If you do online marketing, you no doubt have a list of contacts who exist in a sort of limbo: they don't seem to open their email, but neither have they taken the trouble to unsubscribe.
In a post at his blog, Christopher Barnes says revitalizing these inactive subscribers is just as important as acquiring new readers. His play-by-play suggestions for a successful project to awaken—and reactivate—those sleepy subscribers include:
* Ask them what they want to receive. Giving your subscribers the ability to select preferences means they get relevant messages they'll look forward to opening.
* Make an offer they can't refuse. In the B2B arena, white papers, special discounts, and webinars can renew interest; a B2C audience responds well to special discounts, free samples, and free shipping.
* Threaten to break up. Go ahead and let them know if they don't click, they'll get dropped from the list. Barnes notes that many of your recipients might actually read your missives without enabling images—so give them the chance to let you know they're still there.
* Change your format. Long, text-heavy messages won't appeal to people who sift through email on their phones. "Offer a text format to people who read email on alternative platforms," he recommends. "[M]ake it short and sweet."
The Takeaway: Wake up sleepy subscribers to clean up your list. Says Barnes, "A reactivation campaign [helps] clean out the dead wood, re-energize your list and reclaim some of the money you spent acquiring and engaging those addresses in the first place."
Source: Best Practices for Email. Declassified from Frager VIP. Circa 2007.