Re-permissioning for email content is something that you should be thinking about doing on a regular basis. This way, you can keep track of your contacts' changing habits with regard to their preferred channel.
Here is a simple Automation Center program that you can set up to track those who have not engaged with your emails in a while, and either renew their engagement or opt them out of email and try to engage them on another channel.
This program gives contacts two chances to reaffirm their engagement by clicking a call to action in an email.
- If they respond, great - you don't need to do anything (except engage with them as normal).
- If they do not respond, you will need to set their opt-in status to
FALSEand stop engaging with them on this channel.
This is what the finished program will look like:
Things to bear in mind
How you base your definition of 'engaged' is up to you, but you should bear in mind the following:
- The longer you wait to re-engage, the longer you send to those contacts who have become inactive, which can affect your deliverability and also increases the risk of sending to spam traps.
- Measuring email response is not an exact science, since many people scan emails in their mail client preview pane without actually opening them. Therefore trying to re-engage with them too frequently might end up putting them off.
For this reason we are using six months (180 days) as our baseline for this program, but you should choose the time period which best suits your business model and overall sending frequency (for example if you send to a certain segment only once a year).
Whatever timeframe you choose, we do not advise sending to contacts who have not responded for more than 13 months as this will begin to affect your deliverability!
Additionally, If you have more than one campaign to re-engage contacts on email, you might also want to put a Segment node with your conversion segment right after the entry point to exclude any contacts who might already have given their consent somewhere else.
For this program you will need:
- One link category
- Two segments
- One landing page
- Two emails
Segment 1: entry point target segment
Your first segment filters for contacts who have not responded to any email in the last six months (180 days).
These contacts will enter the program.
Segment 2: conversions
Your second segment filters for contacts who have responded to your call to action and reaffirmed their consent. The time frame must be at least as long as your first Wait node (we have added an extra day, just to be safe).
These contacts will exit the program.
Since you will be tracking conversions based on a link, you will need a landing page. This can be a simple Thank You page, or you can exploit their interest by including some promotional content if you wish. Either way, your landing page should not require any further interaction by the contact.
Email 1: re-permissioning request
Your first email is a simple notification telling them that they haven't responded for a while and asking them to reaffirm their consent to continue receiving communications on this channel.
The email should contain a clear CTA image or button that leads to the landing page. The objective is to get the contact to click the CTA, and nothing else.
Your email should not contain any marketing or promotional content. However, you can use this as an opportunity to introduce contacts to your other channels, by including in the email a form to enter a mobile phone number for SMS, or a link to download your mobile app, for example.
Email 2: reminder
In your second email you can remind them that you have already contacted them once, and make it clear that if they do not respond, you will remove them from your email mailing list within a certain time period.
This time period will depend on your Wait nodes and workflow for processing the non-responders, but should not exceed the frequency of the program.
You should also make it clear that this will not affect their settings with regard to other channels, and that they can opt back in again at any time.
Building the program
Once you have prepared the ingredients, putting the program together should not take more than a few minutes.
Your entry point will be a Recurring filter, set to run once a month, indefinitely, with your target segment selected.
Next comes an Email node with your first re-permissioning email.
After this you will need a Wait node, set to seven days.
Why seven days? It's just our opinion, but any less could come across as spammy, and any more could lessen the reminder effect of the second email.
At the end of the first path you want to use a Filter switch node based on your conversions segment to split your contacts and filter out those who responded to the first email and gave their consent.
How the filter switch works:
- Contacts who clicked the link will be included in the filter, that is, they will exit the program.
- Contacts who did not respond to the first email will be excluded from the filter, that is, they will continue in the program.
Now your second path basically repeats the first one:
- Send your reminder email.
- Wait another seven days.
- Repeat the Filter switch node with the same conversion segment.
- At the end of the program, contacts who did not respond to either of the CTAs, and who have thereby expressed no desire to continue receiving emails from you, will be saved as a contact list.
In the Save contact list node, make sure to select the checkbox Add new contacts to existing list. If you don't, each export will overwrite the previous list.
Once you have finished building the program, set the Participation settings to Contacts can enter this program again 180 days after entering it, and launch it.
The participation setting should match the time you define as your engagement window (in our case, 180 days). This is designed to do two things:
- Ensure that no contact can receive these emails more than once if they do not respond (e.g. due to an error in your workflow for unsubscribing them).
- Ensure that contacts who do respond, but later become less engaged, will again be targeted for re-permissioning.
Unsubscribing the contacts from email
You will now need to unsubscribe the contacts who did not respond from email.
Make sure to perform this action within the timeframe you give in your reminder email. If contacts continue to receive emails after not responding, their chances of complaining will be much higher.
And you're done!
You can now rest assured that you will not be sending emails to anyone who has not responded on that channel in the last six months.