Engage Your List
Bigger isn’t always...necessary
When you’re just starting out, it’s easy to be overly aware of each new Subscriber, and how well every single one of your Forms is performing.
While these are definitely good numbers to keep an eye on, there’s another piece of the pie that’s equally important.
Keeping your list engaged.
How do I know if my list is engaged?
The easiest markers for engagement are opens/clicks! You can look at your most recent emails, paying specific attention to the percentage of people who are opening the email. It’s a good idea to look at engagement over time, keeping in mind that the content directly correlates to the engagement.
For example, look to the open rates on a Broadcast you sent to your whole list, rather than a Sequence that only went to a smaller percentage.
Chances are more people are opening your email than the number shows, since some people might not display images in their email provider.
A good number is at least 20% of subscribers opening. If your number is consistently lower, you might need to re-engage and/or prune your list.
Good Content = Engaged List
We find ourselves saying this a lot, and for good reason. Sending good, high value content is what will incentivize your Subscribers to lean in for more. It’s what will build trust with them, and it’s that same high value content that will eventually lead them to purchase your course or product!
First things first.
Double Opt In
The practice of having your Subscribers confirm their opt-in is big when it comes to growing a healthy, engaged list. Subscribers who go to their inbox and confirm that they want to hear from you again are more likely to engage more actively, and for a longer period of time.
Utilize Tags and Segments to avoid list fatigue
Rather than blasting your entire list every day, or even every week, use Tags and Segments to organize your Subscribers into various groups. This will allow you to send specific content to each group, or Segment, promoting Subscriber trust and keeps them coming back for more.
Be generous with your Subscribers
Not every email needs to be a sales pitch. While it is very important to include both soft and hard pitch emails within your funnel, it’s just as important to give some of that knowledge away, as solid value content.
Compose your emails like you’re writing to a friend
There are a few things you would include in a letter to a friend, such as a good story, a friendly piece of advice, and even an image or two. (But not twelve, because no one wants that, Susan.)
You would probably include everything that you wanted to share, so length wouldn’t be a concern. (Hint: a bit longer is better, not worse.) Also, you probably wouldn’t send over too many links.
A few more deliverability tidbits
We’ve already discussed that deliverability is affected by whether or not your list is engaged. Remember our earlier conversation about opens and clicks? If your list is engaged, your numbers will reflect it. As more of your emails are opened/links are clicked, the better your overall deliverability will become.
Let’s cover a few more specifics.
Email providers look at how your emails perform across their platform. For example, Gmail sees all of the email that you send to Gmail recipients. They also notice what those Subscribers do. For example, do they open the emails? Do they reply? Do they unsubscribe, or mark as spam?
Do they engage.
Gmail then uses their secret algorithms to quantify all of that data, and make a determination on what they're going to do with your NEXT email. Where it will be filed/placed, etc.
If you're seeing a drop in open rates, one thing you can do is focus only on your engaged Subscribers for awhile.
Tag everyone who opened a Broadcast or Sequence, in the last 2 weeks, or even in the last month. Next, only email those Subscribers for the next few weeks (or month). The email provider will notice the behavior, and adjust the algorithms accordingly.
IMPORTANT NOTE: this isn't a magic fix. Gmail never removes data, it just adds to it. That's why it's important to prioritize an engaged list all the time.
Prune Thy List
Cleaning your list for the first time can feel scary. You’ve worked hard to earn those Subscribers, and yet, some of them are probably no longer engaged.
You don’t necessarily need a massive list to begin earning that residual income. You just need an engaged one.
Keeping your list pruned will be reflected in your positive open rates, and list longevity.
Uh, what’s that mean, again? It means that a smaller list, that is still highly engaged, will still open more of your emails, and build that trust that you’re looking for, in order to promote your next course or ebook. Not to mention, long-term list health!
We usually recommend pruning your list at least every 6 months.
Of course, continuing a positive growth trajectory is also a factor we want to continue building toward. Take good care of your list, and eventually, it will return the favor.