As marketers continue to examine the effectiveness of new channels and devices to incorporate into their marketing mix, your email list remains a key ingredient. Whether being used as a personal identifier across channels or as a tried and true channel for delivering marketing messages, marketers will continue to see benefits from maintaining an email marketing program, even beyond the inbox.
Maintenance is essential to keeping that email marketing program moving and hinges on managing the overlap between sender reputation, large inactive email lists and driving return on investment (ROI). In order to effectively manage reputation scores, marketers end up creating large inactive email files, even though this leads to leaving money on the table. To begin addressing the challenge, start with understanding your email subscriber list and you’ll uncover hidden opportunities to ignite engagement.
Gain a comprehensive view of your email list subscribers
Understanding your best customers is the key to developing your ideal buyer personas when you’re trying to grow your email list database. However, because marketers are often incentivized on how quickly they can grow their email list database, this can result in opting-in various customer personas that don’t all have the same purchase cycle or email usage behaviors and could even fall outside your target market.
The key to identifying the person behind the email address is linking it to your CRM data and then enhancing each profile with third-party data. Are some of your customers new parents? Have they recently moved? What buying characteristics and categories make them likely to purchase? These are the types of questions that can be answered by appending third-party data. The answers will give marketers a more complete view of the person behind the email list addresses. Those insights then create opportunities further down the funnel.
Identifying segments for re-engagement
When determining whether or not to keep some inactive subscribers on your email list file, keep in mind that seemingly underperforming emails may be inspiring actions across channels. For one online and brick-and-mortar retailer, an email re-engagement campaign drove 3.6 times more in-store purchases than direct online conversions. Linking your own data will give you this crucial level of insight, allowing you to know which customers to keep on your list and the best way to reengage them.
What about the inactive email subscribers that don’t appear to be engaged with you through other channels? To capture these customers, you need to extend your data-driven approach to create the right re-engagement strategies.
Here are three options for confidently identifying “inactive” email subscribers that are most likely to reengage with your brand:
- Use your current email data and include all recently added inactive email addresses.
- Leverage reverse appends (i.e., name and address appended to an email address) or pinning solutions that can help connect your cross-channel interactions with your inactive subscriber base, as described above.
- Use a third-party program, such as Experian’s Email Insights, to identify email addresses that are active with other brands, but appear inactive with your brand.
By using all three practices of linkage, data enrichment and activity within a global consortium, marketers can target as much as 40 percent of their inactive subscriber file.
Optimize your messaging
By identifying both your target customers and those most likely to re-engage via email, you’ve put yourself in the position where you can focus on your content. Now you can be more relevant and timely with your communications. Ask yourself, “What content might resonate with the identified re-engagement target segment?” Furthermore, just as third-party programs can provide predictive modeling for active subscribers, they can also predict the best time of day to send your email communications.
However you decide to recapture your customer through email, it’s important to employ email best practices when doing so. Test your creative and subject lines and always ask your customers for feedback. Combine these practices with creative offers based on what you now know about the people behind the email addresses, and you will achieve the best results.
Target your buyer personas across channels
Keep in mind that email can inspire cross-channel activity from some of your best customers. Sometimes it might even be more relevant to target a customer via different channels to maximize your overall ROI. There are a number of cross-channel activation services that allow you to reach your inactive email subscribers via display, mobile, social and even addressable television.