E-commerce Link: Are They Listening?

How to develop a successful email re-activation strategy
In Constant Contact’s email to inactive e-newsletter subscribers, it used the following subject line to get their attention: “Reminder: Last opportunity to stay informed (Action Required by April 1)”.

In Constant Contact’s email to inactive e-newsletter subscribers, it used the following subject line to get their attention: “Reminder: Last opportunity to stay informed (Action Required by April 1)”.

Up to 50 percent of your email file may not have opened or clicked on your emails in many months. This sad situation certainly is not helping to drive interest and business to your site. In addition, it costs money to regularly mail to your list. Let’s examine the issue of inactives on your list and then look at strategies you can use to re-engage this potentially dead wood.

Reasons for Inactivity
There are many reasons why someone might not be engaging with your emails, and some of the reasons are not necessarily disinterest in hearing from you. Here are a few reasons for inactivity:

  • Recipients changed their email addresses and you don’t know. Many consumers find their inboxes are filled with spam. So, they create new email addresses to start fresh and may not tell you about the change, although a preference center with the ability to update an email address helps.
  • They didn’t give you their primary email addresses. Many individuals have an email address that is checked regularly, while there may be secondary email addresses that are only checked occasionally. Those less frequently used email addresses probably have many other messages in the inbox, and individuals don’t take the time to carefully read all their emails.
  • Your emails may be delivered to a bulk folder where they 
languish unread.
  • You may have an image-
blocking problem, so readers don’t easily see your offers and content.
  • Your emails may be sent too frequently and your list just doesn’t want to pay attention.

The Cost of Inattention
Let’s say that a marketer has a list of 1 million names, 50 percent are inactive and the cost to send emails is $4 per thousand. And, for this example, we’ll use a frequency of eight emails sent per month. The total cost of sending emails per month to the entire list is $32,000, and the potentially wasted dollars allocated to mailing to inactives is $16,000. On an annual basis, the cost of mailing inactives is $192,000. That’s a sizeable amount of money!

Regina (Reggie) Brady is president of her own e-marketing and direct marketing consultancy, Reggie Brady Marketing Solutions. She is a leading authority on Internet direct marketing and has held executive positions in Internet marketing at FloNetwork Inc. (subsequently acquired by DoubleClick), Acxiom/Direct Media and CompuServe.
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