Article

Reviving The Dead

Andrew Kordek

Guess what? If your company sent out a commercial email today, there is a good chance that some of those emails went to dead people. Not just “inactives” or “unengaged subscribers” or whatever term-du-jour we want to use, but real, bona fide stiffs. People who, God willing, are looking down from heaven and wondering, “What else do I need to do to stop getting emails from those people?”

Inactive subscribers are a reality that all responsible email marketers need to contend with. However, marketers are understandably hesitant to purge those email addresses from their lists, which is why I recently found myself wondering, “How much money has been wasted marketing to dead people this year?”

Being both inquisitive and up for a research challenge, I decided to check it out. I cross-referenced statistics from the U.S. Center for Disease Control with statistics from Pew Internet and some statistics on email penetration I have compiled over the years to find out. Per my calculations, approximately 0.7% of the average email marketer’s list will pass away each year. Do your own math. There are approximately 7 dead people on your list for every 1,000 inactive email addresses. Put another way, for every 100,000 email addresses on your list, 2 pass away each and every day.

Okay, so maybe I am a little strange? Or morbid? Or maybe I have simply been trying to come up with new ways to make the point that marketing to inactive subscribers is a waste of money? But the irony of marketing to dead people tends to make the point.

Fortunately, there are effective tactics for re-engaging inactive subscribers. Here are a few of the things we recommend to clients looking at their dormant subscribers:

1)    Don’t take it personally. I find most marketers immediately think the reason subscribers become inactive is because there is a problem with their program. Truth be told, sometimes it does, but there are a lot of reasons subscribers become unengaged that have nothing to do with your program. They may have switched their focus to a new email address. Maybe they moved on to a new stage of life – they got married, or their children moved out of the house? Or maybe they ate the salmon mousse?

Continue Reading on Media Post: Email Insider

Originally from “Reviving The Dead” | Published November 10, 2010

About the Author(s)

Andrew Kordek

Andrew Kordek is a Co-Founder of Trendline Interactive.

Let's Take This to the Inbox

Sign up for our news, resources and updates. The inbox is our favorite place after all. We’ll make sure it’s worth it. (You can unsubscribe at any time, but you probably already knew that.)