Who and what exactly are nonresponders? These are subscribers who continue to get your emails, but haven’t opened, clicked or responded in a long time, if ever.

We’ve all read the advice to clean up our email lists and get rid of the “dead weight,” the unengaged, the nonresponders. But wait! Have you tried to reengage them before you cut them loose?

More than 90% of consumers unsubscribe, “unlike” or stop following brands because of too frequent, irrelevant or boring communications.

Did you read that, 90%! And that b-word…BORING! I’m sure you’ve never, ever delivered said boring content and only provide the most timely, relevant information exactly as you promised your subscribers when they signed up for your list. But, if you’ve ever been guilty of not delivering on your promise (ahem, guilty as charged) then read on and we’ll explore how to come back from the dark side and reengage the people on your list who may have gone quiet.

Provide Value with a Capital V: Are you providing value for your subscribers? Your goal is to make sure that your content meets or exceeds subscribers’ expectations. But how to know that? Do you guess? Make assumptions? No! Send a quick survey to your subscribers and ask them questions related to why they subscribed and how the content you provide meets those expectations. If you find a disconnect between what you’re providing and what your subscribers expect, it’s time for a change. Remember that people opt in for different reasons and want different content. You may need to look at segmenting your list and content to provide the most relevant information to keep your subscribers coming back for more.

A great example of this is an email I received recently from Open Table reminding me of the restaurants I visited by booking though their system in 2011. All my visits were merged in the email. Great use of personalization and targeted messaging.

You can also send a specific email to your nonresponders reminding them of the value and why they subscribed in the first place. Just ensure you’re delivering what you promised!

Test It! Try taking the last email campaign you sent that had a decent open and clickthrough rate and download your list of nonresponders (Sent emails – Reports – Download Lists – All nonresponders). Now, make a copy of your last email and try changing a single element, the easiest and fastest being the subject line. Now resend it to just your nonresponders and see what happens. Check out our recorded webinar Testing Your Email & Lists for Success for more tips. And, we also have a killer marketing guide: Testing, Testing 1,2,3 here.

Change the Channel: Going after nonresponders through email alone might not be enough, but have no fear because you can use email’s best friends, direct mail and social media. How? It’s pretty simple really. You can print up some simple inexpensive direct mail postcards and ask your nonresponders to come back and update their email address. Up to 30% of your email list can go bad in a single year alone due to people changing their email addresses. You can also reach out via your social media channels like Facebook & Twitter and ask people to visit your website and re-opt in via your opt-in form. Adding a special offer to this like “come back and save 30%” can provide a little incentive and reward to your subscribers for making the effort as well.

Reactivating nonresponders can take a bit of effort, but if you get them back, you will regain a valuable resource.

What have you done to reactivate your nonresponders? I’d love to share your tactics.

© 2012 – 2018, Contributing Author. All rights reserved.

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