In a perfect world, you consistently email content that your subscribers can’t get enough of. But it’s not a perfect world, and you often it hard to keep subscribers reading your emails. Sometimes subscribers will become inactive and stop reading your emails – or sometimes you may forget to send them.
The life of a business owner is hectic, and it may be hard to make those weekly or monthly deadlines for your email newsletter. But what happens when you let time lapse? The strong relationship you’ve worked to build with your subscribers starts to fade and loyalty wanes. But you can fix this.
Here’s a detailed game plan to solve this problem in five steps.
1. Establish Your Identity
Hopefully, prior to your hiatus, you were working on establishing your company brand. But even if you haven’t, you can begin by making sure you have the following in your email:
“Brands are psychology and science brought together as a promise mark as opposed to a trademark,” said Forbes contributor Scott Goodson. “Products have life cycles. Brands outlive products. Brands convey a uniform quality, credibility and experience. Brands are valuable.”
- Your company logo
- What your company does (this can be incorporated in the logo, side bar or footer)
- A reminder of how subscribers signed up
You should also pay attention to your from line and subject lines. The from line should stay consistent so subscribers won’t be confused about who the email is from. The subject line can also be used to remind subscribers of who you are and what you’re offering.
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Including all or most of these in every email will help imprint your brand in subscribers’ minds – so they won’t forget you even if you forget them.
2. Explain What Happened
In a nutshell, here’s what you should cover:
- You realize you haven’t emailed when you were supposed to
- The value of what you were sending, for example, “It’s been awhile since you got x from us”
- Your plan to avoid this problem in the future
Ignoring the lapse in emails will send the wrong message to your subscribers; it’ll seem like you aren’t paying attention. You can use this explanation as a springboard to get subscribers pumped for what’s to come. If you were busy developing a new product, give them a hint as to what you’re working on. If you’ve developed some valuable new content, talk about that. Let subscribers know how the break benefited them.
With the explanation out of the way, you can focus on other important factors that will help get subscribers excited again.
3. Include a Prominent Unsubscribe Link
This might seem counter-intuitive; you want to reengage these subscribers, not show them the door. But the subscriber may no longer be interested in what you have to offer, and that’s not their fault. In this case, reengaging means getting them to make that decision right now.
After the explanation, follow up with a quick link to your unsubscribe/subscriber options page. Subscribers who want to stay on your list will appreciate the honesty and the ones who don’t won’t be a deadweight for your list.
If people don’t want to be on your list and can’t find a way out, they’re likely to report you as spam just to stop your emails. These complaints can hurt your deliverability, and the best way to avoid that is by making the exit strategy visible.
4. Share Your Most Valuable Content
For subscribers that wish to stick around, it’s time to give them a good reason to do so. This means providing the best possible value you can, and depending on what you do, you have a couple options.
You could focus on educational resources related to your products or service. You can:
- Type up a detailed description of your content and link back to your site
- Provide an ebook via a service such as Dropbox
- Send them to a video
This sharing will encourage subscribers to trust you, hopefully enough to do business with you, or at least enough to reestablish their trust. Social Media Examiner used valuable content to build their business and it worked well for them.
You could also share special coupons and discounts. Restaurant owner Chef Tony focuses on these in his emails, and it’s helped him get people in his restaurant.
And don’t just one-off the top quality content. Keep the momentum going by continuously delivering what they want and respond to, and let them know when they can expect to get more of it.
5. Set Expectations For the Future
Once you’ve covered the above, it’s time to set sights on what to expect now that you’re back in action. Subscribers may have some concerns: are you going to stick to the original schedule? What will the content be?
Here’s what you can do:
- Set up an editorial calendar and see how much you can plan ahead.
- Based on where you stand and how often you can take time to create new content, decide on the frequency.
- Provide a teaser of what’s to come so subscribers get excited about your emails
- Let subscribers know what the planned frequency will be
Whatever you do, don’t promise that you will never forget them again. You can’t promise that. As you’ve learned, things come up. What you can do is set up a schedule that works for you to ensure it’s most likely not going to happen again.
What Do You Recommend?
Have you ever had to email subscribers after a break? How did you handle it? And how did your subscribers respond?