Many businesses use email marketing as a way to directly build relationships with their target customers. While email allows companies to quickly and easily reach a wide audience, customers may also become less engaged with these emails over time. People can easily ignore or even delete a message, especially if their inboxes are inundated with correspondence from other businesses.
If your audience has stopped engaging with your email campaigns, it’s not too late to reconnect. Try these 16 tips from the members of Forbes Business Council.
1. Communicate Through Casual Mediums
One problem with email is the lengthiness and lack of intimacy (unless you’re a resurrected Shakespeare). Drill into communicating via casual settings like Facebook Messenger bots and Whatsapp message blast. WeChat monopolizes China’s marketing and consumer communication; it’s time we leverage sending more humane, short and witty messages through the most used apps of this era. – Reeve Yew, Funnel Duo Media Sdn Bhd
2. Don’t Sell
Don’t sell. Educate, entertain and engage customers by asking what they think and want. Also, don’t forget that email should be one tool in a communications toolbox for an organization or business. – Bilen Mesfin, Change Consulting
3. Personalize Your Calls And Letters
Depending on the type of business you’re in and how easy this is, consumers really value a personal approach and even more so in this “please press one” day and age. Picking up the phone or sending a personalized letter goes a long way to winning back customers, especially if there’s an incentive to do so. Give your customers a reason to come back and stand out when compared with your competitors. – Scott Dylan, Fresh Thinking Group
4. Engage On Social Media
Shift your strategy to engaging with customers via social media. Offer incentives and rewards for interacting with your brand on social platforms. Collect as many of your customers’ Instagram handles as you can to get a 360-degree view of who your customers really are. – Sam Malone, Guru Club
5. Integrate Videos
6. Ask Customers For Feedback
Aside from contests and promotions, I think many companies need to ask their customers what they want. Send out a survey asking if the emails are enough or too many and what else they would like to see. Offer options so customers are not inundated with information! – Jessica Kline, Backwoods Promotions Inc.
7. Explore Other Marketing Channels
As email marketing has decreased in effectiveness due to its repetitive nature, I think it’s crucial businesses explore other marketing channels. One thing businesses can do to reconnect with customers is get a clear message out there. That message should state something like, “We know times are tough. Thank you for standing by our company. We are here for you and will get through this together. Be strong.” – Noesh Hordagoda, The Charisma Academy Schools Group
8. Write Valuable Content
It’s very important to develop thought leadership articles that have educational value or can impact the reader in a positive way. If you only focus on self-serving acquisition marketing, you’re never going to make a deeper connection and you’ll eventually create fatigue. You have to show a genuine interest in building a relationship with the customer. – Mark Selcow, Costanoa Ventures
9. Send Personalized, Timely Messages
The big underlying trends are a combination of email fatigue and generic outreach. Brands must be more innovative with how they earn that attention. Personalized, timely messages that deliver unique value to an individual is key. It’s not easy, but the burden of owning the opt-in to someone’s email address is on the company delivering the message. – Neha Sampat, Contentstack
10. Audit Your Communication
I highly encourage companies to audit the communication they are initiating with their audience. Are you selling or are you connecting? Nowadays you can’t just push a sale or even push information; you must be pushing transformation! What tangible advice can you share with your audience that will give them results? Start asking this question every time you develop any type of content. – Caitlin Strempel, Rising Ranks Digital
11. Focus On Building Relationships
I have found that prospects, regardless of industry, are desiring authentic, personal relationships. The world of automated marketing has created suspicion in the eyes of the prospects, especially Gen Z and millennials. Personalized engagement through email is a solution I have found and video email marketing tools like VidYard.com helpful. – Bart Caylor, Caylor Solutions
12. Audit Your Data
A lack of engagement can often come from wrong email addresses or offices that block e-blasts sources like Constant Contact. Make sure you have correct email addresses, and if a company blocks e-blasts, then switch to that person’s private email. – Vinoo Varghese, Varghese & Associates, P.C.
13. Implement Communication Preference Settings
Effectively engaging with customers has been challenging for many industries, including utilities that we work with closely. Many businesses struggle with email, starting with the need for a robust marketing list by demographics. Some don’t even use email. Businesses could benefit from a “preference center,” enabling customers to choose electronic communication methods and adding SMS/text to delivery options. – Udi Merhav, energyOrbit
14. Evaluate The Content You Share
It’s important to evaluate the content you are sharing with your customers. The biggest mistake a company can make is to constantly sell in their communication with customers. Email marketing content is meant to be more engaging and informational rather than sales-oriented. Also, don’t be afraid to regularly request customer feedback to improve communication. – Luca Zambello, Jurny, Inc.
15. Personalize Subject Lines
Personalize the subject line to show value—and personalization goes beyond simply using their name in the subject line. I’ve seen a 20 to 25% increase in engagement with clients by using keywords for what you believe your customer cares about. If it’s a business you’re targeting, highlight a relevant problem. With a consumer, use “you/your” language and provide a category-specific offer. – Amrit Kirpalani, NectarOM
16. Connect With Your Customers
People do business with people they know, like and trust. Stop hiding behind the ease of email and actually connect with customers. Give them a call, send them a text or drop a note in the mail if you have their home address. Of course, you can’t do this with everyone on your email list but you can do it with your best customers. – Robyn Bolton, Mile Zero LLC