For many years, email marketers have been advised to delete inactive email subscribers from their email databases. Inactive email subscribers have been labeled as dead weight and should be cut loose to increase email engagement rates, improve the quality of email lists, and so forth. However, recent research by Mailchimp has revealed that inactive email subscribers are actually more valuable than non-subscribers.

The fact a subscriber hasn’t opened your email does not mean they are not interested or engaged. For example, I receive emails from a specific skincare brand all the time. I love the brand and am a loyal customer. However, I don’t open every single email they send me. In fact, I may go on for a while without clicking any of their emails because I’ve stocked up on their products and I don’t need to purchase for a while. So, until that then, the brand might label me as “inactive.” However, that doesn’t mean I haven’t noticed their emails in my inbox. If I see an email subject line with an amazing promotional deal, I may click on it even though I don’t necessary need anything, but it may prompt me to buy.

According to the research by Mailchimp, “It turns out that 1 inactive subscriber is worth 32% of an active subscriber. That’s a lot of revenue! We also learned that inactive subscribers purchase more frequently and are less likely to churn than customers who aren’t subscribed to your email list.”

It makes sense to stop emailing someone if you know for a fact they do not like receiving your emails or you know they are never ever going to buy from you again. However, long-term inactivity isn’t the best indicator of whether or not that person is truly idle. Mailchimp says inactive subscribers are 26% more likely to make a follow-up purchase than nonsubscribers, and active subscribers were 38% more likely to come back. Subscribers and inactive email subscribers aren’t that far off from each other.

Even though emails may be going unread for a while, they have the potential to engage a customer with an enticing subject line or keep the brand at the forefront of the inactive subscriber’s mind. Inactive email subscribers are still valuable to your company and can generate revenue. So, instead of deleting inactive email subscribers, why not try to reengage them? You can read our previous blog posts on how to reengage email subscribers here and here. For more information about email marketing, please call US Data Corporation at (888) 578-3282.

Share some of your reengagement email marketing tactics with us! Leave us a comment below.