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Never-active email subscribers and how to deal with them


Never-active email subscribers are contacts who have never engaged with an email. Marketers should be wary of these as they can ultimately affect deliverability if they continue to be sent email campaigns.

There are a few reasons as to why your reports are not showing any engagement for those particular contacts:

  • They may have signed up and instantly regretted it, but not unsubscribed or done anything about it
  • They subscribed using an old email address that is no longer in use
  • They may not have realised they were signing up, because they didn’t check or un-check the relevant box. This is not a practice we recommend going forward, especially with the new EU regulations on their way.
  • Finally, it’s possible that they were signed up by someone else without their permission

Why you shouldn’t ignore these contacts

It’s really important to take note of these contacts as ISPs monitor recipient engagement as part of determining the value of a sender’s emails. If you are regularly sending emails to contacts who never engage, this diminishes the perceived value of emails by watering down open rates and leading to less favourable treatment from spam filters.

You could have the most incredible email campaign ever built, but if it doesn’t reach the inbox of the recipient, it will have zero impact!

Some solutions to avoid this

  • Use a post-sign up confirmation. Doing this can dramatically increase the open rate of an email, and the contact will not forget that they have signed up!
  • Use automation to set up a re-engagement campaign. If the contact has not engaged in the first four months post sign-up then it would be worth sending them another email and hit them with an offer or deal to make sure they haven’t forgotten about you.

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