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5 Innovative Marketing Tactics to Re-Engage Dead Email Subscribers

By October 28, 2015May 13th, 2019

With a 4300% ROI, email marketing is a must for any inbound marketer.But what happens when your email subscribers stop interacting? Email engagement can dwindle and stop for a variety of reasons. The email list may have been neglected – either not updated or nothing was sent. Or maybe content was sent but it was irrelevant and now your emails automatically end up in the dreaded trash folder.  Whatever the reason, there are two things you should know; ever marketer will face this issue at one time or another and it is possible to revive a dead email list.

What do you mean by dead?

Before we do anything to re-engage a dead (inactive) email subscriber list, we must define exactly what dead means. The majority of marketers gauge a dead email subscriber as anyone who has not responded, opened, clicked, or acted on any email sent in the past 6-12 months. It isn’t unusual for those with a large email list to find that well over half of their users may not have opened or clicked any emails in the measurement period. Bear in mind that non-interactors exclude those with invalid email addresses, those who have unsubscribed, or those who have declared the marketer’s email as spam. Dead means they simply don’t open or click.

1. Create a quiet list.

Now that you know who your dead subscribers are, it’s time to segment them from the general population. Almost all email service provider platforms or inbound marketing software platforms offer a place where you can track the status of your email subscribers and segment them into different lists, depending on their level of interaction. Specific email campaigns can then be created for your quiet list in order to draw them back into the fold.

2. Give it away.

A great way to see if there is any interest in your product from your quiet list is to offer a free product or service. It may be as simple as an eBook that you were planning to sell for $20.Before you begin selling it, offer it to your quiet list for a limited time as a free download. Make it clear that this is a $20 product that will not be free after a specified date. When that date arrives, use your automation platform o find out exactly which list members did not take you up on your offer and more importantly – which did.

3. Tease people with information.

Whether it’s in the all-important email subject line or in the content of the email itself you need to tease people to make them want to take action.Think of your email as a movie trailer. There’s a reason Hollywood spends billions on these 30-second trailers.That content makes people want to take action right now.

4. Survey says.

Everyone appreciates when you ask their opinion. So why not do exactly that?  With a catchy email subject line like “Your opinion matters…” you instantly grab your list’s attention. Then offer them a free survey that will only take a couple of minutes of time. Don’t forget to reward your survey taker.They’ve taken time out of their busy schedule to complete your survey, reward them with a free eBook, webinar or other helpful relevant info.

5. Rebuild your relationship with a webinar

Webinars are a great way to personally re-engage and communicate with your email subscribers. Pick a subject that will really grab the attention of your main buyer persona and invite everyone on your inactive list to take part.

The truth is, you won’t recapture all the people on your inactive list.But that’s not a bad thing.  The ones that respond are well worth your effort.  As for the ones that don’t engage, don’t give up. Keep them on the quiet list,  email them either once a week or twice a month. All it takes is the right content at the right time to turn an inactive email subscriber into an active sales lead.

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Larry Levenson

Larry is passionate about inbound marketing and is a HubSpot Certified Trainer. He's learned the "secrets" of leveraging HubSpot to make marketing hyper-effective and customizes that information to help our clients meet their goals. Larry lives in Prescott, AZ, and when not at work, he is hiking or hanging out with teenagers as a volunteer with Boys to Men USA.