Stop Subscribers Ignoring Your Emails – Part 2

Offer email to reactivate customers
Author’s gravatar Becs Rivett Kemm | | Tips & Help | 2

In Part 1, we talked about why we should do regular housekeeping on our lists, and developing a strategy for reactivating our customers. Now we’re going to show you how to do this in MailPoet.

Creating your inactive list

First, create a new list to add to your subscribers to, and call it “Inactive subscribers”.

Go to the Subscriber tab in MailPoet and click Add List:

Add a subscriber list

Create your list and save it.

Once your list is created, go to the “Never opened or clicked” list of subscribers:

Filter of subscribers who never opened or clicked

Select everyone – if you have lots of subscribers, you’ll see a message appear “All of the subscribers on this page are selected. Select all xxx subscribers”. Make sure you select all the subscribers.

Select all inactive subscribers

In the Bulk Actions drop down menu, under Add to list choose the list you just created.

Click Apply.

If you’ve decided that someone is considered inactive if they haven’t opened or clicked for 6 months or more, then we need to remove anyone from your new list who doesn’t meet this criteria.

In the Subscribers page, select your inactive user list in the drop down and click Apply:

Filter subscribers by list

Your list will be ordered by descending subscription date by default.

Select all the subscribers who don’t fit into your inactive criteria and from the Bulk Actions drop down menu, under Remove from list select the list you created:

Remove recent subscribers

Click Apply.

Reducing the frequency of mailing

If you want to reduce the frequency of mailing to your inactive list, you’ll need to remove them from your usual mailing list.

The easiest way to split your list is to:

  1. Create a new list
  2. Select everyone from your usual mailing list and add them to your new list
  3. Go to your inactive list’s subscribers
  4. Remove them from your new list

Now when you want to send mail, use your new mailing list, and your inactive customers will not be sent it.

Creating an email for an offer they can’t refuse

If you’re an e-Commerce store who wants to give an offer, let the customer know why you’re contacting them (they haven’t shopped in a while) but don’t get into the specifics otherwise you’ll sound a bit like a stalker (e.g. we’ve noticed you haven’t opened or clicked any of our emails).

Keep the email short and sweet, with a clear call to action:

Offer email to reactivate customers

You could also reinforce the reasons to shop with you:

  • We price check all our products so you get the best deals
  • We are the only stockists of Pamper Pets beds and 123 Hamster Cages
  • Our customers love us! We have a 98% customer satisfaction score

Creating an ultimatum email

Now you’ve decided you want to take some final action on your customers, it’s time to decide how you want to address your customers.

Again, it’s a really good idea to remind the customer why they should stay with you – but this time it should only be why they should stay on your list. What is the unique selling point of your newsletter compared to your social media channels for example?

The yes button/link should click through to a page on your site with a message thanking them for staying on their list.

To add an unsubscribe link, in a text box, click the icon show and scroll down to the unsubscribe link. I formatted mine as a heading in the example below so that it was really clear.

Insert unsubscribe link

Here’s an example of my nearly finished email in the MailPoet editor:

Final ultimatum email


Final removal of inactive subscribers

Don’t forget that once the “expiry date” has passed to make sure you remove anyone who hasn’t opened or clicked from your list. To do this:

Go to your inactive subscriber list. By default, recipients who have never opened will be shown at the top of the list.

Using the Last Open column, select anyone with — in this column.

Under Bulk Actions select Delete subscribers.

Click Apply.

Finally remove really inactive subscribers


When I’ve tested this previously with the full process (reduced mailing, free Postage & Packaging offer and ultimatum email) on a list of 128,000 people, the clicks were about the same rate as normal on that final ultimatum email, but unsubscribe rate was 1200% higher. The open rate, as you might expect from inactive customers, was 255% lower compared to usual newsletters.

The good news is, as a result of the cleansing of inactive subscribers from my main newsletter list, the open rate increased by nearly 20%.


    Author’s gravatar

    Great article, Becs.

    We’ve seen a few users trying it already on our support, and I’ve been urging more to give it a go.

    The ultimatum email yields in little results. It will save a few subscribers, but not much more.

    Deleting subscribers is always hard at first, I agree.

    Simply focus on the increase of open rates. Always encouraging.

    After that, cleaning your list every 6 months should become a habit!

    Author’s gravatar

    Subscibers seem to blind and don’t even open emails??

Comments are closed.