While some companies can boast un-engagement rates as low as 20%, and some may be loath to admit unengaged subscriber rates as high as 80-90%, on average, around 50% of a brand’s email lists are unengaged (ClickZ.com, May 2012). You may be tempted to purge your lists of these “dead” subscribers…but, before you click the delete button, consider this:  There are ways to reenergize and engage your subscribers, bringing them back into the fold in a more targeted and beneficial way.

Look at Those Lists:

The first thing to do when considering a reengagement (or reactivation) campaign is to take a look at your lists of unengaged subscribers. Are you going to target former customers who haven’t purchased in a while? Or, are you trying to reenergize people who have been receiving your email messaging but have not opened recent messages or clicked through to landing pages? This is important to determine, especially when it comes to the reengagement emails’ content and offer. For the purposes of this article, I’m going to dive into former customer reactivation versus discussing non-converters.

Make Me an Offer:

At some point, these subscribers liked your product or company enough that they purchased from you. This is a good thing. Also at some point you have probably done something to cause them to disengage from your brand. That’s, um, a bad thing. In order to get these people interested in your brand once again you are going to have to tempt them with something…so the offer you determine is key to your reactivation success. Think major discounts (bigger than they would have been seeing in your “standard” email messaging), a contest for something enticing, entry into a giveaway or even email preference customization (which can be successful especially if you have been batch and blasting your little heart out.)

Spur Them to Act:

The call-to-action is another major piece to consider when setting up a reengagement campaign. You need to establish a sense of urgency for the recipient. Remember, these people have been ignoring you for a while…so you are going to need to compel them to take action or, well, they probably won’t. A great way to do this is to add a deadline to your offer. The deadline could benefit just about any offer, not just a typical discount. For instance, if they fill out their email preferences or answer the survey within 48 hours, they will be entered to win a (insert fabulous item of your choice). Or, receive an additional 10% off of the original discount offer.

Now’s Not the Time to Be Shy:

Let’s face it – you probably were already hitting these folks pretty hard with your email messaging. Now is not the time to send one email, receive no response and give up. Three emails per reactivation campaign is a good place to start. Make sure these efforts support and build on each other’s messaging. If you are prepared to purge non-responders from your list entirely following this campaign, you may want to offer an opt-out option in your final message.

Keep It Up: 

A solid response to a reactivation campaign is 5-10%. Bringing 10% of your list back into rotation is great, but the big thing to remember now is to keep it up. Don’t fall back into the same routines that caused the subscriber fatigue and/or disengagement. Keep your offers enticing, content fresh and designs interesting. Include a link in your emails for further customer service assistance and feedback – people like opportunities to continue a conversation and voice their opinions. If you want them to read your emails, you need to make you and your brand accessible.

Author Bio:
Lee Emmons creates digital marketing campaigns as head of Absolute Perfection Media, incorporating video production, social media, and emails.
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