You’ve probably sent an email that went something like this:
Your subscription expires soon. Don’t miss out on all that Mega Magazine has to offer.
Visit www.megamega.com to renew today.
It’s easy to assume that because you prompted your subscriber to renew, that you’ve completed your renewal campaign and you can check off that box. You may have sent an email, but since most people are not very proactive, there’s so much more that could be done to make it effective at renewing your subscribers. Take a look at a few strategies you could use to create a more effective email renewal process. Note that most of the ideas we share below can be implemented for acquisition campaigns as well.
Personalize your message by segment. This strategy is key. Addressing your email to “subscriber” is ineffective when modern data mining can easily help you personalize your message. Personalizing does not just mean addressing your email to the subscriber’s name; it needs to go beyond that.
You can further personalize your message by grouping renewal emails by segments of your subscriber base. You can personalize it by the industry they work in, or by the job function they hold. Maybe there are different levels of subscriptions, or you could break it into how long they’ve been receiving your magazine. For instance, receiving an email that says, “You’ve been enjoying Mega Magazine for four years……, or 17,453 software engineers who like you read our publication rated it as their top go to resource for …. so, let’s keep it going!” is more effective than receiving a generic email.
Spend time broadcasting your benefits. Make sure you include enticement to encourage a renewal. From snapshots of upcoming content to sharing a few of your more compelling topics, an email can include visual elements that remind them of how great your publication is. Or if you prefer a text format for your email, you can link to other pieces of your valuable content.
Start early. The introductory example simply says, “soon,” but you’ll want to create a comprehensive renewal email campaign that starts early and follows up with increasing urgency. You might begin with a renewal invitation that’s near a holiday or at the beginning of a new season: “Summer’s here, so kick off those sandals, dip your toes in the water and enjoy knowing that your renewal to Mega Magazine is in the bag!” with graphics depicting a Mega Magazine poking out of a beach bag by a pool.
Create a drip campaign (most important). It is important that you design a process, not an event. Don’t simply send out an email; create an entire drip campaign aimed at driving renewals from subscribers. You’ll start early, as discussed above, but you’ll use a consistent theme and growing urgency as you edge closer to the renewal deadline. Don’t stop at that deadline either. Instead, allow plenty of options for renewing past the deadline. If your magazine offers different levels of subscriptions, then you may also want to remind them of those options.
Don’t forget email features for renewal. Try using one of your best pieces from your content archives and display the first two paragraphs of a blog or the first 30-seconds of a video. Then give them the option to renew their subscription to see the rest. Another cool tool you can use is an opt-in for renewal embedded right in the email. It pops up when they reach a certain point in your message or when they move their mouse toward a certain point in the email.
Use urgent language and a call to action. While urgency has been mentioned above, it’s worth having its own bullet point because it’s so critical for email renewals. If the renewal deadline is a few months away, consider offering a promotion to entice them toward early action, but if they’re getting close, impress upon them the importance of taking action. Likewise, make sure to tell them exactly what the next step is to renew. Do they need to click a button or log in? Make sure your call to action is clear.
Integrate your e-mail campaign. Integrate the email process with your telemarketing vendor calling efforts. Your telemarketing vendor can help with your email delivery. When calling, representatives can verify in real time that people received and were able to open your email, making sure the email did not land in the spam folder. Telemarketing calls can start early to people who in the past two to three campaigns did not reply to your email efforts. Have the reps find out why (at no extra costs) to increase the likelihood they will next time around.
Make a special offer available by e-mail only. Call center representatives have a better chance of introducing, in person, the value and benefit you bring to subscribers. This can focus not only on a single product, but on your organization as a whole. Allow them to introduce a special product or an event to add value to the call. They can also let people know that more information will be delivered by email and will require a follow-up action. You will increase the likelihood of having a proactive subscriber.
Managing your renewal campaigns can be a complex undertaking if you’re also trying to publish a magazine. That’s a good reason to contact us at Blue Valley. We specialize in supporting members of the publishing industry with smart marketing strategies, integrated and stand-alone telemarketing and email campaign management that deliver measurable cost-effective results. Simply put, we will use any and all of our resources to return the highest level of conversion renewal rates for you.