How to Boost Email Subscription Renewal Rates

Woman checking emails on her phone and laptop

Renewal emails are an essential part of your business. They can help send those helpful reminders to renew a contract or keep a service. These emails have a call to action, and they can direct customers where to continue their services. Renewal emails can help you boost your email subscription rates, but you need to understand how to craft them for your organization. 

Are you searching for an effective marketing campaign for your business? At Blue Valley Marketing, we have the tools to boost your email renewal rates!

The Basics of a Renewal Email

An automatic economic reminder that sends information to your customers is a renewal email. These emails can remind your customers to renew their subscriptions, memberships, or contracts before they end with your company. As a result, the customer will make a payment to continue their services. You want a renewal email to have an engaging call to action while still including all of the pertinent information, such as contract guidelines, payment details, and where to renew those services.

These emails are often used for subscription-based services that require recurring payments. Think of Disney+ or Netflix. Customers can pay on a monthly or yearly basis. With the payment, your customers have access to a service for a limited amount of time. Membership sites and software-as-a-service (SaaS) providers often use these renewal emails. 

All of that might sound boring, so what is the best approach to crafting an engaging renewal email? First, a renewal email doesn’t have to be dull. If you want to boost your subscription rates, you can take this opportunity to reinforce the values of your products and services to retain your client base. Let’s look at a few ways to add those renewal emails into your marketing strategy. 

Related: Using Smarter Email Strategies to Energize Lead Generation

Iphone mail app with two notifications
Iphone mail app with two notifications

10 Steps for Writing Successful Renewal Emails

You’ve probably sent an email that went something like this:

Dear Subscriber,

Your subscription expires soon. Don’t miss out on all that Mega Magazine has to offer.

Visit to renew today.

It’s easy to assume that because you prompted your subscriber to renew, you’ve completed your renewal campaign, and you can check off that box. You may have sent an email, but since most people are not very proactive, there’s so much more that could be done to make it effective at renewing your subscribers. Take a look at a few strategies you could use to create a more compelling email renewal process. Note that most of the ideas we share below can be implemented for acquisition campaigns.

An excellent renewal email is more than providing your customers with basic information. You want to give your clients a reason to renew with your brand. By writing targeted emails, you can boost those renewal rates. Remember to keep those emails short and sweet. Most people just take a few seconds to browse through the content to decide whether to renew or not. With concise content, you can create a great email that will have people wanting to continue their services. 

You want to write these renewal emails differently than the average marketing ones. Instead of focusing on the question, “why do you need our product?” aim to give incentives to those who continue with your company. 

Personalize Your Message by Segment

This strategy is vital. Addressing your email to “subscriber” is ineffective when modern data mining can quickly help you personalize your message. Personalizing does not just mean addressing your email to the subscriber’s name; it must go beyond that.

Yes, you still want to use the customer’s name in the email. You will want to use the reader’s name in the subject line and body of the email. This personalization makes the reader feel more comfortable with your brand and that they are not a number on an email blast. But go further than that. You will want to segment your mailing list to send messages based on the customers’ interests, demographics, and behaviors. Take it to the next level by using personalized GIFs and other images in the renewal email. 

You can personalize it by the industry they work in or by the job function they hold. Maybe there are different levels of subscriptions, or you could break it into how long they’ve been receiving your magazine. For instance, receiving an email that says, “You’ve been enjoying Mega Magazine for four years?” or “17,453 software engineers who like you read our publication rated it as their top go-to resource, so let’s keep it going!” is more effective than receiving a generic email.

A personalized email should also come from a specific person at your company. The sender should be a member of your team. Instead of listing the sender as, use Joe at for the sender’s information. 

Spend Time Broadcasting Your Benefits

Sending a renewal email to your customers is not enough. Make sure you include enticement to encourage renewal. From snapshots of upcoming content to sharing a few of your more compelling topics, an email can consist of visual elements that remind them how great your publication is. Or, if you prefer a text format for your email, you can link to other pieces of your valuable content.

One of the most critical components to retaining your customers is to remind them of your company’s value. You might want to add a discount or exclusive offer to renew their services or update to a longer-term membership. 

These renewal emails are critical when the customer comes to the end of the trial period. At this time, the customer has already seen the benefit of your services. You just need to nudge them in the right direction. With renewal emails, you don’t want to retain customers but increase those new users as well. 

These renewal emails can help your company hold onto wavering clients. You need to remind them what they can gain by continuing with your service. Since the customer is already using your service, you can leave out the promotional language and focus on the benefits. 

Related: The Importance of Audience Segmentation in B2B Content Marketing

Keep It Short and Sweet

With a renewal email, your customer already knows the benefits of your service or product. Your objective is apparent. You can skip the proportional language and stick to straightforward content. If a client has any questions about the service, make sure to direct them to the correct department or team. Never add fluff to these emails. At this point, you just want to provide a gentle nudge to these clients. A long and drawn-out email will make your company seem pushy. 

Start Early

The introductory example says, “soon,” but you’ll want to create a comprehensive renewal email campaign that starts early and follows up with increasing urgency. You might begin with a renewal invitation that’s near a holiday or at the beginning of a new season: “Summer’s here, so kick off those sandals, dip your toes in the water and enjoy knowing that your renewal to Mega Magazine is in the bag!” with graphics depicting a Mega Magazine poking out of a beach bag by a pool.

Create a Drip Campaign – Most Important! 

Renewal emails work when they are a part of a broader campaign. It is vital that you design a process, not an event. Don’t simply send out an email; create an entire drip campaign aimed at driving renewals from subscribers. As discussed above, you’ll start early, but you’ll use a consistent theme and growing urgency as you edge closer to the renewal deadline. Don’t stop at that deadline either. Instead, allow plenty of options for renewing past the deadline. If your magazine offers different levels of subscriptions, then you may also want to remind them of those options.

For renewal emails, think about sending out about three of them – one before the service expires, a second to notify the customer of their lapsed service, and a third to encourage them to come back and renew. 

These drip campaigns can help you create a smoother flow of communication rather than a single “renew now” email. Plus, when you ask for feedback, you can use that information to craft future email and marketing campaigns. Remember that feedback is not always bad; it can be useful for your organization. 

Improve your email renewal numbers with strategic marketing tactics and the person-to-person connection of telemarketing
Improve your email renewal numbers with strategic marketing tactics and the person-to-person connection of telemarketing

Don’t Forget Email Features for Renewal

Try using one of the best pieces from your content archives and display the first two paragraphs of a blog or the first 30-seconds of a video. Then give them the option to renew their subscription to see the rest. Another cool tool you can use is an opt-in for renewal embedded right in the email. It pops up when they reach a certain point in your message or when they move their mouse toward a certain point in the email.

Use a Call To Action

While urgency has been mentioned above, it’s worth having its bullet point because it’s critical for email renewals. If the renewal deadline is a few months away, consider offering a promotion to entice them toward early action, but if they’re getting close, impress upon them the importance of taking action. Likewise, make sure to tell them precisely what the next step is to renew. Do they need to click a button or log in? Make sure your call to action is clear.

Along with creating a call to action, you need to ensure that the email is not too cluttered. The content should look crisp with appealing images. The call to action should be in a prominent location. You might want to use bold colors for the button. Don’t forget about using exciting wording that will make this button stand out from the rest of the email. Call to actions are not long. Never use more than four words for your CTA. 

Leverage Urgency

You have probably heard about FOMO (fear of missing out). This phenomenon is common among millennial consumers. As a marketer, you can use FOMO to your advantage. You want to create a sense of urgency by encouraging the client to renew now or miss out on an offer. These emails can be helpful when there is limited time to renew. By writing an email and using those “limited time” hooks, you can tap into your customers’ FOMO and boost your email subscription rates.

Integrate Your Email Campaign

Integrate the email process with your telemarketing vendor calling efforts. Your telemarketing vendor can help with your email delivery. When calling, representatives can verify in real-time that people received and were able to open your email, making sure the email did not land in the spam folder. 

Telemarketing calls can start early to people who did not reply to your email efforts in the past two to three campaigns. Have the reps find out why (at no extra costs) to increase the likelihood they will next time around.

Related: Who Is Your Message Reaching, and Are They Ready to Listen?

Make a Special Offer Available by Email Only

Call center representatives have a better chance of introducing, in person, the value and benefit you bring to subscribers. This can focus not only on a single product but also on your organization. Allow them to introduce a special product or an event to add value to the call. They can also let people know that more information will be delivered by email and will require follow-up action. You will increase the likelihood of having a proactive subscriber.

Managing your renewal campaigns can be a complex undertaking if you’re also trying to publish a magazine. That’s a good reason to contact us at Blue Valley. We specialize in supporting members of the publishing industry with smart marketing strategies, integrated and stand-alone telemarketing, and email campaign management that deliver measurable cost-effective results. Simply put, we will use any and all of our resources to return the highest level of conversion renewal rates for you.

Are you ready to take your marketing to the next level with your publishing business? At Blue Valley Marketing, we have effective tools that will help you have the highest return on your renewal rates!

Last Updated on September 14, 2023 by Ronen Ben-Dror

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