Smart Email Marketers Win the Waiting Game
Mailer C has a prolonged response window. Only 55 percent of its re-engaging subscribers read the email within 48 hours of getting it. Another 20 percent read by the seventh day, and response fades slowly from there over multiple weeks. Mailer C has the trickiest waiting game, but the most to gain from waiting before removing inactive subscribers from its list.
Different mailbox providers, different rules
Every mailbox provider's inbox placement decision making is unique. Some are notoriously quick to take action when they determine that a sender's messages are unwanted. Marketers that outperform the field at maximizing win-back efforts know which mailbox providers give them longer windows of opportunity to re-engage subscribers. Playing the waiting game without this knowledge risks losing at both ends — losing customers too soon at some mailbox providers and endangering inbox placement at others.
Tactics to optimize win-back campaigns
Consider the following strategies when planning your company's win-back campaigns:
- Create a throttling schedule based on the total size of the re-engagement campaign and deploy in smaller quantities to monitor complaints, unsubscribes and unknown users by mailbox providers.
- Once the initial re-engagement campaign has been tested and deployed, create an optimized trigger campaign that can be sent to inactive subscribers once they hit the defined inactivity threshold.
- Send more than one re-engagement email. Test a variety of content and calls to action over a period of weeks — even months — to try and re-engage subscribers.
Be disciplined. Know when your chances of re-engaging subscribers are outweighed by your chances of harming overall inbox placement and say goodbye to inactives.
Tom Sather is the senior director of research at Return Path, an email marketing solution that helps to improve deliverability and email marketing ROI.