5 Tips on Keeping Your Email Subscribers Interested and Engaged
I’m so tired of marketing emails.
Like many other people today, I have this habit of subscribing to newsletters to receive fresh news and, most importantly, sale announcements and loyalty program rewards (well, what do you want from me, I’m a Millennial, a part of the generation obsessed with emails).
Do you do that too?
Although many emails that I’ve received get me good deals from online sellers, one thing I’ve noticed recently is that the value of these emails tends to diminish with time.
At first, I was able to get a discount for my first order by subscribing to an email newsletter and receive some prompt notifications of sales. However, after being subscribed for a couple of months, most of the emails that I received either weren’t exactly useful or the sender become too enthusiastic about sending them.
These have been major reasons why I’ve decided to unsubscribe. Not only this hurt the reputation of those brands, but also it prompted me to look for other businesses to receive useful emails from.
Yes, yes, this is kinda selfish, I get it. But when I looked at the top reasons why other people unsubscribe from an email, I realized that I wasn’t alone. The following chart from Marketing Sherpa reveals the findings of my research.
Picture 1. Marketing Sherpa chart
Apparently, many companies fail to capture the attention of their subscribers by making some horrible (and avoidable!) mistakes such as sending too many of them or sharing irrelevant content.
Come on, guys. In the age of email marketing, one simply cannot afford to lose customers and hurt your brand’s bottom line.
So that’s why I’ve become tired of marketing emails, and the findings of Marketing Sherpa indicated that many people agree with me. Well, you may agree with me, too.
And that’s why I’ve decided to share my tips on keeping your subscribers engaged for as long as possible. I invite you to check out them below and, hopefully, they’ll help you to improve your email marketing.
1. Surprise Your Visitors By Giving Them a Good Gift
Getting people to visit your website is so hard, right?
So you have to go an extra mile to maximize the chances that they will linger for a bit and return in a while. Email marketing can help with that because it allows giving your visitors an opportunity to make a good first impression and a reason to return.
Let’s imagine you’re looking for something to update your wardrobe. You’ve visited a bunch of online stores with good offers, but you’re not quite ready to make a decision who to buy from. Suddenly, you discover that one of the sites selling some great clothing gives you a 20 percent discount on your first order in exchange for your email.
Good deal, right? I’m totally in!
This technique delivers much-needed motivation to make the decision to buy and choose a store. Here’s how an online fashion store Fashion Nova does this. To prevent the visitor from leaving without a deal, the site offers a discount for the first purchase.
Related: How to Turn Visitors into Buyers?
Grab their attention by giving them an incentive. This would be a great reason to return.
2. Don’t Be Too Salesy
Now that we hooked the attention of visitors and convinced them to share their emails, our main goal is to not disappoint them.
Take one more look at the image with Marketing Sherpa’s research results above and you’ll see that the frequency and the nature of emails are in the top five reasons for unsubscribing. This means that many recipients don’t appreciate it when a business sends too many emails which, above that, try to sell them something.
On behalf of many email subscribers, I can confidently claim that we want relevancy and personalized offers (we’ll talk about personalization in the next section).
To meet this requirement, you have to ensure that:
- Your email copy is not salesy
- Send non-sales emails regularly
- Increase personalization and relevancy
Easier said than done, so let’s get to the “how” right away.
Technique #1: Write non-salesy email copy
The best way to write your email copies is to make them customer-focused. For example, if you’re selling vitamins and health products, avoid writing things like “our products are the best because they’re made of natural ingredients.”
Instead, focus on the benefits that your vitamins have for customers and approach writing of the copy from their perspective. Take a look at this email from a health retailer Holland & Barrett.
It has “The detox your body (and life) deserves | Live better with Holland & Barrett 🌿”, as the subject line and does exactly what’s I’ve described (just look at these descriptions of product sections, well done!)
Picture 3. Holland & Barrett email copy
To ensure that your copies are properly styled and error-free, feel free to check out these online tools:
- Subject Line Generation Formula. Grab the attention of your subscribers with attractive subject lines.
- HotEssayService. Get your copy proofread and edited by professional copywriters.
- Hemingway Editor. Make sure that your copy is easy to read by identifying and eliminating complex sentences and passive voice overuse.
GrabMyEssay. Get a personalized report on your email copy and increase customer-centeredness of your email copywriting.
Technique #2: Don’t send too many emails
Yes, yes, I get it, no one knows how many emails your customers would like to receive. While there’s no ideal formula on that, we can arrive at a specific number by considering the following:
- Industry stats. Look at your competitors and how many emails they send
- Nature of products. While it may be okay for fashion retailers to send two or even three emails per week, B2B businesses offering consultancy services can’t do that due to obvious reasons
- Customer feedback. Ask your customers how many emails they would like to receive.
Technique #3. Personalize to increase relevancy
Let’s discuss this in the next section.
To convince someone to open an email, you need to make sure that they feel special. Boring, repetitive, and uninteresting content is also in the top 5 reasons for unsubscribing, remember?
This is where personalization comes in, it’s a popular technique of tailoring content to accommodate certain features, needs, and preferences.
For example, using a recipient’s name in the subject line could increase the open rate by as much as 18%, according to Super Office.
Picture 4. Super Office stats
For most effective email campaigns, personalize:
- Subject line. Describe the benefits to the recipient and/or use their name
- Email copy. Approach writing from the point of view of the recipient/and use their name
- Offers. Analyze customer behavior and history of purchases to generate relevant offers
- Content. Consider the interests and preferences of the recipients because they’ve subscribed to your newsletter for a specific reason (get offers, receive industry updates, read tips on something, etc.)
Personalization calls for some advanced copywriting expertise, so feel free to double-check your copy by using such tools and guides as Email Subject Line Tester, SupremeDissertations, and 2018 Trends in Personalization guide.
4. Watch Your Timing
Here I am, checking my email at 6:30 in the morning (yes, this is what Millennials do). And guess what? My inbox is full of messages because businesses know the times when people like me are likely to check their inbox.
Again, the ideal formula doesn’t exist here. Here’s what Forbes found in their research:
“Our data shows there’s a significant difference in the days and times when people most often open emails versus when they actually interact with the content in the newsletters.
Where the most popular days and times for opening are weekdays around mid-morning, the weekends are when people are more apt to engage and take action, by clicking on content in those emails.”
CoSchedule’s research of 14 studies suggests the following best times to send emails.
Picture 5. CoSchedule’s research
Remember one thing: treat this data as an initial point for experiments because the best time to send emails is unique for each business.
5. Use Re-Engagement Opportunities
The sad truth is that many customers will become inactive after a while, so it’s your duty to try to re-engage them. This is done by sending them an incentive to check out whether they’re still interested or by reaching out with a direct question like TopShop does in the example email below.
Picture 6. TopShop example email
No reason to spend your time on passive subscribers.
Final Thoughts: Avoid Typical Mistakes
Now that we’ve reviewed some of the best tips in this email marketing guide, let’s finish it off by letting you know the ways in which many businesses often fail before reaching their goals.
- Failing to measure key performance indicators (KPIs). This is fairly easy with email marketing platforms and provides valuable data on clicks, opens, conversions, and other performance indicators that can help you to define what’s working and what’s not
- Poor design. Every email should be responsive (optimized for viewing on different screens) and good-looking so we customers wanted to take a look at what you have to offer
- Irrelevant offers. We’ve covered that above, and it’s totally worth mentioning twice.
That’s it. Remember: people love emails as long as they’re relevant, personalized, timely, and non-salesy. If you meet these requirements and avoid the abovementioned mistakes, you’ll be a master of email marketing.
Bridgette Hernandez is a prolific email user who thinks that every business should master email marketing to maximize customer reach and sales. Personalization and relevancy are the most important factors to consider, according to Bridgette, and since many businesses fail at that, she is currently on the mission to help by sharing her tips. Bridgette has written numerous articles and currently works as an editor at IsAccurate.
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