Sales Enablement Best Practices

Don’t Drown in Your Contact Database: Start Weeding Today

Lisa Zwikl
Posted by: Lisa Zwikl   |   Share:

Looking to do some spring cleaning, but in the summertime? Look no further. Cleaning out your contact database every few months is just as important as cleaning your house, your car, and deleting those unimportant apps from your precious phone storage. Using a re-engagement campaign to update your contact database is the most efficient way to weed out those who are no longer relevant to your business.

But, how do you determine who those people are? When generating a re-engagement campaign, the goals are to:

  • Identify dormant contacts and take them out of your database
  • Re-engage with prospects who have not interacted with your company for a while
  • Push leads further into the sales cycle  

Here are some of the best practices when using a re-engagement campaign to update your contact database.  

Determine your audience

While it would be easy to just send a bunch of emails to your entire contact database, you need to segment your contacts based on:

  • Age of contacts
  • How long ago the contacts engaged with your company

If a contact has not interacted with your company in the past [x] amount of days, they are great candidates to enter a re-engagement campaign. The number of days the contact has not interacted truly depends on your individual company and amount of marketing interaction. If you send a diligent monthly newsletter, it would be fair to send a re-engagement to any leads that did not have 60 days of activity, as that would mean they passed by at least two rounds of newsletters with no interaction. If, however, your marketing efforts tend to be few and far between, consider extending the date range closer to 120 days or more.

You will also need to consider who you want to suppress from receiving these emails, even if they do not have activity in the past [x] amount of days. This list contains contacts who would not be good candidates to receive the re-engagement emails:

  • Current clients
  • All members of the unsubscribe list
  • Anyone in an active sales opportunity
  • Leads who have been created within the last [x] amount of days (so it is not surprising that they may not have significant levels of interaction)

Finally, you will want to make sure that once a lead interacts with your re-engagement emails that they do not continue to receive them. This would include any contact who engages either with your positive or negative CTA (more on those below!), not just opening the message.

Once you have created these lists, you are ready to get down to business.

Send emails with information-based content

It’s time to write your emails. Choose a variety of content from your website in order to engage different contact personas. Get creative and be enticing — these contacts may be on the brink of unsubscribing. Mention your company name and give a quick, captivating blurb about your company, as the contact may have forgotten who you are and what you do. Make sure to drive contacts to:

  • The “contact us” page
  • A landing page to fill out a form and receive content, access a webinar, etc.  
  • Any important page where you can provide value – including blog posts, case studies, etc.

Because you are reaching out to contacts who have not had recent interaction or engagement, it’s important to try to reach them more than once. Send an email on a Tuesday morning and if by Thursday afternoon the contact still has not opened it, try to send it again with a different subject line to hopefully peak their interest. If they open the email but don’t click through it, try sending an email with different content a few days later. The objective here is to give your contacts plenty of chances to engage so that you can be sure you are weeding out the truly inactive contacts from your database.

In all of your re-engagement emails, be sure to always leverage a “negative” call-to-action (CTA) to unsubscribe, as well as a “positive” CTA to re-engage on a dedicated page with a conversion point. That way, you can clean your contact database and push leads further into the funnel at the same time. Another example of a positive CTA would be simply asking the contact if they want to continue receiving emails from you as opposed to the “negative” CTA of opting out. Once a lead interacts with one of those CTAs, they should not receive any additional re-engagement emails.

To contact or not to contact?

Once you have sent out your emails, wait a couple of weeks to determine which contacts have actually interacted with your emails and content.

If any of your contacts have filled out a form, consider placing them in a more specific drip, perhaps based on industry, to determine if they are a soon-to-be customer. If they have interacted with a positive CTA, make sure to follow-up accordingly (you never know what new opportunity you may uncover by re-engaging with an old lead). If a contact has opened some of your emails, but has never filled out a form, they just might not be ready for your business. At this point, if they have not opted out, enter these contacts into a long-term nurture. And, if they have opted out, remove them from your contact database altogether.  

Just like your cell phone, you only have so much space in your marketing automation platform. Deleting old, dormant contacts is key to optimizing your space.

Still not sure if a re-engagement campaign is worth your time? We recently interacted with a re-engagement email from SocialToaster. Not only did we agree that there are clear best practices around an effective re-engagement email campaign, but we also felt this topic was important enough to share it with as many marketing professionals as we can, and thus, this blog was born! Our team leveraged our experience to put together this helpful blog, and the SocialToaster team leveraged their tool to promote this post across a variety of social channels. Please help a fellow marketer and share by clicking the social icons at the top of this post. 

Psst… need help cleaning up your contact database? You’re in the right place. Contact us today.