You’ve worked hard to get people onto your email marketing list, but that’s only part of the battle. What are the things you need to do to make sure people not only stay ON the list, but stay engaged and interact with your messages? Here are 8 key ways to keep subscribers engaged through their lifecycle:
1. Set Expectations from the Start
You want people to be excited to join your list in order to receive certain communications from you. In the case of Kaleidoscope Yarns – that’s knitting tips and tricks, free patterns, special offers, and more. Subscribers also understand that they are going to get one email a week.
By making it clear WHAT they are signing up for and, roughly, how often they can expect to hear from you, you’ll start your relationship off on the right foot with everyone on the same page.
Be on top of what’s going on in the world to really gain attention. “Trendjacking” is the idea of taking everyday topics people are already discussing and creating content that taps into them. This CompanyStore email was sent out in the midst of the major snowstorms that were hitting the East coast last winter – highlighting an issue that was already top of mind.
Personally, I had a client who leveraged the American Idol chatter a couple years back regarding the “Pants on the Ground” contestant in a subject line the following day and got RIDICULOUS open rates (they were selling jeans, by they way). This works!
5. Get a Personality & Interact
Humanizing your business can go a long way to driving better relationships with your customers and prospects….so go ahead, get a personality.
Even if you don’t have or can’t develop a distinct individual to represent your brand,"getting a personality" can also just mean speaking in a conversational, friendly tone and creating dialogue.
The advent of social media platforms has also made it easier than ever to drive conversation and interaction with your email subscribers. We want to peak their interest, make them laugh or get their thoughts – even if they aren’t ready to buy from us today. That way, they’ll hopefully want to continue interacting with us over time.
Engage and speak with (NOT AT) your subscribers. Here are 4 ways to drive conversation in your messages.
6. Inspire and Inform
People are not generally going to buy from you with every email you send them. In order to keep them engaged, we occasionally have to take a break from pushing just BUY, BUY, BUY messaging and instead try different, more informational approaches.
How can you be seen as helpful, as an advisor, as a thought-leader?
Try to incorporate some straight informational messaging in your welcome series or in a post-purchase series or have a more informational slanted newsletter that you send once a month. Here are 6 ideas to make your messages more beneficial, educational and inspirational to those receiving them.
7. Consider Giveaways, Customer Spotlighting
Think about doing gift-card giveaways to a certain number of people every month to keep people interested in STAYING on the list. Mention this explicitly at sign-up and in welcome messages or series to keep people hooked.
Additionally, feature those winners in your emails to keep people excited about potentially winning and to drive opens to see if they won.
Also, consider highlighting customers in general. We are a voyeuristic generation – just think about all the Facebook spying we do! Interview and spotlight your customers. People will see that you care about your customers and those who are highlighted will share these emails with friends.
This is a great opportunity to get creative. Think about having people submit photos of themselves wearing your clothes or with the project they just knitted with the yarn they bought from you or the car they restored with your tools, etc.
8. Recognize, Reward and Inspire via a Loyalty Program
Another way to keep subscribers engaged (and encourage repeat purchases) is to develop a loyalty program, leveraging a lifetimevalue field or # of purchases field. We can use this data to trigger rewards when people reach certain spending levels or have them reach VIP status with various perks (like Sephora does). We can even trigger messages to people monthly with their balances.
All of these tactics combined can lead to very powerful engagement with your email subscribers, enabling you to maintain a relationship and hopefully inspire multiple purchases over a longer period of time.
What have you seen drive the best engagement? What other ideas would you recommend?
Manager of Strategic Services