There is a consensus among email marketers that keeping uninterested subscribers on your email lists does more harm than good. Before your unengaged subscribers unsubscribe or – gulp! – report you as spam, take measures to reengage them and reinforce their positive relationship with your brand.
Here are a few ideas for keeping your subscriber base active and excited about your email:
• Run a relevant, engaging email program in the first place. The most important way to keep subscriber attention is, of course, to pay attention to your whole email program at each step. Maintain relevant content, design creatives that subscribers enjoy seeing, and refrain from overmailing.
• Send a “We Miss You” message with a special offer to inactive subscribers. When you know you have unengaged subscribers on your list, show them that you still care. One way to do this is with a “missing you” message, sweetened with a special offer. Smith-Harmon clients Pottery Barn and Pottery Barn Kids added a dynamic “We’ve missed you!” banners to emails sent to inactive subscribers.
• Involve subscribers by inviting them to help support a cause. Strengthen subscriber relationships with your brand by encouraging them to help you support a cause. This shows subscribers that you care about more than just dollars and also fosters a sense of investment in your brand’s efforts. For example, Lucy has encouraged subscribers to help support the Breast Cancer Network of Strength, and PetSmart has invited subscribers to join them in helping homeless pets.
• Run contests or sweepstakes that encourage interaction with your brand. Everyone loves to win. If the reward is enticing enough and the process is simple enough, subscribers will jump at the chance to enter your brand’s contest or sweepstakes.
In a recent contest, The Cheesecake Factory asked for new flavor idea submissions from subscribers and then went a step further by letting other subscribers vote for the winner (I’m particularly pleased, since my pick won. Yum, Red Velvet).
Last winter, Urban Outfitters enticed subscribers to create a holiday wishlist by allowing them to enter a drawing to “win their wishlist.” Even the contest losers (such as myself) received an email with a discount offer to keep them shopping.
• Marketing a good or service your subscribers aren’t familiar with. By showing your subscribers something that they may not have known you carried, you may inspire them to revisit your site. For instance, The Container Store took Earth Day as an opportunity to reveal themselves as a vendor of environmentally-conscious storage options.
Hopefully your email program is so relevant and engaging that no subscriber would ever DREAM of hitting the unsubscribe button. But if you happen to be seeing a high number of inactive subscribers, give some of these ideas a try and see if you can recapture some attention.
Always Active & Engaged,
Lisa Harmon and Alex Madison, Smith-Harmon