Rock band U2, known for its mega-hits such as “Beautiful Day” and “With or Without You,” is currently touring all over the world (yet again) with its Innocence and Experience tour. The Irish group has won more than 20 Grammys over the years and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. These icons serve as an inspiration for not only up-and-coming musicians, but also email marketers looking to propel their contacts to rock star users.

Take a look at your email contact list; does it consist of rock stars or has-beens? You probably have both, along with a fair amount of rising stars, too. No, we don’t think you’re actually marketing to Taylor Swift, but considering the perspective of a major music mogul could be exactly what your email strategy needs.

As a marketer, put on your music manager’s cap and divide up your roster of contacts into three broad categories based on their level of engagement and interaction with your brand: 1) Has-beens (those who barely if ever interact with emails and thus receive a 0- or 1-star engagement score), 2) rising stars (those with 2-3 star engagement scores) and 3) rock stars (your most engaged and active contacts, with 4-5 star scores). Once you’ve separated your list, get in the mindset of a musical coach to make the most of your rock stars, groom your rising stars and clean house on the has-beens.

Coax or Cut Your Has-Beens

Has-been contacts are no longer paying attention to your encouragement or were never really committed to making it big in the first place. You had high hopes when they first signed on that they might turn into big revenue producers, but it’s time to face the facts that most of these contacts just aren’t going to make it.

When it comes to this group, don’t waste too much effort. Send emails at a very low frequency with messages that convey a “We miss you” sentiment. For these low-level engaged users, the subject line is most crucial as it can make or break whether they decide to open your message. Choose your words carefully and try to lure them in with just one killer line. Offer minor promotions to encourage interaction, but don’t break your budget. Save your big bucks for the real stars.

If these strategies don’t make your contacts sing, it might be time to remove them from your list — Not everybody is cut out to be rock star status. Low open-rate history means more of your emails may get caught in spam, so keep your sender reputation clean or risk losing touch with the star performers on your list. Give your 0- or 1-star has-beens the opportunity to exit gracefully by offering opt-down options. Be sure to pick a timeframe or number of attempts for them to make a comeback and renew your email relationship, and if at that point they are still at the bottom of the charts, cut them loose.

Coach Your Rising Stars

These are the users on your list with some promise of turning into true rock star contacts. Currently scoring a mid-range 2 or 3 stars for their level of engagement with your brand, these up-and-comers have been dabbling in stardom but aren’t quite there yet. Rising stars occasionally open emails and interact with your promotions, and have probably made a purchase at least once before. Giving them the right kind of attention will build on their potential to groom into U2-level rock stars.

Send messages to this group at a moderate frequency; a steady pace will help maintain an awareness of your brand without burning out these future stars. Crafting a well-honed subject line is also important with this crew. They aren’t quite fully bought in, so take the extra time to find the right words that show them they are important and convince them to open your message.

Keep the content fresh and offer occasional big promotions. Remember, content is king – of rock – and more important with this group than the has-beens since they are actually opening and reading your messages. Big promotional emails every now and then will give them a glimpse of the good life and inspire them to become the rock stars they are destined to be. Add in some variety by providing new product line updates, surveys, tips and tricks, and interesting facts related to your brand.

Cater to Your Rock Stars

Your rock star contacts are the most highly engaged group in your line-up, and they earn you the big bucks. A good manager knows that it’s worthwhile to treat these contacts like royalty. While they enjoy the extra perks of rock star status, you enjoy the dividends. The strategy is straightforward: pile on the attention and reap the rewards.

Just like the spotlight, these contacts cannot get enough of your emails. You’ve got their full attention, so capitalize on it by sending frequent messages. Push their limits and if you seem to find a breaking point, you can immediately scale back without much harm done. Even rock stars need a short break every once in a while! If you don’t test their limits, you won’t be able to maximize their potential.

These rock stars deserve – and expect – the best. Continually show them how big a fan you are by giving them top-of-the-line deals. And when it comes to subject lines, your star performers don’t need to be convinced to open your emails; they already know what’s in it for them. This means your can spend less time on subject lines and more time developing high quality content.

By using these strategies to approach your contacts – no matter where they fall on the charts – your email campaign is sure to be a hit.