Just came across a great article by George Bilbrey, the president of Return Path. He is a recognized expert in email sender reputation and deliverability.
If you are getting started in email marketing, or you work with email targeting and segmentation, this is a good article to help you get familiarized with the challenges of sender reputation and the topic of email engagement. Bilbrey addresses the question of what to do with inactive emails in your target list, and the impact that decision will have on your ongoing email marketing efforts either way.
…foregoing these [re-engagement] campaigns and letting inactives stay on the list is a bad idea. One company we worked with ended up cutting a huge part of their inactives — more than half. Their IPR immediately shot up — not just as a percentage of mail delivered — and their raw number of messages delivered increased dramatically. In this case, deadweight was dragging down their program, and culling inactives reconnected the company with customers who wanted their mail but hadn’t been getting it.
The bottom line is that you can lose subscribers, and money, either way. Unless you know the breakeven point where giving up on dormant accounts is smarter than leaving them on the file, your email program is probably losing a revenue opportunity one way or another.
Every industry and business is probably different, so you need to ask your data analysts to look at your email channel engagement data, and determine what is the point of no return for your inactive email records. As with everything email marketing, test, test, test!
How do you segment your email marketing list? Are you paying attention at your engagement? What do you do with inactive email records, if anything?
If you’re interested in learning more about email marketing, I highly recommend subscribing to the Email Insider list. You can do so by going to www.mediapost.com, click “subscribe” and select Email Insider as one of your subscriptions.