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Identify and Rejuvenate Your Inactive Customers

By Gabrielle Tao,VP, Product Management, Responsys Development, Oracle

As a marketer, you most likely have a list of your “inactive” customers. The definition of inactive customers varies from marketer to marketer. Maybe they’re customers who haven’t purchased in the last year or those who haven’t responded to any marketing messages in the last 180 days. They opted in to receive your marketing messages, but they don’t interact with your brand any more. It is a bit of a vicious cycle – your messages don’t engage them, but without their interactions, you are very limited in what you can do to personalize their marketing messages. This leads to even less likelihood they will engage and higher likelihood that they eventually opt out altogether.

There are two things you can do to further understand your inactive customers. With better understanding, there’s an increased chance that these customers will reengage with your brand.

Analyze Past Behavioral Data

This may seem obvious. But the truth is that a lot of marketers don’t do this or don’t do it often enough. There could be two key reasons:

  • Engagement data may be scattered among different interaction channels. As an example, if you have an email system that’s separate from the mobile system, or you collect sales transactions in multiple channels differently, your engagement data will be scattered.
  • By definition, inactive customers are those who have not had interactions with your brand for quite some time. Many interaction systems do not store interactions data beyond 90 or 180 days. So, to relate your inactive customers with their past behavioral data beyond the last 90 or 180 days, you will need to cross multiple systems.

Of course, it’s possible that analysis of inactive customers can be done with some system integrations. But the ease with which it can be done will determine whether this is a one-time effort or something you can benefit from continuously.

When you have a system to analyze the past behavioral data of your inactive customers, you could potentially answer these questions:

  • Who are truly inactive customers across all channels?
  • Did they ever interact with your brand after the initial sign-up? If not, you might need to re-acquire them.
  • When was the last time they interacted with your brand, and on which channel? What were they interested in?

Append Third-Party Demographic or Behavioral Data

Customers who do not engage with your brand generally fall into these categories:

  1. They do not engage with any other brand either (deceased, invalid email, etc.).
  2. They engage with some other brands.

Appending your inactive customer list with third-party data can help you better identify which category they belong to. Third-party data (e.g., demographics or behavioral) generally are gathered by third-party data sources and do not include customer interactions with your own channels.

While third-party data marketplaces have existed for decades, marketers have not been able to easily take advantage of them. That’s because most third-party data providers price data based on the list size, which isn’t optimal for specific use cases such as inactive customers.

As a marketer, the third-party attributes you need for your active and inactive customers may be different. For example, if you’re an email marketer, you primarily need to reduce the risk of bounces if you continue to email your inactive customers. In this case, a different kind of third-party data attribute is needed than when you need to improve email personalization for your active customers. But because of the way third-party providers price and append data, you will need to split your customer list into active and inactive to get two separate appends, which in turn requires you to have two separate data contracts.

By following a very simple process to append third-party data without all the time and costs for signing data contracts and transferring data back and forth, you can understand your inactive customers more effectively:

  • Which of the two above categories have the majority of your inactive customers?
  • Will you risk getting more bounces if you send more emails to your inactive customers?

In part two of this article, we will take a look at an easy way to use the new Oracle Responsys CX Audience solution to learn more about your inactive customers.

Want more?

Download Customer Experience Simplified: Deliver The Experience Your Customers Want to learn how to craft an outstanding experience for your customers.

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