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How Inactive Subscribers Affect Your Email Open Rate And What To Do About It

How Inactive Subscribers Affect Your Email Open Rate and What to Do About It

When discussing email campaign open rates, the general average according to HubSpot is about 32%[1]. That’s not taking into consideration industry, A/B campaigns, and the quality of the list.

If a subscriber isn’t opening email campaigns, the quality of the list is compromised. In my experience, supporting an engaged lead is a better use of marketing time than chase a disinterested one. So, what to do with unengaged subscribers?

Most of us at some point have received an email from a source we opted into with “Miss you” or “Was it something we said?” as a non-intrusive reminder that we opted in but are no longer opening the sender’s emails. Everyone gets busy, so this applies to subscribers who haven’t opened in 6 months.

The open rate for this friendly, re-engagement email style averages 10%[2]. Not bad.
How to treat the remainder who still didn’t respond?

If over half of our list doesn’t open emails (and they once did), it’s time to revisit the quality of the content being sent, and I dare say, delete some subscribers.

Sound like marketing sacrilege?

Limiting Your Emails Or Unsubscribing People From Your Emails Is The Best Way To Save Your Open Rate From Going To The Pits.

Open rate metrics that are real matter in order to track what is or isn’t working. A tactic rarely shared is to search and connect with inactive users over social media channels[3]. An email address is the fastest and most effective way to search, especially if the subscriber has a popular name. A time-consuming task; you have to assess if this is an effective use of your marketing time.

Which tactics have you found work to keep open rates up and/or reengage languishing subscribers?


[1] Soskey, J. (2015, February 4). What’s a Good Email Open Rate & Click Rate? [Benchmark Data]. Retrieved January 19, 2016, from

[2] Cebrian, J. (2015, December 15). Why Marketers Need To Move From Email Reactivation To Continued Addressability. Retrieved January 19, 2016, from

[3] Yin, E. (n.d.). What is a good open rate for your email newsletter? Retrieved January 19, 2016, from



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