5 Ways to Keep Your Email Subscribers Engaged

4 minute read

Tom Haynes Content Marketing Manager

Just like your car needs a service to avoid any major malfunction or roadside inconvenience. Your email lists aren’t a ‘set it and forget it’ operation. You need to stay on top of your list hygiene to avoid unnecessary strain on resources in the future. If your lists are left without maintenance for too long, you will miss the signs of unengaged subscribers, and those that could have easily been picked up with some data analysis and re-engagement campaigns will have been sat for months ignored and likely to churn.

Here are some suggestions you can apply to ensure your audience keeps coming back for more:

Get personal

Use progressive profiling to collect meaningful data points that you can use to personalize future messages. When collecting subscriber information, the aim is not to scare them off with a 10-field form. You may want to begin with first name, last name, and email address as the essentials and then build on your data over time (gender, age, birthdays, interests, etc.)

By taking this gradual approach to your data, you not only encourage subscribers early on by avoiding lengthy registration processes but overall, you will take the guesswork out of your campaigns and understand your audience in greater detail. You may have started your campaigns with only first name personalization, but thanks to progressive profiling now you’re sending your subscriber a discounted offer, on their birthday, for the latest product you know they’ll love!

Use segmentation and interest tags

Your audience has come to expect a hyper-personalized customer experience, across all channels that brands communicate with them. Segmenting your email audience into smaller lists is essential to meeting this expectation. You might start by splitting your list with the knowledge that a group of your audience has a keen interest in travel, making it possible to target them specifically with the best deals on flights and holiday packages. By using interest tags and categorizing based on subscriber behavior, you can take your segmentation a step further, now you have an even more targeted list broken down into business travel or family holidays for example.

Optimize through different channels

On average, people check their phones up to 262 times a day. That could be to check email, but also text, WhatsApp, social media chat, and app notifications. It’s important to understand the channels your audience is active on. Your email engagement might be decreasing, but are they responsive to push notifications from your app, or do they prefer the convenience of text? Marketers using 3+ channels in a campaign earned a 287% higher purchase rate vs. single-channel campaigns. So, instead of forcing your audience into a channel you want them on, make it convenient and increase the chances of gaining their engagement. It’s also worth considering whether you can segment your audience by age. With screen time varying by age group as well as the type of apps used (see charts above), you can start to meet your audience with the right message, on the right app, at the right time.

“And now for something completely different…”

Do you have more than one newsletter available? Send dormant subscribers a different—but not too different—newsletter. Seeing something new may get them to open your email out of curiosity. They might even discover that this new content is more relevant to their interests, which will earn their engagement over and over.

Remind them of the value of your content

When subscribers originally signed up for your newsletter, they most likely saw some benefit in doing so. Maybe they just need a little reminder. Use your re-engagement email to show off your best evergreen content, or spotlight some recent articles lapsed subscribers may have missed. With your progressive profiling, re-engagement email templates at the ready, and awareness of the signs pointing to subscriber churn, you’ll be prepared to reengage, instead of panic sending content in the hope that you can win your audience back.

People's biggest complaints about brand engagement

Remember, don’t bombard your audience!


This is a snippet from our eBook ‘Your Ultimate Re-engagement Guide’. Download a free copy today to find out how to deal with disengaged subscribers, predict subscriber churn, and maintain an engaged audience.


Upland Adestra’s email automation software inspires engagement. If you’d like to deepen customer relationships with automated and personalized email programs, speak to a member of our team today.

Reliable products. Real results.

Every day, thousands of companies rely on Upland to get their jobs done simply and effectively. See how brands are putting Upland to work.

View Success Stories