Our everyday lives are filled with ‘cooling’ relationships – when was the last time you saw your good friend from uni? Weeks? Months? Surely a little distance doesn’t make the relationship any less important to you? Life simply gets in the way sometimes.
It’s the exact same principle with your cooling leads.
What is a Cooling Lead?
Generally, a cooling lead can be defined by any individual within the eDM journey who has not opened/ engaged with your previous 5 emails, or have remained inactive for a period of 6 months – though this will vary depending on your marketing cycle and your team’s key metrics.
A cooling lead is an inactive subscriber. Cooling leads are an unfortunate but natural part of the Sales and Marketing Cycle, Marketing Sherpa estimates that the average organisation will lose 25% of their email list to inactivity, hence the importance of giving re-engagement a go.
Whether they are donors or members your pool of cooling leads are by nature an often large base of built in ‘customers’ with one foot in the door. They simply need to be energized.
Why Should I Worry?
It can be almost too easy to write off that number of unopened emails – they feel abstract and almost as if they don’t really matter right now. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. If your organisation is experiencing high un-open rates it could be hurting you and your team.
Many marketing tools charge per email or even per contact, meaning these ‘in-actives’ could be a drain on your budget and harming your team’s ROI.
Your reporting could also be under fire. Consistently high numbers of “unopened” campaigns will hurt your engagement ratio and obscure reporting – ultimately effecting your team’s KPIs, assigned budgets and overall perceived performance.
Finally, these unfavourable statistics could heighten your chances of being marked as spam. Throwing away your team’s hard work and jeopardizing your communication with the rest of your list.
You owe it to your team to tidy your lists – re-engagement is just one way to do this.
So now you’re considering a re-engagement campaign. What decisions do your team have to make? Where do you start?
Re-engagement campaigns can sometimes feel like a stab in the dark so set your targets early for a strong foundation that will guide the rest of your decisions. Solidify which metrics you should expect vs. the ideal. What is your CPL? Remember these are hard nuts to crack! Plan and budget accordingly.
Design Your Re-engagement Life Cycle.
Like any solid marketing campaign you need to define your audience. Work out with your team how you will metrically define a ‘cooling lead’. Ask important questions such as;
‘When does a subscriber get put on this journey?’
‘What does this journey look like?’
‘When is the subscriber re-integrated into the standard journey or ejected?’
Crafting Your Message.
You already have a wealth of knowledge about these subscribers, use it to your advantage.
Take into consideration what attracted this person to you in the first place. Maybe it was a tactic your team has since shelved that is worth a come-back. Maybe they could be ushered to engage with a different part of the organisation. Use what your team already know to craft and solidify a message tailored to this group. For more inspiration on what to include within your eDM, check out what Mailchimp has to say.
Put (Some) Power in Their Hands.
Re-engagement campaigns have you at your subscribers mercy more so than usual, therefore you want to craft a journey that doesn’t necessarily let them know they have this power, but definitely makes them feel comfortable.
Make the subscriber feel like they are in control. Give them the ability to choose how they want to interact with you. Perhaps their attention dropped because they’re not a big email buff? Flag and incentivise your social media channels. Put the ball in their court by allowing them to browse other information channels they might prefer. Make them feel like they are choosing you all over again.
Learn to Let Go.
Re-engagement is great, and can yield some wonderful results with those already in your network, But it shouldn’t overshadow your recruitment strategies, and other retention processes. Remember that this is a strategy within your wider customer journey, not the pinnacle.
Sometimes people drop off for a reason, and it is important to not waste your team’s budget and resources on things that weren’t meant to be. Being able to purge certain lists allows you to tidy up your data and can mitigate many of the problems we flagged at the beginning of this article.