How to Win Back Sleepy Subscribers

With the amount of time and resources you devote to connecting with and engaging your audience, waking up sleepy subscribers (those who haven’t opened or clicked on a digital message from you in over 90 days) is an important step in adding more value to your organization’s marketing efforts.

Subscribers can go quiet for a variety of reasons, which is why it is crucial to engage those who raise their hand — showing interest in hearing from you — and also to re-engage as necessary. Whether you are able to prompt action at first, or later down the line, here are some tips to increase engagement through digital marketing.

The First Step is Engagement

Your audience is most apt to perform an action upon initial sign up. On average, subscribers are four times more likely to open a welcome email and five times as likely to click through it than communication sent later down the line.

Here are three ways to get your audience more engaged right away:

  • The “Welcome” Email: This is the very first email sent out and it sets the stage for any communication moving forward. It should include a personalized welcome, brief email copy that shares a message about your organization, and most importantly a call to action. If you need inspiration, check out these “12 Examples of Awesome Public Sector Emails.”
  • The “What’s New” Email: Slightly different from informational messages, new program or service launch messages announce something new to readers and are more closely tied to timing. As the adage goes: timing is everything, and ensuring that news is communicated close to or exactly on the time of the launch can be critical to relevance.
  • Surveys: Involve your audience in your communications process and gain insight into their likes and dislikes through surveys. Check out our post, “Top 6 Survey Best Practices” to help you along the way.

Next, Seek to Re-Engage

After the honeymoon period when your audience is receptive to everything you say, engagement can dwindle. Don’t take it personally; it happens to every organization…but you still need to do something about it!

This is where re-engagement can make a big impact: a communications tactic where you identify an inactive audience who hasn’t performed a specific action, and communicate with them by promoting new or relevant information.

Subscriber engagement can decrease for a variety of reasons: email frequency, relevance of email content, or even a time factor on the receivers’ end. Whatever the reason, re-engagement campaigns afford the opportunity to remind your inactive subscribers why they were interested in your organization in the first place.

Here are some ways to re-engage your audience:

  • “We Miss You” Email: Identify inactive audience members who haven’t opened or clicked on a message. Often referred to as “win-back” emails, this type of email is a lot easier and more effective than acquiring a new subscriber.
  • Abandon Cart: Abandoned cart emails are sent to audience members who have performed a specific action, but never converted. Treat abandon cart-ers with respect, as they are also high converters. According to SaleCycle, nearly half of all abandoned cart emails are opened and over a third of clicks lead to actions taken back on their websites.

With “We Miss You” and “Abandon Cart” emails, follow these pointers when creating your template:

  1. Personalize your salutation.
  2. Remind the subscriber what they’ve abandoned.
  3. Create simple copy that prompts an action and creates a sense of urgency.
  4. Remind them how important they are to your organization.
  5. Include code to support rich multimedia assets.

By effectively targeting your unengaged subscribers with a well-timed strategic message, you can renew your vows and avoid the unsubscribe. If you’re looking for even more inspiration on how to create a successful digital message, check out “12 Examples of Awesome Public Sector Emails.”

Also stay tuned for our upcoming piece: “5 Types of Reminders All Government Agencies Should Use.”

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