Never give up! Five tips for re-engaging with non-openers Published May 5, 2015 No matter how much time you spend collecting email subscribers, carefully segmenting them into personalised groups and crafting engaging and well-written content, you will always end up with subscribers who no longer open your emails. It’s frustrating, but there are many reasons why people become non-openers. They may have changed their email address, their interests or needs could have changed, or they are simply fed up with the number of emails you’re sending them. If you want to boost your open-rates and identify who is and who isn’t worth emailing, then check out these five tips for re-engaging those stubborn non-openers. Identify your non-openers Everyone’s definition of a non-opener or disengaged customer is different. A marketing blog, for example, may expect its customers to open at least one email a week, whereas an opticians may only send yearly or six-monthly emails to its clients. It really does depend on your business and each customer’s needs. If they only make one purchase a year, then they’re not necessarily disengaged if it’s been over three months since they opened one of your emails. Once you’ve identified which people are non-openers, segment them so you can send re-engagement emails only to those people. Re-segment them every time you send out a re-engagement email by who responded, and who didn’t. This allows you to keep an eye on who you’ve managed to win back, and who is proving to be tricky to win over. Find out why they’re not engaging It’s pretty hard to fix something when you don’t understand how or why it broke in the first place. Therefore it’s vital to find out why your disengaged customers aren’t opening your emails. Including an email satisfaction survey could help identify any problems or bugbears subscribers have with your messages. Perhaps you send them too many emails, or maybe you’re just emailing them the wrong things. Offer them a chance to change their email preferences if that turns out to be the case. If you want to constantly monitor how well your content is resonating with your subscribers, include a ratings scale at the bottom of the email. This is an easy way for subscribers to tell you if they like or dislike the content, so you can better segment your email lists. Doing this should help reduce the likeliness your subscribers will become disengaged in the future. Use emotion The next step is to target non-openers with a re-engagement campaign, and there are many different techniques you can try to win them back. A simple “We miss you!” message is a good start, as it lets the customer know you’re thinking of them and haven’t forgotten how important they are. This can help remind your subscribers that you still exist also. Include a link to your latest products, blog posts or whitepapers to encourage them to click-through and check out what they’ve missed since they last visited your website. Offer an incentive It can be pretty difficult to encourage a non-opener to even notice your email without an incentive of some kind. Catch their eye in the subject line with the promise of a unique offer just for them. You could include a discount code, free shipping or an extra gift with their order if they purchase something within the next 24-48 hours. To boost the benefit to you, make them fill out a satisfaction survey first. That way, they get money off, and you gain feedback and a re-engaged subscriber. Warn them Let them know that if they don’t show any interest, you’ll remove them from your email list within the next 48 hours. Within the email, be sure to include an option to stay subscribed or to unsubscribe now, as well as a list of benefits as to why they should stay subscribed. Some of your subscribers may have been planning to unsubscribe for some time, but had simply not got round to doing it. It may hurt you to reduce your numbers, but it’s best to get rid of any dead weight. Your emails will yield higher click-through rates, drive more conversions and their deliverability will improve. Whilst it’s impossible to engage every single subscriber, remember that prevention is better than cure. You’ll constantly have to work hard to keep those open rates up, so keep an eye on how active your subscribers are. If they haven’t been active for years, delete those addresses! They’ve probably changed their address or they simply can’t be bothered to unsubscribe. Either way, they’re not worth pursuing, as repeatedly sending emails to people who don’t open them will lower your reputation score with IPs, which will negatively impact your deliverability rates. Focus on those customers you have a good chance of winning back instead.