Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Separating your Marketing Database into Active/Inactive

Given the new advanced contact filters that were just released within Eloqua, here is a refresh of an older post on the topic of separating your active and inactive contacts. Thanks Chad Horenfeldt for the refresh:

One of the most important goals of Lead Nurturing is to maintain permission to stay in front of your audience with your communications. Data from Marketing Sherpa on content relevance and unsubscribes has shown that many prospects will not necessarily click on an unsubscribe link when they lose interest in your messaging. However, far worse, they may become emotionally unsubscribed, reflexively ignoring and deleting your messages as they arrive.

If you continue a rapid pace of marketing to this emotionally unsubscribed segment, they may at some point click the “this is spam” button, causing you a significant deliverability headache, even if they had originally subscribed legitimately.

The first step in avoiding this situation is to identify the inactive members of your database. To do this within Eloqua is very easy. You can create a filter and use Activity and Inactivity criteria that will tell you which contacts are not active. If you’re not sure where to start, check out the following article: “Contact Filters - Creating Contact Filters”. In your filter, choose the following criteria:

• Has been sent at least 3 email in the last 6 months
• Subscription Comparison: Contacts who are subscribed as of now
• Has not opened 1 email in the last 6 months
• Has not clicked on 1 email in the last 6 months
• Has not visited the website at least once in the last 6 months
• Has not submitted at least 1 form in the last 6 months

It should look like this:

The last step is to use advanced logic so it looks like the following:

Therefore, all active contacts are those that have been sent at least 1 email and have not unsubscribed and have not performed any activity.

With this segment defined, you can then suppress them against regular email distributions, in order to ensure that they are not communicated to more than they would appreciate. You could even set up Default Distribution Lists that would automatically suppress these contacts.

Depending on their level of disengagement, you can target them with special re-engagement offers (How To - Create an Automated Reengagement Program) or campaigns using other media types such as direct mail or a calling campaign.

The critical point, however, is to identify and monitor the inactive segment of your database. By understanding its size and any trends in its growth, you can begin to understand how your messaging is resonating with your audience, and adjust accordingly.


James said...


(1 AND 2) AND (3 OR 4 OR 5 OR 6)

Shouldn't that be AND for all in order to determine who is truly inactive? (Someone who is subscribed but have not been active in all areas at all.)
Otherwise it can be saying that someone who did click on an email, but didn't visit a website, is inactive. Which, is not true.

James said...

Sorry, I meant to say someone who "opened" an email. Not "clicked" (otherwise, I might be contradicting myself saying they didn't visit a website, which, they might have when clicking on a link in an email).

Steven Woods said...

you're right that AND in that string would find someone who was completely inactive, while what we have set out there does allow some activity.

Tweaking the logic to your specific circumstances is always a good thing to do.