Email Marketing: activating the inactive!

THE CHALLENGE: A large healthcare benefits provider, (HBP), with an existing database of over 3 million records, discovered that one third of it’s database, approx. 1,300,000 records, were inactive. Messages hadn’t been opened in over 6 months.
HBP had built their impressive database in just over a year. As part of the sign up process, emails were collected with the opportunity to opt out. Recipients may have overlooked the opt out, and as a result they may or may not have been aware of the benefits that were being offered. Other reasons for the inactivity could have been that:

  • They had changed their email address
  • They didn’t provide their primary email address
  • The messages had been going into bulk mail
  • There was an image blocking issue
  • They just weren’t interested

In an effort to hold on to such a large segment of their list, HBC turned to ZOOM Cross-Media to see what could be salvaged.
An aggressive call to action:

  • We sent out well branded, short, concise messages that were a short read and a low time investment
  • We offered multiple prizes to create more opportunities to win

FIRST BLAST: 1.77 million (remember these are non responders)

  • Delivered: 1.70 million or 96.35%
  • Open rate: 46,380 or 4.76% (higher rate for this group of people)
  • Clicked: 37,794 or 2.2% (actual number of people that entered)
  • Unsubscribe: 4,646 or .027% (same rate as monthly campaign)

A 2nd blast was sent a month later to the non-responders (again, in-between campaigns) with a “last chance” subject line:
SECOND BLAST: 1.689 million

  • Delivered: 1.620 delivered or 95.94%
  • Opened: 50,152 or 3.09%
  • Clicked: 37,465 or 2.3%
  • Unique Clicks: 31,657 or 1.95%
  • Unsubscribe: 3,132 or 0.19%


  • Instead of discontinuing this large segment of their database, we successfully targeted and messaged them.
  • We re-engaged, and in some cases engaged for the first time.
  • We incentivized them to take action.
  • We educated them along the way about an eNewsletter that had evolved over the life of the platform.


  • There is an on-going opportunity inherent in regular database cleansing.
  • It’s crucial to identify the varying levels of interest and trigger points of the readership.
  • Opportunities abound in segmenting content based on preferences!

This proved to be an effective and economical solution to the problem with inactivity in the database.
Give us a call if you’d like to chat about assessing your email database opportunities.


ZOOM Media

ZOOM Media