending reputation: • Authentication adoption • Email volume • Complaint and hard bounce rates • Spam trap metrics • Blacklist inclusion and management • First and third party content • Domain reputation • Consumer engagement (inactive subscribers)
    9. 9. | @ActOnSoftware | #ActOnSW | | @LeadSpend How ISPs Look at it @leadspend
    10. 10. | @ActOnSoftware | #ActOnSW | | @LeadSpend Why Care About Inactive Subscribers? @leadspend Deliverability – Inactive subscribers hurt engagement rates – Low engagement rates hurt Inbox Placement Rate – Over time, ISPs reclaim accounts – Recycle them or convert them into spam traps Low Risk 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 Deliverability Risk Med Risk High Risk Critical RiskLow Risk
    11. 11. | @ActOnSoftware | #ActOnSW | | @LeadSpend Why are Inactive Subscribers Important? @leadspend • Median ROI for customer emails was $28.50 per dollar spent • Compared to mean customer acquisition cost of $55.24 Source: eMarketer "Email Marketing Benchmarks: Key Data, Trends and Metrics" (2013)
    12. 12. | @ActOnSoftware | #ActOnSW | | @LeadSpend Defining Inactive Subscribers @leadspend
    13. 13. | @ActOnSoftware | #ActOnSW | | @LeadSpend How Active are Your Email Subscribers? @leadspend Q: What is an inactive or un-engaged subscriber? A: Subscribers who no longer read your email, but haven’t yet taken action to stop receiving it. This can mean something different for each sender.
    14. 14. | @ActOnSoftware | #ActOnSW | | @LeadSpend The ISPs’ Perspective @leadspend
    15. 15. | @ActOnSoftware | #ActOnSW | | @LeadSpend A Broader Perspective @leadspend
    16. 16. | @ActOnSoftware | #ActOnSW | | @LeadSpend Defining an Inactive/Unengaged User @leadspend Before removing an inactive subscriber check if: No Opens/Clicks (90-365 days) No Purchases (in ~6 months) Inbox Placement Rate (sender reputation) struggling • If all three criteria are true, then start to eliminate. • Remove inactives that have been unresponsive the longest, first.
    17. 17. | @ActOnSoftware | #ActOnSW | | @LeadSpend Why Do People Become Inactive? @leadspend
    18. 18. | @ActOnSoftware | #ActOnSW | | @LeadSpend Engaged Subscribers @leadspend %Retail subscribers Opened/clicked in the last 3 months
    19. 19. | @ActOnSoftware | #ActOnSW | | @LeadSpend Inactive Subscribers @leadspend %Email subscribers Are inactive Source: MarketingSherpa report UP TO
    20. 20. | @ActOnSoftware | #ActOnSW | | @LeadSpend Why Did Subscribers Go Inactive? @leadspend NOT ENOUGH EMAILS, SEND MORE! TOO MANY EMAILS, SEND LESS! Frequency of Mailing • You email too often, and they’ve become used to deleting your mail • You mail too infrequently, and are not engaging! • Communication: find out how often they want to hear from you » Preferences and surveys • Some individuals were never active in the first place
    21. 21. | @ActOnSoftware | #ActOnSW | | @LeadSpend The Mobility Factor @leadspend %Email marketers Not designing for mobile devices Source: MarketingSherpa 2013 Email Marketing Benchmark Report
    22. 22. | @ActOnSoftware | #ActOnSW | | @LeadSpend The Mobility Factor @leadspend %Average user base Emails on a mobile device
    23. 23. | @ActOnSoftware | #ActOnSW | | @LeadSpend The Mobility Factor Consumers Delete emails on mobile if it doesn’t look good %
    24. 24. | @ActOnSoftware | #ActOnSW | | @LeadSpend Avoiding Future Inactive Subscribers @leadspend Find the cause(s): • Source • Permission • Welcome program • Messaging
    25. 25. | @ActOnSoftware | #ActOnSW | | @LeadSpend Maintaining a Healthy List @leadspend Source: MarketingSherpa Email Marketing Benchmark Report 2012
    26. 26. | @ActOnSoftware | #ActOnSW | | @LeadSpend Reactivation Campaigns @leadspend • AKA: Win-back/Re-engagement/Re-activation • All mean essentially the same thing: we want you back! • Represent one of the highest ROI opportunities in marketing • Low cost, potentially high reward • Average Reactivation rate for most marketers: 1-2% • Potential Reactivation rate for High Performers: 10%+
    27. 27. | @ActOnSoftware | #ActOnSW | | @LeadSpend Winback Program: Overview @leadspend Email Validation We Miss You email Welcome Back! Wait X Days Inactive Group Very Inactive Opened/ Clicked We Miss You 2 email Wait X Days Final Notice email
    28. 28. | @ActOnSoftware | #ActOnSW | | @LeadSpend Re-Engagement Tactics: Apply Learnings @leadspend • Integrate engaged group into core cadence • Measure creative performance, optimize accordingly • Integrate triggered re-engagement email at 6-month mark
    29. 29. | @ActOnSoftware | #ActOnSW | | @LeadSpend Engaging Subject Lines • We miss you and we want you to see what’s new • Appeals without forcing you to offer incentives for their inactivity. • We have a confession…and an offer you won’t want to miss • Apologize for not reaching out to them in a while, give special attention. • Limited time incentives. • We hate spam, too. Let us know if you want to stay on our list. • People don’t want to go through the trouble of unsubscribing, so being blunt can be effective. • Straightforward, and gets to the point. • Let them know that if they do not opt-in by a certain date, they will be removed. • Keep your word! Actually remove them if you do not receive an answer. @leadspend
    30. 30. | @ActOnSoftware | #ActOnSW | | @LeadSpend Re-Engage With a Special Offer @leadspend Option 1: Re-Engagement Test – with a special offer • Week 1: We miss you – come back with this special offer! • Week 2: Confirm your email and receive 15% off your next purchase! • Week 3: It’s not too late – confirm your email to receive 15% off your next purchase • Week 4: Farewell from Company XYZ, we’ll miss you…
    31. 31. | @ActOnSoftware | #ActOnSW | | @LeadSpend Re-Engage Without a Special Offer @leadspend Option 2: Traditional – no special offers • Week 1: We miss you – confirm your subscription • Week 2: Confirm your email to continue to receive our best deals! • Week 3: It’s not too late – confirm your email today • Week 4: Farewell from Company XYZ, we’ll miss you…
    32. 32. | @ActOnSoftware | #ActOnSW | | @LeadSpend Repermissioning Creative @leadspend
    33. 33. | @ActOnSoftware | #ActOnSW | | @LeadSpend Example: Four-Part Email Series @leadspend
    34. 34. | @ActOnSoftware | #ActOnSW | | @LeadSpend Best-in-Class Re-Engagement Tactics @leadspend  Sephora  Deployed to subscribers who sign- up but do not make a purchase after 45 or 90 days:  We miss you  Aggressive offer  West Elm  Subject Line: We know you’re busy…  Unconventional subject line and creative treatment  Aggressive Offer  L.L. Bean:  Push to preference center  Offers other methods of communication  Smarter Dining:  Survey  Crate and Barrel:  Multichannel  Limited Time
    35. 35. | @ActOnSoftware | #ActOnSW | | @LeadSpend Banner Reconfirmation to Utilize Winning Creative @leadspend  Using current promotional emails, add a banner on the top  Subject: We Miss You, Please Confirm Your Email Subscription to The Children’s Place!
    36. 36. | @ActOnSoftware | #ActOnSW | | @LeadSpend Redbox: Four-Part Series to Inactives @leadspend • Highlight benefits users will miss • Uses same creative but different subject for each touch: • Touch 1: Don't Miss Out on Redbox Offers! • Touch 2: Don't let any great deals slip by! Confirm your email! • Touch 3: Confirm your email - Don't lose out on great deals! • Touch 4: We Want You Back - Confirm Your Subscription Now!
    37. 37. | @ActOnSoftware | #ActOnSW | | @LeadSpend When All Else Fails, Ask Permission @leadspend
    38. 38. | @ActOnSoftware | #ActOnSW | | @LeadSpend Email Conversion Formula Relevant Content Best Practices Sale or Action Marketing Automation Email Done Right Data Segmentation & Targeting The Right Message The Right People + The Right Time Conversion Success=+
    39. 39. | @ActOnSoftware | #ActOnSW | | @LeadSpend Options Outside of Email @leadspend Do you have other information on your users?
    40. 40. | @ActOnSoftware | #ActOnSW | | @LeadSpend The Last Resort: Breaking-Up @leadspend
    41. 41. | @ActOnSoftware | #ActOnSW | | @LeadSpend @leadspend BONUS!
    42. 42. | @ActOnSoftware | #ActOnSW | | @LeadSpend Special Offer
    43. 43. | @ActOnSoftware | #ActOnSW | | @LeadSpend Learn More About Act-On Interested in a demo? Call: +1 (877) 530-1555 Email: Web: THE FORRESTER WAVE™ LEADERS QUADRANT
    44. 44. | @ActOnSoftware | #ActOnSW | | @LeadSpend Q&A David Fowler @oregonlimey Chief Privacy & Deliverability Officer Act-On Software Craig Swerdloff @swerd CEO LeadSpend