Getting engaged is kind of a big deal, and there is usually quite a lot of thought that goes into it. We’ve been thinking about engagement too.
The kind that means you are ‘into’ a brand, and you are keen to hear what they have to say.
Exhibit A: Here is an email I got from Vodafone on my birthday.
We have written about birthday emails before, and we will talk about them again now, as we know they can make such a big impact on your subscribers. (You can read a round up and see examples in our previous posts here)
Birthday emails are a great way to engage your subscribers, and make them feel special. A nice discount or offer of some kind helps too! It doesn’t have to take much effort and it’s cheap as chips; our software platform SmartMail PRO allows you to send date-and-rule-triggered emails. Even if you don’t automate it is also easy to create an email and send it out to individuals, at worst do it once a month for all the birthdays that month. Or if you don’t have birthdays on the database, send an email on YOUR birthday – as long as the reader gets the gift!
One of the best campaigns I have seen sent a Happy Birthday email to the customer’s TRACTOR! Yes it was the anniversary of that special purchase, and yes it had a positive and warm reaction every time.
Something beats nothing, it really does.
Another pretty basic way to create engagement is to ensure you are sending your subscribers what they want, so they will want to open your emails. To work out what they want, you can use behaviour, data you have, and you can continually collect more demographic info using preference centres.
Preference centers are a great way of getting to know your subscribers better, and to update their contact details so you have their correct email address and other relevant information.
Without knowing any of this information you could be emailing cats to dog people and dogs to fish people, and sending daily emails to people who would rather hear from you once a month. Then you very quickly turn people from subscribers to unsubscribes.
Disengagement not only shows you are off-course with your customer, it means your emails are less likely to land in the inbox. ISP’s are now tracking if the email has a click or an open, and using that to help them decide if your email is good, or bad. Eeek. There’s another very important blog post coming up soon on that point.
So, on that note I was very impressed to see this MarketingProfs email in my inbox this month, asking me very kindly, what my preferences were:
As you can see they emailed to tell me they notice I hadn’t been opening their emails lately, and that I can easily adjust my mailing preferences to ensure I only get what I want, when I want it.
The thing is, I subscribed to their emails under 2 different email addresses, (Not on purpose or anything it just happened) and I was reading all the emails on one email address and not the other. However there is no way they would know that. So anyway I updated my preferences, (It was as easy as clicking ‘here’) and after updating my settings I am now a happy subscriber who receives the emails when and where I want to.
About the email itself, it was written in a friendly tone which I appreciated and I felt I wanted to update my preferences just because they asked me so nicely.
It was also from a real human whose face and signature made it more personal than an automated email sent from ‘no-reply’ which I would have been more inclined to ignore.
The design was simple and on brand, and I instantly recognised who it was from, so I opened it and read it. If it was any more generic I would not have identified it as such and potentially could have deleted it.
Overall, it was a win-win. So, how well do you know your subscribers preferences? When was the last time you sent an email asking for their preferences?