What to do with inactivity

A constant problem that every email marketer will definitely face is inactivity, which influences a lot on all kind of rates and measures. What email marketer should do with all those inactive subscribers? Will culling the list off will be a good enough solution or re-engaging will be a worthy one? Of course the choice will depend on its cost.

In general, we can say that it is a usual case when inactivity rate is between 30% and 50%. But why should you calculate this rate especially for your list? The main reason is that after you calculate your inactivity rate you are able to plan, how many people you are going to re-engage and how many new people you need to attract to you list so that the size of it won’t lessen, but grow. Anyway you should take into consideration two particularities:

  1. List inactivity cannot be avoided no matter how sad it is. The most active and involved users are always the most recent users. First three months are the months of the greatest drop-off, but the situation changes into good due to stabilizing after about a half an year. Still the time frames are approximate and the mail factor they depend on is your mailing frequency.
  2. Knowing your inactive rate allows you to elaborate a plan of increasing your email marketing list. You can consider re-engaging or just start collecting the need number of subscribers well before the volume of the list will become dangerously narrow. At the same time you can chose a direct approach to those inactive subscribers and either try to involve tem again or just unsubscribe them.

So, are there any other measures you should make to follow the list inactivity? There is one more metric that is considered a key one for determining the list inactivity. This metric is called “email list hurdle rate”. It calculates the loss rate that you need to overcome to develop your list. Calculating this metric will let you know how many new-comers’ email addresses you will need to add to your list so that they replace those who leave and also will create subscribers in plus.

There are two more metrics which are related to list inactivity: list churn and list fatigue.

List churn

This metric reflects the number of subscribers who leave your list during a definite time phase. According to researches a usual annual churn rate is about 30%. The parts it could be divided into are the unsubscribed and the hard email bounces, it constitutes 2% and 20% to 30% respectively. And also something that no one email marketing campaign could be held without are spam complaints.

List Fatigue

List fatigue is much harder to deal with, because you are not sure about your subscribers’ intentions. List fatigue means that your subscribers simply became inactive. Thus you are able to choose to re-engage them or to unsubscribe them. The best variant is to send those inactive recipients extra email reminding message, with proposal of new options to chose from, and of cause one of links should be the unsubscribe link.

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Saturday, October 23rd, 2010 : Email Marketing : No Comments

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