Getting consumers on your email list is only the first step. Your opt-in box, free gift or ethical bribe, list building efforts, website traffic generation — it’s all focused on getting people onto your email list so you can stay in touch with them and continue to market to them by email with permission.
But what happens after the conversion from consumer to subscriber? What happens AFTER they join your list and become a subscriber and member of your community?
- Once you have gained a subscriber, your goals shift from acquiring to retaining.
- Your main focus once a consumer joins your list to keep them on your list and keep them engaged with your business and brand.
- You captured their attention and gained their trust once already when they were compelled to opt-in, and now you need to keep it up — keep them interested, keep them engaged, keep them wanting and even looking forward to hearing from you.
It sounds like a lot of work doesn’t it?
It is. Don’t be fooled by marketers who say all you have to do is open an account, write a few articles, and send a few emails to make millions of dollars.
Email marketing can help you generate big paydays, but for that to happen you need a good quality, engaged, loyal, responsive list of people trained to take action when you make an offer — and that takes time and effort — Time to build your relationship with them and build trust, and effort to continually produce valuable, relevant, personal, interesting, useful content that keeps readers wanting and looking forward to your emails.
Luckily there are other strategies you can put into play to help you retain subscribers and keep them interested in what you have to say (and send), so they read your emails and your newsletter instead of deleting them, unsubscribing, or banishing your email to the Save For Later Folder never to be seen again.
We work on about 50 websites each year give or take a few. As an add-on service, we also offer email marketing design and we spend hours with clients consulting on their website strategy, marketing strategy, email marketing strategy, opt-in and more. So we get to peek into how a lot of other businesses do things — and we get the inside track on some awesome stuff!
Here are some strategies we use and/or have learned from our clients that can help you retain subscribers and build a tribe of loyal readers:
- Make Subscribers Feel Special: The one strategy we see used over and over again without fail by every successful email marketer is that they always try to make their readers feel special, appreciated, and valued. They get deals, offers, and opportunities no one else gets, they get priority access, private content, and more. Give your subscribers the VIP treatment.
- Provide Subscribers Incentives to Open Your Emails: Give subscribers incentives to open and read your email. Provide something special in each email or issue of your newsletter that they want to see or access — Give them something that they don’t want to miss out on. This could be a discounted offer, special savings, free download, useful tip, etc.
- Give Subscribers Extra Bonuses: When they get more awesome stuff from you as a subscriber, they’ll stay. Provide downloadable checklists, templates, charts, handouts, audios, reports, etc. as bonus goodies just for your subscribers in each newsletter issue.
- Offer Subscribers First or Priority Access: If you launch new programs, workshops, courses, groups, services, etc. Launch it to your list and in your newsletter first. Give your existing community members first right of refusal on spots available and give them priority access — especially if it is something that will sell out.
- Make it Easy For Subscribers to Stay Engaged: Your subscribers have already done the work to join your list. They have already told you they want to hear from you. So don’t make them do more work. When offering a teleclass or webinar, don’t make them opt-in again, give them the access details in the email (or a special trackable link to them) directly.
- Share Exclusive Opportunities: Create an offer exclusive opportunities to engage with you and your brand that is ONLY available to your subscribers. Don’t share it in your newsletter and then publish it on your blog — keep it exclusive so the only way to access it is to be a subscriber.
- Create Special Savings For Subscribers: If you sell products, programs, or services on your website (and who doesn’t sell at least one of those!), create special reduced-price payment links for your email newsletter, or a discount code you can share with subscribers. This way the general public can buy from you at one price, and subscribers can buy the same thing for less.
- Get Personal — Only With Subscribers: Share more personal stories, lessons, and photos with your subscribers. Share things that you don’t want to post publicly for the world to see, but that you’ll only share with them. Build on and strengthen your relationship by getting personal with your subscribers and creating opportunities for them to connect with and relate to you.
- Provide Great Content: It sounds simple, but with a lot of people sending email newsletters just to send them, it’s easy to see how the content can get, well, stale. Invest time, effort, and energy into creating great content for your subscribers and they will thank you for it by staying on your list, opening your emails, and sharing it with their friends.
It’s About Connection & Relationships
As you can see, the main thread that runs through all of these strategies is that they capitalize on the connection and the relationship you’re building with your readers. Each subscriber retention strategy is designed to make them feel special, give them exclusive access, and provide unique opportunities that they can ONLY get as a subscriber.
What about You? What do you do to make your subscribers feel extra special? Do you have any other tips to share? Is there an email newsletter that you subscribe to that you love? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!
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