Newsletter subscribers have their Life Time Value, just as all customers do in any business. This Life Time reaches the end by three ways:
- The subscriber decides to unsubscribe.
- Your emails to the subscriber become undeliverable.
- The subscriber is completely inactive for a time period of 6 months to a year (no opens or clicks) and does not respond to a re-engagement campaign. This subscriber is usually called as “emotionally” unsubscribed.
Most of our customers ask for consulting on how to increase the retention rate of subscribers. The strategies though are not stable, as every industry newsletter has its own characteristics. For instance, subscribers of a deal site newsletter are different from subscribers of a travel & leisure newsletter or from a pharmaceutical one.
To start with, relevancy is the key word here. The Life Time Value of a subscriber who stays actively subscribed to your newsletter and the level of engagement he has with your brand is directly dependent on how relevant your newsletters are to him. Have you tried targeting your newsletter and segmenting your list before you click “Send”, according to the subscriber’s past activity, or according to certain demographics? If the subscriber does not recognize a part of himself in your news or offers, he will soon be out of your list. Read here how you can be less annoying to your recipients that are not interested about your message.
Change is the key word here. Your subscribers keep changing and so should you. And it’s completely natural for their situation and interests to change over time, they change jobs, they get married, they have less time and more responsibilities, they change cars, houses, bosses, they move out, they have kids. We suggest you tried to keep up with them by simply including an email preference center in your website where they subscribe. You can also send a short survey every once in a while, asking information on what they would like to receive from you and how often, and make sure that the possibility for them to change their newsletter preferences is visible in your newsletter. If you try to find out more about their wants, needs and expectations from you, you increase the likelyhood of them remaining engaged for longer with your brand.
Frequency is the key word here. Do not be afraid to stay away for longer, at the same target group of recipients. It is better for you to remind them on your presence, with things relevant to them, than to remind them too often, on things they wouldn’t care about. Emails that are sent on a daily basis can have a churn rate of a 20-30% per year, so unless you live in a huge country, you’ll soon be out of the business.
Re-engage is the key word here. Take a look at your metrics on a 6 month or yearly basis, and try sending a series of re-engaging campaigns to the subscribers that have not opened or clicked on any newsletter. If they aren’t responding, you never wanted them in your list, as they are emotionally unsubscribed as we said earlier. They stay there to ruin your reporting. Is that what you need?
Value is the key word here. If you provide value to your subscribers, you will have them in your list for longer. Do not forget to always answer this question in their heads: “What’s in it for me”? Remind them what they gain from you and you will have their trust.
Make sure that your message does not break the promise or expectation set in the process of signing-up. Trust is the key word here. Try to gain their trust for longer, by not deceiving them with false subject lines, or offers that hide traps.
To sum up, if you happen to notice a declining Life Time Value of your newsletter subscribers, try targeting your audience, use segmentation, stay relevant, stay true and make sure you always answer the question What’s in it for me?