3 Ways to Make Sure Your Email Subscribers Stick Around

The promotions tab in my Gmail inbox is full of a wide array of retailer newsletters.

Some emails are from one-time purchases from brands I no longer remember. Others are from companies I’d like to shop at one day, and others are from brands I want to shop at more. How did I get on these lists? Well, like many consumers, I signed up to get the initial discount. But more importantly, why am I still on these lists?

To be honest, I archive most of them without reading them, which tells me I have some cleaning up to do.

I’m like most consumers: There has to be a clear value to me for being on that email list. Otherwise, the incentive for me to be there will wear off over time.

In this post, I’ll go through several great examples from companies that give me a clear reason to be on their email list, and talk you through ways you can apply these strategies to your online store.

1) DVF’s Exclusive Previews

Diane Von Furstenberg is a luxury womenswear retailer.

It is still an aspirational brand for me, so it’d only be smart to buy something from them if it was on sale.

That’s why there is clear value to me for being on this email list. They provide early access to sales for email subscribers. DVF shares sales with email subscribers several days before promoting them on social media channels or anywhere else.


The clear benefit here, as any shopper knows, is that you get first dibs on sale items.

Usually, the sales rack is a picked over selection of sizes and prints. That’s awesome if you’re extra tall and/or look great in more eclectic items. But for those who seek out the most popular sizes and styles, it’s not ideal. These early access emails ensure I get access to the best selection, so it’s a great reason to be a DVF subscriber.

How to make this work for you:

Give some thought to the timing and promotion of your sales. Create a marketing editorial calendar to help you plan out what days you share information exclusively with subscribers and what days you share information with the rest of the universe. This can be done in a Google spreadsheet, or even through a task management tool like Trello or Asana.

2) Gemvara’s Guest Curators

An eConsultancy survey of more than 2,000 consumers revealed reasons why people don’t convert when shopping online.

The survey revealed that 61% of respondents wanted “detailed product information” on product pages, otherwise, they wouldn’t convert. Additionally, nearly 39% of respondents wanted to see multiple images of products on product pages.


What these survey responses really show is that if consumers cannot pick up, touch, and feel your product, they need as much information about it as possible via the website. When it comes to fashion, this is particularly true of how to “style” new pieces.

That’s why I think Gemvara’s email marketing is so helpful.

The feature guest curators on the email newsletter, who show how various pieces of jewelry fit together, and how they can become a part of an outfit. Plus, the nod of credibility from a well-known fashion icon doesn’t hurt.


Getting this kind of product information and style inspiration in their emails is a clear value add to me as a subscriber.

How to make this work for you:

Work with the influencers in your industry.  Leverage those relationships for great email content that teaches subscribers more about your product.

3) The White House’s Thorough Content

I’m the kind of person who loves to do my own research when it comes to politics. I like to get a lot of different perspectives.

Also, there are some lesser-known initiatives that don’t get coverage in the era of 24-hour news stations, who seem to repeat each other and focus on a few stories at a time.

As a White House subscriber, I feel like I’m getting information I don’t get elsewhere, and I can see it from their point of view. It helps me compare that information to other research I do, and therefore develop my own perspective on what’s going on in the world and what the government is doing about it.

The White House emails are lengthy letters full of information, and often, numbers. The call to action is usually to share the email on social media or forward it to a friend, but regardless of whether I click through and do that or not, I get all the value I want just by reading the email.

This is especially great for mobile, where at least 50% of email is opened. I get all the information I want right in the email. I don’t have to click through the email and wait for my browser load (which can be slower on mobile) to read a blog post or watch a video. All I have to do is read the email.


How to make this work for you:

Re-think the actions you want people to take from your emails. Is it always necessary to push them to make a purchase? Do they always need to click through to your site? Or, for some emails, can you use the email content to build the brand, and use other emails to direct them to shop?

There are no straight answers, it’s something you will have to test for your company.

What other companies do you feel do a great job at incentivizing email subscriptions? Let us know in the comments.


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