I’ve come across a number of ActiveCampaign accounts that have engagement automations in place but never do anything with the inactive contacts those automations identify. The account owners let the inactive contacts clog up their database. In this article, I discuss how you can try to re-engage the contact and/or unsubscribe the contact from your lists so they can be removed at your earliest convenience.
Don’t pay ActiveCampaign to store inactive contacts #
If your contact is subscribed to a list, they are considered active and ActiveCampaign will include them in your billing quota. Any unsubscribed and bounced contacts are excluded from your billing quota.
Process goal #
There are a number of automation recipes available in the ActiveCampaign marketplace that help to segment contacts by engagement activity. Segmenting contacts is great but we need to take some action on those disengaged and/or inactive contacts. I am going to build upon what we discussed in a previous article entitled Engagement Tracking With ActiveCampaign.
In the previous article, we created four tags for engagement tracking:
- Engagement: Engaged
- Engagement: Recent activity
- Engagement: Disengaged
- Engagement: Inactive
Once our contact has been tagged with the final engagement tag Engagement: Inactive, we can take a few different actions. We can:
- un-subscribe them from all lists immediately so they are not included in the billing quota
- send them one last email explaining they will be removed from all lists
- send an email asking what we could do better
- send them an email reminding them of our value and why they should stay subscribed
Let contact decide #
Let’s say we decide to send the following email to contacts once they are tagged with Engagement: Inactive.
Subject: We miss you
It’s been a while since you opened out emails. If you have changed your mind since you subscribed and are no longer interested, we get it! We won’t make it hard for you, so feel free to unsubscribe right away.
On the other hand, if you would like our emails and want to keep receiving them, you need do nothing more.
We’ll need a new automation that will perform the following:
- send the above email
- track those contacts that want to be unsubscribed
- track those contacts that do not open the email
- track those contacts that open the email but take no action
We’ll start by adding a new tag called Engagement: Unsubscribe. This new tag will be applied to contacts that click the link Unsubscribe Me. We also need a new automation that gets triggered when a contact is tagged with Engagement: Inactive. The first step in the automation is to send the reminder email. Any contact that clicks on the Unsubscribe link will be tagged with that tag so that we can take the appropriate action.
Automation flow #
Let’s walk through the logic of the campaign (snapshot below):
- The automation is triggered when the contact is tagged with Engagement: Inactive.
- The email is sent.
- We wait up to 30 days for the contact to be tagged with Engagement: Unsubscribe. We use an extended period because sometimes people take a while to go through their inbox.
- If the contact is tagged with Engagement: Unsubscribe they are immediately unsubscribed from all lists and exited from our two engagement automations.
- If they opened the email but took no action, they exit the automation.
- If they never opened the email, we treat them as if they chose to unsubscribe.
The way our existing engagement automation works (see previous article), if/when a contact opens an email, they trigger the engagement automation and get tagged with the tags Engagement: Engaged and Engagement: Recent activity. Therefore, it is necessary to address the chance that a contact who has not engaged with our brand in a while may open this reminder email. If they do, our engagement automation triggers and they are tagged with Engagement: Engaged and Engagement: Recent activity but if the contact chooses to unsubscribe we must remove them from the engagement automations. See step 4 above.
Re-engagement email #
In the ActiveCampaign email builder, the email would look like the screenshot below. Here we made the Unsubscribe Me link a button. In the right sidebar, you can see that the link for the button is set to a unique page on the site with a short message explaining they have been unsubscribed from our lists. Once a link is entered, we are able to set campaign actions. Our action is to tag the contact with the tag Engagement: Unsubscribe.
When the tag Engagement: Unsubscribe is applied to the contact, the contact is unsubscribed from all lists. See step 4 above.
Final Step #
Now, all contacts are properly segmented based upon their level of engagement and their desire to remain subscribed or not to our list. Each month, we will login to ActiveCampaign and remove all the contacts that are tagged Engagement: Unsubscribe. ActiveCampaign will not remove a contact from an account via an automation. The contact must be removed manually.