How to revive a dormant email list to drive sales

Email marketing is a difficult medium to get right. Many companies put a lot of effort into growing their lists. But when it comes to a consistent email marketing strategy, the same level of effort is nowhere to be seen.
Despite the proliferation of social media and other marketing channels, email remains a firm favourite for consumers. At every stage in the customer journey, consumers prefer to be reached by email.
Consumers may have been momentarily annoyed by the influx of GDPR emails in their inboxes, but this was short lived. Post-GDPR, 41% of those surveyed as part of the Consumer email tracker 2019 report said that the new rules made them more confident about how brands treat their personal data.
If you’ve been collecting emails for some time without an active email marketing strategy in place, you might be wondering if it’s possible to revive this list. While you might need to make some cuts, the good news is that you can revive a list in a way that doesn’t damage the trust between you and your customers.
You can read more about building trust at every stage of the customer journey here.

Clean up your list

The first step in reviving your list is to clean things up. Most email marketing clients will automatically clean up your list by removing incorrect emails and ensuring that those who unsubscribe cannot be added again without their permission. These are all great features, but you’re going to want to do some additional spring cleaning.

Remove inactive emails

If users haven’t opened a single email from you in 6 years, it’s probably time to move on. Decide a cut off point and then cull any email that has never been opened. Many marketers will do this once a year and remove anyone who hasn’t been active in the past 12 months. It can be a difficult thing to do, particularly if your impressive 10,000-strong list is reduced to a mere 4,000. Just remember that inactive emails aren’t doing anything to help drive sales.

Check your list is GDPR compliant

If you aren’t sure where some of the emails came from, be wary about continuing to send emails to them. Your email software should have a record of where the email came from. If it was uploaded pre-GDPR and you can’t identify the source, remove these emails to be safe. If these emails are inactive anyway, you aren’t missing out on anything other than a vanity metric.

Redefine your goals

Why are you sending emails? What’s in it for your audience? What do you hope to achieve?
There’s no sense in spending time crafting the content for an email campaign if you don’t know what action you want the user to take. Think about to ultimate goals and then ask what’s in it for your readers. Sending them endless sales messages with no reward for them is unlikely to yield positive results.

Re-build the relationship

Check in with your subscribers. Find out if they’re still interested and find out how best you can serve their needs. If you haven’t reached out to your subscribers for a while, think about sending out an email asking if they are still interested in hearing from you.
Sending out a simple survey is a great way to start rebuilding the relationship. Giving your users a choice about what emails they would like to receive not only helps to build trust, but it also helps to boost engagement.
For example, you could ask your subscribers if they are more interested in hearing about the latest news or the latest offers. Allow them to shape their own email experience in order to re-establish the relationship.

Take it easy

When you decide to revive a forgotten email list, it’s easy to go overboard with the email frequency. You don’t need to send out an email every time you publish a new blog post. Instead, try to stick to a schedule so that your audience know when to expect your emails.
If you find your own inbox overwhelming, you might find that you start to select all and delete rather than trawling through the numerous marketing emails you have received. Your audience is no different. Make sure you treat their contact details with respect and don’t overload them with information.
If you’re ready to explore email marketing and what it can do for your business, get in touch with Auburn today.