Engaging Email Subscribers Part One: 5 Tips to Engage from the Start

May 13, 2013
By TowerData

engage email subscribersEmail marketers work hard to beef up their email databases. But building and growing email lists is only part of the email marketing equation – email marketers must also discover ways to persuade subscribers to open and take action in email communications. If they don’t, they face the bleak realities of inactive subscribers and opt-outs.

According to HubSpot, marketing lists have a tendency to expire at a rate of 25 percent a year, reducing the effectiveness of campaigns. And while some decay is inevitable, there are steps email marketers can take to help keep their subscribers engaged and reduce churn.

Here are five tips for engaging your email subscribers from the get-go.

Set Clear Expectations from Day One

Be up front about what you’ll actually be sending subscribers before they opt in. Ensure your subscription form clearly indicates sending frequency, subject matter and the types of content offers your audience will be receiving. Setting clear expectations from the start will decrease instances of subscribers thinking they’ll receive a certain type of email, only to be disappointed or, worse, annoyed enough to mark is as spam.

Send a Stellar Welcome Email

Sending a boring confirmation email to a new subscriber is like meeting a new business contact and giving him a limp handshake. Don’t miss this opportunity to dazzle new subscribers! Get them hooked with a well-designed template that details the benefits of being a subscriber, and offer them exclusive discount or interesting piece of content. Sending a stellar welcome email sets them up to be excited for future email communications.

Segment Your List

It doesn’t matter whether your business sells to other businesses or directly to consumers; segmenting email communications can drastically improve email marketing campaigns. According to the Lyris Annual Email Optimizer Report, shared via HubSpot, 28 percent of marketers who segmented their email lists experienced lower unsubscribe rates in addition to various other benefits.

You can segment your list by asking subscribers to provide demographic data up front and at various points of contact, or you can explore email enhancement, a fast and unobtrusive way to collect the information you need to laser-focus your segmentation.

Be Personable

Whether your strategy includes social media marketing, email marketing or content marketing, humanizing your brand is essential for success. Today’s consumers avoid companies that speak to them, rather than engage with them. In your email (and other) marketing efforts, consider having a company spokesperson represent your brand or having employees publicly sign off on their contributions to the communications. If your company just isn’t ready to push its employees into the public spotlight, give your communications more of a personality by writing a conversational, friendly tone.

Adjust Frequency

Try mixing up the frequency and timing of your emails to wake up inactive subscribers. If you’re a frequent mailer, try mailing inactives less often. They may feel overwhelmed by the number of messages they receive from you. Or perhaps they don’t receive your messages at a convenient time. Experiment with mailing inactives at different times of day or on different days, including the weekend. Some companies have found success mailing people on the same day and around the same time that the subscriber originally signed up for their list.

Check back for Part 2 of our Engaging Email Subscribers series, publishing soon on our blog, or contact TowerData today to learn how email enhancement can help you target customer acquisition and retention efforts more effectively.

Photo Credit: Grauke/O

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