Senders confronted with gradual attrition of subscriber activity are faced with a dilemma. Should these addresses remain on the mailing list? One could argue that there isn’t any harm in continuing to mail to subscribers who did opt-in. However, there is no real benefit in emailing someone who isn’t reading your messages. In fact, hanging on to old addresses that are no longer interacting with your mail can actually be counterproductive in a couple of ways.
Mailbox Providers use a variety of metrics when deciding how to filter the millions of messages that are processed daily. Engagement data is one of the key factors in that decision. Sending to inactive subscribers has been shown to have a negative impact on inbox placement, but identifying those individuals can be tricky. Our latest research on win-back campaigns discusses the different types of inactive subscribers in more detail.
Another common problem for senders with old, inactive lists is the recycled spam trap. These are addresses that formerly belonged to active email users who have since stopped logging in. Mailbox Providers reclaim these dormant accounts and disable access, returning unknown user bounce codes for a period of time. Unknown users should always be removed on the first bounce. These are addresses that will never open and never click because there is no end user monitoring incoming email. Eventually, Mailbox Providers will reopen these dormant accounts as spam traps. Mailing into a recycled trap is a clear indication that a sender is not maintaining clean list hygiene practices and mail is much more likely to be bulked or blocked.
Fortunately, there is a solution to this common issue. Every sender has a segment of their list that has stopped opening their mail, but these are valuable addresses that shouldn’t be immediately eliminated. They require a specialized, targeted strategy to reengage. Want to know more? Join me and Julia Peavy on June 25th for our webinar, How to Master the Email Win-Back Campaign. We will walk you through the latest Return Path research on top retailers and the effectiveness of their win-back campaigns, highlighting tactics that work and those that don’t. See you there!