December 28

Inactive buyers – to purge or not to purge them

There are people who receive your promotional emails, and either ignore or refuse to take action. They are also known as inactive buyers.

Should such dead weight be purged from your list? That was a question on one of the Facebook groups I’m on.

I found the question interesting. It’s not an uncommon sentiment for people to wonder if they should only have buyers on their email list.

The answer is it depends. Are the inactive buyers on your list freebie seekers, potential buyers, or lurkers? 

Freebie seekers

Freebie seekers are the people who probably only signed up to your list to get that free guide. They never pay attention to your messages unless there’s something free being offered.

You can safely delete this category of inactive subscriber’s without hesitation. They are dead weight that’s never going to bring you profit.

In fact, if those freebies cost you per unit, they are actually losing you money. This is especially true if your email list service charges you per subscriber.

Potential buyers

There are people who watch or read your content. They might even join your social media groups and spend time listening to you.

Yet when it comes to the actual buying stage, they never step up. Maybe they can’t afford it, or they are not yet ready for it.

They are inactive buyers, but I wouldn’t get rid of them just yet.


Lurkers are going to well, lurk. They’ll closely follow and watch you. You won’t even know they are there.

Yet they are reading your emails and blog posts. They are not just engaging.

Don’t get rid of them. They might not be buying, but these are by no means truly inactive buyers.

Vocal buyers

There’s that one buyer you know by name. Their face immediately comes to mind when you’re conceptualizing the next product.

They are your vocal people.

They’re the ones who are going to shout your praises from the rooftops all the time.

It goes without saying, you want to keep them.

Why are buyers and lurkers not buying

There are many reasons. The first one might be it’s not them, it’s you.

Maybe you haven’t given them enough reason to make that critical decision. So they remain inactive buyers.

An even more ominous reason is maybe they already bought from you before. Maybe whatever they purchased did not meet their expectations.

If that is the case, it’s now up to you to rekindle that relationship.

I’m a copywriter. If I have people on my list who I want to buy my copy services, there are a couple of different pieces of content I can put out. 

I can talk about how to hire a copywriter without getting screwed over. Maybe I can show them the value of my services through testimonials.

What I do is work to educate my audience up. I know where they’re starting, and my job now is to educate them up to the point where they have the confidence and the income to pay me to take them further.

Educate both the potential buyers and the lurkers.

With the lurkers, you never know when they’ll convert. One of my clients had someone following them for almost a decade, until one day, he signed up, just like that, for his high ticket top tier group coaching program.

The buying cycle

When it comes to lurkers, the goal is speeding up your buying cycle.

This will take research on your part. Find out the time frame from when someone reads your offer, to when they opt in and make a purchase.

If you are using what Courtney foster Donohue calls the pocket product, how long is it until they buy the next one?

Have you figured out what the buying cycle is yet? Good. Now find ways of making it shorter.

How do you reduce the time between signup and purchase? How do you educate them to buy faster?

So what do we do with those inactive buyers?

The only people that I recommend getting off of your list are the people who haven’t opened your email in approximately 90 days. They have gone completely cold.

They don’t know you exist anymore. The only reason they’ll give you attention is for another freebie.

The rest of them, they could still convert, they might just not be ready.

And frankly, that’s on you.

If you want to talk more about how to convert your inactive buyers… let’s chat. We’ll brainstorm, come up with some ideas, and I’ll share how I can help you make it happen.

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