email database decayEmail databases decay of their own accord by about 22.5% per year.[1] This could happen as people stop using an old email address and replace it with a newer one, if they change companies and get a new email address, or if unqualified leads opt out of emails. Regardless of how many people opt out in a year, a business must focus on adding new email leads and removing those who are no longer interested in order to maintain a healthy list. Research shows that one in five emails fails to make it to the inbox.[2] We know our advisors wouldn’t be satisfied with this rate, and neither would we. That’s why we’ve developed best practices for responding to email list decay.

Why is Email Database Decay an Issue?

Subscribers who have gone completely inactive but have not opted out of email can hurt engagement rates and put emails at risk of being labeled as spam. It’s bad for email “reputation,” which determines where an email ends up.

How Do We Address This?

While any campaign we run brings in new leads and adds to an advisor’s database, we eventually see a drop off in open and click through rates as a result of natural database decay. We’re setting up a system to strategically cleanse our databases on an ongoing basis. This begins by strategically segmenting our lists to create various suppression lists. This is based on our understanding that the lists our advisors initially give us have not necessarily been cleaned in a while, and there may be many email addresses on the list that are no longer used. While a shorter time frame is used in other industries, due to the nature of our industry, we have to be very specific and properly analyze the length of each prospects’ sales journey to determine how long they can be inactive before they are removed.

Re-Engagement Emails

Rather than simply removing inactive prospects, we attempt to re-engage prospects before our last good-byes. Prospects who have not opened an email in a determined time are sent a bi-monthly engagement email introducing new content with a message saying something to the effect of ‘it’s been a while’ or ‘we miss you’. If the prospect opens the email, they are then be entered back into the regularly scheduled emails deployments. If not, they are sent another re-engagement email with one more offering. If they don’t open that either, they are sent a final goodbye email letting them know they will be removed from the database.

If prospects who have been inactive never respond to the re-engagement email, they will be automatically be removed. This means that we no longer email them, but it does not necessarily mean that we don’t make use of their data. We keep them on file to use in lookalike audiences on other platforms. We’re continuing to develop email list hygiene best practices, re-engagement strategies, and email segmentations. Get in touch to find out how Lone Beacon can grow your database and improve your email marketing!