Posts Tagged ‘inactive’

This email puts much more into the email marketing efforts of Muchmore Music than just the same ol’ same ol’. 

Muchmore Music sent out this re-activation campaign to their subscribers asking if they still wanted to be on their database. Why? Because they noticed that some of the subscribers hadn’t opened their email for the last three email campaigns.

For many of you I think it would be fair to say you may analyse inactive subscribers once every six month’s or perhaps once a month. Have you ever analysed the reports for inactive or unengaged subscribers after just 3 sends?

It is a wise email marketer who asks their audience what their preferences are, if they actually want to be on your database, and regularly running re-engagement campaigns are a key part of any self respecting email comms programme.

 


If you would like to read more about re-engagement here are some of our key blog posts on the subject which should give you some ideas.

Engagement – why it’s important

Creating engagement with birthday and preference emails

Ask your subscribers what they want by doing a survey

Or you can always talk to us :)

 


Even though it’s likely you are still focusing on your Christmas ‘recovery’ and easing back to work, it’s never too early to think about your 2013 email marketing program.

For some this year might be about reviewing your budget and allocating more resources towards your email communications program in order to set in place the best of the basics.  If you are already more established and ‘mature’  in your approach to email then you are continually reviewing your email communications program and are evaluating it to see how you can enhance what you’re doing.

Either way if you really want to power up your email marketing, below are some of the biggest shifts and trends at the moment that you should now seriously be thinking about how you could make this work better for you.

1. From mobile optimised to mobile first
Given that most email opens now happen on mobile devices, simply optimising your email message for mobile devices is becoming more of an outdated notion. On the other hand – while optimising designs for mobile is now crucial, don’t forget that context is just as important. And a mobile first approach means that landing pages and your Web site are also designed to convert mobile readers of your email.

2. From dry to juicy
Things have changed in the way customers expect to communicate with companies and what they want from them. Gone is the notion of editing content to within an inch of its life to take out any human presence and get it past the lawyers. It’s now about taking a different approach that involves sending content that educates, informs, engages and entertains. This doesn’t mean you abandon your professional corporate speak for the ‘LOL’-speak, however it’s about balance – customers just want to know they are dealing with humans that care.

3. From 1-1001 to 1-1
Batch and Blasts (where everyone gets everything) should have died out along with the Spice Girls. So it is really time to shift to automating more parts of your email program, where the subscribers themselves determine the frequency and cadence of the emails they receive through their own purchases, check-ins, behaviour and interests. It is those smart cookies that use the data they have to deliver real-time emails with truly dynamic and personal content.

4. From welcome message to boarding program
There is a shift away from firing out a ‘welcome’ message and then dumping subscribers into your main communication feed, to gently warming them up with a series of on-boarding messages that are tailored toward new recipients.

5. From one-off to email series
Did you know cart abandonment follow up emails get the highest engagement rate of all emails? Followed by birthday series emails.  Reports show a three-part birthday or cart-abandonment series always significantly outperform a single email. We have heard of people getting average conversion rates of 22%, 15% and 24% with a three-part cart-abandonment re-marketing series. How much money would it have lost if it had stopped after the first message?

Worth thinking about…. Email or call us if you want to talk strategy and email communications planning for 2013, we are elbow deep into work with many clients already and in the coming months they will be very pleased we did!

 

If you follow the email marketing industry, you know that engagement is quite the buzzword lately.  But Engagement isn’t new at all. It has been a part of the filtering mix for quite a while. ISPs including Yahoo! (Xtra) Hotmail and Gmail are adding clicks, opens and other measures of user engagement to the long list of other engagement metrics that have been in use for a while. All these metrics try to do the same thing — figure out which messages are truly wanted by subscribers.

ISPs are measuring engagement and using it to decide who gets to the inbox, and who goes to the junk folder. In simple terms, the ISP is basically looking at whether or not your subscribers open, click, and in general, “interact” with you. If you send an email that mistakenly goes to the junk folder, then the subscriber moves it back out, you scored some engagement points. If your subscriber clicks your links or hits “reply” to send you a message, you get some engagement points.

Returnpath’s George Bilbrey says to senders:

“Treat inactive subscribers differently: This is probably the biggest change that most marketers need to think about. Mailing to a lot of inactive accounts may actually make your reputation look worse at some ISPs. Segment out inactive users and run a win-back campaign. If you cannot win back these subscribers, you may simply want to stop mailing them altogether.”

Over at Clickz, Jeanne Jennings had this to say about inactive members of your list:

“If these folks really aren’t that into you, they may take the next step and report you as spam. It’s like that shunned suitor who just won’t go away; eventually the victim will consider him a stalker and get a restraining order. Keeping inactive names on your list can open you up to blacklisting and deliverability issues.”

There is an art to deciding who is engaged and who is not.  This will depend on your buying cycle and the types of emails you send. It is good to use an email expert to help you make a matrix for your own business but there are some things you can consider:

Do you have strong calls to action in your emails – so that there is something to click?

Do you have a genuinely relevant and  interesting email stream, sent at least bi-monthly (6 per year)?

If you have a frequent email (weekly or more) do you allow people to control the frequency and type of emails they get using a Preference Centre?

  • From time to time you should dissect your email list to identify who have never opened, clicked or bought something from you. We call them ‘zombies’.  They bring all your metrics down, they impact your engagement measures and they don’t pay their way.  Try to get them to wake up – or kill them off.
  • Next look for who is in a coma – used to engage and now don’t.  Talk to them differently too.
  • Who is on their way out?
  • Who are you best responders?  Make them feel special, use them to spread your word, and keep up the good work!

There is much to this and a good agency can help you do this and come out the other side with a more profitable program.

And worst case is you get to kill a few zombies!

 

 

 

Expanding on our earlier post about re-engagement, we thought we would talk a bit about subject lines specifically for re-engagement campaigns.

I’m sure we all agree, the subject line is really the door to the email, that really hooks you and gets you to open it, (The email that is, not the door) Of course other factors are just as important, but for today, the guy in the hot seat is the subject line.

We take some inspiration from Tim Watson from Smart Insights who recently presented at the DMA Email Customer Lifecycle Win-back breakfast seminar. He has provided a full write up which you can read here but we know you are busy and we thought you might like a summary.

So what makes for a winning subject line?  Tim says the tone and voice must reflect the current state of relationship to the person you are communicating. He says for your active/engaged subscribers, the usual incentive based ‘hey it’s us again, here’s 20% off just for you’ subject line works, however for disengaged customers, a different type of subject line is needed. People are people regardless of the brand or what they are purchasing, and they may be inactive or disengaged for a reason so don’t just launch in and stuff your products down their throat without first asking what’s going on for them. So, some good principles to follow are:

  • It should be different to the subject line of a normal marketing message.
  • It should be simple and honest
  • It should have a conversational style
  • It should NOT try to sell anything
  • Questions work very well

Here is a little case study for you. Three companies ran subject line split tests to find the best performing subject line. The three winning subject lines were:

  • Was it something we said?
  • Are we still welcome in your inbox?
  • Is this goodbye?

These three winning subject lines are from independent tests, from different companies, with different audiences. Yet it is very interesting to note they are all questions, and all so similar.

And apparently, the words free, win or save in the subject line were also tested and found to decrease the response rate when directed at inactive subscribers. So steer away from these in this context.

We suggest as a good rule of thumb, to keep the subject line for your re-engagement campaigns to inactive subscribers honest, simple, conversational, don’t sell anything, don’t assume anything, and preferably use a question. Also be open to offering an incentive in the email if appropriate. I would even suggest using a feedback form to get some information around why these subscribers are inactive, and use this as an opportunity to enhance your communications and learn what your subscribers want.

PS – want some more examples? Read this post on effective subject lines.