List inactivity and the re-opt-in procedure

It is a proven fact that the longer subscribers are on your list the less their activity is. Recent reports notice, that the highest open rates (58%) could be obtained during the first month from subscription. In two months the open rate falls 13%. After half a year the open rates are 37%. In two years the open rate is about 33%. These numbers are all averages, but still they show the real tendencies you should always take in consideration.

The factors that may cause the open rates decline are multiple:

  • Source. A part of your subscribers were motivated by special offers or bonuses to sign in. they will definitely lose their interest in your email messages after the special purpose is over.
  • Expectations. The content of email message should always be relevant to the needs and desires of your subscribers.
  • Frequency. People are more likely to leave your list if the emailing is too annoying or too rare. Low frequency allows subscribers to forget about their subscription as fast as too frequent emails irritate them.
  • Poor start. Your first email message should be emailed as soon as possible.
  • Irrelevant content. In the relationship with the subscriber you are the part that presupposes to email needed information to the subscriber, who can become a future customer. The subscriber counts just on information he or she is in need and no other one. They will never be for a long period of time with you if the content of email message won’t satisfy and correspond to their needs.
  • Interest change. It often happens that the preferences of your subscribers can suddenly change.
  • Competitive newsletter. The advertising or promotional message you send has to compete with several dozens of similar emails.
  • Unsubscribe process. If the process of unsubscribing is too long and difficult the subscriber will more likely chose to be inactive instead of spending the time on signing out.

To prevent your list from subscribers’ inactivity you should take special measures that should become the key rules of your every email marketing campaign. For example you don’t have to wait long time to engage your new-comers, but should try to do it right away. Send them messages as soon as possible. You may also include “best-of” list, which will represent the most popular and useful articles. To organize more personalized emailing, send a quick survey targeted on determination of expectations and preferences of newbies and your other subscribers. Don’t hesitate to ask you subscribers about their attitude towards the design and usability of your email messages to make them more relevant and useful. Always consider segmentation and personalization. Finally, if user still decides to opt out make the process as easy as possible, otherwise long unsubscribe option will cause list’s activity decline.

Of course it doesn’t mean you have to drop anyone who doesn’t respond or click. On the contrary, you have to try to re-opt-in such subscribers. But before applying any efforts to improve the situation try to determine why it happens to you list. There are 3 main causes:

  1. A lot of addresses, which are in your list, were not based on permission.
  2. The list is out-of-date and contains a lot bad email addresses.
  3. A part of subscribers did forget they’ve ordered your emailing.

To manage the situation and resolve the problem of high inactivity rate try to run a re-opt-in campaign. Send email letters that will remind subscribers they are on your list. Consider including unsubscribe link in such email, but don’t also forget to attract the attention of your subscribers to changes or interesting information. Let them update their data if needed, etc.

Finally, if you don’t have any replies or you get emails bounces, you can delete such emails from you list, because sending email messages to such emails is only waste of money and time.

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Saturday, September 25th, 2010 : Mailing List : No Comments

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