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Getting subscribers to re-engage

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Getting someone to join an email list can be difficult, but it's even harder to get those who have stopped opening and responding to re-engage. Neil Rosen, CEO of e-mail service provider eWayDirect, provided these five tips to bring wayward subscribers back into the marketing fold.
  1. Use Web analytics. Cross-referencing website visits with the email list can reveal interesting information—for example, that a subscriber is ignoring emails but still browsing website content. In such a case, the marketer could attempt to re-engage the subscriber by sending an email related to what he or she is viewing on the website, Rosen said. “Website re-engagement is the No. 1 thing people are talking to us about,” he said. “I can see six to 10 times the revenue of any other email that I will ever send out by meshing website behavior with email marketing.” Rosen suggested sending a personalized note that serves as a reminder, thanking the subscriber for visiting the site and offering more information about the product he or she viewed.
  2. Resend messages that were never opened. If their content is good and relevant, marketers can give prospects another chance to read them by resending the message with a different subject line. “This lets you leverage creative and promotions that you've already done,” he said. Consider actionable words and phrases, details about unique or beneficial links, and specific language about any deals or offers, he said.
  3. Analyze the last messages that were opened. Marketers can learn a lot about why subscribers aren't opening messages—and what to do to get them to re-engage—by looking at what excited them in the past, Rosen said. “You might want to look at the last message that they opened and interacted with, and create a custom email message related to that subject or offer,” he said. The message can also provide a clue about why someone is disengaged. Did the prospect make a purchase? Maybe they should be moved from one email list to another—from the prospect list to the customer list, for instance.
  4. Don't up the offer. One of the biggest mistakes marketers make, Rosen said, is that they simply keep sending emails with bigger and better offers, hoping that one will catch a prospect's eye. “It trains people not to open emails or respond because they know there's always going to be a better offer,” he said.
  5. Ask them back—or let them go. Sometimes, remarketing to prospects can help clean the list. Marketers can send out an email asking whether or not they're meeting subscribers' needs, Rosen said. “The subject line could let the recipient know you miss hearing from them and give them the option to opt out completely,” he said.
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