Marketers Still Sending High Volumes of Email to Nonresponsive Customers
A majority of email marketers responding to a recent survey said they sent email at a high-frequency pace for a 19-month period despite a total lack of response from subscribers (i.e., no opens, clicks or purchases).
This finding was revealed in a recently published report from Return Path called "The One-Way Conversation: Email Marketing to the Non-Responsive Subscriber." The report analyzed the email marketing efforts of 40 online retailers over a 19-month period.
Eventually, 11 companies studied (27 percent) stopped sending email to nonresponsive subscribers. Yet 10 of those companies stopped sending email without making any attempt to re-engage the customer or specifically asking the customer whether they'd like to continue receiving emails.
Five of the companies (12.5 percent) studied sent one or more "win-back" messages — i.e., messages designed to re-engage subscribers and ultimately drive additional purchases. Of those five companies, only one sent an email asking for permission to continue sending email.
Bed, Bath & Beyond (BB&B) had the most complete email win-back strategy of the e-retailers studied, according to the report. The company identified the inactive subscribers in its file, decreased the frequency of emails sent to those subscribers over time (from an average of seven emails per month down to slightly more than five per month, and eventually to an average of less than one email per month).
After one year of inactivity, BB&B sent a clear, attractive win-back message with a discount offer for an item of the subscriber's choosing. A week after that win-back campaign, BB&B sent a repermission email specifying a date when it would stop sending email unless it received subscriber permission in the meantime. When BB&B received no response to the repermission email, it honored its commitment and stopped sending email to those subscribers.