- Stop sending emails to everyone all the time
Just now·7 min read
Inactive subscribers in your lists are not only wasting your money but they are affecting your deliverability, which in return will make your emails land in junk/spam or nowhere at all. Imagine all the effort you are putting into your marketing, strategy & content, just so that no one can see it!
Inactive subscribers in email work the same way unengaged followers on Instagram do. If you post interesting pictures that everyone likes/comments, the feed will show your picture longer and with a wider audience. If you do the opposite, some close friends might see it, but it will disappear from the feed pretty fast.
It is not a very known fact, but inboxes can do the same to your brand and you. So even if you don’t believe me or feel pain in your heart … you just HAVE to rethink how you email your unengaged subscribers… if at all. Or else your deliverability will go straight down the drain.
And all #emailGeeks will tell you: I told you so. Whyyyyyy didn’t you listen. Now we have to fix it instead of focusing on making more dough with email… tsk tsk tsk
Have you ever bought something in a store and when they ask you for your email address and you just:
What do you feel?
- Irritated knowing you will receive a million emails in your inbox?
Annoyed because you know you won’t engage with their emails? Ever.
Bitter because you know you will have to clean up those million of personalized promotions out of your inbox after you unsubscribe?
What makes you think your customers don’t feel the same way? Your business can be the most extraordinary company in the world with the most amazing products and services, that has the most amazing copy-writer who is also a mind reader and knows exactly what people want to hear… But people still don’t want to receive all the communications you send.
It’s just not logical to believe that everyone wants every single one of your emails, even if you send them once a month. They might not even see them in the sea of emails they get daily, or they might have bought your product already… So let’s be real. How many mattresses or cars can you own? Will another splendidly written and timed email make you buy another?
An inactive subscriber is someone who does not engage with your emails. For example this can be subscribers who:
- have not opened an email in a while
have not engaged with the content within your email
have not performed actions you want them to post-email (e.g. buy your products or sign up to your webinar)
Inboxes know more than email marketing tools and you combined. Inboxes like Gmail know exactly:
- How many emails you have sent to their clients
Where those emails landed (inbox, promotions tab, spam, rejected)
Who actually opened them
How long did people take the time to read them
Who clicked on what link for real
If a customer starred the message
Or if they complained and clicked spam
If people reply back to the email or forward it to a friend
If they recategorized an email from promotions to inbox or the other way around
And don’t forget they can check historically your relationship with your subscribers and compare their behaviours with your emails to other senders and compare.
Inboxes have all this amazing data about their customers, your subscribers, and we keep thinking that because our open rate is over 15% we are good email marketers. Do you see where I am going with this?
Deliverability isn’t only affected by hitting spamtraps and having people click on the spam button. With all this data coming from actual humans, inboxes know exactly who you are annoying with your emails or not. And they will penalize you by making your emails go to spam or nowhere at all. And then even people who are engaged or new subscribers as well will start getting blocked from getting your emails.
And you know what the worst part is? There is no way to know exactly who is receiving your emails and who isn’t, because open and click rates too have a margin of error due to spam filters being able to open and click emails.
Did you know that opens and clicks can be generated by spam filters? So some people might not even have received your email but in your email marketing tool you will see it has been marked as open. This means not only are some of your subscribers inactive, but some are and you don’t even know it. This is why it is so important to ensure that you can remove your inactive subscribers in order to minimize the number of inactives left in your list. The worse your deliverability, the worse the ratio of fake open and clicks can grow. Deliverability is not an exact science, but the rules that govern it are smart and strongly grounded.
There are two main things that can be done.
- Segmentation and retargeting your inactive subscribers
Unsubscribe them from your list (don’t delete subscribers from your database)
By analyzing the data you do have, you can create different segments. Simple ones that separate your engaged audience members from inactive ones or more complex one based on their preferences and detailed engagement.
If you divide your audience based on their engagement, you can create specific campaigns for them or do things even more simply and just change the frequency at which you email them.
If retargeting them doesn’t work, I would suggest keeping them in a specific group which you email once every forever (e.g. for Christmas, Black Friday, Back to School, etc) or just unsubscribe them from your list. There is no point in shedding tears over subscribers who are toxic to your deliverability and domain reputation.
The number of subscribers in your lists don’t matter. I have seen businesses make thousands a year with barely a few hundred subscribers.
Who cares how many you have? Honestly? WHY DO YOU CARE? If you have a birthday party and you have a choice between 100 people you know coming or a select number of good friends, which would you enjoy more? 100 random gifts from people who kinda know you or personalized heart-felt gifts from close friends?
Businesses who make the most $ from their email lists, are those who are able to concentrate on their most loyal, engaged and money-spending subscribers. It allows them to concentrate and investigate the nitty gritty details of their subscribers behavior… which creates better marketing, which in turn created better experiences…. which helps your brand grow!
Just making sure, for a third time, in the same article, that you will clean your lists! Repetition is 50% of what deliverability people do! Sorry, not worry!
Inactive subscribers are a sure way of showing the inboxes that you don’T care about your audience more than you care about your own business and what you have to say.
And no one likes that. Not you subscribers. Not the spam filters. Not the algorithms behind the spam filters. Not the inboxes. Not even you when other businesses do it to you.
So in case you still don’t believe me, just remember me the next time you get an email you don’t want from a business or product you love.
- Date of publication:
- Fri, 06/11/2021 - 07:42
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