Create an Unengaged Segment

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Sending to engaged subscribers is essential to maintain good email deliverability. That said, it can also be useful to create an unengaged segment to see which profiles need to be excluded from your marketing initiatives, re-engaged, or suppressed during list cleaning.

Note that if you send to unengaged profiles who haven't engaged with your emails in 3-6 months, inbox providers (e.g., Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook) will start placing your emails in spam. In this article, you will learn how to create an unengaged segment as well as best practices around using this segment in Klaviyo to improve your email performance.

Create an Unengaged Segment From Your Main List

The main criteria for this unengaged segment is that someone has not actively interacted with your emails and has been a part of your main list for an extended period of time.

You can edit the definition to best reflect your brand and how often you send emails; however, in the example below, unengagement is defined by a 60 day (2 month) timeframe. Using the segment defined below, we are isolating contacts that have been on our newsletter list for at least 30 days, but haven’t opened or clicked a single email in 60 days.


Use Your Unengaged Segment

There are three main use cases for using your unengaged segment in Klaviyo:

  • Exclude them from campaign sends
  • Re-engage them across marketing channels besides email campaigns
  • Clean them from your main list

In the next few sections, you will learn how to apply an unengaged segment for each use case.

Exclude Your Unengaged Segment From Campaigns

To maintain good deliverability, it is crucial to send to subscribers who will open and click into your emails. As a result, you will want to exclude your unengaged segment when sending out a campaign to your main list of subscribers.


For more information, head to Exclude Lists or Segments from a Campaign Send.

You should also create an engaged segment as well. Send primarily to your most engaged profiles with targeted communication to gain the best results from email marketing.

Re-engage Your Unengaged Segment

There are a few ways to try to re-activate this unengaged segment in Klaviyo. Using forms, flows, and social media to reinforce your messaging is best practice over re-engaging via campaign emails because you do not want to hurt your deliverability in the eyes of inbox providers.

First, create both a winback and a sunset flow in your account to discover which customers you should try to re-engage and which should be suppressed. These tools automate the process of reaching out to unengaged subscribers with content that will encourage them to interact and purchase from your brand. You can find both of these in the flow library.

That being said, email may not be the best mode of communication for a subset of your subscribers, and if that is the case, following up your email messaging with similar social media and Klaviyo form content will reinforce your marketing efforts across other channels as well. You can sync your unengaged segment with a Facebook integration to create a custom audience. Then, target this custom audience on Facebook and Instagram.

Head to Integrate Owned Marketing with your Facebook Advertising Strategy for more information on using segmentation and custom audiences to expand your marketing strategy.

Meanwhile, in the form builder, create a form that will attract your unengaged subscribers who may still browse your site from time to time. You may choose to include a discount or incentive to spur a purchase, or address their lack of engagement head-on by saying that you miss them as customers.

Then, set this form to only appear to your unengaged segment, as shown in the example below.


You can still ask for a browser’s email address in this form. By adding in the option to once again add in their email address to receive a discount or new content, your brand’s messaging will be at the forefront of their attention and you increase the likelihood of them re-engaging.

For more ideas and inspiration, head to How to Market to Profiles You Shouldn’t Email.

Clean Your Lists

Cleaning unengaged profiles from your main list will improve your email deliverability as a whole. Inbox providers use information around engagement, such as open, click, unsubscribe, and spam rates, to determine whether your emails will make it to the inbox. As a result, having many unengaged profiles on your list will hurt your efforts to contact subscribers who actually want to receive your content.

It is best to suppress unengaged profiles to maximize your deliverability performance through list cleaning. We recommend cleaning your lists at least two to three times a year. For information on how to do so, head to our article on List Cleaning.

Because list cleaning involves suppressing profiles, the conditions around engagement are slightly different. You will likely want your segment to have a broader timeframe, like 365 days instead of 60 days. Below is an example of an unengaged segment that may be used for list cleaning.


Once you know that your main list is full of real, active, and interested subscribers, you can begin to tailor your content to be more specific to subscribers’ interests with granular segmentation on profile properties. Creating personalized content and sending to engaged subscribers is the recipe to business growth via email marketing.

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