4 Ways to Keep Subscribers Clicking

After 4 months, the average click rate from the average subscriber drops to less than 1%.

That’s pretty low. But you can avoid such an extreme click-through crash, if you know how.

You see, your 4 month-old subscribers probably get the same emails as your newest readers. But 4 months in, they’re at a different stage in their relationship with your brand. So are readers-turned-customers. So are those who’ve stopped reading.

So send different versions of your emails (and maybe even entirely different emails!) to subscribers at each stage. Here are four easy ways to send stage-sensitive emails.

Feed the Babies With Follow Ups

New subscribers are excited about your brand. They’re anticipating good things. So make sure you have good things waiting: set up a few follow up messages to meet them.

Introduce them to your business and get them used to your emails. You can even set a message schedule to ease them in gently.

For example:

Yolanda wants subscribers to her yoga studio’s emails to get familiar with the studio so they’ll feel comfortable coming in for classes. So she sets three follow up messages. The first explains the studio’s philosophies and type of practice, the second introduces each instructor and the third has photos of the studio, including changing areas and storage spaces.

For Yolanda’s readers, signing up for a class is naturally the next step to take.

To send follow ups with AWeber, follow these instructions.

Upsell and Cross-Sell As They Get Older

First, make sure you’re tracking who’s purchased from you and who’s downloaded files you’ve sent. This helps you keep your offers relevant.

When it’s time to send a product offer, exclude the subscribers who have already purchased it (unless it’s something they’ll need on a recurring basis). Then, follow up on those past purchases with offers for related products or accessories.

For example:

Wright the writer just released version 2 of his e-book on wicker working. may want to announce a new advanced-level supplement to his previously released ebook. He could offer the supplement to people who’ve already downloaded the original. To everyone else, he could send an offer for his the first book, with a little paragraph at the bottom inviting them to purchase the supplement if they want that, too.

To segment based on downloads in AWeber, follow these instructions, searching by “web page visited” and entering the URL of your download page.

Show Respect for Age With A Survey

The longer a subscriber stays on your list, the more time and interest they’ve invested in your brand. Show them you appreciate their loyalty and respect their opinion by asking for their feedback.

For example:

Ricky’s Restaurant wants to expand its menu. Ricky sends pictures of a few potential new dishes to his long-time readers, asking them to vote on their favorites. He keeps track of the votes, and lets his readers know which dishes won. He even segments by “links clicked” to send a coupon to those who voters!

To send a survey in AWeber, follow these instructions.

Segment By Subscriber Age

Veteran subscribers are probably pretty familiar with your brand and your more basic products. Newbies won’t be. So when you send out information or announcements, send two versions. make sure to choose the most appropriate audience – segment who you send to by the date they signed up.

For example:

The Midtow Middle School sends out an announcement about their Christmas pageant. They send two emails: one to long-time parents and another to new parents. The email to new parents contains parking information and directions to the auditorium, while the other parents receive a simpler announcement with a request to help out with refreshments.

To segment by sign up date in AWeber, follow these instructions, searching by “date added” to create your subscriber groups.

Do You Consider Subscriber Lifecycle?

Adjusting your messages for the various stages of the sender-subscriber relationship is a form of lifecycle marketing, where the marketer adjusts their tactics to the recipient’s position in the traditional sales cycle.

Do you consider lifecycle in your marketing? Do you think it’s necessary?

Share your thoughts in the comments!


  1. Noticias

    5/18/2011 9:20 am

    Great tips, wondering which tools you have to know subscribers age

  2. Amanda Gagnon

    5/18/2011 9:50 am

    Noticias ~ Thanks! Here, we’re suggesting segmenting by their age as a subscriber. So you’d search subscribers by “date added” – those who added before whatever date you choose are your older, veteran subscribers; those who added after are your newbies.

  3. Leah

    5/18/2011 10:23 am

    Talk about timing! I was just thinking of this the other day and wondering how I could segment my list in terms of opt-in date, interest, etc. This is great information!

    And to answer your question, YES, subscriber life cycle absolutely matters. It’s what gives your subscribers a feeling that they’re not just another e-mail address. If you truly want to build relationships, it’s one more tool that will help you do so.

    Thanks, Amanda!

  4. Romain

    5/19/2011 9:06 am

    Hey Amanda,

    Great article thanks. I really believe that this kind of strategy can definitely make the difference between you and your competitors.

    My only questions is : how do you track which people of your list are buyers ? The method mentioned doesn’t help finding which excat member of which list buys…Does it ?

    Sorry if my englih isn’t perfect 😉

    Thank anyway for the tips =

  5. Charles

    5/19/2011 9:36 am

    Great tips I intend to apply them in my business.

  6. Ron Shearer.

    5/19/2011 9:58 am

    Great article and could not have come at a more opportune time !
    My wife and I have been brainstorming for solutions to this problem and now the solution has just landed in our in-box..

    Looking forward to more great info.

  7. Roy C.C.

    5/19/2011 2:12 pm

    Nice one, but I need to look into it later.

    Thank you aweber.

  8. Simon Templeton

    5/19/2011 6:35 pm

    This is why i love aweber.
    Thanks for the great info guys, it really helps a lot.

  9. Tony

    5/21/2011 4:50 am

    Interesting, I’ve always wondered about this.

  10. rick luck

    5/21/2011 5:50 am

    All good ideas, and just as proof that they work, we have been doing them for some years now and are getting over 2% click throughs on lists that are years old.

    What would take it to a ever better level is if you could help us set that up in the autoresponders. So people just recieve the revelant followup messages depending where they are at in the product purchase cycle.

    We have 8 products and need 144 lists to mange all the combinations, as well as all the followup messages specifically written for each combination.

    It’s complicated, and it would be a lot easier if you could have a system that allowed us to create segments of people that had purchased multiple products.


  11. Amanda Gagnon

    5/23/2011 8:42 am

    Rick ~ Thanks for the suggestion – I’ll pass it along!

    Romain ~ To track buyers, you’d just set up sales tracking – here’s how.

    Leah ~ You’re welcome! 🙂

  12. Julie

    5/23/2011 5:06 pm

    Wow, thanks for this. It let me know that my newsletter is doing much better than I realized. I was surprised at the average click through rate is so low.

    The last newsletter I sent out had a 77.8% open rate and a 26.2% click through rate that led to sales of my latest yoga meditation CD. I’m really encouraged. I’ve been using aweber for several years now and will continue onward.