A recent study by Return Path, a company that offers resources and tools to help companies maximize email deliverability, warns that email marketers who continue to distribute emails to non-responsive subscribers (i.e., subscribers that haven't opened or clicked over a prolonged period), risk endangering their overall email deliverability.
The risk is two-fold. First, when non-responsive subscribers receive a steady stream of emails, or in some cases an increased frequency of emails, they will often begin reporting those emails as spam driving up the marketer’s complaint rate.
In addition, some ISPs are increasingly paying attention to whether or not their users respond to commercial mail. If a marketer is mailing at a high frequency and receives a disproportionately low response or no response at all over a consistent period of time, their sender reputation could be negatively impacted. This could lead to having all of the company’s email end up in the spam folder or, worse, having it blocked outright.
From the standpoint of ROI, disinterested recipients skew response patterns and email metrics (e.g., bring down open rates), thus making it harder to obtain an accurate picture of the success of one's email marketing programs.
Finally, since most email service providers charge based on email volume, there's an out-of-pocket cost associated with continuing to distribute emails to non-responsive subscribers. Ask your email services provider about whether they provide subscriber engagement reports to help "clean" your lists of non-responsive subscribers.
Click here to download a free copy of Return Path's study.