A guest post by Leigh Dow of Mailigen.
I had a boss who used to tell us, “If it were easy, we wouldn’t need you.” Email engagement is probably one of the hardest elements to consistently deliver in your email marketing program.
Email engagement is much more than just sending out an email to a subscribers and hoping some of them open the email. If engagement were that easy, you wouldn’t need email marketing tools.
Working to get people on your email marketing list takes time. Don’t push them away by not providing relevant content urging subscribers to engage. Subscriber engagement is the amount of interaction an email subscriber sustains with an organization’s email communications.
An engaged subscriber is engaged is defined as someone who has opened, clicked on, or in some way interacted with an email in the past three to six months. Many subscribers ignore or incorrectly mark daily emails they are sent as spam because they are so overwhelmed and have no time to look through all their emails.
Here are a few ways to retain subscriber engagement.
Create an email enlisting interaction between you and the subscriber. Don’t be afraid to develop a brand “tone.” Tone will help you develop a conversation. Include links to your Facebook, Twitter, and other social media networks. Get creative and make your subscriber want to interact with you or your brand, such as contests or “send us a picture of yourself wearing our clothes” or “create a video sharing… ”
Interaction is a two-way street. Be sure to respond to all subscribers who choose to interact with you. All of them. Another good way to gain interaction is through the promotion of a charity or non-profit organization your business partners with. Ask for subscriber’s involvement as well. That gets subscribers involved with your mission and creates loads of interaction.
Relevancy plays a critical role in subscriber engagement. What is relevancy? Something that doesn’t make subscribers want to send your email straight to the junk folder. Personalization is not relevancy. Content delivers relevancy when trying to create interaction through email. Most people read emails they are interested in. Make it your duty to determine what your subscribers want to see. Track their activity on your website, and create emails specific to them.
What is your organization all about? Let subscribers know what your mission is. The more they know about who you are, the more they’ll be willing to interact with you. Provide subscribers with fun and interesting content that really gets to the heart of what you do. Create a timeline with the history of your organization or get creative by sharing heart-warming employee stories or fun things your office does. Doing that allows your subscribers to get to know you as an actual organization with actual people rather than a weekly email. People like real people.
Eventually your subscriber list will lose active participants. Re-engagement is necessary to keep the interaction between you and your subscribers alive. Consider analyzing data to determine who has continuously stopped opening your emails. Find the reason why they stopped paying attention and try to win them back. After you’ve found a chunk of subscribers whose reasons for lack of interaction are similar, send out an email specific to that group. Ask them for re-engagement, and offer them something, such as coupons, discounts, or deals. Be sure to have some type of re-engagement plan in the ready. It’s a good idea to try re-engagement efforts often, so you know you have engaged subscribers.
As always, be thoughtful in your approach. Think about what you need to do to stay engaged, and create interaction with your messages. Though engagement is not as easy as just sending email, email marketing service providers work very hard to build tools to make it as easy as possible, so you don’t have to be an expert to get started.
Leigh Dow draws on her 15 years of Fortune 100 experience in e-commerce, CRM, and digital marketing to craft digital strategies for international company Mailigen, a leading Web-based email marketing platform for businesses and organizations of any size in the US, Asian markets, and now the CIS and European markets.
(Photo courtesy of Bigstock: Young Couple)
Tags: customer experience, Email Marketing, Marketing, Strategy and Tactics