Increasing subscriber engagement is a goal shared by all marketers and according to the “2016 Marketing Trends Survey” published by StrongView and Selligent earlier this year, “increasing subscriber engagement” was the top initiative for email marketers in the coming months, with 34% of respondents citing this goal.Many of these same marketers (maybe even you?) have also promised to do a better job of list hygiene, removing those accounts which have been on their lists for years and haven’t engaged since who knows when. Well, it is with these goals in mind that we encourage you to put words into action.
Two relatively easy-to-set-up programs that are important for both short and long term customer retention are Welcome Email and Customer Win-Back programs.
Welcome Email Programs
A welcome email helps to create consistency, foster trust, and set expectations about what, how, and when your organization will email its subscribers.
Many top marketers are already using welcome email programs and according to the “2016 Marketing Trends Survey”, more than 67% of marketers planned to increase budget spend on their welcome email programs in 2016.
Historically, good welcome email programs have been lacking in the industry which, is unfortunate because they are easy to implement and help to facilitate and reinforce the prescribed information in your email programs. The key to any good welcome email program is to:
- Welcome your new subscribers (The sooner the better).
- Outline the benefits of your email program.
- Set expectations on the types and frequency of messaging you will be sending.
- Encourage your subscribers to add your email address to their address book for improved deliverability.
- Reinforce the prescribed information, set out under CASL, to consumers at the time of sign up. (This is especially important for POS or call center subscriptions)
A welcome email program also gives you a means to contact your subscribers early on in the relationship which, according to much research tends to increase engagement over a subscribers lifetime.
It's inevitable that there will be a segment of subscribers that no longer engage with your messaging. Couple that with an average annual industry churn rate of approx. 30% and you have your work cut out for you trying to implement strategies to “win-back” some of these subscribers. But don’t fret, there are some simple yet effective ways to implement Win-Back campaigns
Win-Back or Re-engagement Programs’ are highly popular and effective. According to a study by Salesforce, 63% of marketers surveyed said that re-engagement campaigns are “very effective”. And a study by Return Path found that 45% of recipients who received win-back emails read subsequent messages.
Four steps to a successful win-back program:
- Give subscribers a reason to re-engage with your brand. Consider providing an incentive.
- Think about your content and the subscriber experience. Your email design should make it easy for subscribers to act on your call to action to upgrade to express consent or complete another action that will satisfy the implied consent requirements of CASL.
- Test, Test, Test! Whether it`s the subject line, copy, layout or offer, ensure it is well tested so that you know what is the most effective for your audience.
- Review your results and make the necessary changes.
By sending your inactive subscribers a re-engagement email or series of emails, you’ll learn who’s still interested in your brand and you may even generate some immediate sales. The worst case scenario is that you may have to remove inactive subscribers from your list, which, is also a positive as keeping them on can hurt the deliverability of your email programs overall.