It can get pretty lonely writing a newsletter, coming up with engaging articles on a weekly basis.  Worse, and you know the feeling, is when your audience seems asleep. 

Over Silver Pop there is a nice article about how to wake up your sleeping email newsletter audience, with a number of tips.  Here are four that I like.

  1. Segment your inactive subscribers into customers who have made a purchase and prospects who have done nothing more than open a message. 
  2. Create reactivation campaigns that give recipients clear opportunities to re-engage or unsubscribe. 
  3. Manage nonresponders, for instance by sending less frequent, more aggressive offers. If you become confident they're unlikely to re-engage, remove them from your active database. 
  4. Monitor and optimize your reactivation campaigns based on the results you see.
What does this mean in practice?  

First, what does it mean to say that "your audience is asleep"?  Your audience is asleep means that they are not clicking on any of your articles, purchasing services, or buying memberships - the click through rate is below the industry standard of 2%.  

Next, you take your big email list and segment it into various categories.  I try to use categories that are relevant to our suppliers or vendors, to see what information channels I can create.

Based on what information channel a subscriber belongs to, you can send more focussed information, track their interest, and eliminate those who were just looking.

The one idea I am not sure about, is what to do with non responders.  I prefer to treat them as people lurking around just waiting for me to find a topic of interest for them - and they don't get less timely information than the rest of the subscribers.

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