by Elastic Email Apr 4, 2024

Email marketing is one of the most efficient and cost-effective ways to generate traction and convey your message to the intended audience.

A well-thought-out email marketing campaign makes it possible for you to share relevant information and promote your solutions with ease.

The effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns is highly dependent on the size of your email list. The more subscribers you have, the more likely it will be for you to drive better results.

However, a common problem many businesses face here is keeping their email subscribers engaged.

Inactive email subscribers encompass different types. This article shows you how you can re-engage them in different ways.

So, without further ado, let’s get started.

Who are Inactive Email Subscribers?

Inactive email subscribers encompass people you could not engage with via your emails over a certain period of time. These people may still be subscribed to your email list but are not likely to read your messages.

Inactive email subscribers may influence your decisions when it comes to optimizing your email marketing campaigns.

The open rate for a standard email campaign is 17.92%. You can consider it as a baseline number, compare it with the open rate of your campaigns, and make certain decisions to get better results.

The problem is that inactive email subscribers in your list may prevent you from accessing useful data. These people may not open your emails but are still subscribed to your list.This makes you susceptible to decision-making errors, which may affect your email campaigns’ ROI.

Types of Inactive Email Subscribers

Now that you’ve known what inactive email subscribers are, let’s explore the three different types of them.

1. Never-Actives

Never-actives encompass people who may have subscribed to your email list but were never engaged by your emails. There must be different reasons causing this type of inactive email subscriber base to grow.

People receive a ton of emails from brands on a daily basis. This may cultivate frustration over time and cause them to stop opening any and all branded emails they receive.

People may also have multiple email addresses. So, if they haven’t subscribed to your list using their primary email, the chances of them being inactive are quite high.

Plus, people may immediately regret subscribing to your email list and find it tedious to unsubscribe. So, they may end up ignoring emails received from you altogether.

No matter what the reason may be, it’s best that you come up with a way to engage the never-actives or exclude them entirely from your email list to get better results.

2. Lapsed Customer Inactives

This type of inactive email subscribers may represent your previous customers. These people have stopped opening your emails. Plus, it’s likely that they may not be using your solutions anymore.

These people were likely engaged by your emails in the past. However, they lost interest in hearing from you somewhere along the way and stopped buying your products or services.

Engaging these email subscribers is very important. Not only can this improve the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns, but it can also help you regain lost customers.

3. Current Customer Inactives

The third type of inactive email subscribers encompasses people who currently purchase your products or services but are not engaged by the emails they receive from you.

It’s possible that you could never engage these customers through your emails over the years, or they stopped opening them for a particular reason.

It’s reported that 51% of people choose email as a preferred medium to be contacted by brands. Yet, these customers choose not to click on or open your emails.

This indicates that you need to revise your email marketing strategy and come up with effective ways to engage these subscribers.

Competition is intense, no matter the industry. There’s a high chance that you may lose these customers to your competitors if they offer better deals or have cleverly designed email marketing campaigns.

How to Engage Inactive Email Subscribers

Now that we have talked about different types of inactive email subscribers, let’s explore the ideas that may help you foster engagement.

1. Send Targeted Emails

This trick may not help you engage never-actives. However, it may be useful when it comes to engaging the other two types of inactive email subscribers. 

It’s highly likely that these types of inactive email subscribers were previously engaged by your emails. All you need to do is evaluate their engagement history to find the type of content that could engage each type in the past.

Once you’ve figured that out, the rest is easy. Just tailor your email marketing campaigns to meet the preferences of your inactive subscribers.

Sharing content that fits the interests and preferences of your subscribers may help you engage them and convince them to continue using your solutions.

2. Personalize Your Messages

When it comes to re-engaging your inactive email subscribers, personalizing your messages goes a long way.

A common mistake businesses make is sending bland or generic messages to all their email subscribers, which often leads them to encounter low engagement rates.It’s reported that 47% of people open emails based on the subject lines alone. So, start by experimenting with those and see how it pays off.

Plus, you should also address each recipient by their name and not just use a standard template to send messages to them all.However, doing this manually may be cumbersome. So, leveraging email automation may come in handy here.

3. Offer Free Resources

Another excellent way to re-engage your inactive email subscribers is by facilitating their access to free resources.

These resources may encompass ebooks, whitepapers, expert roundups, infographics, pre-recorded webinars, free online courses, and more.

As long as the resources resonate with the interests of your email subscribers and offer certain value, they can help you transform your inactive email subscribers into active ones.

4. Optimize Your Emails for Mobile Devices

A common mistake many businesses make is assuming that their subscribers always open their emails on desktops.

We live in a busy world. So, tasks like checking emails are the ones that people generally prefer doing on the go. So, it’s a no-brainer that most of them use their smartphones to check and even respond to their emails.

So, not optimizing your emails for mobile devices is a critical mistake that may prevent you from engaging your email subscribers.

It’s reported that 42.3% of people will delete an email immediately if it’s not optimized for a mobile device.

So, it’s highly recommended that you consider the diverse device preferences of your email subscribers and optimize your emails for different screen sizes.

5. Share Discounts or Coupons

Another effective strategy to re-engage your inactive email subscribers is to share discounts or coupons with them.

This tactic may be very effective in retargeting lapsed customer inactives especially and make them want to consider your solutions again.

Not only can this help you keep your email list active, but it also increases the likelihood of winning back your churned customers.

6. Ask Subscribers for their Preferences

One of the biggest turn-offs for email subscribers is when brands don’t know when to stop and flood the mailboxes of their subscribers with emails. Due to this, they either end up unsubscribing from email lists or ignore emails they receive from brands.

One way to stand out from the crowd and show that you care about your email subscribers is by asking them for their preferences when it comes to receiving messages from you.

Let them decide the email frequency and the type of email they want to receive from you. You may also inquire about the content that piques their interest and would make them want to consider opening your emails.

Bonus Tip: Cleanse Your Email List

When you’ve tried your best but are still unable to re-engage your inactive email subscribers, it’s best to just cleanse your email list and focus on subscribers that are active.

As said earlier, sending emails to inactive email subscribers along with the ones that are active may affect your email campaign performance.

So, if you are unable to re-engage them, it’s best to consider excluding them at least from your core email marketing campaigns that are designed to boost brand awareness or promote your solutions.Current customer inactives may be considered an exception here, as you may want to consider leveraging upselling or cross-selling opportunities. The same goes for lapsed customer inactives, as you may want to win them back.

Final Words

There you have it: the three types of inactive email subscribers and tips on how to re-engage them.

If you have been struggling to drive better results from your email marketing campaigns and strive to engage your email subscribers, the recommendations in this article may come in handy.

About the author

Syed Balkhi is the founder of WPBeginner, the largest free WordPress resource site. With over 10 years of experience, he’s the leading WordPress expert in the industry. You can learn more about Syed and his portfolio of companies by following him on his social media networks.

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