Where did the first half of this year just go? And what about those well intended plans to pay some attention to your email marketing program? Maybe you have been too busy or perhaps just have been putting it off for another day. Whatever the reason, NOW is the right time to get yourself back in the game and into the inboxes of your subscribers. Here are a few quick pointers to help you to re-start your email marketing efforts.
1. Re-introduce Yourself
In just the same way that you probably wouldn’t talk to a friend that you haven’t seen in years as if you had seen them yesterday, you should also use your first few emails to remind your subscribers who you are and why you’re relevant to them. The key is to clearly outline the value of what you have to offer and give them a compelling reason to remain a subscriber of your program. Depending on how long it has been since you have sent out an email, you may need to tell them what kind of emails you send, how often to expect an email from you, etc. It’s also a nice touch if you’re able to remind them that they did sign up for your newsletter way back when and if possible, include the date in which they did join. This will help to put your subscribers a little more at ease and hopefully prevent them hitting the spam button because you have the proof that they signed up.
2. Be Honest With Why You’ve Been Away
If your email marketing fell off of the map, give a little explanation as to why. Don’t try and hide the fact that you have been missing in action. No need to go into huge detail but a short blurb at the top of your message that acknowledges that you haven’t sent an email in a while will help to re-establish the relationship. There’s a good chance that you have been doing some really exciting things – for example launching a new website or a new offering – share these with your readers.
3. Say Sorry
If you feel that you don’t have a good reason for why your email marketing program went missing for a while, the least you can do is apologize. Something as simple as “Sorry you haven’t heard from us in a while” is a good start.
4. Make It Easy For Your Subscribers To Leave
If it has been a while since you sent an email campaign, there is a good chance that you will get a higher rate of complaints and “removes” when you finally do send again. Two reasons for this: 1. People Forget – some will just forget that they signed up to get your emails; 2. People’s Interests Change – you know the line, “It’s not you it’s me!” Whatever the reason, expect subscribers to reach for the “Mark as Spam” button or simply remove themselves from your list. In order to cut down on complaints, which can hurt the delivery of your emails (there’s nothing you can really do about the removes), consider including a second opt-out link in addition to the one required. Because you’re trying to make it easy for your subscribers, it makes sense to place this remove link towards the top of the message and make it visible. You can even incorporate the opt-out link into your message. For example: “We would love to continue to send you email updates and offers, but if you no longer wish to receive them, please click here.” Remember if they have to hunt for a way remove themselves, it’s likely that they will use the Spam button as an escape hatch.
5. Say Thanks
Now that you have given your subscribers the opportunity to leave, it’s more than appropriate to thank those who have decided to stick around. Show your appreciation to those loyal subscribers by sending a simple follow up email. Let them know that their subscription is important to you.
6. Follow Up Strongly With Relevant and Reliable Emails
Once you do start sending emails again, make sure they are enticing and relevant. Try sending a special coupon, tips, free offer, etc. in order to jump-start your program. And do your best to stay on track. If all you can manage is one email every month, then set this expectation for yourself and your subscribers, don’t start with an email a week for three or four weeks and then revert to an inconsistent sending pattern. Most people respect reliability and consistency and so your email program should reflect these characteristics.
Like most things that are worthwhile, a successful email marketing program won’t happen without a little effort and commitment. Hopefully these steps will serve to save you time and help get things back to better than ever.
[Thanks to Kristine Dobson from Email Direct for her advice in the creation of this article]
Read more pbSmart Essentials articles on email marketing here.