Print Friendly, PDF & Email

August 12th, 2019

Email deliverability has become increasingly important as marketers constantly battle with the monster Spam Inbox. To ensure primary inbox delivery, you need to maintain a solid reputation score and avoid spam traps, limiting emails to only your active subscribers. But if your non-profit is struggling to sustain your email file, the last thing you want to do is make your list smaller by removing inactive subscribers. 

So what do you do? 

Instead of removing inactives, attempt to re-engage this audience again. Once a subscriber has reached the 90-day, 180-day, or 352-day threshold (based on your organization’s business rules) without opening an email, consider deploying a multi-part re-engagement email series. Here are four tactics to help maximize response:

Entice Inactives with a Free Gift Offer

Who doesn’t love a free gift? Enticing your inactives with a free gift will help encourage opens. Don’t feel like you can’t ask for a donation in return for the “free” gift—the primary objective of this campaign is to encourage opening, so incorporating a gift ask is acceptable.

If your organization won’t spring for a substantial premium, don’t fret! Try including a downloadable asset such as a brochure with tips that relate to your mission. 

Focus on developing a compelling subject line, making sure to incorporate “Free Gift” so the recipients are aware of an incentive for opening.

Ask to Confirm

When people see “Please Confirm” in their inbox, their curiosity is triggered. Asking your in-actives to confirm something will help to drive response. This campaign can help convert your chronic non-openers into active subscribers again, along with some house cleaning. Consider asking this audience to confirm their email address is the one they prefer or ask the recipients to confirm their birthday. The feedback you receive can help remove some bad email addresses along with updating your database!

Remember, you are balancing mass communication with engaging content to ensure deliverability.

Incorporate a Quiz or Survey

People generally love to test their knowledge and provide feedback, and it’s always good to mix up your messaging with some fun and interactive content. Consider including a mission-based quiz in your re-engagement series—a simple two-choice answer can do the trick! If a quiz is difficult to tie to your mission, then a survey is another alternative. Make sure you tie a compelling subject line to this campaign to spark opens—consider, “Test Your Knowledge Today!” for the quiz or “We’d Love to Hear What You Think!” for the survey.

Inform this is the “Last Chance”

The last email in your re-engagement series should serve as a “last chance” for the recipient to interact before being unsubscribed. This email should inform your inactive subscribers that they have not responded to your emails in a while and that they are about to be unsubscribed from your organization’s communications. Keep in mind that many subscribers are also direct mail donors and you need to be clear that you have not heard from them via email so as not to offend your direct mail responders. 

As you plan your re-engagement series, consider these options to help maximize results:

  • Automating the re-engagement series to make the most of your resources and time spent on this initiative.
  • Once a recipient opens one of the emails in your series, omit them from the remainder of the emails and funnel them back into your standard email communications. 
  • Consider a quarterly reverification for those who remain active in direct mail but are in-active in email for 6+ months.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to re-engaging your in-active audience—use these tactics to hit the ground running. Remember, you are balancing mass communication (largest list possible) with engaging content (high opening rates) to ensure deliverability. Start brainstorming with your team today to re-engage your supporters online! 

Blog written by Kelly Mostowy | Senior Account Executive