Getting people to subscribe to your email list is only the first part of the challenge. Ultimately, your goal is to keep those subscribers happy and opening your emails as often as possible. In other words, you want to keep them engaged, which can be harder than it sounds.
For starters, the majority of people don’t open most of the emails they get. That means you need to figure out ways to make your emails stand out from the pack and to provide real value to your subscribers, which is ultimately what will keep them happy.
In this article, we’ll go over four tips to help you keep email engagement high and your subscribers happy. That way, your list will stay full and you’ll be able to make the most of it. Let’s get to work!
1. Space Out Your Emails
You’ve worked hard to get a lot of email subscribers, so it only makes sense you’d want to make the most out of that list. However, one of the best ways to annoy your subscribers is to bombard them with too many emails.
You’ve probably subscribed to several email lists yourself, so I want you to run an experiment. Pick one of them at random and take note of how often they reach out to you. I’m willing to bet that in most cases, it isn’t more than once or twice per week.
Any more often than that and you risk subscribers associating your emails with spam. Let’s say, as a rule of thumb, you should only reach out when you have something worthwhile to share. Even then, stop a moment to consider if you’ve already sent more than one or two messages this week before you hit the send button.
2. Don’t Make Every Message About Sales
Ultimately, the goal of most email lists is to profit in some way from subscribers. If you run a blog, for example, you may use your emails to promote services, lead readers back to your blog to make affiliate sales, or a dozen other approaches.
Users aren’t dumb, and in most cases, they know when you’re trying to sell them on something. We all tolerate sales pitches to a certain extent, but if someone is always in your face trying to get you to buy or do something, chances are you’re going to get annoyed really quick.
That fact holds for emails as well. If you want to stay in your subscriber’s good graces, then you need to limit the frequency with which you try to sell them on anything. If you break down your blog and email newsletter’s content into percentages, I’d say it should look something like this:
- 80% valuable or helpful content
- 20% content geared towards landing conversions
In fact, the more you can skew that value towards the first category, the easier you’ll find it is to build and maintain a loyal audience. Plus, you can always use the ‘valuable/helpful’ content category to funnel visitors towards your conversion pages, so it all works out in the end.
3. Optimize Email Campaigns for Your Unique Audience
Every audience is unique. Your blog, for example, can only be a success if you manage to target an audience that wants to read about the topics you write about. That same fact holds true for email subscribers – some types of messages will do better with different audiences. In other words, you need to keep an eye on your subscriber’s behavior if you want to keep email engagement high.
The good news is most email marketing tools (such as Constant Contact) these days provide you with in-depth analytics out of the box. Armed with those analytics, you should be able to spot trends in what kinds of emails your subscribers prefer, and focus on that type of content.
For example, weekly roundup emails might do particularly well with your email list. If that’s the case, you’ll want to make sure you pay particular attention to their titles and never miss a roundup, which should help keep open rates high and unsubscribe rates low.
Keep in mind, though – analytics are a complex subject. For the numbers to paint an accurate picture, you’ll need to have at least a few hundred emails in your list. Otherwise, the results you get can’t be considered statistically significant. Likewise, you’ll also need to test different types of content, including titles, email layouts, and more to get a real picture of what your audience prefers. All that takes time, so be patient!
4. Send Personalized Messages
The only thing more annoying than getting a sales pitch is getting one that feels like a copy-paste. Call me old-fashioned, but if someone is trying to sell me something, at the very least, I want them to pretend they know who I am.
Nowadays, most email marketing tools provide you with at least basic functionality to personalize your emails. That can be a powerful tool, both in driving sales and ensuring subscribers know you appreciate them. Let’s say, for example, you get this email:
Welcome to my email list, subscriber! I’ll be sending you emails from time to time about the latest WordPress news and developments, so keep an eye out for them.
That’s about as generic as an ID that says John Doe, so chances are you can do better. Here’s another quick example that shows a marked improvement:
Hi Alexander! Thank you for subscribing to my email list. I’ll be reaching out from time to time to let you know about important Word press news and developments, so keep an eye out for these emails.
The gist of the message remains the same, but it feels more personal. Something as small as adding a subscriber’s name to your newsletters can make a big difference, so personalization is key in keeping email engagement high.
For extra points, keep in mind some email marketing platforms enable you to send personalized messages to your subscribers based around specific dates. For example, you might be able to send birthday greetings and thank you notes to subscribers who have stuck around for a long time.
Right off the bat, you need to assume a lot of people aren’t going to pay attention to most of your emails. That’s normal even for email lists with thousands of subscribers, but what you can do is make an effort to keep your open rates high and unsubscribe rates low. To do that, you’ll need to keep subscribers happy.
In my experience, there are four ways to stay in your subscribers’ good graces, including:
- Spacing out your emails.
- Not making every message about sales.
- Optimizing email campaigns for your unique audience.
- Sending personalized messages around special dates.
Do you have any questions about how to improve email engagement? Let’s talk about them in the comments section below!
Image credit: Pixabay.
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