But you can win them back. A re-engagement campaign can resurrect those lapsed supporters and help bring an email list back to life. By targeting your lapsed supporters with a specifically tailored campaign, you can provide them with something informative or different to pique their interest again and hopefully see them re-engage with you.
Here are some points to consider when devising a re-engagement campaign:
What makes a lapsed supporter?
Before you begin, define what activity, or lack thereof, qualifies a supporter as lapsed. This will be relative to the type of communications you send and the responses you expect – have they really lapsed or is there just a long engagement cycle? Are you going to focus on supporters that haven’t opened a newsletter for 6 months or perhaps haven’t given to an appeal for a year? However you define it, make sure you have a manageable number to target them effectively.
What’s the problem?
Monitor your open rates, click rates, spam complaints and any other metrics to understand why your supporters lapse. Are you sending too many emails? Are you sending enough? Is your content even relevant to these supporters? They may be fed up with a constant or random stream of communications, especially if it’s of no interest to them. Use your data to identify possible issues and then you can begin planning how to rectify them.
What will re-engage supporters?
Your content and how you proceed will vary depending on your response to the previous points. What aren’t your lapsed supporters doing? What reason will you give them to re-engage? How are you going to approach them? Tailor the necessary elements of your email to best overcome your engagement obstacles and show supporters how you deliver impact, the difference your charity makes and how their support helps. Inspire these lapsed supporters and try to re-kindle whatever made them get involved in the first place.
What do you want?
This, again, will depend on how you’ve chosen to define ‘lack of engagement’ but ask yourself; which actions are most important to which emails and which supporters do you want to re-engage? What action do you want them to take? If you’re after a click or confirmation action, make sure you have a clear call to action that’s easy to execute with a nice, eye catching button. If you’re targeting supporters that aren’t opening your emails, grab their attention with a creative subject line or preheader. Decide what you want them to do and make it appealing and straightforward to do so. What kind of uplift do you expect to see?
What do your supporters want?
If you don’t already know, ask them. Give supporters the ability to choose. In the context of engagement, they may have lapsed as they don’t want a particular type of communication anymore. This should be a best practice for anyone sending emails but let your supporters manage their own email preferences and opt-out of anything specific they don’t want to receive. What’s left will be the content they’re interested in and therefore more likely to engage with. Alternatively however, supporters may have unfortunately lost interest and simply want to unsubscribe. If that’s the case, make it easy to do so and let them go. Their lack of engagement en masse will only harm deliverability in the long term.
Your re-engagement campaign
Get in touch if you’d like our help with a re-engagement campaign. We can analyse your current campaigns, content and supporter data to identify the most effective way to target and re-engage your lapsed supporters.
Alex is a Digital Content Coordinator at Copper