Email marketing isn’t all about selling. The vast majority is, of course, but not all. The most popular way of using such emails to reduce churn, the most common being the ‘just checking in’ kind.
I think I should make one thing clear though; I’m no fan of such emails, mainly because they don’t work. Fair enough, there’s little investment required, but even so, if you get nothing out of it you should put nothing in. Why should a subscriber respond? You are doing nothing for them.
You should offer them something personal, specific to them. Just asking why they haven’t responded to previous emails doesn’t count. You should know enough about them to understand their needs and their wants.
Is there something in the business news that they might have missed, or better still, have you received relevant information that isn’t in the public domain yet? You might want to keep the latter to yourself for as long as possible but if you mention it in an email even just before it bursts into common knowledge then you’ve ticked a box for them. If you supplied a link to a landing for further information, especially one that is private, then they will feel you’ve picked them specially.
The fact that the email is actionable will show whether they did respond to the email.
Then there is informing them of what their closest competitor, or better still competitors, is up to. If these companies have opted for a change that might affect your subscriber, then inform them. Better still, why not come up with a method of countering the threat? You could tell them what others are doing.
In essence, a hook can be very useful if there’s no other way in. For instance, what was their last purchase? If it was long enough ago to make you think they might be wanting a replacement or upgrade in a while, offer them something free for the one they have. Whatever the cost to you, it won’t be for long and, on top of that, when it comes the time for the replacement the memory of your largess might be enough to convince them to stay with your company.
You might be lucky enough to find a post from them on your forums. That’s always worth a follow-up. Or is there something happening in their area soon that might be useful to them? It does not have to be one you are organising or have any interest in.
If you are struggling for a hook, send them something; maybe a fairly detailed ‘have you ever thought about’ that is relevant to their produce or processes. Don’t make it too deep but point out that there is more information on your site.
There’s little point in a ‘how have you been’ type of email. It fools few, if any. On the other hand, if they have been quiet for a while then something that they will be grateful for or will stick in their mind might be useful.