List fatigue is a common part of email marketing yet it is commonly overlooked. You probably spend time analyzing the email metrics and web analytics generated by opens and clicks, monitoring unsubscribes and complaints, and watching for bounces or undelivered messages.
But what happens when nothing happens? If you aren’t paying attention to the subscribers who ignore or delete your messages you are missing out on a tremendous opportunity.
What is List Fatigue?
List fatigue happens when your subscribers no longer respond to your messages.
The Risk of Mailing to Inactive Subscribers
When you mail to inactive subscribers, your reputation and deliverability are at stake. ISPs routinely turn old email addresses that are no longer in use into spam traps.
What Causes List Fatigue?
There are a number of reasons subscribers ignore or delete your messages. Some are preventable, some aren’t, and it is important for you to be able to tell the difference so you know how to handle it.
• Subscribers no longer fit demographic
• Subscriber completes goal
• Message is not relevant
• Subscription best practices weren't followed
• Email best practices aren't followed
• Frequency isn't satisfactory
• Email addresses are invalid
Identifying Inactive Subscribers
Identifying inactive subscribers is not a straight-forward task. But with inactive rates estimated between 30 and 50 percent it is imperative that you periodically purge the inactive subscribers on your list.
Just like you asked for permission before you added subscribers to your list, you should ask for permission before you remove subscribers as well. Here are some tips and best practices for your re-engagement campaign strategy.
• Attempt a second contact
• Send a final notice
• Say goodbye
Removing subscribers from your list might seem counterintuitive at first as marketers are responsible for getting their messages out to the masses. However, as an email marketer, you know how important it is to target the right subscriber with the right message at the right time.
Removing inactive subscribers helps you report more accurately on your campaign results while lowering the cost of each campaign deploy and increasing your ROI.
Finally, just because you are no longer sending emails to these subscribers does not mean you have to cut all ties with them completely. Use your other marketing channels to keep your brand in front of them and when the time is right and they need your products or services again, they’ll reactivate their subscriptions to your email lists.