Engage Subscribers: 6 Fun Email Ideas
By Amanda Gagnon January 13, 2010
It’s time for the annual post-holiday tightening of the purse strings. Consumers are holding tight to their cash, assessing the damage to their wallets and making New Year’s resolutions to save. So now may not be the best time for sales-focused email marketing. Keeping your readers engaged is important, though. Making them happy is even better. And what better way to do that then with fun activities that keep them looking forward to your emails? Here are 6 ways different companies are doing just that.
It’s time for the annual post-holiday tightening of the purse strings. Consumers are holding tight to their cash, assessing the damage to their wallets and making New Year’s resolutions to save.
So now may not be the best time for sales-focused email marketing. Keeping your readers engaged is important, though. Making them happy is even better.
And what better way to do that then with fun activities that keep them looking forward to your emails?
Here are 6 ways different companies are doing just that.
Give Them a Chance to Shine
Not only does this keep their readers responding to their emails (improving their sender reputation), it also tells them how important they are to REI.
An added bonus: those whose pictures are chosen become part of the company’s marketing, strengthening their sense of involvement.
Flaunt Some Freebies
Few can resist the allure of free money, and playing a game to win it is even more fun.
Neiman Marcus’ Butterfly Game is another double whammy. It gets hopeful readers in the habit of clicking through to the store’s site. Then, since the game requires visiting a series of sales pages, it likely leads to unplanned purchases (despite those solemn resolutions…)
Entertain With (Relevant) Videos
Retailer Urban Outfitters linked to a music video by a band popular with their customer base. The email’s only other content was a free shipping offer at the very bottom.
Although watching a video is fairly passive, it is still a fun experience you can offer. And since people like to pass videos along, your message could get forwarded far beyond your email list. So make sure to link back to a sign-up form!
Send A Simple Survey
Surveys keep your readers clicking, show you care about their preferences, and collect valuable feedback for you. Here, Hungry Girl, a food and nutrition blogger, asks her readers to answer an 8-question multiple-choice poll. Kept short and infrequent, surveys are an all-around winner.
Surveys are easy to create with tools like Survey Monkey, which lets you design your own form and tracks the results. And their basic account is free to create and use!
Another free tool is the Google Docs survey builder. Follow these steps to create a form that your subscribers can fill out directly in their email accounts. A related spreadsheet will automatically tally their responses for you.
Make It a Metaphor
Subscribers often appreciate being provided with valuable information that’s relevant to your email campaign. Use imagery to draw them in, and you may bump up their interest even more.
Beauty Blitz, an online beauty magazine, uses metaphor to invite its readers to a conversation. By presenting their advice page as a counter to sit at and chat with experts, readers are prompted to view the experience as a trip to an actual makeup counter or hair salon.
Not only will they recall past beauty treatments, which tend to be pleasant, but the association lends a sense of authority to the virtual advice counter. What metaphors might work for your campaign?
Show Some Personality
Letting your hair down a bit might get your subscribers’ attention.
Employees at Six Degrees Digital, a design and multimedia studio, came up with a series of “dares” that they could record on video and invited subscribers to vote for the one they wanted to see.
This sort of email can not only get subscribers involved, but keep them checking their inboxes for the winner.
Let’s Talk About Your Subscribers
So think about what works for your readers. Are they kick-boxers? Wine aficionados? Grassroots musicians? What activities might they enjoy?
Your readers may enjoy a chance to share a little about themselves. You could ask them to:
Send in personal photos
Rate your emails
Ask any questions they may have
Share their personal stories
Your readers will appreciate the thoughtfulness of an activity focused on them. Plus, if they are in the habit of responding to your messages, they’ll be ready when your sales offer goes out and it’s time to spend again.
How do you engage your subscribers? Let us know your ideas!
Want to Learn More?
For more information on email marketing for wineries, view our complete Email Marketing for Wineries Guide.