Rekindling the fire... or how to tackle inactive contact management?

No matter how hard you try to get the ball rolling, some of your prospects resist your charm and don't show any sign of life... Be aware that the philtres, potions and spells that usually work are unfortunately not effective when it comes to inactive contacts.
Belly-dancing, mouth-to-mouth and electroshock will also be in vain. No... if you want to captivate your prospects and customers once again, the solution lies elsewhere!

As an excellent pretender as you are (and a regular reader of the Dataventure Blog), you've already adopted the right behavior with your beloved database. Appropriate frequency and segmentation over the last few months, relevant subjects and strategy... But why on earth don't these subscribers bother to open any more mail?

You also know that relentlessly soliciting cold addresses or inactive contacts won't boost your KPI's, quite the contrary... a poor open rate will impact your e-reputation and therefore your deliverability rate!

Before contemplating a definitive break-up and a return to the wild, here's how to put in place a good strategy for managing these inactive contacts. All it takes is a spark... or two!

Dataventure recommends 2 essential points to check:

1. Scrupulously analyze your database to identify inactive contacts.

Every database has its share of inactive people, but they don't all have the same profile. Once again, you need tosegment them, just as you did with your initial database.

Once you've got a clearer picture of your target, you'll be in a better position to deliver the right message. Here are the questions you need to ask to get the right picture:

  • What is this prospect's source of information? Is it reliable?
  • When was the prospect picked up?
  • How many days of inactivity are you seeing from this prospect?
  • How did he behave towards you? Has it changed?
  • When did he stop opening your emails?
  • What subjects or types of correspondence piqued his interest?
  • Did he or did he not know that "Allumer le feu" was written by Zazie?

As you can see, by answering these questions, you'll understand the extent to which your prospect or customer has turned his back on you (and, incidentally, is a real Johnny fan). Is this just the sign of a passing crisis, or the imminence of a definitive break-up?

Clearly, an Internet user who has never opened one of your e-mails is nothing like someone who hasn't clicked on the last six.

Depending on their degree of inactivity, you can exclude them from your global database and insert them in a specific mailing list. And for each of the subgroups you've created, you can create targeted contentthat's more likely to rekindle the flame and help you set realistic objectives for winning back your customers.

2. Adapt your content to wake up inactive contacts.

I might as well warn you from the outset that this one shot won't be very effective. In other words, you won't necessarily rouse your sleeping beauty with a single e-mail, even if it contains a very attractive promotional offer. It may not be enough to make them want you...

No, to achieve your goals, you'll need to deploy a multi-stage inactive contact management strategy. In other words, the automated e-mail scenario.

Your only goal? Reactivation. But you'll be doing double-duty as you take this opportunity to produce new content and emails, and exploit unusual angles. The most important thing is to put yourself in your subscriber's head to understand why they're not responding to your reminders.

What causes a web user to stop responding to your e-mails? In what state of mind did they receive them? Did they feel too harassed? Was the content simply not appropriate? Did they change their e-mail address? Was he really affected by Johnny's departure? Or the inheritance crisis?

Perhaps the easiest way to do this is simply to ask him directly in the form of a satisfaction questionnaire to rectify your current communications strategy.

This type of email demonstrates genuine interest on your part: your prospect will feel valued... and then it's time for a second chance! In other words, the click, then the click!

Whatever scenario you devise for managing your inactive contacts, always include a "last word" message. In this way, you let your target know that if they don't respond, your solicitations will cease and their address will disappear from your database.

You can also ask her directly: "Would you like to continue receiving our newsletters? " It's a well-known fact that, in the event of a break-up, a good old "no" can allow you to move on and remain good friends. Whatever happens, harassment is to be avoided, and there's no point in endlessly shooting off emails that go unanswered.

One of the keys to preventing your prospects from going into a vegetative state is not to wait too long to provide the right treatment. Ideally, you should even reactivate them before they can be considered inactive.

For this, nothing beats strict adherence to good emailing practices upstream.

A quick reminder... to avoid swelling the ranks of inactive contacts, when you address your database, make sure you take care of these three essential points:

  • a welcome email;
  • a segmentation and appropriate content;
  • optimal management of frequencywith the option of unsubscribing.

Last but not least, observe your KPI's; AB test your campaigns and set up inactive contact monitoring every 3 to 6 months.

So, by regularly blowing on the embers, you'll be doing everything you can to keep your prospects' flame fully intact.

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