Here’s a probable story. So you are done with a heavy promotion, perhaps a product launch, and you begin thinking that your list might be a bit fatigued by all the email hassling at this point.
After all, you’ve been hitting them over the head with several sales messages in a sequence, each one containing “buy now” links, testimonials, use cases, early access discounts, bonuses, and who knows what else. In short, it was a big pile of promotional emails. This would be way too much for the average subscriber to handle if the trend was to continue.
Therefore, you just need to ease things out and remind your audience that your main goal is to serve them and not to just ask them to keep pulling out their wallets all the time.
How to do this? For example, you can try any of the following 25 methods. They will introduce some freshness into your newsletters and help you reconnect with your subscribers. But first, the rules…
What’s the idea here?
The main goal that we want to achieve right after a period of heavy promotion is to reassure our subscribers that our newsletter isn’t only about selling, but about delivering value in a variety of forms.
The best way to do so is by sharing content-only messages for a while. This means no promotion, no asking for money, no “go and sign up for a trial there.” Just raw, pure content – stuff that your audience can benefit from directly, and preferably, immediately. Here’s how:
1. Do a community roundup
Highlight several interesting things that have been going on in the community during the last X weeks. This can be a roundup of posts from other blogs, links to interesting forum threads, links to experts worth following on Twitter, links to the newest edition of free Kindle books.
In short, take a look at what’s been happening on the web, get the best content you can find, add your own commentary and share the whole thing with your subscribers.
2. Share your launch results + a thank you
Don’t be secretive about your recent launch results. Share them with your subscribers. This will make your connection a bit more personal and a lot more honest.
Of course, make this comfortable on your end. Don’t share anything that seems “too much” for you.
And lastly, don’t forget to say thanks to your subscribers for supporting you, even if they didn’t all buy what you were promoting.
3. Ask for their Twitter usernames
This is a somewhat reversed “follow me on Twitter” kind of a message.
Here’s how it’s done. Normally, you’d just reach out to people and ask them to follow you. But this type of request is a bit cliché by now, and it still feels like a 100 percent ask (them doing something for you).
Therefore, tell your subscribers that instead of asking them to follow you, you are going to follow them. They just need to respond and give you their Twitter names. This creates some really valuable interactions. I’ve tested this method two times already and it’s been a true hit, in terms of response rates.
4. “Submit your question” -email
Ask your subscribers to submit their questions about ________ (insert your main topic/niche).
Not everyone will respond, obviously. But you will likely find some gems among the questions that do come in. You can use those insights when building your next pieces of content or even your next products.
5. “Tell me what you struggle with” -email
This is a bit similar to the previous one, but this time it’s you who’s asking a question.
Quite simply, ask your subscribers about the number one thing that they struggle with in relation to your topic/niche.
6. Give them an option to change their mailing frequency settings
Send your subscribers an email, pointing them to a form where they can change their subscription settings and choose how frequently they’d prefer to receive your emails.
You’re probably asking, Why would I ever want to do that?! It sounds a bit counterintuitive, I admit, but the idea is to give some control back to your subscribers.
Inevitably, not all of them will be happy with your emailing frequency. And even if they don’t unsubscribe right away, they might do so over time (once they get annoyed enough). To prevent this, give them the ability to change their preferred mailing frequency.
How to do this with your email marketing tool? (Note; not all tools will allow you to set this up.) For instance, in SendinBlue (one of the few players out there offering free autoresponder functionality), you can create a new poll asking the frequency question, and based on the input you get, create a couple of segments as part of your main list. For example, name them “weekly,” “bi-weekly,” etc. Then, send your emails to those segments accordingly.
7. Share a series of case studies
Gather some interesting case studies from around the web, add your commentary, or even write them yourself from the very beginning (you can base them on your own data or research found elsewhere).
Then, share a new case study every X days over email (inside the email itself). At the end of the series, publish all case studies in one large blog post. Share the post with your list again.
The best part about this message is that you can improve your case studies as you go along, based on the feedback you get from subscribers. So by the time you’re publishing this on your blog, the version you have is highly optimized to resonate with people.
8. Share success stories / in-depth testimonials
Everybody loves them a nice success story. And especially if it talks about your product – preferably the one that you’ve just finished promoting.
It’s a good practice to ask your new users/customers for feedback right away. Doing this, you can get some cool testimonials very early on, and people are more likely to give them to you since they’re still excited about the purchase. Take them and share them with your subscribers.
9. Send them a list of _______ (something)
List posts have been a hit on the internet for years now. And list emails aren’t too shabby either.
Gather a list of tools, or sites, or articles, or YouTube videos that your audience can benefit from and share them over email.
The difference between this tactic and #1 on this list is that this time you’re just sharing links – and very closely related ones (talking about one particular issue or problem), and also a larger number of them (15+), with very little commentary of your own.
10. Run a community spotlight
Ask your subscribers to submit some information about their businesses and what they do. This can be a simple elevator pitch or a more wordy submission. It’s up to you.
Then, pick three of those businesses and put a spotlight on them. In a single newsletter message, say something about what makes them unique and why the rest of your subscribers should check them out.
I guarantee, those three will never leave your list.
11. Run a community connection program
Very similar to the previous one, but this time instead of you putting a spotlight on someone publicly, you’re connecting people to one another.
So again, ask your subscribers to submit some info about their businesses. Based on the input you get, try making connections – finding businesses that can benefit from working together, and then make the necessary introductions.
Of course, first figure out and then disclose the rules of this program at the very beginning.
12. Give something for free to everyone
Regardless of how successful your recent promotion was, you will always have more subscribers on your list who didn’t buy from you, than the ones who did.
For that reason, right after the main promotion is done, reach out to everybody and simply give them something for free – just as a way of saying thanks for staying with you throughout the promotion.
What to give away? Maybe you have a bonus that was part of the initial offer earlier, or a simplified version of your main product. There’s always something.
13. Give your subscribers a platform
Depending on your niche and the kind of thing you’re offering, some subscribers might not care for any sort of bonuses that you’re pitching them. But they might care about the possibility to get access to a platform through which they could share their own ideas.
To make those people excited, send an open invitation to guest post on your blog. Explain that naturally not everyone will get a chance, but that you do have X guest post spots to fill.
14. Reconnect with the sleepyheads
Reach out to the people who haven’t opened any of your launch emails or haven’t interacted with you in any way for a long time. Ask them what’s been going on. Ask how you can help.
(You can easily segment your list based on the subscriber activity in any email marketing tool.)
15. Resend your best content
Your best or most popular content has earned its status for a reason. Most likely, that reason being that your audience simply loves it.
Therefore, it’s always a great idea to look into your stats every once in a while – and particularly after a heavy promotion – pick the best performing content, and send your subscribers some info about it (along with a link). This is always a winner.
16. Revive your old content
Another content-focused kind of email newsletter. This time, you’re taking a look into your archives and picking some of the old content that’s still relevant and that you consider to be of high quality (it doesn’t have to be hugely popular).
Share it with your subscribers and tell them why it matters.
17. Send a FAQ email
You surely have some frequently asked questions that came in during the recent launch period. Now is the time to answer them in one concise email newsletter.
18. Send a SAQ email
SAQ stands for Should Ask Questions. In other words, these are the questions your audience should be asking.
Brainstorm over those SAQs, try coming up with around ten of them. Then share them along with the answers. Make sure to explain why those questions are so crucial.
19. Talk about your next project
People enjoy being brought on board and they will always appreciate you mentioning what your nearest plans are.
This will make them feel like part of the team, and not just like a number in an Excel sheet. This is the relationship you want!
Also, ask your audience what they think about the things you have in plan. Ask what they would change.
20. “Helping out the community” -email
The idea behind this email is simple. Instead of focusing on you and your brand or business, you’re focusing on those in need.
Share a couple of words about your favorite charities or crowd funding sites, mention why you enjoy them and why you think your subscribers should take part as well.
21. Switch to plain text emails for a while
If you’re using HTML emails, consider switching to plain text for a period. This makes your messages look more personal.
After all, when was the last time your mom sent you an HTML email?
22. Experiment with long emails (blog post length)
It’s not that people don’t care for long-form content. They just don’t care for boring long-form content.
23. Experiment with short emails (five sentences tops)
Go the opposite route. Send a five sentence newsletter. See how much value you can cramp into that.
24. Experiment with visual content
Infographics, animations, videos, all that stuff. Try breaking the pattern, create and send something that you don’t normally send.
25. Send out tutorials
Tell your subscribers how to solve a specific problem they’ve been struggling with.
Really get to the bottom of a given problem. Make it in-depth. Better yet, make it a kind of email that gets marked with a star and kept for reference.
Did I miss anything? Feel free to share your own ideas on this. What other ways are there to reconnect with subscribers after a heavy promotion?