Thursday, September 20, 2012
Ah yes, the wonderful world of reengagement. It’s easy to think that once a subscriber provides you with their email address, they’re yours for life! But in reality, they could un-engage and start ignoring your communications at any moment.
Subscribers stop engaging for a number of reasons—message volume, frequency, irrelevancy, etc. But many retailers are sitting back and watching this happen, without adjusting their programs to reengage these subscribers. In fact, many marketers continue sending the same messages at the same frequency to lists where more than 50% of the subscribers haven’t opened or clicked on an email in more than six months.
Revenue. Consider this—if over half of your subscribers aren’t opening your emails, then over half of the cost you spend to send these emails is being wasted. Now consider these costs over a six or twelve-month timeframe, and it’s easy to see how lack of engagement has a negative effect on your bottom line.
Deliverability. Internet service providers (ISPs)—Gmail in particular—increasingly use engagement data to assess sender reputation. If ISPs start to notice that a high percentage of your emails are being ignored by their user base, they’ll start sending your messages to the junk folder—or even block your sends altogether.
Before you start a reengagement campaign, you must identify your audience and start to understand when and why they’ve lost interest. As you begin, you’ll want to follow these basic steps:
Step 1: Define Your Audience. Create a definition for an “unengaged subscriber,” and ensure that it aligns with the purchase cycle for your company’s products.
Step 2: Segment Your Audience. Determine the point when subscribers begin to disengage. Is it after one month, six months, or a year? Examine the history of your currently disengaged subscribers to determine when they began to lose interest.
Step 3: Design for Engagement. Design a messaging program to communicate with subscribers during times when they’re most likely to start disengaging. Each message’s sole focus should be to bring the subscriber back into the engaged subscriber mix—so ensure that you’re providing value.
Step 4: Send at the Right Time. Implement a program that automatically triggers messages to subscribers who reach specific un-engagement thresholds.
Step 5: Test, Test, Test! Test different types of reengagement messages. Try an opt-out campaign or an opt-down campaign to identify which subscribers would simply like to hear from you less, as opposed to not at all.
If a subscriber reaches your full definition of unengaged, you should greatly reduce the frequency of your communications or stop sending to them altogether. This will reduce marketing costs, increase deliverability, and therefore increase the performance of your entire program.
To learn how retailers are engaging consumers on a number of levels at each touchpoint - Check out Subscribers, Fans and Followers: Retail Touchpoints Exposed!