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Tactics for Reactivating Non-Responders

Successful reactivation begins with creating relevant segments. Specifically, marketers should separate the never-responders from former responders and light responders. This segmentation approach allows the marketer to understand which tactics work best for each group. After all, these segments differ behaviorally.

Former responders once found the email interesting, but no longer do. Never-respondents never did; perhaps they only supplied an email to take advantage of a specific offer. As a result, these different segments may respond to different reactivation approaches.

Consider at least two different approaches for reactivation. We've seen significant differences in the success of offers, especially when comparing results between never-responders and former responders.

Some offers include:

  • One-time discount or gift with purchase. Retailers have the option of bribing the living dead back to life. Those who employ this tactic should do so with the understanding that they may be training their customers to wait for better offers, but some revenue beats no revenue. Also, this option allows marketers to test the value of different kinds of incentives (10 percent off vs. free shipping, etc.).
  • Survey. Give customers the ability to sound off about what they like and dislike about the email and to recommend content they may like. This approach works best if the marketer can use survey responses as preferences. For instance, if the customer merely wants less email, the marketer must have the ability to reduce frequency for this approach to work best.
  • Reduced frequency. If a marketer has stuck to a single cadence for his or her emails, then the living dead may respond to a change in frequency. Even unengaged consumers notice when a regular email disappears from their inboxes and then reappears.
  • Interest check. Very often, the simple approach of asking subscribers if they still want to receive the email works well. This approach may involve sending a simple postcard-style email with the single call to action of "click here to continue receiving these emails." A more subtle approach in this vein may involve changing only the subject line to remind users what they receive. For one retail bank client, we changed the subject line of a newsletter from the branded name for the newsletter to "your June newsletter from [bank name]."

After testing, the most successful tactics will emerge. Of course, the definition of success depends on the marketer. While a retailer may judge success on purchases, other marketers may consider any click or open a success. In general, we prefer the broader definition of any click or open because it shows signs of life, if not a return to constant engagement. Resurrecting the living dead has to start somewhere.

One last thought centers on expectations. Marketers should not expect to reactivate every member of the living dead. Far from it. The most successful reactivation campaigns might reactivate 50 percent of the file, but those efforts involve high-value incentives for a highly targeted group. More realistically, marketers can expect to reactivate 5 percent of the living dead with modest efforts and up to 10 percent with more aggressive efforts.

Source: iMedia Connection

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