All brands have already seen, within their databases, a drop in performance with subscribers who once demonstrated engagement with their email campaigns. What position should they adopt, and you, what have you taken in the face of this remark? It’s easy to say to yourself “Too bad, another customer will be interested and will be more loyal.” or “Too bad, I’m just continuing my campaigns as is, one day he might change his mind!” “.But are you sure too?
Forwarding emails to inactive addresses is counterproductive
It is much more expensive to acquire a high potential customer than to retain an existing customer whose potential has already been defined (up to five times according to some studies). Continuing to target emails that are not of interest to the customer presents an obvious cost (marketing and mentoring efforts) but also a significant invisible cost. Have you thought about the bad customer experience it could result in? And at the risk of seeing your reputation as a sender with ISPs damaged by complaint or unsubscribe rates likely to go up exponentially? It’s not uncommon for inactive addresses to be turned into spam traps by ISPs. The delivery performance of your email messages may suffer seriously.
Reactivation programs, also known as “refunds”, are intended to re-engage a subscriber who has gradually stopped, or who has already completely stopped interacting with the brand. This allows you to restore some inactive items (if it’s worth it), and remove others from the recipient list. So how do you proceed?
Select a four-step reactivation plan
First, you need to take a closer look at your database to determine who is inactive – and not just on the email channel: consider activity across mobile networks and social networks.
Next, try to understand the reasons why your contacts are inactive. Did you specify at the beginning of the relationship their preference criteria in terms of content and frequency? Did you respect them? Have you taken any action to improve the content? Is the problem caused by data errors (incorrect email addresses were collected)? Are they bored, or does your product sales cycle justify a specific interest over a specific time period (pregnancy, subscription term, etc.)? The reasons why your contacts are inactive can be multiple, and categorizing these different profiles can help you to develop a reactivation plan specific to each category.
The third step is to identify other channels on which these contacts may be inactive, to select the ones within your reach to re-engage them if you wish; Especially those that should not be used.
Finally, design, test, and deploy your reactivation program.
Take advantage of different reactivation leverages
Reactivation levers do not decrease. The basics remain the same no matter what your strategies are. First you need to get attention. This is the first step that should allow you to start a real conversation that will help you convince them to stay loyal to you. To do this, show them that you know them and feel free to play up the impact on the tone of your message.
You should then be able to prove the added value of your brand to them. You leave in a vulnerable position because these contacts have clearly shown you their lack of interest. It’s up to you to convince them of what your brand can achieve, by showing that it has changed, improved, and made a promise (which is achievable, of course) for the future.
Once they regain their attention, you need to release a trigger for them to turn again. An incentive can be helpful for setup, by giving them an exclusive benefit, a gift or a discount if they’re sensitive to promotions, for example. Be careful, however, in defining your tactics according to your inactive profiles and the desires of each. Some will take the bait, that’s for sure. Others will remain inactive: it’s time to drop them into your database for your next marketing campaigns.
Above all, consider cross-channels to determine your own reactivation strategies. A passive connection may only be active on a certain channel or on certain channels, but remain active on other channels. It is essential that you adapt to its uses to maintain an optimal relationship.
Author: Magalie LasfarguesHead of Managed Services, Experian Marketing Services France
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