Best Practices for Curing List Fatigue, Part 1
E-mail list fatigue continues to plague e-mail marketers. It's difficult to measure and when identified presents a dilemma: Do you try and re-engage these nonresponsive customers with a fresh approach, or remove them from your list?
A recent whitepaper from Lititz, Pa.-based e-mail marketing solutions provider Listrak, "Email Marketing Best Practices: Inactive Subscribers — Re-Engage or Remove," diagnoses the common causes of list fatigue and provides answers on what can be done to combat it, including tips to properly handle re-engagement campaigns and the pros and cons of removing subscribers from your list.
This week, in the first part of this two-part series, we examine some of the root causes of list fatigue. Then, check back next week when we'll offer takeaway tips to help you re-engage customers who haven't given up on your brand.
Before making any decisions about removing potential customers from e-mail lists, it's necessary to understand the causes of list fatigue to effectively fight it. The whitepaper lists the following causes of list fatigue.
1. Subscribers no longer fit your demographic. As people change over time, they sometimes fall out of your target demographic. Life events could be a catalyst for these changes, including a move out of your region, retirement or students going off to college, among others. These fluctuations, the whitepaper says, are uncontrollable and should be expected, and this group should be identified and removed from your list.
2. Subscriber completes goal. This occurs after subscribers make a purchase and their needs change. If customers sign up to receive e-mails from a travel Web site on specific types of cruises, for example, it's likely that they'll no longer be interested in receiving e-mails about this subject once they return from their trips. The subscribers' needs have changed after the initial purchase and it's up to you to figure out what the subscriber wants, according to the whitepaper.
3. Message isn't relevant. Every e-mail you send must capture the attention of your subscribers and provide them with useful information. If your messages don't fulfill their specific needs, they'll quickly stop reading.
4. Subscription best practices weren't followed. Provide an opt-in process for customers that's quick and easy, yet captures the right profiling data. Confirming subscribers through a double opt-in process can increase activity by 20 percent or more while greatly extending your retention rate, the whitepaper notes.
5. E-mail best practices aren't followed. If your e-mail messages aren't branded properly, contain broken links, have weak subject lines, unappealing content or have ineffective offers buried below the fold, you aren't giving your subscribers a reason to read them.
6. Frequency isn't satisfactory. Determine your customers' optimal frequency schedule. Are you sending e-mails to subscribers every day when they expect to hear from you once a month? Are you sending e-mails every quarter and your subscribers are forgetting they opted-in to your list? Send your e-mails at the right time or risk having your subscribers stop paying attention to you, the whitepaper warns.
7. E-mail addresses are invalid. Minimize the risk of mailing to invalid e-mails through list management best practices such as bounce management, list hygiene and monitoring complaints.
For more information, go to www.listrak.com.