Are you familiar with the saying, like throwing money out the window? Well, when you cast off leads that haven’t engaged with you within a certain amount of time, that is exactly how I’d describe it.
That’s why I was surprised to learn that 56 percent of marketers are not actively trying to reengage inactive email subscribers in a recent report on email engagement.
If you choose not to market to inactive leads — or continue to treat them just like active leads — you are essentially throwing money out the window. That’s because Marketing Automation platforms typically base pricing on the number of contacts in your marketing database, not on the number of emails you send.
Why not try to bring those leads back to life with a reengagement program instead? Follow the three steps below to reconnect with your inactive leads:
- Define inactive.
First, you need to clearly define what “inactive” or “unengaged” means for your organization. It really depends on your business philosophy. Don’t simply look at email opens as your measure. Consider other metrics in conjunction with email opens, such as website visits, form fill-outs, and webinar attendance. And make sure Sales and Marketing are in agreement.
Also, determine the length of inactivity. Using smart lists, you can break down inactivity by timeframes such as last 30, 60, or 90 days, or even the last year. This allows you to target certain groups with different messaging based on the last time they engaged with your organization.
- Remove inactive leads from your everyday sends.
Now that you’ve identified your inactive leads, remove them from your everyday sends by including inactivity filters in your sends. Don’t forget: inactive leads will affect your overall metrics, bringing down your open and click rates.
The good news is that a targeted reengagement program can rebuild the relationship over time. Even if inactive leads don’t open the first email in your win-back program, Return Path found that 45 percent will open future ones. Slow and steady wins the race here.
- Get creative and develop a compelling message.
Now that you have identified your inactive leads and set them aside from your everyday email sends, it’s time to develop a compelling message to get them active once again.
- Consider timing: Remember, these leads became inactive for one reason or another, so don’t bombard them with daily emails. Try spacing them out to send every other week or once per month. You don’t want to communicate so often that they unsubscribe all together.
- Try something new: You obviously haven’t gotten their attention yet, so try to do something that is out of the norm from your regular campaigns, such as experimenting with humor or a different look and feel. A special offer might do the trick as well.
- Handle target accounts with extra care: If you have inactive leads at key target accounts, consider trying other forms of marketing, such as postal mail in conjunction with your email sends. Some prospects respond better to different marketing channels. It also doesn’t hurt to give something of value or something that stands out. I remember using this exact technique when we sent a baby shoe and a note saying we wanted to get our foot in the door to a prospective client. After following that up with an outbound email campaign, we got that coveted meeting.
Inactive leads are only a waste if you don’t do anything with them. With the right strategy and a little work, you can stop throwing money out the window by reengaging those leads and increasing revenue using your current database.
Todd Roll is a DemandGen Campaign Manager. With years of experience in digital marketing and Marketo in particular, he provides a strategic campaign framework that helps ensure flawless client campaign execution and aims to turn our clients into marketing heroes.