Shopping in Margaritaville
"Sabbaticals" for nonresponders can work as well. Pull an audience segment that hasn't responded in months despite repeated touches. Sit them out for a period of time, then re-enter them into the mailing stream, preferably with improved content targeting. The prior absence alone can jolt someone out of their slumber. Another option is to work with a company like Connection Engine that can model the portion of a dormant audience most likely to re-engage.
Finally, I plan to test the findings of the recent study, The 'Conspicuous Purchase' Effect. Based on research conducted through a project whereby consumers shopped on a mock retail site, the study showed that the inclusion of social media icons that allow for sharing (e.g., a Facebook "Like" button, a Twitter "Tweet This" button) impacted the likelihood of purchase.
If the product was one that the consumer would like publicly known was purchased (e.g., a nice martini kit), consumers were 25 percent more likely to buy it when the sharing icons were present. Conversely, if the product was something consumers wouldn't want to be known was purchased (e.g., a jello-shot kit), they were 25 percent less likely to buy it when the share icons were present.
It's interesting that the mere inclusion of the icons was enough to discourage a purchase. This reminds me of the effect the positioning of a privacy statement link relative to the email address capture box can have on email sign-ups. When the privacy link is close to the email address capture box, I've seen the uptake rate on supplying an email address be 10 percent or more higher than when the link isn't present.