Successful email programs are contingent upon their ability to drive and sustain brand loyalty with subscribers. Assess these fundamental aspects of your strategy to improve your stats.

As a lifelong fan of the Chicago Cubs, I have been faced with years of disappointing seasons, too often uttering the words, "There's always next year." But no matter how bad it gets for Cubs fans, they are loyal through and through. Sure, we swear about them with other fans, but the minute they go under attack by an "outsider," the fans rally. And their recent win over Pittsburgh during the wild card game has given fans a reinvigorated hope.

Just as in baseball, when we talk about email programs and their success - or lack thereof - we look at the stats. The stats provide insight into the tangible elements of your program, providing answers to important questions such as:

  • How is your data quality? 
  • Do you present strong subject lines? 
  • Is your content engaging? 


But what is frequently overlooked is the value your actual brand lends to the mix.

Some brands have such strong name recognition and loyal customers that no matter how bad their email program gets or how frequently they send, recipients still engage. Too often, we use programs from brands like this as the example for which to formulate our own programs. But if we are missing that same "it" factor, performance is not likely to meet expectations.

So how do you obtain Cubs status for your email program? Here are three things to consider:

It’s all about the fans

Whether the Cubs win or lose, it is always about the fans and the city of Chicago.

Make sure you apply that same methodology to your email program. Your brand's email program should be (Read more...) about your recipients, focusing on what they want to hear about and delivering messages when they want to hear about it. If you haven't yet, it is time to shift away from the editorial calendar and the list of things you want to promote. It always needs to be about your fans.

Be true to your brand

Just as Cubs fans are Cubs fans simply because they love their Cubbies your customers are your customers because they like your brand. 

Don't stray from your brand voice and tone in your email messaging. If you have a fun and kitschy voice, be sure to carry that through in your email. It may not work for everyone, but your subscribers and customers are going to recognize and love it. Also, don't try to be like other brands and attempt to do what other brands do. Be true to your brand and let it shine through in your email communications.

Keep trying until you win big


You have to change things up sometimes to win big. Just as Joe Madden likes to move players around on the field, you also need to be trying new things with your email program to find the optimal presentation. Although your program may perform well today, it doesn't mean it can't get better. You should always try to move your program to the next level, even if what you are doing today works great.

In conclusion 

Legendary status takes time to develop, but driving loyalty amongst your email subscribers shouldn't be a big stretch. Often, email recipients represent your most loyal and engaged customers - cultivate that. Similar to the way the Cubbies winning their first post-season game in 12 years has led to increased enthusiasm and loyalty among fans, your next big email win can further cement your legendary status with your customers.

Homepage and article images via Flickr. 

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