Super-Engagement: Increasing The Value Of Your Most Valuable Subscribers

Engagement is critical to email marketing success. It’s so important that when our regularly scheduled broadcast emails fail to engage, we launch reengagement campaigns to reactivate inactive subscribers or those at risk of becoming inactive. That’s smart because reengagement efforts improve deliverability and extend the time that subscribers are on your list, boosting their subscriber lifetime value.

However, as much time as you invest in reengagement, you should be investing even more in “super-engagement”: messaging tactics that further engage subscribers who are already highly engaged.

Super-engagement is the flipside of reengagement. While reengagement is about reducing the risks posed by inactive subscribers, super-engagement is about increasing the opportunities presented by engaged subscribers.

The 6 Stages
of the Email Subscriber Lifecycle

Since a third or more of your subscribers are likely inactive, more of your subscribers will be in need of reengagement. On the other hand, the majority of your email marketing revenues are probably generated by a quarter of your subscribers. Having a super-engagement strategy in place makes your most valuable subscribers even more valuable.

By virtue of their already outsized contributions, these subscribers deserve extra attention. At the same time, you should be systematically trying to elevate your modestly engaged subscribers into your top tier of subscribers.

There are two approaches that should be a part of your super-engagement program:

Self-Selected Super-Engagement

Give your subscribers an opportunity to opt in to receive more communications from you by:

-- Letting subscribers subscribe to additional email streams, whether offered by your brand or by your sister brands. For instance, Gap Inc. has a great universal opt-in system that lets someone subscribe to receive emails from multiple brands all on one page, and Anthropologie has sent its subscribers emails about its sister brand Terrain that includes an opt-in for that brand.

-- Offering a loyalty program with a supplemental email stream or a higher-volume email stream that replaces the one that non-loyalty members receive. Lowe’s offers a MyLowe’s loyalty program that keeps track of purchases and makes staying on top of home maintenance and improvements easier, and it drives engagement through MyLowe’s emails.

-- Using progressive profiling to power additional segmented emails. Zulily did this going into the Black Friday weekend last year, and Sears did this in late January using an interesting “thumbs up/thumbs down” rating system.

Behavior-Based Super-Engagement

Pay attention to your subscribers and respond to their behavior by:

-- Setting up an array of triggered messages, including browse and cart abandonment emails like this one from Crutchfield, back-in-stock notification emails like this one from Williams-Sonoma, post-purchase emails like this one from Crate & Barrel, and replenishment emails.

-- Sending segmented messages based on expressed preferences and on browse and purchase behavior.

-- Making the most of your transactional emails by adding promotional content, personalized recommendations and other calls-to-action like this  e-receipt from Crate & Barrel does.

Subscriber productivity is as important as list size, and having both a reengagement and a super-engagement strategy in place is key to driving subscriber productivity.

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1 comment about "Super-Engagement: Increasing The Value Of Your Most Valuable Subscribers".
  1. Pete Austin from Triggered Messaging , March 25, 2014 at 12:32 p.m.
    Exactly. Match the level of your marketing to the level of each shopper's engagement - if you're not engaging your best customers more then you're under-marketing. The simplest way to do this is with cart and browse abandonment, so add these ASAP. Then setup more advanced programs targeted using shopper behaviour. http://www.triggeredmessaging.com/blog/better-email-marketing-with-real-time-analytics