Engaging Loyal Fans
November 5, 2010
Imagine you’re the lead singer in a band. You’re playing Madison Square Garden. That’s right, you rock. You look out into the crowd and you see to one side of the room your fans are up on their feet with lighters aloft (or, these days, cell phone screens), and singing along (they know every word). Then you look over and see the other side…they’re bored. They bought tickets to your concert, but now many of them are flipping through their mobile facebook pages, and others are flat out asleep.
You take your mic and, with everything you’ve got, you focus right at the bored masses and rock your face off…nada. Maybe they want harder stuff, maybe they want ballads. You try everything. They don’t even flinch. Meanwhile you’ve got your back to half a stadium that’s leaning in, trying to catch the show they can no longer hear or see—but nonetheless, they’re amped. They LOVE you guys. But you spend the whole set doing everything you can to impress the bored, disinterested side of them room. Sounds crazy, right? Well, believe it or not, marketers do this everyday…at their metaphorical concerts, of course. If the band played to their true fans, the ones that really wanted to be there, rather than pandered to the disengaged, they would have left having a totally amazing show. They’d be sailing on a rock n’ roll high from the crowd’s energy. Instead, they’re leaving with heads hung low, feeling like failures. But that’s only because they took their true fans for granted. Once users stop opening or clicking through on your email they’ve become like the bored spectators at the concert. Sure, it’s wise to occasionally remind them WHY they signed up in the first place, but you don’t want to become so obsessed with reengaging flagging interest that you forget to reward and target your most passionate users. Equal, if not more attention should be paid to your super users; they are your brand ambassadors and the ones that will drive your growth and insure your brand success. One of the automatic benefits of using Sailthru is that all of our sends are Horizon powered. That means your most engaged users always receive your emails first—a feature which improves delivery as ISPs monitor user engagement. It also means you can easily segment and target lists based on activity. Choosing to share special promotions and incentives with your loyal users (and telling them plainly that they’re being rewarded for their passion) is the kind of care that drives brand loyalty and viral growth. Think of it like this: the incentives you give are like backstage passes to your next concert. Who do you want to party with, the super fans who have bought every album and sing every word, or the passive spectators who sit in their seats and grudgingly admit to liking your “early stuff”?
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