How to re-engage subscribers (Pt. 2)

Previously I suggested taking immediate action with subscribers who have not engaged with your emails by segmenting and targeting a re-send of that publication.

The next step is to use your business intelligence to TREND subscriber activity over time. This will give you an accurate view of how engaged your readers are from both a ‘big picture’ perspective and a granular level.

Why do you need to look at more than one email you’ve sent? The digital reality today is, no matter how engaged or interested the subscriber is, they don’t open every single email. Factors such as annual leave, time constraints – or they may not need your products or services at this exact moment. By trending emails from a publication you will have a more accurate read of real engagement. For example, one customer I worked with on a B2B newsletter found they had an average 25% open for one issue, but by trending found that over 80% of their subscribers opened at least one of the last six issues.

Set up a report in your account  that identifies inactives on an ongoing basis. This dynamic list (called a Saved Search in Newsweaver) keeps track of every mailing from that point on – removing subscribers from this dynamic list if they open an email marketing campaign you’ve sent during this defined time period.

Now – what what to do to re-engage this list of  of non-engaged subscribers? Here are a couple of ideas:

  1. Subject line – This is a simple tactic, and can give a great lift. Send the same newsletter to your entire database, except the segmented list gets a different subject line. Perhaps highlight a section that is always popular with engaged readers, or mention an event, or consider running a competition you can mention. It’s powerful to give subscriber choice; if you have a preference panel, remind them they can manage their own subscription.
  2. From field – The from field needs to offer instant recognition. If it’s been generic, can you personalize it to a name the subscriber knows? Or if it is a company name, would a brand be more meaningful?
  3. Incentive –  Offer this group a white-paper or other useful information that encourages an open.
  4. Survey – An incentivised survey could uncover useful feedback to help you make make changes to what you send, when you send it and how often.
  5. Direct feedback – If the size of the database, and the relationship makes it feasible, have customer care or account managers contact each of the non-actives to ask them directly about the emails they’ve been receiving, to get suggestions and ideas for improving your communications – and in turn re-engaging everyone on your mailing list.