Inactive Subscribers Feature

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After a few months, many subscribers to your list will simply start ignoring your emails and will disengage. They will never unsubscribe and remain on your list. As a result, your open rates might decrease or stagnate.

Inactive subscribers often represent 10 to 40% of list of subscribers that is a year old.

MailPoet automatically stops sending emails to your inactive subscribers by default after 6 months of inactivity. Rejoice! MailPoet is the only emailing solution that offers this out-of-the-box and turned on by default.

Find the option " Stop sending to inactive subscribers" in MailPoet Settings > Advanced:

In the Subscribers page, you'll find the inactive subscribers thanks to a filter:

How MailPoet determines inactive subscribers

MailPoet takes into account 3 conditions to determines an inactive subscriber:

  • subscribers that have been created more than X time ago;
  • AND that have not opened an email sent by us in the last X time;
  • AND they have been sent at least one email in the last X time.

"Open" is determined when the user's email client displays images in the newsletter. The large majority of email clients display images by default.

There is a chance of false positives as if a subscriber never displays the images, MailPoet will determine that the subscriber is inactive while he or she might not be. This is a very small percentage of most subscribers.

Why MailPoet doesn't send an email notification before marking users as Inactive?

MailPoet does not send an email " Do you wish to stay subscribed to our list?" to try to keep your subscribers as active. Our experiences show that less than 1% of inactive subscribers will engage with such an email to remain actives.

Alternatively, you can either disable the feature or you can set up a new Welcome Email to be sent 24 weeks (6 months) after someone subscribes to ensure they're still engaged. 

For example, it could have the following:

  • Subject: "6 months after, tell us how we're doing"
  • Content: an actionable button or link to a survey to ensure the user clicks to engage

How this helps your deliverability

Email providers and their respective spam filters score your sending reputation thanks to engagement.

If your emails have a low open rate, for example, 10% or less, they will start filtering your emails in other categories or even the spam folder.

Moreover, many mail providers, such as Gmail and Yahoo, turn inactive inboxes into spam traps instead of deleting these accounts. They consider inboxes as inactive after just 6 months or 12 months. 

If you keep on sending emails to inactive subscribers that are spam traps, you're sending reputation will decrease significantly. 

How to delete inactive subscribers

Please note that inactive subscribers count against the 1,000 subscribers limit and if you have a MailPoet sending plan.

You might want to delete inactive subscribers. Follow these steps to do so:

On the  Subscribers page, click on the  Inactive filter. 
Select all subscribers
Use the Bulk Actions to trash them. Empty the trash!

WordPress users cannot be deleted. Read more on the WordPress Users list.

How to mark a single subscriber as inactive

You can manually change the Status for any subscriber to "Inactive" by editing the subscriber:

How to switch all subscribers status from "Inactive" back to "Subscribed"

The feature is enabled by default. If you want to disable this feature, follow these steps:

Go to MailPoet  Settings > Advanced
Set the Stop sending to inactive subscribers to "Never"

It will take a few minutes for the status of your subscribers to change after you saved the settings.

Further reading

We published a blog post with the best practices in regards to inactive subscribers.

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