List management: Suppressing inactive subscribers


List management starts with acquiring the right addresses and then removing opt-outs, hard bounces and inactive subscribers. In this article we will cover how to review your subscriber engagement data and define inactive subscribers so that your emails have the best deliverability.

Topics covered in this article:

What is an inactive subscriber?

How to review and suppress inactive subscribers



What is an inactive subscriber?

List management is at the core of every successful email program. It takes hard work to grow lists organically. The right subscriber addresses and preferences must be collected. An email program is built. Great emails are sent. A core group of subscribers engage with the email program while other subscribers are not engaged. Some will opt-out, others will hard bounce, and some will just not open or click on emails.


Inactive subscribers (not engaged) are addresses that have no response activity (opens or clicks) for about 6 months.


While 6 months is an adequate time span for most regular senders, each organization must review their email program and business model to decide what defines an inactive subscriber. For example, a seasonal organization like an annual film festival will define inactives differently than a performing arts center with daily shows.


Use WordFly's Subscriber Insights to dive into the overall health of your subscribers. This dashboard reviews subscribers that are currently being sent to in your account. Take a look at How engaged subscribers are. This section gives a high-level overview of active and inactive subscribers based on WordFly's Engagement Rating and Score calculations.


Generally speaking, a 1 star rating and -1 to -5 score are good indicators of inactive subscribers.


Example of 1 star subscriber with a -5 score,




How to review and suppress inactive subscribers

You can export all your subscribers under Reporting > Export Data and then review your engagement scores and ratings. Use this data and your business model to determine your unique inactive definition. Then use WordFly segmentation to filter your emails to send to the most engaged subscribers.


Export subscribers by account

Follow the steps in this support article to export subscribers by account.


Find your inactive subscribers

Filter the subscriber data by engagement score -1 to -5 and star rating 1. The purpose of this step is to see who your inactive subscribers are.


Use segmentation to send to the most engaged

Create a new email campaign and segment by engagement data. Your active subscriber count in WordFly will reflect the engaged subscribers after 90 days of segmenting your email campaigns. Follow these steps:


Or, use segmentation to send a re-engagement campaign to your inactive subscribers. Subscribers that don’t respond to re-engagement emails should be removed from your mailing lists in 90 days.