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You’ve put a lot of effort into building your email list, but now your open rate and responses have dropped. What do you do to re-engage inactive email subscribers?

Having a big list isn’t nearly as important as having an active one. Trimming your list and maintaining active subscribers will help increase the fruits of your labor. 

There are lots of reasons subscribers may have gone “dead” and stopped interacting with your emails. Luckily, there are ways to re-engage with them to see better returns on your email marketing efforts.

5 steps to re-engage inactive email subscribers

Define inactivity

Before inactive subscribers can be re-engaged, you must first determine who qualifies as an “inactive” subscriber. 

Is it someone who hasn’t taken action on your last 5 emails, or is it someone who hasn’t taken action in a year? 

Also, you’ll need to figure out what counts as an action. Open rates, clicks on embedded links, and promo codes are great ways to track activity. 

Decide which metric is most important for you and track how active or inactive your list has actually been. Once you have defined these items, it will easier to see where to improve.

Tidy up your list (channel your inner Marie Kondo)

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While email marketing has a higher return on investment than other marketing tactics, it can still be expensive and time-consuming. 

It’s important to keep your email lists as refined as possible, so your efforts aren’t being wasted on an audience that’s not interested in your emails. Reach out to your subscribers and ask if they would like to remain subscribed or not. 

You can even offer rewards such as discounts and giveaways for people who choose to stay on the list. Archive the people who don’t respond and prepare to reach out again to those who do. 

Ask for feedback

Your list may take a big hit after you’ve trimmed it. I’ve seen lists lose 50% of their subscribers. So it’s time to ask the remaining subscribers how they feel about your brand and emails. 

Asking for feedback is a huge opportunity to focus your content on what your customers and potential customers actually want from you. 

Surveys are a great way to get feedback, especially if you can offer participants a reward (i.e., discounts, gift card offers, and giveaways). 

Ask questions that will direct your content, determine the frequency at which emails are delivered, and drive meaningful conversions.

Reconnecting with your audience

Now is the time to engage with current subscribers who remain loyal to you and your brand. Ask them for feedback also. Take it into account and alter your content and outreach strategy. 

This is also a great time to offer promos and email-exclusive deals to your subscribers – and let them know that they’re the only ones getting the deal! 

They may even convince a friend to subscribe so they can take advantage of the offer too. Word-of-mouth exposure is powerful, even with email marketing. 

Rebuilding your list

Now that you’ve built a healthy relationship with your existing subscribers, it’s time to get new people to sign up. The data that you collected during the feedback stage should help you with outreach in the future. 

You know the type of information that appeals to your email list, so promote your content as such on your website. When you ask for sign-ups, offer a free e-course or problem-solving PDF. 

A free opt-in offer is a great way to attract people who are already interested in reading your content. The percentage of engaged subscribers should stay relatively high as the email list continues to grow

Again, it’s better to have an active list over a big one. 

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