Note: This is a guest post by Lior Levin. See Lior’s bio at the end of the article.
For a marketer, email is possibly the most powerful medium ever created. In addition to be instantaneous and simple, it’s a personal medium that can be tailored to every person, it’s opt-in, meaning that you’re reaching an already-engaged audience and, best of all, the cost of sending each email is effectively zero.
However, the problem with email marketing is that it’s very much like a relationship, difficult to keep the excitement and enthusiasm up for a long period of time. This is true for both the marketer and the recipient.
So how can you help keep that spark alive when sending email after email? A lot of it comes down to simple creativity. However, there are several things you can do to revitalize a dull campaign and re-engage both yourself and your audience with your email marketing.
Here are just a few that you can consider:
1. Take a Survey
If an email campaign is a relationship, then every great relationship starts with communication. You need to take a moment and listen to your subscribers.
Take time out from your regular email campaign to have your readers fill out a short survey and learn what they want out of your emails. You might learn that there are whole directions you haven’t explored or that there are topics of interest you haven’t talked about yet.
Aside from that, getting your readers engaged and making them feel as they have a voice in the newsletter makes them more likely to stay and more likely to pay attention to what you send out.
2. Hold a Contest
People love contests and they get excited about the prospect of winning something. Whether it’s a contest for a large prize, a coupon to a certain percentage of subscribers or something else altogether, contests are a great way to generate buzz and interest in your email campaign.
Contests work especially well if you couple them with promotion elsewhere, offline and on, and can be even more effective if you reward your readers for attracting new subscribers.
But even if you can’t do anything grandiose, a simple contest is a great way to renew subscriber interest and improve your metrics. Just be careful to follow all relevant laws.
3. Reward Your Subscribers
Sometimes reviving a dull relationship is as simple as saying “Thank you”.
Offer a special deal to your readers just for being on your list. Give them something that makes them feel important and like they are your most valuable customers just because they are on the list.
This reward doesn’t have to be something large, just something unique that is only available to subscribers. Whether it’s a small percentage off, early access to new merchandise or a free download, anything that makes your subscribers feel as if you’re catering to just them will help keep their interest and their loyalty.
4. Segment Your Audience
Ideally, the more information you have about your audience the better. In addition to their name, email and other contact info, you ideally should know at least some about their interests, especially if you’re in a business that has a variety of products catering to many different types of customers.
However, even if you don’t have that information, you can still target your subscribers by publishing themed emails aimed at one or two specific segments. The idea is to talk directly to a part of your audience and engage them deeply. Though your other subscribers will likely ignore the email, you will come back and reach out to them another day.
All in all, segmenting your audience and reaching out to them is a great way to make your emails more relevant, interesting and useful.
5. Revamp Your Template
Revamping your site’s template is a long, difficult process that involves changing out multiple parts and, possibly, confusing a much larger audience. With your mailing list, you can make changes a great deal easier and, with the smaller audience and lack of search engine visibility, the risks are less.
So, if your campaign seems stale, it may be time to revamp your email template. Not only is this a chance to add new visual appeal, but you can also add new features such as a fast fact, a relevant quote or a promotion.
In short, if you’ve been using your old email template for a while and would like the chance to bring in some new content, a new template might be just what you need.
6. Test, Test and Re-Test
Of course, if you’re going to do any of the above changes, you want to test them as thoroughly as possible.
Most email service providers offer an easy way to split A/B testing where you send out slightly different emails to various groups and see which are the most effective. This allows you test one variable at a time, such as a new subject line or a tweak in the template.
However, even if you can’t do A/B testing, you can achieve the same result by changing the emails you send out between mailings. Basically, by making small changes every mailing and closely tracking results, you can hone in on things that improve your response.
In the end, the only thing that is required to keep the interest and spark in your email campaigns is a willingness to try new things and to engage with your audience. If you can do those two things, there likely won’t be a single boring week for your newsletter.
It does mean, however, that you have to be vigilant with your campaign and, even if things seem to be going well, you have to be willing to take a risk.
With email, if your campaign isn’t moving forward, it’s stagnating and a stagnating campaign is a dying one.
About the Author:
This guest post is written by Lior Levin, a marketing consultant for a company that offers a to do list application for businesses and individuals, and who also consults for a company that convert psd to html format.