Encouraging repeat visitors is tricky stuff at best. Trying to do it daily can be a daunting task.
Why? Well, the daily cadence risks more unsubscribes and spam complaints, so each email must do as much as possible to appear helpful and relevant. To do that, emails need to say something different each day. Content can be a big challenge for businesses to pull together efficiently.
Here are some tips based on the good, the bad, and the ugly:
Highlight what’s next. Identify the next task for users to complete, and propose that as a reason to come back. Gaming sites frequently talk about buildings to build or troops to train. Educational sites talk about finishing a module or getting points to ladder to the next level. The thinking is, if you’re task-oriented, then having an email tell you what to do next will get you back to the site.
Showcase a reward or goal. If the tasks aren’t necessarily cool or inspirational, at least the rewards can be. Giving recipients a goal — and their steps towards that goal — will help drive action as well. One of my favorite sites includes a point counter to show progress toward the next level as one of the content pieces users rotate through.
Tap into the competitive spirit. Motivate recipients with a comparison to their team or their cohort. Right now, my husband is trying his hardest to get ahead of me on one site we both visit. I’m not letting him win yet, but that means I need to go back regularly to stay ahead of him. Competitive spurs can push some people to visit out of sheer stubbornness. Of course, it’s important to make sure the competitive comparison makes progress seem achievable, so that it isn’t demotivating.
Create a schedule. Sending reminders at the same time every day is helpful. Matching that time to the last active login is even better. This helps create a habit. If I get a reminder every day at 5 p.m. to log in and learn Spanish, then eventually I might start studying Spanish at 5 p.m. every day.
Accommodate vacations. Be considerate of inbox fatigue. One of my favorite educational sites acknowledges when I haven’t been studying for several days in a row, and lets me know that they have decided to stop reminders while I’m “taking a break.” When I start studying on the site again, my daily reminders resume.
Ask for preferences. It’s best to ask this, or any question, upfront during registration. In this case, it’s also a good idea to create a preference center that subscribers can update as needed. While you shouldn’t expect a lot of traffic to this center, it will be important traffic to manage.
Stick to one purpose. It’s tempting to use daily reminders to promote sales. In this case, that’s something to avoid. Unlike other high-frequency emails, the goal here isn’t interaction with the email. Instead, it’s traffic to and interaction with the site. So save the offers for where they won’t distract recipients from taking the action you want them to take: coming back to the site.
Do you have other tips on how to make the most of daily reminders? Please share them in the comments below.