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Q&A: When Should I Consider Someone Unengaged and What Do I Do?

blog email Jan 31, 2024
Q&A - When should I remove an unengaged subscriber?

I just received a question from one of my Money Tree Install customers asking about segmentation. 


Here's some context: 


This person has a hybrid in-person and online shop. She has a small list of customers, mostly those who she's met in person while they were shopping with her. They signed up on her Aweber account, but she's in the process of switching to Klaviyo.


We're working on her flows right now. But while we are, she's also looking ahead to her campaign strategy. 


Her question is: 


"I want to “clean up” my Aweber imports.  I just went in and deleted anyone who hadn’t opened an email from me since January 1 of last year.  In your opinion, how “dormant” should you let subscribers get before you either delete them or move them to a dormant list (so I don’t end up spending more money on my Klayvio subscription than I need to)."


This is a good question, but one that doesn't have a one-size fits all answer. 


And since I don't know your specific situation, I'll give you some rules to follow and some things to consider. 


First, there is no "right" or "wrong" answer here. This mostly comes down to how aggressive you want to be and what impact that is having on your total ROI and list-health metrics. 


But as a general rule, here's what I would do: 


1. Create a segment of people who have engaged in the last 120 days. I define engagement as opened (excluding Apple Privacy), clicked, were active on your site, or purchased in a time frame. In this case, 120 days. 

2. Email this engaged segment most of the time that you send an email. At least weekly, but possibly more. 

3. Create another segment of people who have bought from you but who are no longer engaging. These people are worth going after again. Email them about 5%-20% of the time you send an email. Emailing this segment will bring down your engagement metrics, but may result in a sale every now and then. 

4. Create another segment of people who haven't engaged in 120+ days and have never purchased. These people are long shots. You're probably paying to keep them around and getting false hope from seeing their emails bump up your profile count. But chances are, they're never going to buy. If you want to try one last time, send them a really good offer. Like reallllllly good. If they don't buy or engage, remove them. 

5. Create a segment of people who haven't engaged in 365 days. If you email them, do so only on big sales (like BFCM,  your anniversary sale, etc.). Or, send them that same really good offer and let them go if they don't bite. 


Now, there are some exceptions. 


For example, if you sell something with a really long time between orders, you can extend the time frame on these. But look at your numbers before deciding to do that. Are your leads really sticking around for 3 years and buying again? Or are you assuming they will... but in reality, they just stop engaging and never return?


Another exception would be if you see your engagement metrics are very low. That means you should tighten up those numbers to see if that makes a difference (and if it doesn't, you might want to look at content alignment or even deliverability issues). 


The numbers won't lie. But sometimes, as business owners, we fool ourselves into believing a lead has more value than it does. 


If you're an e-commerce store owner and you need help with segmentation, content planning, flow structure, strategy, or analysis, let's chat. 


Book a FREE 30-minute strategy call to see how we can work together to generate more revenue and extract more profit from your email & sms marketing program. 

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