Every online marketer, as talented as may be, at some point finds oneself in a dry spell, feeling as if something simply isn’t working as it should be. For instance, a decrease in open rate, accompanied by a lower click-through rate (CTR), or a decline in on-site purchasing, can give rise to an overall feeling of stagnancy.
These dry spells can be caused by a number of things, including the a period in which recipients become more passive, after the holiday season for example, or a period in which you, as a marketer, have become a little too complacent, slightly boring your recipients.
Don’t worry, whatever the cause may be, there are a few solutions that can thwart these dry spells.
Here are a few suggestions that will wake up dormant recipients:
Divide And Conquer
Look over your campaign reports and put aside all of the recipients that are not responding – your so called dormant recipients. In the ActiveTrail system you have the option of creating a new group to which you can add a filter that will automatically add any recipient that hasn’t responded for a definitive amount of time.
Once you have an updated list of dormant recipients concentrated into one group, you can send them a special campaign in which you offer a one-time, substantial discount, or even take the straightforward route and ask the blunt question: “Why are you ignoring us? Is it something we said?”
After all, you’ve got nothing to lose! They are not responding anyway, and are well on their way to being removed from your mailing list. You might as well give it a shot.
Repaving the Subject line
This suggestion is relevant mainly for those marketers that are experiencing a decline in their open rate.
Gather up all of the subject lines that you have written so far and throw them in the trash, as they are clearly not effective with these specific recipients.
Try to surprise them with a fresh subject line; perhaps challenge them with a question, offer a free product with any purchase, or even play on their emotions with an innocent “We’ve missed you ♥”.
For example, after a series of campaigns with basically the same subject line from the online T-shirt store, Threadless, they tried to catch my attention by adding a theme to the subject – and guess what? It worked on me.
It Never Hurts To Ask
My mother always told me that if you don’t know something, all you have to do is ask. Take a moment to simply ask your dormant recipients why they are not responding to your campaigns.
Formulate an online survey with the questions that interest you, and send it to your aforementioned dormant recipient group. You can focus the questions on reasons for their lack of activity, or you can shape questions whose answers will bring you one step closer to understanding what you can do to make your recipients more active in the future.
Patiently analyze the survey results and refine your campaigns accordingly. First send your newly constructed campaigns to your dormant recipients, and if you receive positive feedback, you may decide to send the new campaigns to the rest of your recipients as well.
The Timing Is Simply Not Right
Sometimes it is possible that everything is fine; the recipients love both the campaign content and the products that you are offering. Why, then, are you still not receiving the feedback that you desire? There is a probability that the timing is simply not right. Perhaps the time at which you send out mailings doesn’t accord with your recipients’ daily schedule, pushing your campaigns to the bottom of their email list.
Go over the timing of your previous campaigns and try to send the next round at a different time of day, or even a different day of the week.
It is important to remember that there are ‘weaker’ periods in which response rates periodically falter with no fault of your own. For instance, during the summer months many business leaders take a hiatus from the office, traveling abroad or simply spending time with their families. Short dry spells should be expected during these periods.
Are You Bombarding People With Your E-mails?
Perhaps the time has come to conduct a self-check in regards to your email frequency. Are you exhausting your recipients with too many mailings? On the opposite end of the scale, are you not sending enough mailings, becoming a perfect example of the phrase “Out of sight, out of mind?”
First things first, check whether or not you have guaranteed a certain frequency in your registration form. If so, are you keeping this guarantee? For example, if your recipients have signed up for once a month mailings and you continue to send one every week, you are violating their trust.
At the end of the day the most important advice that I can give you is to send out mailings only if there is something substantial to relay to your recipients. Sending mailings just for the sake of sending mailings will not only be ill received, however will hurt your overall campaign. Boring, pointless mailings will most likely lead to large waves of remove-from-mailing-list requests, and will definitely result in a depreciated response rate.
An Overall Self-Check
Recipients can become dormant for several known reasons, as can be gathered by this article, however, as marketers, it is important that you assess all of your parameters. Perhaps your expectations were too high to begin with, thus causing your open rates to seem too low? Perhaps the changes that you make from campaign to campaign are too minor and your recipients don’t notice when you are offering something new?
With ActiveTrail’s advanced reporting system you can measure every one of your campaigns from every angle and even try out making an AB Test campaign. Organize your data in a single file and conduct a meeting on the subject. Consult on different factors from all of the different departments in your company until you arrive at the necessary conclusions.