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4 Ways of Keeping Contacts Active
Part of email marketing success involves a diligent effort at making sure your contacts are still actively viewing your messages. Without a properly maintained contact list your email marketing experiences will not be as successful as they should be.

Email marketing success hinges on the quality of you contact list. However, based on studies done in the email marketing industry, your contacts will begin to drop off approximately three months after they initially opted in to your emails. I’ve mentioned in previous articles that a drop off should be expected, but there are ways to ensure that this drop off is greatly reduced, therefore making certain that the volume of your quality contacts is much greater. Here are four strategies to help you accomplish this:

“Preferred Customer” Offers:
As a retailer, using incentives can attract subscribers to continue their interest in your emails and services. Providing a simple promotion or discount for subscribers that haven’t opened recently can reactivate a dormant user. In addition, you can send these kinds of offers to in-active users so that they update their contact information and preferences etc. This will help gather information on their continuing needs as a customer, as well as give you current contact information.

Send Out a Questionnaire:
The best way to discover why a customer hasn’t been opening your emails is to ask them. You can create a survey (that is quick and easy to fill out) so that in-actives can provide you with feedback. This is valuable information on things to avoid, but more importantly will tell you EXACTLY what particular users need from you so that you maintain them as active contacts. The survey will have questions relevant to your services, but be sure to also include things like a “preferred kind of message” section, or “best time to contact by email” section and of course a “comments and suggestions” section.

Take a Closer Look at Your Contacts:
Often times you’ll notice that there are chunks of subscribers not responding to your emails, that all have similarities. Through these similarities you might be able to determine how to get through to those groups. You might find there is a section of your subscribers that are all in a particular demographic that you haven’t been targeting in your email marketing campaigns: young men, older women, single parents, or people in a different time zone, etc. By taking a closer look at your contacts you might get a lightning bolt idea as to why they have not previously responded and can easily remedy it so that your email marketing yields even better results.

Testing/Mix Things Up a Little:
There is no harm in spending a little time testing-out different ways of sending to determine if it can attract a few more in-actives to the “good side”.

If you’ve always sent out email on the same day or time of day, try a few varied distribution times; see if it produces a different response. You can also change how often you’re sending your emails. If you’re accustomed to sending once a month, you may want to try sending twice a month, or once every two months.

Also, try creating different content. In your analysis of you contacts if you’ve noticed a trend among in-actives, consider packaging the content differently for this group. You can also mess around with the format of your campaigns. Start testing the differences between text versions vs. more dynamic looking campaigns.

Another important factor is you subject line. Sometimes all it takes to attract a subscriber back to the active list is changing the subject line. A subscriber might not open the email because the subject line is the same or similar to previous messages sent. For these subscribers the assumption is that if the subject line is the same or similar, so is the content. Testing out different methods of sending out campaigns will activate the pulses on some of your more zombie-like subscribers, but will also give you valuable information on what their wants and needs are.

Successful email marketing users are spending time on the maintenance of their contact lists; it’s time to take full advantage of your email marketing service by making that extra effort to ensure your contacts are still interested.

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