Let’s play a game! Which subscriber would you rather have?
Subscriber A – Joins your list, stays for a few years, opens emails regularly (every 2 or 3 emails), but has never forwarded your content or shared it on social channels. A consistent subscriber, yet you’ve never interacted with this person and don’t know what they’re about.
Or how about…
Subscriber B – Joins your list, opens emails regularly, offers feedback on their interests and your content, and is inclined to share and recommend you to their social channels. You know their first name, what they are about, and quite possibly how they came to know you.
Choose as you wish, but if you ask us here at FeedBlitz HQ, we’d rather have a full serving of Subscriber B any day of the week! At this moment, your list may be primarily Subscriber As, and that’s ok. With a few tweaks, you can slowly turn those As into Bs and continue to grow a list of engaged subscribers.
Cultivating Interactive, Engaged Subscribers
To put it simply: Engaged subscribers are happy subscribers who are more likely to like and share your content, helping to grow your list organically. A healthy, engaged list places you on a path to greater monetization and partnership possibilities down the road.
Get started creating this environment by implementing a few funnels that encourage interaction while generating a connection with your reader. The beauty of working with funnels is once set in place, they will run automatically.
5 Funnels to Increase Subscriber Engagement
1. The Welcome Funnel
One of the most common funnels to send, the welcome funnel (sometimes called a welcome campaign) is sent when a subscriber confirms his or her subscription to your mailing list. You’re simply welcoming the new subscriber to your list and thanking them for joining. This funnel can also be used to deliver an incentive offer as it’s sent immediately after subscription confirmation.
2. Getting to Know You Funnel
An extension of a welcome funnel, this series of emails (generally two-three) works to establish a connection and create a better relationship with your new subscriber. After welcoming them to your list, send an additional email asking a question or two. This serves two purposes: 1. You’re voicing interest in the subscriber. 2. You’re gathering feedback you can use for later targeting, guest posting and / or advertising. The questions can be anything you’d like. Common questions are:
How did you hear about us?
What are you most interested in?
What are three things I should know about you?
What is your biggest frustration over XYZ?
Who is your favorite superhero? (Don’t knock it – you can learn a lot about a person based on their favorite superhero.)
Have fun with these questions as you’re still getting to know this new subscriber. The subscriber can either reply to the email or if asking only one question the responses can be hyperlinked to add a tag for either future use or to add this subscriber to a follow-up funnel (see #5 below). Note: Asking one question and tagging the subscriber by answer is great for asking what topic are you most interested in.
3. Anniversary Funnel
An anniversary to your mailing list is as good a reason as any for celebration. Create a funnel thanking your subscriber for joining your list a selected date interval. Like to reach out and celebrate regularly? Go for 3, 6, 9 and 12 months. Celebrate half birthdays? A 6-month email will do the trick.
Make these emails special by offering an exclusive such as a free PDF download, an archived podcast, or a video not available anywhere else on your site. This is also a good time to offer affiliate opportunities, discounts, and giveaways.
4. Survey Funnel
There’s no harm in checking in with your subscribers and offering a chance for feedback. Sending a short survey shows your subscriber you value their input, and most people will be delighted to know their outlook and opinions matter.
Pro Tip: Take this funnel a step further by integrating your online survey platform with FeedBlitz through Zapier . Once a survey is completed, the subscriber is tagged and added to a secondary funnel, making it even easier to offer an incentive for completing the survey. Good incentive = higher survey responses.
This particular funnel offers an additional benefit! Not only are you increasing trust and reinforcing the relationship with your subscriber, but you’re also cultivating important feedback and insight to use when brainstorming new content (or products) moving forward.
5. Recommended Posts or Complementary Products Funnel
We’ve lumped these two funnels into one category as they are working to achieve the same goal: offering additional value based on previous subscriber interest. These funnels are triggered by a purchase made through tagging and shopping cart integration or as a follow-up to responses in a Getting to Know You or Survey funnel.
The key to working with this type of funnel is to be very precise about what you recommend. Complementary products can lead to an additional purchase while recommended posts can strengthen the connection with your new subscriber. If you’re recommending something that has no relation, this funnel will fall flat and undermine the relationship you want to build. In this instance, it’s better not to send anything rather than to send something for the sake of sending an email.
Creating Engagement Starts with You
Your subscribers follow your lead. Do you show interest in your subscribers or are they a means to an end? Do you offer value for being a member of your list or are you sending content that is only self-serving? Set the example of how you would like for your subscribers to behave and you’ll find not only do new subscribers fall in line with these expectations, but older and current subscribers will slowly start to come around as well.
If you would like to brainstorm ways to increase subscriber engagement through the use of funnels, send our team an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re here to help! You can also chat, check out our Help Forum, or give us a call at 1.877.692.5489. Our Support and Sales Desk is available Monday – Friday from 9 am to 5 pm EST.