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 engagement might decrease or stagnate.

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

MailPoet automatically stops sending emails to your inactive subscribers by default after 12 months of inactivity. 

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

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

How MailPoet determines inactive subscribers

Due to recent updates affecting how some email clients trigger "Open," we're no longer relying on this information only to determine if a subscriber is Inactive or not. Read more about it here to understand the difference between "Opened" and "Machine-opened" rates.

A subscriber should be marked inactive if all of the following conditions hold true:

  • The subscriber has received at least 10 emails in their lifetime;
  • The subscriber has received at least 3 emails in last X months, as specified in the Settings;
  • The subscriber has not added any products to their WooCommerce cart;
  • The subscriber has not clicked or opened any emails in X months, as specified in the Settings (but only when it's a non-machine open);
  • The subscriber has not visited any site pages;
  • The subscriber has not created any orders in last X months (it doesn't matter what the order status is), as specified in the Settings;
  • The subscriber's creation date is older than the "Stop sending to inactive subscribers" setting value is set to (e.g. a 3 month setting would require the subscriber to be at created at least 3 months ago).

All these actions will update the last engagement date, which is visible on the subscriber stats page. MailPoet will recalculate the last engagement date automatically even for older subscribers. 

Why doesn't MailPoet 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 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

You can also send Re-engagement emails to disengaged subscribers trying to win them back before they're automatically marked as Inactive by our plugin.

How this helps your deliverability

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

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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