Every now and again companies will send out emails to subscribers to ask if they wish to remain on their email marketing lists. Their desire is not to relieve their customers of the tedium of unwanted emails but to rid their lists of unresponsive addresses.
You should have a system in place whereby you remove email addresses that are not responding as they will corrupt the returns of your email marketing software. You will know the length of time which, if a customer goes without any response, including even just opening an email, signifies they probably never will.
Let us say that your returns show this critical period for inaction to be three months. Use this time as a trigger for a response from you.
If the subscriber has bought little if anything in this period, an email is probably the best response. Tell them that they are required to subscribe again and obviously include a tick box at the bottom of the email. If you get no reply after, say, two weeks then delete them from your email marketing list.
If they have bought a few items in the past and you think there is a possibility that they might do so again, a better option is to send them a marketing email with a rather special offer attached. Do not look to make a massive profit here, just use the item to get them into purchasing mode again.
If they have bought a considerable number of products in the past, or have purchased items which give an excellent return, then something more personal might be appropriate. A telephone call can work wonders as it shows that you are aware of them as individuals. If they recently bought a printer from you then a loss-leader of an ink cartridge could be a good idea, together with a little questionnaire about what they think of you as a company.
These classifications are not mutually exclusive and there will be overlap. But remember, a subscriber who doesn’t buy messes up the returns on your email marketing software. However, don’t remove them from your lists without making a big effort to keep them buying.