Engagement – it’s the holy grail of email. You’ve got to get these subscribers to take action. Unfortunately, there is always a segment that just refuses to click on anything you send. It’s maddening because they opted in for your list, and effectively promised to engage with you. But they don’t. Worse – they won’t even unsubscribe. Instead, they linger there – lurking at your emails, taunting you with their silence.

You’ve tried everything to force them to click. You segmented, targeted, wrote endless copy that you knew would compel them to make a move – but they just continue to aggravate you and mess with your metrics. To end your misery, here are three tips to help force their hand.


  • Ask them what’s wrong with them! Or rather, what’s wrong with your content. Send out a short survey and ask for suggestions on how to make your content better. This feedback will help you tailor your communications to get that blasted click!
  • Make it “click or nothing.” Tell them that you know they’re not clicking and that they must opt-in again in order to continue receiving your email. If they don’t click, you can remove them from your list in good conscious. If they do click, then at least you know they are alive.
  • Sever the relationship. Do you keep calling someone if they don’t call back? No, so systematically remove non-responders from your list after a set period of time. If they really want your email, they can subscribe again!

It’s all about creating boundaries for your email program. Having an actively engaged list is always better than having a large list of subscribers who never respond to your messages. If you end up with an unruly bunch of subscribers that won’t interact with you, don’t be afraid to cut them loose. They aren’t playing nice anyway.

As SendGrid's Senior Marketing Analyst, Danny is responsible for keeping the marketing team focused on making data-driven decisions to help make sure we are providing value for our customers and prospects. While he may spend his days knee deep in spreadsheets now, Danny spent most of the last 10 years managing email campaigns, website optimization, and PPC campaigns for B2B companies.