Why Hockey Strong’s Email Subscribers Keep Coming Back For More
By Crystal Gouldey August 1, 2011
“91% of email users subscribed to a company’s mailing list
“91% of email users subscribed to a company’s mailing list and then later decided they no longer wanted to be on that list,” an ExactTarget report stated. That’s bad news.
The same report also showed that 42% of subscribers say they’re more likely to buy from a company after they’ve signed up for the company’s emails. That’s good news, but if they unsubscribe early on, they won’t be getting your emails to buy from.
With this in mind, one AWeber customer has set up her email marketing campaign to encourage long-term relationships. Maria Mountain’s Hockey Strong campaign is gaining subscribers over 6 times faster than it’s losing them.
Hockey Strong’s Success
Subscriber growth is increasing on Maria’s list, mainly due to very few people unsubscribing. About 75% of her subscribers have been on her list for more than 3 months, and over half are still on after the 6 month mark.
Along with increasing subscriber growth, subscribers are also responding to her messages. Her email campaign looks like this:
How does she keep subscribers interested?
What’s Working: Follow Up Series
After signing up to the Hockey Strong list, subscribers start receiving the follow up messages. They get the free report promised at sign up, and part of the follow up series includes a 5 part training course.
In between each of the training course messages, subscribers get messages with Maria’s blog content. This combination of teaching and sharing other useful information works well. Subscribers get to know Maria as a person during this initial phase.
Using the follow up messages to introduce yourself and your email campaign to your subscribers will help start the relationship. You can send a follow up series to:
- Talk about different problems subscribers may face in your industry, and offer solutions
- Include common questions you get from subscribers along with your answers
- Provide reviews for products or services that might benefit your subscribers
Maria didn’t always have this follow up series in place. Initially she just delivered the training, but didn’t think that was as effective as it could be:
“I felt like there was an ‘end-point’ to the relationship once the final training module was delivered, and I definitely did not want that. I wanted the member to feel like it was just the beginning.”
What’s Working: Friendly Messages
Now, Maria’s relationship with her subscribers doesn’t end when the subscriber finishes the follow up series. She carries on sending helpful information through broadcast messages.
She also makes a point to talk to her subscribers as friends:
“I use my genuine voice and project my sincere goal to help them play better hockey with fewer injuries. I think by providing useful, practical training tips and just being a good friend and resource for them, they will stay in my ‘tribe’.”
The blog post content in the follow up series gives subscribers a feel for her voice and lets them see that she has more to offer than just products to sell.
Maria doesn’t focus on the hard sell, but instead tries to connect with subscribers on a personal level.
She believes this approach has contributed to more sales:
“My subscribers have time to see that I am genuinely providing great info that helps them play a sport they love and they begin to trust me. I make it clear that I still love them even if they don’t buy from me. When I do send an email asking them to consider purchasing one of my training products I really believe they are more inclined to do so because they know, like and trust me.”
You can find ways to connect with your subscribers too:
- Invite them to follow you via social media
- Tell them personal stories relevant to your business
- Provide links to other resources and events in your industry
What’s Working: Subscriber Involvement
While Maria’s messages are not designed to push the hard sell, they are designed to increase subscriber engagement.
Take a look at this broadcast message that asks for three actions, none of which are a purchase:
By continually giving subscribers something to do, you will help the relationship last longer.
Here are ways to keep your subscribers involved:
- Hold contests
- Start a conversation by asking them questions
- Ask for their opinion on something
Advice From Maria
Maria didn’t get to where she’s at now overnight. She did a lot of research, and has advice for others starting out their email campaigns, or just looking for ways to improve:
“I think one of the best things you can do when starting out is to save emails that you receive from other Internet marketers that really resonate with you. Look at how the author crafted the subject line, the sentence structure, the location and format of the links. There is such a science to it that you can learn a ton from dissecting the emails of other successful Internet marketers.”
What Does Your Campaign Look Like?
We’ve talked about what’s working for Maria, so now it’s your turn!
Do you have a follow up series that’s working well? Do you send only broadcasts? Both? What has worked for you?