Identify Inactive Subscribers

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Inactive subscribers are people with valid addresses who haven't opened or clicked your campaigns in a while. It’s helpful to identify and segment your inactive subscribers, so you can send a re-engagement campaign to win back their interest, or remove the inactive addresses from your list.

In this article, you’ll learn how to define your inactive subscribers and save them as a segment.

Before You Start

Here are some things to know before you begin this process.

Define Your Inactive Subscribers

An inactive subscriber is someone with a valid email address who has not opened or clicked your campaigns recently. The amount of time it takes for a subscriber to become inactive depends on your sending frequency, and the type of product or service that you promote.

For example, if you use MailChimp to market a product with a short sales cycle, an inactive subscriber might be someone who hasn’t opened the last five campaigns you sent. But if you market seasonally, it might take a year or more for someone to become inactive.

It’s up to you to determine how long you think an inactive period is, and segment inactive subscribers based on that criteria. If those subscribers still don’t open your campaigns after you send a few re-engagement campaigns, you may want to remove them to lower your Monthly Plan.

Segment Inactive Subscribers

There are a few ways to segment inactive subscribers in your list. Segment by member rating to find long-term inactive subscribers, or use campaign activity as your criteria to find people who didn’t open your most recent marketing messages.

Segment by Member Rating

When you segment by member rating, you’ll identify subscribers who have a negative rating of one star. To remove inactive subscribers based on member ratings, follow these steps.

  1. Navigate to the Lists page, and click the name of the list you want to work with.
  2. Click the Segments drop-down menu and click Create a new segment.
    The cursor clicks "create a new segment"
  3. Set the drop-down menus to Member Rating | is less than | two stars.
    A screenshot of the segmentation condition menus being set to show subscribers with a low member rating.
  4. Click Preview Segment.
  5. Review the segment, and click Save as Segment.
  6. In the Save Segment pop-up modal, type in a name for your segment, and click Save.
    A screenshot of the Save Segment popup modal.
    Check the Auto-update box if you want MailChimp to update your segment when inactive subscribers engage with your new campaigns.

After you’ve created your inactive segment, you can send a re-engagement campaign, or remove inactive subscribers.

Segment by Campaign Activity

When you segment by campaign activity, you identify subscribers who received recent campaigns, but didn’t engage with them. You can choose to show subscribers who didn’t open or click all of the last five campaigns, any of the last five campaigns, or all recent campaigns. All recent campaigns pulls data from the 500 most recent campaigns sent to your list.

To segment your inactive subscribers based on campaign activity, follow these steps.

  1. Navigate to the Lists page, and click the name of the list you want to work with.
  2. Click the Segments drop-down menu and click Create a new segment.
    The cursor clicks "create a new segment"
  3. Click the Subscribers match drop-down menu and choose all.
    A screenshot of the any/all condition menu
  4. For the first condition, set the drop-down menus depending on your preferred campaign activity criteria.
    a screenshot of segmentation conditions that show all subscribers who didn't open all of the last five campaigns.
  5. Optional: To exclude new subscribers from the segment, click Add to add another condition to the segment. Set the drop-down menus to Date Added | is before | a specific date. Choose a date prior to a recent campaign to protect any new subscribers who haven't received a campaign yet.
    a screenshot of segmentation conditions that show all subscribers who didn't open all of the last five campaigns, who also have a low member rating.
  6. Click Preview Segment.
  7. Review the segment, and click Save as Segment.
  8. In the Save Segment pop-up modal, type in a name for your segment, and click Save.
    A screenshot of the Save Segment popup modal.
    Check the Auto-update box if you want MailChimp to update your segment when inactive subscribers engage with your new campaigns.

After you’ve created your inactive segment, you can send a re-engagement campaign, or remove inactive subscribers.

Next Steps

After you identify and segment your inactive subscribers, plan a re-engagement strategy so you can win back their interest. If subscribers don’t open or click your re-engagement campaigns, you could reduce your Monthly Plan rate when you remove the inactive addresses.

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