Why reactivation programmes are a business imperative

reactivation programs

Benefit of bringing your email programme up to GDPR standards and the importance of Reactivation

By Sara Maude, Strategy & Analytics Manager at Zeta Global,

May 10, 201

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) touches several aspects of email marketing, especially how marketers seek, collect, and record consent.  Whilst changes to opt-in processes and re-permission campaigns will likely slow down list growth in the short term, this will create a focus on quality over quantity: email marketers will more than ever need to make sure emails are being sent to those subscribers who regularly interact with content they receive. How can this be achieved? As a customer stops interacting with your brand email communications, consider drawing customers back into the fold by implementing an email reactivation programme.

An email reactivation programme provides many ways to re-engage customers. Use this as an opportunity to re-set the scene for brand communications, what the brand stands for and why the customer should engage with future communications. Implementing a customer survey is an effective way to gain subscriber feedback as to how emails are performing and areas for improvement. One option is to ask subscribers through a survey, if they’re happy to receive further communications – this provides an effective way to verify customer consent and meet the GDPR. And if a programme complies with GDPR, it’s likely that it will comply with other international email regulations as well.

Email marketing efforts need to focus on tackling subscriber inactivity in the early stages, the ‘recently disengaging’ group, this group in your email database consists of people who have not opted out but haven’t opened or clicked in a certain amount of time. Target subscribers as they move from ‘active’ to ‘disengaging’ after a certain number of communications or after a certain time period dependent upon the total number of communications being sent. Focus has to be on sending highly relevant and targeted email communications that address customer lifecycle needs to further inspire, recognise, value, engage and educate.


5 tips for an effective reactivation programme

1) One email may not cut it!

A multi-touch reactivation programme with an enhanced timing and test plan to work in conjunction with existing email campaigns is a better approach than one single reactivation touch. Reactivation communications should serve different content from regular newsletter communications and vary to meet customer lifecycle needs. An effective reactivation programme should implement additional nudges for those who continue not to respond; consider shorter communications for a bolder effect. Once subscribers do respond carefully move responders back into business as usual campaigns acknowledging any recent interactions throughout the reactivation programme: take survey responses into consideration and only ask questions the business can act upon.

2) Getting noticed in a subscriber’s inbox

Effort spent on optimising the creative, message and timing of emails is wasted if subscribers never actually see communications.  Dare to do something different! How can attention best be re-captured? Consider different and intriguing Subject Lines. We recommend a short period of time between sending business as usual campaigns and implementing a reactivation programme, ideally to make the subscriber take note of the recent lack of communications and ultimately miss you.

3) It’s not always about the money!

Don’t make wrong assumptions, thinking that the only thing customers will respond to is a price incentive. Test several different re-engagement messages and see what it is that different customer segments respond to best, in order to re-energise unengaged subscribers and convert them into active customers once again. Be proactive and re-engage with customers before they become too disengaged to reactivate or before they potentially unsubscribe.

4) Cross channel reactivation.

Switch your thinking away from email-only reactivation to continued addressability across media and channels. Create reach and frequency with this valuable audience, integrating tools such as Facebook, Twitter, Live Intent, Data Management Platform (DMP), and Google Custom Match. Zeta Global offers a display retargeting service which lets you add javascript to the header of a main webpage, allowing customers to be targeted based on historic browser and purchase behaviour. A pop up, information bar, recently viewed module and basket abandonment functions allow visitors to be served content, messages and offers based on most recent browsing activity.

5) Focus on quality over quantity.

Consistent and thorough removal of aged and inactive subscribers from the database, and validating the emails on your list, can significantly improve your sender reputation by no longer sending to inactive email accounts. ISP’s are stricter than ever and ensuring your list is up to date means a cleaner email list and higher inbox placement rates, more opens, clicks, better marketing results and ultimately meeting GDPR requirements.

Reactivation is a key component of your email marketing success. However, implementing and automating your reactivation strategy is not “job done”: it needs constant monitoring, analysis and optimisation to make it successful in the longer term. Reactivation campaigns always help you to ensure your CRM database is delivering the best return for the business; right now, the GDRP spotlight means that they are a business imperative.

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