One of the best ways to engage your email subscribers is to give them content that they will get only in their inbox. By offering email-only exclusives, you give subscribers a reason to remain on your list, anticipate future emails, and open those emails when they arrive.

Here’s a great example: The organizers of LouFest — an annual two-day music festival in St. Louis — recently sent an email to the subscriber list with the subject line “Lineup Announcement.” Anyone who is interested in LouFest wants to know what bands will be appearing so I suspect that subject line generated an excellent open rate.

The email did not reveal the lineup, but the mailing headline revealed when the lineup would be announced: “Lineup Coming 4/30” (two weeks from when the email landed).

Then this nugget for email subscribers: “We’re excited to announce that the LouFest 2013 Lineup will be revealed first to our E-Listers on Tuesday, April 30 at 12:01am CT. Check your inbox to get the full lineup before anyone else!”

This is great stuff. It builds anticipation. It encourages subscribers to stay tuned. It reinforces the value of the email subscription (subscribers get the big news “before anyone else.”).

The email continues with another call to action for subscribers who use Facebook and Twitter: “Can’t wait that long? Make sure you’re following us on Facebook & Twitter the week before the announce – we’ll be offering hints at who’s playing the 2013 Festival.”

This also builds on that sense of anticipation. It rewards the social media followers who will get special hints. This is a great example of how to use email to promote deeper engagement with your followers through multiple channels — in this case Facebook and Twitter.


LouFest is also using social media to build the email list. Here’s a recent post from LouFest’s Facebook page:  LouFest is BACK! Go check out our new website and register for our E-list by this Sunday, 3/31 at 11:59pm to get a limited number of $50 2-Day Passes before the public!

This promises even more rewards for the email list — discounted passes.

By engaging its followers in this way, by building buzz and anticipation, by giving email subscribers a reason to await the email and open it, LouFest will drive more ticket sales.

What can you do for your email subscribers that will create the same sense of buzz and anticipation?

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