List Hygiene Best Practices Part 1: How to Identify Unengaged and Inactive Records

Marketo Employee
Marketo Employee

A common challenge email marketers and MOPs teams encounter is managing inactive and unengaged records within their database. Emailing inactive records can have negative impact on sender reputation, inbox placement, email performance and ROI. By identifying when records become inactive, you can easily maintain and hone in on an actively engaged audience in your smart list builds.

 There are a few key steps to identify and manage inactive subscribers in Marketo:

  1. Define Activity Metrics:
    • Determine what constitutes "activity" based on business goals.
    • Consider metrics like opt-in date, age of record, last opened/clicked email, last time filled out a form, last time visited web page and/or last event success.
    • A combination of these should create what you would define as an inactive record.
  2. Define Recency:
    • Establish time-based constraints for measuring inactivity. (Example: last 14 days, last 30 days, last 3 months).
    • Consider the frequency of your email sending to allow a record a chance to engage.
  3. Analyze Data:
    • Utilize Revenue Explorer or Smart List within Reports to track both activities and different recency windows of time.
    • Evaluate the relationship between inactivity and unsubscribe rate, overall email performance to list size and ROI to determine your ideal inactivity threshold.
    • Consider your sales cycle, marketing strategies and seasonal/holiday fluctuations that can impact activities in Adobe Marketo.
  4. Operational Smart Campaign:
    • After determining the recency timeframe and activity metrics, create a Boolean field that will manage inactive record identification within your database.
    • Create an operational re-occurring batch smart campaign that identifies these records and manages your inactive field.
  5. Win-Back Engagement Program or Remove Record:
    • Develop a win-back nurture program strategy to encourage re-engagement.
    • Suppress subscribers who do not re-engage.
    • If you have workspaces and partitions, you can move those records into a quarantined partition for only admin role access or remove records entirely from your database
  6. Perform Analysis and Testing:
    • Test different recency constraints, tactics, content strategies and email frequency to keep your lists healthy.
    • A/B testing is a great way to understand what is working and improve on your results.
    • Adjust based on learnings to keep your records engaged over time.

By addressing inactive subscribers, either through re-engagement strategies or by removing them from your lists in Adobe Marketo, there will be a direct impact on email deliverability and your email performance key metrics. If you are struggling with data hygiene or just do not know where to start, Adobe Professional Services can help! Visit Adobe Professional Services for more information or contact your account team to elevate your team strategies, implement best practices and grow in Adobe Marketo.

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