Identify Inactive Subscribers

Inactive subscribers are opted-in contacts with valid addresses who haven't opened or clicked your email 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 an opted-in contact 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 contact 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 Contact Rating

When you segment by contact rating, you'll identify subscribers who have a negative rating of one star.

To identify inactive subscribers based on contact ratings, follow these steps.

  1. Navigate to the Lists page, and click the name of the list you want to work with.
  2. Click Create A Segment.
    create a segment
  3. Click the Contacts match drop-down menu and choose all.
  4. For the first condition, set the drop-down menus to Email Marketing Status | is | Subscribed.
  5. Click Add.
  6. For the next condition, set the drop-down menus to Contact Rating | is less than | two stars.
  7. Click Preview Segment.
  8. Review the segment, and click Save as Segment.
  9. In the Save Segment pop-up modal, type in a name for your segment, and click Save.
    A screenshot of the Save Segment pop-up 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 5 campaigns, all campaigns within the last 7 days, all campaigns within the last 1 month, all campaigns within the last 3 months, or any of the last 5 campaigns.

To identify 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 Create a segment.
    create a segment
  3. Click the Contacts match drop-down menu and choose all.
  4. For the first condition, set the drop-down menus to Email Marketing Status | is | Subscribed.
  5. Click Add.
  6. For the next 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Click Preview Segment.
  9. Review the segment, and click Save as Segment.
  10. 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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