Inactive Duties: What Every Marketer Should Do As Google Deletes Inactive Accounts

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Besides being National Eat a Red Apple Day and National Bartender Day, tomorrow is also the day Google has been warning us about: marketers know it as “Inactive Gmail Account Day.”

Tomorrow, December 1, is the day Google will begin deleting accounts that have “not been used or signed into for at least 2 years.” And while this obviously won’t affect those of us who navigate the Google ecosystem daily as we’re signed into our primary account, it will affect an untold number of unattended accounts (otherwise Google wouldn’t be doing it).

Email marketers, MediaPost warns, “better play catch-up,” with one email marketing executive telling MediaPost to expect (and account for) bounce metrics hitting a bump.

“I would expect large mailers who don’t have controls in place for inactivity … to see a significant one-time effect on metrics with these changes,” says RPE Origin’s Ryan Phelan. “However, it should not be a cause for alarm but a reminder for senders that inactivity after two years is something that should have been rectified [a] long time ago.”

Indeed, those following best email marketing practices and prioritizing valid, active emails with regular list cleanings are already prepared for what MediaPost estimates are millions of accounts that will soon be deleted. In fact, when announced earlier in the year, the marketing blog from Marigold Engage by Sailthru saw it as “an opportunity to implement reactivation strategies,” an opportunity that’s still knocking as Google’s crackdown only just begins.

Marigold Engage’s “easy-to-implement tactics” include:

  • Begin re-engagement email campaigns
  • Create a more robust preferences center
  • Ask users to add you to their safe sender list
  • Place your unsubscribe link at the top of your emails

“Marketers who remove invalid and uninterested subscribers generate more ROI out of their existing email campaigns because the open and click-through rates are higher, and not wasted on recipients who are disinterested in your content,” Marigold wrote. “Google’s recent announcement is the perfect time to leverage awareness about the risks associated with dormant accounts and initiate your own data health campaigns.”


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