How to Retain Readers w/Change of E-News Service Provider

How to Retain Readers wChange of E-News Service Provider Need Your Ideas

Readers of the Getting Attention e-update (twice-monthly, in-depth articles and case studies, subscribe here) know that I’m about to change to a new email service provider (ESP).

There’s much more to that process than I ever imagined. With 14,000 readers nurtured over the years, I want to ensure they all continue to get the e-updates:

  • Primary concern — E-updates from the new ESP going into readers’ spam filters! They need to add my email and the ESP’s domain into their approved emails or whitelist to prevent that.
  • Secondary concern — I’m shifting from all-text to HTML format, so the e-update will look radically different. I don’t want readers to delete, note as spam or ignore because of the significant difference in look.

Here’s my approach to motivating readers to do what it takes to ensure uninterrupted receipt of the e-updates:

  1. Craft a series of four emails, to be delivered via the old ESP, on the change and recommended actions.Two to be delivered before the transition, two after.
  2. Write clear and urgent email subject linesAction Required to Maintain Your Subscription
  3. Make the emails as easy-to-digest (and act on) as possible! One sweet reader called me after receiving yesterday’s first in the series, and advised me to make the next much shorter and focused solely on what needs to be done!
  4. Build familiarity with the new look, so readers recognize it on receipt, with a link to the new format.
  5. Supplement emails with social media outreach via Getting Attention blog, Facebook page and twitter feed.

But what else can I do to ensure that readers know what’s coming, and do what they need to do to keep the e-updates coming? Please submit your recommendations in the Comments field below or by emailing me directly. I’ll feature them in a follow up post. Thanks.

P.S.I know that the some readers will hate the change announcement email series and unsubscribe. They would have done so anyway.

Nancy Schwartz on September 23, 2009 in Email and E-Newsletters, Nonprofit Communications | 2 comments
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  • Do you mind sharing which provider you’re moving from and moving to?
    To weigh in on (part of your) question, my take is that folks who don’t act on your series of messages are probably folks who don’t care as much as when they signed up. You’ll end up with a smaller but higher quality list. I’m sure you knew that!
    Going to html: You’ll keep in mind the mobile/text only readers and never use graphics or design to convey the message, right? Yes, I thought so. I always send myself a text version of the html email; it’s surprising sometimes what doesn’t translate.

  • Sandy

    Thank you!

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