I know someone who works with a charity that tries to divert youths on the cusp of a life of crime. It is a worthy project, as I’m sure you will agree. The person in charge has described their intent as attempting to discover as much about each individual as possible and then to evolve a plan to encourage them to leave their old way of life. You’ve probably worked out what this has to do with email marketing.
These youngsters drifted into crime and the belief, which was proved by a number of successes, was that nudging them back into mainline society would result in a significant drop in recidivism. Don’t worry, I’m not going to ask for any money. You might think it a stretch to compare lapsed subscribers to your email marketing list with young offenders, especially if your figures are low, but there is a lot to be learned from the processes that were being used by the charity.
Society generally viewed these youngsters as beyond help and not worth any effort to divert. That used to be my view of lapsed subscribers. Trying to re-engage with them took time, money and there was a risk; after all, if you sent them a number of emails which they failed to open, and did this with all those who have failed to respond, you run the risk of being classed as spam, or Google taking a dim view of your open rate.
One argument is that those who don’t open your emails habitually mess with the data that you pull after each email marketing campaign. You can obviate these problems by separating the unresponsive into their own segmented email marketing list and using the returns of less frequent campaigns to show how effective your attempts to get them to re-engage with you have been. At a time when you might have limited resources, you need to prove whether your efforts are worthwhile.
I read some time ago it costs five times as much to acquire a new subscriber as it does to re-engage with a lapsed one. Further, that was then. At times of lockdown and restricted social intercourse, it might be difficult to engage in your old style of gaining subscribers. So perhaps that five times is an underestimate.
As you know all about your subscribers, you should be able to make a reasonable estimate as to the possible reasons for their lack of engagement. Perhaps all they need is a nudge in another direction, encouragement to engage with you again, and offers that will be more appropriate to their current situation. Take a few from the segmented email marketing list, try something a bit different and await the returns.
It’s difficult to understand the reasons why a subscriber becomes unresponsive as they don’t respond. Send them offers you might not have previously considered, especially if completion will give you a pointer of how they’ve changed. Why should you take the trouble? The fact is that very, very few are beyond hope.