Back to the Future
September 16, 2010
Maintaining a strong connection with your audience doesn’t mean selling to them 100% of the time. Your audience, at one point, cared enough about your brand to travel to the site, poke around and sign up for emails. But sending them content they want to read or discounts they want to take advantage of, as important as that is, is only part of the battle. You need to stay relevant for them to stay interested. Otherwise the patina on your brand gets dull, the dust starts to build up, and rather than the next big thing your brand starts looking like yesterday’s news.
The New Features email is a a great way to refresh and reengage your audience. I once worked with a client whose list had at one time been dominated by highly engaged users. But having become comfortable with the level of engagement and subscriber rate, they began to ignore the drop-off rate. Over time this drop-off accelerated, and one day, engagement had fallen so sharply that they were losing money on a once profitable program. Rather than assessing why users had stopped interacting, they immediately launched a discount-on-purchase email.
Not surprisingly, it failed. When we stepped back and took a closer look at the drop-off rate, we realized that much of it came at a time when a competitor was in full swing with massive technology overhauls. Now this client wasn’t living in the dark ages, they too had quite a number of updates and new features they had rolled out on their own, but they hadn’t made an effort to notify anyone.
So despite the realities, perception had shifted so quickly that it was as though their platform was an AARP member bumping along in a Jazzy and the competitor was rocketing past on a hoverboard.
After 2 weeks of strategizing and planning they deployed the first of their “New Features” quarterly email. Very quickly they realized a 13% lift in list engagement and a 20% lift in forwarding to a friend.
This was activity that they had long missed out on. They awakened an audience that was hungry for information. Marketers sometimes forget that as critical as it is to be busy making your product better, faster and stronger—it’s important to look as busy as you are. Be sure to tell your customers when you’ve created a cool new way to improve their experience. Never let them get bored with what your product does or how they interact with it. You and your team work hard—brag about it!
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