Keeping Your Email Subscribers Means Keeping Them Interested

Andrew Schulkind  |  February 24, 2017

To keep your email marketing productive, you have to keep your email subscribers engaged. Here are a number of ways to keep their interest high.

Make Your Lead Magnet is Relevant
Sure, you can build up a list pretty quickly if you give away, say, a brand new Tesla, but a good number of your new subscribers will care only about that Tesla, so even if they stay on your list, you’re never going to convert them. Better to create a lead magnet that appeals less broadly – only to those who are interested in learning more about how to solve a business problem they have – and that your services can address.

Make Your Content Relevant
Why did people sign up in the first place? Whatever the reason, keep delivering content of the same high quality and on the same topics. If your business shifts, that’s fine, but expect a drop in subscribers and engagement until you attract your new target audience. Segmentation should be your friend here, so you can adapt your content to the interests of different kinds of prospects and stay relevant to each audience segment. Don’t try to be all things to all people.

Make Your Subject Lines and Body Copy Headlines Relevant
Detecting a theme here yet? If it’s not immediately obvious to the recipient that they should care about what you’ve sent, they’re not going to scroll down thinking, “well, maybe this will be helpful …” They’re going to click Delete.

Strive for Perfection
One lonely typo probably won’t lead to mass defections from your list, but it will make you look less than diligent. And while most subscribers will forgive an “a” for an “an” they’ll be less tolerant of you cluttering their inbox with a second email correcting a date, time or location for an event. (And yes, there is something inconsistent about this. After all, we are trying to make our connection with our prospects as human as possible, but that human-ness has limits. In other words, be human in ways that don’t inconvenience me … )

Find Your Cadence
We have a colleague who was sending her email quarterly. Each time she sent it, she had old clients and new prospects pick up the phone, thank her for reminding them that they had a project they wanted to discuss and she booked new business. So naturally, she began sending her messages monthly. And … crickets. Now this may have been because the extra content wasn’t as strong as the content she was sending before, but more likely it was just a matter of how often her audience felt comfortable hearing from her. Don’t be forgotten, but don’t be a pest. Use your analytics data to find the right frequency. (You can also experiment with sending at different times of day or days of the week.) This isn’t likely to lead to a big swing in unsubscribes, but engagement is at least as important.

Are unsubscribes really bad?
Speaking engagement, are unsubscribes really that bad? Not necessarily. Yes, as everyone from Texas knows, bigger is always better, but beyond the vanity of it all, a smaller, more engaged list is likely to be more productive. So losing those who aren’t engaged with your content and who aren’t likely to be interested in your service isn’t something to fret over. Of course, there’s a fine line between unengaged and “not quite ready” and you should do all you can to keep them at least marginally interested until they are ready.