Contact list growth has often no expected effect on sales increase. In this case sales amount remains the same. Why does it happen? Email marketing is losing its popularity and campaigns are not eye-catching anymore? Not at all. The thing is that after a while the number of inactive subscribers increases, while all activity is shown by new subscribers.
How to recover that part of contact list which fails to do target actions? Let’s consider possible effective methods of email re engagement strategy.
Principles of effective reactivation
The first and the main task is to do segmentation of contact list (if it hasn’t been done earlier), as each segment requires different reactivation strategy. Besides, not all, but only desirable subscribers should be reactivated.
The second equally important task is to set reactivation period. There is no universal solution for all inactive clients, as reactivation period depends on client’s LTV. So all you need is to determine a stage of client’s lifetime cycle and make a try! Don’t be afraid of changes: use catchy titles and nonstandard solutions, such as change of format, font and color, send campaigns in hours not typical for you. The key is to make an inactive subscriber notice your reactivation email and open it. At the same time you shouldn’t forget about ethics and sense of balance.
The third and the most enjoyable task is to automate your reactivation campaigns. You just need to configure corresponding triggers and this will release you from a heap of manual monotonous work.
Segmentation is a must
There are a lot of criteria for segmentation:
the way of getting a subscriber;
purchasing criteria: sum, frequency, category;
stage of lifetime cycle.
You can try to find out the reason of ignoring your emails. Maybe emails are sent too often or too seldom? Is your subscriber interested in your product as before or his/her priorities have changed? Maybe your offer is not relevant now, but will be interesting later? Analysis of contact list and subscriber’s lifetime cycle with product adjustment allows to get the answers to these questions. You also can ask your subscribers to get a confirmation of your assumptions.
Reactivation stages and strategy at each stage
Let’s do reactivation (not forgetting about preventive actions for your active subscribers). Note! Customer reactivation strategies depend on stage.
Early reactivation is the most effective one. It is usually used for the segment of subscribers who have shown no activity for about 90 days. This is the right time to ask about product’s relevance, interest in getting emails and making purchases in the future. In this case best reactivation emails must be with promo codes and special offers must be well timed.
Middle reactivation implies decrease of contacting inactive subscribers. Here you need emails different from your ordinary messages in promotional campaigns. The key task is not to sell a product, but to make your subscriber involved and interested in your company and your product. Use non-commercial emails at this stage. Sometimes, campaigns for this segment should be suspended for some time and restarted in a while. This can also make a positive effect.
Late reactivation. At this stage there aren’t many interaction types. If other communication channels haven’t been used before, it is time to use them and send direct email, sms or even make a call. Your efforts can be effective and a subscriber resumes activity. However, due to high labor contribution it isn’t always reasonable to use all these ways of contacting. Email channel allows to send re-permission emails to get subscriber’s direct answer such as “yes, I want to get news from you” or “no, I'm not interested anymore”. Be warned that such emails have low opening rate.
According to expert reviews, re engagement email campaigns at the early stage can be twice more effective than ordinary promotional campaigns. At the middle stage opening rate is approximately identical and at the late stage email efficiency decreases by 21% compared to average rate.
To ensure more ways for reactivation, you need to get maximum of information about your client in the period of his/her high activity. Other contact information (besides email address) allows to contact him/her even if he/she doesn’t check mail.
At the stage of establishing confidential relations with the client Welcome series works well, but if you need to keep a client as long as possible, you need a thoroughly elaborated loyalty program.
Automation is essential
Note that email series are more effective than a single reactivation letter. This really works for we miss you email campaigns. Emails should be sent automatically upon certain conditions.
Besides, it is better than manual sending of reactivation campaign, which risks to have low opening rate and have a negative impact on sender’s reputation. Correct configuration of automation allows to mask a negative effect by prolonging period of email receipt by subscribers with low loyalty. In this case you do not risk to go to spam due to nonstandard behavior of your subscribers.