I think many of us are guilty of continuing to send email to people who haven’t given any sign that they’re interested in what we’re sending. Here’s what Chad White has to say at the Litmus blog:
…marketers are uncertain as to how to develop a long-term strategy for managing their inactive email subscribers—those that haven’t opened or clicked an email in a long time. While it’s tempting to want to boil down inactive strategies to a single operating principle, a more nuanced strategy is more effective.
Putting Chip’s plan into action is going to require something that most most arts marketers are really reluctant to do: actually remove patrons from their mailing list. But here’s the thing, if your email lands in an empty forest, it DOESN’T make a sound, it creates a vacuum, the sucking sound of deflating your success rates. What I mean is that if you have a 25% open rate (just one metric worth measuring), but 25% of your subscribers are “inactive”, your open rate is actually much higher. And if you can spend more time hitting active subscribers with targeted content, you’ll do a better job of upping your conversion rate as well.
Now I’m not saying you should delete folks without asking them first. After all, maybe they like hearing from you even though they don’t click, or maybe seeing your email in their inbox encourages them to visit your website directly. But maybe segmenting your list into active and inactive makes good sense. Read his post for the details.