To win something back means to have lost it in the first place, only then to have fortuitously gained it back. Reminds me of a good night in Vegas playing blackjack. To be “dormant” “inactive”, or even “dead”, means that something is asleep, not active, or way worse! Bears are (mostly) dormant in the Winter here in Whistler, and I intend to be inactive this Sunday while I watch football from my couch. However, the use of these terms to describe email subscribers and engagement, leads us as email marketers to make poor choices that negatively impact the health of our programs.

We spend a lot of advertising dollars to acquire new customers, and we’re super proud of our efforts to grow our subscriber list. According to this survey, the Retail industry pays an average of  $29 per lead. We know that the larger our list, the more revenue we can generate. Yet in order to maintain good sender reputation and deliverability, we unnaturally label, and remove valuable subscribers who don’t open or click regularly. Imagine if we did the same to our Facebook friends; if you haven’t liked my last few posts, then we are no longer friends! Friendships don’t require constant validation, and nor should we force subscribers to respond to our email campaigns in order to continue receiving them.

Most of these “inactive” subscribers are still active. They’re not dormant for the Winter. They don’t need to be won back. They simply aren’t responding to you at this moment in time. That doesn’t mean they won’t respond to you in the future.

The reality is that we don’t know why people stop opening or clicking on our emails, but the right answer is often the simplest, they just weren’t interested at the time. Unfortunately, once we stop emailing them it’s very hard to start again.

In our next post we’re going to share strategies for pressing pause instead of stop, and using activity across the broader Internet to understand when your subscribers are likely to be back in-market, so you can press play again on your email campaigns.

Thanks for listening!


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