Inactive Subscriber

What is it?

What is it?

An "Inactive Subscriber" refers to a recipient on an email marketer's subscriber list who has previously opted in to receive email communications but has not engaged with or interacted with any emails from the sender over a prolonged period. Inactive subscribers may challenge email marketers to maintain list hygiene, optimize deliverability, and re-engage disengaged recipients.

Key points to remember

Key points to remember

  • Definition: Inactive subscribers are individuals who have opted in to receive emails from a sender but have shown little or no engagement with the sender's email campaigns over an extended period, typically measured in terms of email opens, clicks, or other interaction metrics.

  • Indicators of Inactivity: Common indicators of subscriber inactivity include a lack of opens or clicks on email messages, no responses to calls to action (CTAs), no purchases or conversions attributed to email campaigns, and a gradual decline in engagement metrics over time.


  • Impact on Deliverability: High proportions of inactive subscribers on an email list can negatively impact email deliverability by affecting sender reputation, increasing spam complaints, and triggering spam traps or filtering algorithms due to low engagement signals.


  • Re-Engagement Strategies: Email marketers employ various re-engagement strategies to revitalize inactive subscribers, such as targeted reactivation campaigns, personalized incentives or offers, surveys to gather feedback and preferences, and preference center options for updating subscription preferences or frequency.


  • List Hygiene Practices: To maintain list health and optimize deliverability, email marketers periodically clean and prune their subscriber lists by identifying and removing inactive subscribers, suppressing unengaged contacts, and focusing on nurturing relationships with active and engaged recipients.

Example of Use

Example of Use

  1. Reactivation Campaign: An e-commerce retailer launches a reactivation campaign targeting inactive subscribers with a special promotion or discount offer to encourage them to revisit the website, make a purchase, or re-engage with the brand.


  2. Preference Center Update: A media company sends an update email to inactive subscribers, inviting them to update their subscription preferences, frequency settings, or content interests to better align with their preferences and increase engagement.

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