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Engage and Retain

Email Marketing Best Practices 2011

For every opportunity email marketing has to offer, there is a challenge that is potentially even greater. It's cost effective, but can be cost prohibitive if you steer efforts in the wrong direction. It gives you a convenient way to keep in touch with your audience, but too much or too little contact and you will lose them. It can help you establish credibility, but tarnish your reputation if the best practices are not followed. Perhaps the biggest challenge it presents is keeping your subscribers active, engaged, and on your list.

You've worked hard to build your list, and retaining the people on it should be among your top priorities. Email is the perfect tool for the job of course, but with consumers being overwhelmed by spam and the grind of everyday life, it often takes much more than a relevant offer to retain your subscribers. The following three-step exercises will demonstrate how you can keep subscribers engaged and in-tune with your marketing message:
Launch Drip Marketing Campaigns
An event-based drip campaign is an effective technique that allows you to keep the dialogue with your audience flowing through automated messages. Properly timed autoresponders can be set up to drive your welcome messages and follow ups, shopping cart abandonment campaigns, event reminders, and birthday incentive programs.
 
Deploy campaigns based on predefined triggers.
Engage subscribers through relevant communications.
Qualify leads and nurture them through the sales cycle.
Target Based on Engagement Level
For the most part, being able to keep your subscribers engaged is dependent on understanding how engaged they are to begin with. When you know who is responding to your message in terms of opens, clicks, and other actions, it becomes much easier to pinpoint just who is engaged and who isn't with targeted emails.
 
Segment and target your list by action (opens, clicks, purchases, etc.).
Create re-engagement campaigns to win back subscribers who haven't responded to your message in "X" amount of days.
Remove subscribers you are unable to successfully re-engage to maintain the quality of your list.
Test and Respond Accordingly
The importance of testing cannot be underestimated or overstated. Regular testing can give you a better idea of what works and what doesn't before deploying your campaigns.
 
Test subject lines, copy, images, frequency, calls to actions, etc.
Deploy your email campaigns based on the results of testing.
Boost engagement levels, response rates, and ROI.
Although you are always working to build your contact list for the sake of growing your business, the most valuable subscribers are the ones you already have. Being able to keep them may take some hard work, but it is all worth it when they reward your business with their continued loyalty and support.