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How Inactive Prospects in Account Engagement Impact Your Strategy

How Inactive Prospects in Account Engagement Impact Your Strategy

min. reading

Prospect inactivity tells us just as much about a prospect as their activity does. An inactive prospect has a lower interest level and less openness to learn more about your organization than prospects who are active.  

In this blog, we will address what makes a Prospect inactive vs. active, how inactive Prospects can impact your organization, and ways to clean up your database. 

Inactive Prospects in Account Engagement vs. Active Prospects

Inactive Prospects exist in every instance of Account Engagement, but what makes a Prospect inactive? I can tell you what doesn’t change their status to active. 

The following Prospect activities will NOT change a Prospect status from Inactive to Active:

  • Email Sends
  • Email Opens
  • Email Bounces
  • Opportunity Creation

So what does change a Prospect’s status from inactive to active? 

These are the activity indicators we’re looking for:

  • Form Submission
  • Page Visits
  • Link Clicks

Inactive Prospects can also be Prospects who are classified as “Active” but have not taken any action (i.e. form submission, page visit, or link click) in a predetermined amount of time (i.e., 6 months or 1 year). The timeline should be well thought out and considered by the marketing team. You should also adjust accordingly if needed based on the typical time it takes for the sales process to reach completion.

The Impact of Inactive Prospects

Housing inactive prospects in your org can have detrimental results to your instance if not consistently maintained. A couple of big reasons include deliverability and spam complaints, but there are more. See the full list of potential risks below.

Email Deliverability

When speaking to email deliverability, we are assessing the likelihood your email will reach its intended inbox without bouncing or being marked as spam. Prospects who have not opened any emails for a period of time or perhaps have abandoned their mailbox will be sent to spam or bounce This directly impacts your organization’s deliverability.

Furthermore, in alignment with the Account Engagement permission-based marketing policy, emails that are below 90% deliverability may trigger the Account Engagement deliverability team to check with you on your account performance and potentially freeze it.

Diluted Marketing Metrics

By sending emails to inactive Prospects, you are potentially receiving inaccurate metrics on your email performance. If you include inactive Prospects among active Prospects in your campaigns, you are skewing your open, click-through, and conversion rates by bringing them down. This leads to inaccurate portrayal of your campaign’s success.

Paid Prospects

Did you know that you pay for your Prospects? Account Engagement is set up in a way that you pay for your Mailable Prospects. Keep in mind that an inactive Prospect is not necessarily and unmailable Prospect. You can have a multitude of inactive and disengaged Prospects sitting in your account that you are paying for. Cleaning them out allows for more room for highly engaged Prospects to filter in.

Spam Reports

When we reference spam, we are referring to sender reputation, specifically how healthy your IP address is seen by target inboxes. Email services such as Google or Outlook use algorithms to filter out emails as they come in. Senders who have received consistent positive engagements, such as opens and clicks, are accepted without issues. However, senders who have been marked by negative interactions, such as deletion without opens or marking as spam, are automatically filtered into the spam folder, impacting the health of your sending IP address. This ultimately could lead to your IP address being blacklisted.

How to Maintain a Healthy Database

Now that you are aware of the impact inactive Prospects can have on your organization, let’s review ways to manage a healthy Account Engagement database

To begin, this clean up process should be done quarterly or on a routine basis as you see fit. And as a friendly reminder, any Prospect you delete goes to the Recycle Bin and can be pulled out at any time.

Use Dynamic Lists

Build a series of Dynamic Lists using a specific set of criteria to collect Inactive Prospects and then mass delete them via a Table Action, sending them to the recycle bin. 

Such lists may include:

  • Prospect has been emailed at least 1x in the last 90 days AND Prospect time last activity days ago is greater than 90 days. Again, you can set how many days feels best for your organization. You can also build multiple Dynamic Lists based on a variety of time limits.
  • Prospect has been emailed at least 1x in the last 90 days AND Prospect time last activity days ago is greater than 90 days AND Prospect score is below 100. Same thing here, customize the numbers to fit what is best for your organization.

Remove Junk Data

Any test emails you’ve created or spam Prospects who have filled out Forms are also taking up prime real estate in your mailable database. We recommend cleaning out any junk data that is not actively used for testing purposes. 

Read this blog for a complete list of Dynamic List criteria.

Create a Re-engagement Program

After cleaning up your database you may still have Inactive Prospects that you believe are still marketable.

Now, it’s time to enter Engagement Studio. Build a re-engagement program that targets Inactive Prospects in an attempt to nurture them. Anyone who still does not engage by the end of the program, can also be removed from your database. SalesforceBen offers a “Sunset Program” for this exact situation.

Shift your focus to from inactive prospects to active ones

Remember, Prospect inactivity tells us a lot about someone’s interest level in your organization. By being aware of what characteristics represent an Inactive Prospect, being aware of how that can affect your database, and taking actions to clean it up, you will see continued growth.

Need help making hard decisions about inactive prospects? That’s what we’re here for. Reach out to the team at Sercante for help navigating your prospect cleanup and re-engagement efforts.

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  • Cara Weese is an Engagement Manager at Sercante. Cara earned a BA in English from Doane University in Crete, Nebraska. She began her career in editing, but quickly found herself working in digital marketing. She now holds certifications in marketing expertise, Pardot, and Hootsuite. Prior to joining Sercante, she worked in copywriting and social media, then found her niche in email marketing and became a Pardot Admin before moving into the consulting space. At Sercante, she serves as a CRM & Marketing Automation Strategist, helping clients realize their full potential and drive business growth through digital marketing. When she's not working, Cara enjoys spending time with her family. She also enjoys reading and writing and can often be found in her library nook reading with her kids. She wakes each day with a passion to help others achieve success. With an expertise in marketing automation, she strives to share her talents with her clients and to build long-term relationships that help individuals and businesses grow.

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