Newsletters serve dozens of purposes for dozens of different business models. Some are strictly informational, designed to keep subscribers in the loop about organization or publication news. Some are focused on generating sales by keeping readers informed about new products. And many fall somewhere in between, offering a mix of updates and purchase prompts.
But regardless of your model or goals, encouraging your audience and customers to engage is always wise. The more they interact with you, the more invested they’ll feel, and that can only benefit you in the long run. Sales-related prompts are useful, and in many cases your newsletter readers will expect them. But mixing in a few non-purchasing calls to action is a great way to connect with audience members who aren’t in a position to shell out just now.
Email Engagement Tip 1: Ask for feedback and input
Know what people love? Being asked for their opinions. It makes them feel important and valued and listened-to, all of which build brand trust and loyalty. So if there’s an aspect of your organization that could benefit from supporter ideas, or an area of your business that’s lagging and could use some customer feedback, just ask. Offer an email address for contact, or point readers to your Facebook page where longer conversational threads can live. Doing so provides a fantastic way to engage your fans that doesn’t cost them (or you) a dime.
Email Engagement Tip 2: Send short surveys
If the prospect of an open-ended call for input makes you break out in hives, consider creating a short survey instead. Please note use of the word “short”: Since we are living in an increasingly impatient age, you don’t want to tax people’s patience with anything lengthy or overly detailed. Think three quick questions with three to four possible answers apiece. This is a marvelous way to collect data from your most invested customers or audience members, and Mad Mimi makes it a snap with a simple SurveyMonkey Addon.
Email Engagement Tip 3: Ask for social media follows
You’re already prompting your newsletter subscribers to follow you on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and any other social media you’ve got going, right? And you’re doing it every single time, ideally in both your header and footer, and using each medium’s specific logo, aren’t you? Of course you are. But in case you’re not, consider this your reminder: Someone who is reading your newsletter is already sitting at a computer AND thinking about you. This is the perfect time to nudge them to click over for a quick like or follow. Fast, free, and virtually painless engagement.
You may want your audience to buy something, you may not. But encouraging them to stay engaged by keeping in touch or offering their input allows you to build long-term trust. And trust is just plain priceless.