Dealing With List Fatigue

25 October 2008, by A. Cedilla

Part 2 of 2

Admit it, we all like to look at our email stats, especially when we have good open rates and our list size is increasing. But if you notice that your list is growing smaller or your open rates have gone down, what do you do?

When your subscribers don’t open your emails anymore, it’s known as list fatigue. They’re not exactly unsubscribing, and yet they’re not opening your emails. Why is this happening? Without taking into account the bounces, here are some probable causes:

1. Perhaps they’re no longer interested in the subject of your emails. They may have new interests, and there’s not a whole lot you can do about that.

2. Are the spam filters catching your emails? Make sure you’re not using words that the filters think are spam. Do a search for the current list of spam words and find other ways to say the same thing.

3. Sometimes subscribers opt-in with an email address that they don’t check very often, if at all. What you need to do from the beginning is encourage them to sign up with their primary email address.

4. You might be sending them too many emails and they’re getting tired of you. If this is happening, slow yourself down and don’t send so many, especially the promotional kind.

5. You’ve given them helpful information in the past and they stay on hoping you’ll send them something else they need. So far, your email subject lines have been boring. Take a good look at the content of your emails. Are you sending valuable information or just promotions? Also look hard at your email subject lines. They need to be intriguing and catchy. Start a swipe file of your favorite lines.

The best bet is to try to prevent inactive subscribers before they happen. Here are some ways to engage your subscribers:

1. Give high quality content. People will rush to open your emails if you always over-deliver.

2. Survey your list and find out what information they want from you. This shows you care about them and their needs. It also gets your emails opened.

3. Hold a contest that’s relevant to your niche and get your readers to respond.

4. Give people a call to action and be specific. Ask them to respond to an email you sent or leave a comment on your blog. Ask them about their successes or ask them what their opinion is on such-and-such product.

5. Drop tantalizing hints about what the next email is going to be about. Leave them wondering and wanting to read your next email.

List fatigue happens, but you can take active measures to minimize it. Always remember that you’re writing your email to real people and when you have something good to say, they’ll want to read it

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