Subscriber devotionWell, that’s Valentine’s day over for another year. Florists can take a well-earned rest, men throughout the country can breathe a sigh of relief and email marketers can remove the love hearts from their forthcoming campaigns.

While we’re all still a little bit loved-up, however, why don’t we take this opportunity to consider how we can keep the romance going? In particular, how we can ensure the relationship with our subscribers remains in place and enjoyable for both parties?

If you found particular success with your Valentine’s promotions last week, it’s likely you’ve got some new subscribers on board. But now what? Sure, you’ve probably sent a welcome email and brought them into the fold with promises of future promotions and useful information, but how do you turn them from one-time subscribers into long-time advocates of your company?

The romance doesn’t have to end now. Here’s a few tips on building and maintaining subscriber devotion…

Don’t go ‘all weird’

We’ve all been there. A brief romance offers initial promise, but our new-found partner suddenly starts texting at odd times. And far too often. Shaking them off proves equally difficult, once we’ve had enough. Imagine if your emails come across in that way. You’ve set an example with your welcome email – now stick to it. Start gently, but allow them to increase their devotion by asking for more emails. When they do, deliver the results and send them stuff which is genuinely beneficial for them.

Tease them (in the nicest possible way)

Don’t be too clingy. Wearing your heart on your sleeve isn’t attractive. Send emails which offer small but intriguing lead-ins to the bigger picture (save that for your landing page). You’ve got a million things you want to say, but you don’t have to say them all at once – you’ve got a lifetime of subscriber devotion to do that.

Prove you’re listening

Anticipate your subscribers’ every move. You know why they signed up to your mailing list. You may even have gathered some other pertinent information about them. Use it. Target the content on your website and your offers to the people it will most likely satisfy.

Don’t ignore the competition

Subscribers can be tempted elsewhere. It takes a long time for them to reach football supporter-level love and devotion. Keep a close eye on your competition. If you haven’t signed up to their mailing lists yet – do so. There’s no need to copy, but if you spot something which they’ve clearly been rather clever with, use it to your advantage.  You want to keep your subscribers’ eyes firmly fixed on you.

Don’t let them down

You promised so much with your welcome email, or the sign-up form on your website. Live up to it. Not doing so will lose your subscribers’ faith very quickly. They’ll go elsewhere. Live up to the love and attention you promised and their devotion will grow with every send.

Wear your best aftershave

This means ensuring your brand is communicated as well as possible via email. It also means designing ‘defensively’ so that those subscribers who are unable to view the images in your email are not left out in the cold. Include ALT tags and ensure that the images themselves are of the best quality. You need to be looking your best, no matter what the conditions.

Wrap them up

You need to make your subscribers feel safe. Make your unsubscribe option obvious – it proves you’re not afraid to show them the door if they really don’t want to be part of your world. Establishing a layer of trust is one of the most important aspects of email marketing.

Don’t be predictable. Surprise them.

As a subscriber becomes more familiar with you, they will start to expect your emails at a certain time. There’s nothing wrong with that, but don’t make it your mantra. Mix it up. Send them an email out of the blue with note of your latest product update or last minute offer. Once you’ve established that layer of trust, they’ll come to love the sometimes unpredictable nature of your mailings (and most likely tell their friends about it).


Image courtesy of akeeris /


Mark is one of mailingmanager's email experts. His contributions to this blog openly share the tricks, tips and best practices he's learned while running multiple e-marketing campaigns.

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