The key to monetizing an audience is retaining an audience. Or, to put another way, a loyal audience is a profitable audience. Bottom line: Once you get a subscriber, you want to keep that subscriber. When it comes to increasing traffic (and eventually loyalty and revenue) from email, reducing churn is a must.

But according to Email Monks, the average lists decays by 25% per year. This happens through a range of reasons, some of which are controllable, such as sending repetitive or uninteresting content too often and some that are uncontrollable, such as email address changes. The critical metrics of declining open rates and frequency of site visits show when readers are losing interest and need to be prodded back into action.

Re-engagement tactics will not only keep inactive users on your subscriber list, but will also lure them back into the fold of frequent website visitors. More importantly, re-engagement will also keeps inactive subscribers from hurting overall engagement rates. ISPs look to engagement as a filtering criteria, reclaiming accounts of inactive subscribers and converting those accounts to spam.

Foundational Tactics for Reducing Churn with Re-Engagement

Our guide to increasing traffic from email breaks tactics down into two categories. Easier for publishers to implement, foundational tactics represent the lowest-hanging fruit. Examples include:

  • Begin re-engagement email campaigns. If a subscriber has not opened an email in 60 or 90 days, it may be time to begin a campaign to re-engage them. These emails may include sentiments such as, “We miss you,” and ask readers to update their email and notification preferences. With dynamic email elements from our sister brand Liveclicker, you can add a real-time countdown clock to create a sense of urgency.
  • Create a preferences center. Instead of giving subscribers the choice of subscribing or unsubscribing, an opt-down page can present the option of receiving emails less frequently or in fewer editions. It’s much better to have a subscriber pro-actively decrease the volume of email they receive than to have them opt-out altogether.

Sophisticated Tactics for Reducing Churn with Re-Engagement

These sophisticated tactics require more resources to implement, in terms of both people and technology. But on the plus side, the returns tend to be stronger.

  • Closely monitor the first 30 days of subscriber activity. This will help highlight when readers are most engaged and when they are most likely to opt out. Having identified the sweet spots and danger zones, look for the root causes in the reader experience that are contributing to each.
  • Proactively opt down the reader. If a reader hasn’t opened an email in 30, 60, or 90 days, you might not be able to get them to open one asking them to update their preferences. In that case, proactively reduce the number of emails sent, decreasing fatigue and increasing the chances of re-engagement. At the same time, consider reaching these readers on another channel, such as Facebook or your own mobile app.
  • Use predictive technology to optimize engagement. Predictive technology can help set personalized cadences for each reader that will optimize traffic and the user experience. Some readers open every email that comes in, and can be sent email daily. Others just want periodic recaps. Predictive technology can help set a cadence for each reader that optimizes traffic and the user experience.
  • Suppress mailings to readers shown to be unlikely to open. If readers are not engaging via email, try to engage them on another channel, such as Facebook or their own mobile app. Using predictive intelligence to simultaneously suppress those subscribers will help protect deliverability and list health.

To learn more about how you can increase traffic from email, download our guide here.