One indicator of whether a company is serious about email marketing or not is to assess how they deal with those who do not respond to email marketing campaigns. The urge not to do anything about them in case the conclusion is they should be removed is a bit of a test after all the effort and expense to get them to subscribe.
Yet inactive subscribers cause problems. The returns from email marketing campaigns are corrupted by those who do not react. Targets become meaningless and plans are rendered guesswork. Deciding to do something about them is the sign of a professional.
Whilst your business is unique and has its own requirements here are some suggestions to consider for segmentational purposes.
1/ Decide what is lack of response
The criteria you use will be specific to your company or maybe a specific product. For instance, do you opt for those who do not open emails or those who open emails but never do anything about them? How long is never? Do you go by time or the number of campaigns?
One way of setting the criteria is by establishing a norm. If, for instance, 70% of your subscribers open at least one marketing email within three months, then classifying someone who fails to open any in that period seems reasonable.
If your campaigns are irregular, perhaps generated by a trigger event, then it might be better to opt for, say ten emails.
Whether you decide that open rate is preferable to click through will depend on other factors, again specific to you.
Once you have decided on the criteria which will classify a subscriber as unresponsive, remove them from the main email marketing list and place in a new one. This will make the returns from your regular campaigns dependable and allow you to concentrate on the slackers without confusing matters with other marketing emails.
One option might be, if it suits your business model, to have a list of those who fail to open and another for those who fail to click through. Another idea is to separate those who used to complete regularly but then stopped for no apparent reason. There are no rules remember.
See if those on each new list have something in common. Is it age, location, gender or date of subscribing? Look at every criterion.
Now is the time to work out how you are going to get them back on line. For instance, if you are going after those who have not opened an email in a long time then the Subject Line might be your first significant change. Those who fail to click through might respond to different style of email, perhaps with more images.
Whatever the common feature, work out a change that will take this into consideration. Being informal for youngsters is an option, but for B2B, if newly promoted they might prefer recognition of their lofty status.
If there is significant improvement then consider whether to keep these on a separate email marketing list post campaign. Remember too, the lessons you have learned might be transferable to other subscribers.
Inactive subscribers are potential sales. Get them back and buying.