Building a sunsetting policy has become a common exercise for marketing teams when looking at managing their email lists. But where do you start with determining a user is inactive?

What is sunsetting you ask? Its the exercise of removing subscribers that are no longer engaging with your email communications. This can be accomplished by sending a short series of emails (also called win-back) to revive interest in your email.

There are several reasons that you might consider a sunsetting program; legislation, deliverability, cost, and general list hygiene practices.

  • User data privacy: Ensure compliance with relevant data privacy regulations while handling user data.
  • User experience/delivery issues: Minimize any negative impact on the user experience during the sunsetting process.
  • User feedback: Obtain feedback from users to understand their reasons for being inactive or unengaged.

Optional tools to gauge engagement:

  • Email campaigns: Send a series of reminder emails to inactive and unengaged users to gauge their interest.
  • User surveys: Conduct surveys to understand user needs and preferences and to gauge interest in companies services.
  • Inactivity threshold: Set an inactivity threshold (e.g. 3 months but not beyond 12 months) for subscribers.
  • User re-engagement: Offer incentives (e.g. career resources, discounts or products or services) to encourage inactive users to re-engage.

Determining the optimal inactivity threshold requires considering multiple data points to ensure that the threshold is accurately aligned with the companies’ goals. Open rates are no longer a reliable indicator of user engagement (Apple MPP, MBP mage caching) so we need to look beyond this metric. Some data points to consider include:

  • User engagement: Analyze data on user activity such as recency of on web interactions, app interactions, purchases, and profile updates.
  • User retention: Analyze user retention rates over time to understand when users are most likely to become inactive or disengaged. Find the point where the average user stop responding. This could be in a period of time or by the number of messages sent to them.
  • Cost Analysis: Conduct a cost-benefit analysis to determine the potential costs and benefits of maintaining inactive users.
  • User feedback: Encourage users to provide feedback through surveys or other communication channels. You might consider sending a simple “Are you still interested?” email.

Here is a possible email series to consider to combine with email automation to address inactive users:

Message 1: Conduct user surveys and gather feedback.
Message 2: Develop and implement email campaigns to gauge interest from inactive users.
Message 3: Set the inactivity threshold and identify inactive users.
Message 4: Offer incentives to inactive users to encourage re-engagement.
Message 5: Sunset inactive and unengaged users who have not re-engaged.

By considering these additional metrics and activities, the companies can obtain a more comprehensive understanding of user engagement and make informed decisions about sunsetting inactive and unengaged users.

Sunsetting inactive and unengaged users can help improve the overall user experience and maintain a clean user base. By considering user data privacy, user experience, and user feedback, the job board can minimize any negative impact and retain only active and engaged users.