Email newsletters are a great way to keep in touch with your customers and let them know what you’ve been up to. You get the opportunity to send out new blog posts, announce the launch of a product or feature and even use your emails to introduce your subscribers to your team. This is all great, but what happens when a new subscriber only gets to read your new emails and misses out on the amazing content you’ve shared earlier?
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Automation keeps you top-of-mind
Drip email marketing campaigns are here to bridge that gap; also known as known as autoresponders or automated email campaigns – email drip campaigns are a set of marketing emails which are sent out automatically based on a schedule.
One email goes out when someone signs up to receive your newsletters and is added to your email list, another the following week and perhaps one more the next weekend.
Email drip campaigns can also be based on certain triggers – If someone signs up for a free trial on your website or makes a purchase. These emails can also be called ‘behavioral emails’.
Seems great, but does it really make a difference? According to research, pairing marketing automation with email drip campaigns can lead up to 20% more sales opportunities.
Let drip campaigns do your email marketing for you
Drip campaigns are on-going and have the goal of driving the user down the buyer’s journey to a final conversion point. This could either mean making a purchase or repeat purchases, or something as simple as asking readers to register for an event or a webinar you’re organizing. They are often used to provide ongoing value to subscribers while helping keep your brand top-of-mind. Often times, these emails slowly “drip” helpful information, products, or tips over days, weeks or months.
For example: The emails you receive when you browse Amazon but don’t buy anything – that’s drip marketing automation.
On similar lines, whenever you sign up for an online course, you get automated emails with course materials, videos, quizzes, etc. – that’s a form of drip email automation too.
Setting up drip programs might seem slightly daunting, like when we spoke about setting up email marketing automation for your business, but it’s not as complicated as it seems. We’ve broken down what drip campaigns are, how you could set them up, why they’re extremely effective, and how Constant Contact can empower you in getting all this figured out.
Consistent communication builds connections
When done right, drip campaigns are a brilliant and unobtrusive way to reach out to your customers and/or prospects and provide contextual information that’s relevant to them on a consistent basis.
Some of the most noteworthy features of drip marketing are:
They are extremely relevant
Each recipient is unique – they have their own interests, preferences, likes, and dislikes. You cannot, and should not ignore that when you communicate with them. Imagine getting an email that’s selling you cat food when you don’t even have a cat. That is bad targeting – something that should be avoided at all costs.
Drip campaigns are a set of highly personalized emails which gives your readers the feeling that you care about them. Segmenting your email list according to what content is relevant to which customer is imperative.
Drip campaigns are pre-written
These workflows are predefined and the emails pre-written. You aren’t writing a new email every single time a new prospect is interested in what you are selling. They just enter your pre-existing workflow. For small businesses who already have a lot on their plate, drip campaigns are the perfect solution to saving time and effort.
Engagement levels are significantly higher
Emails triggered based on user actions have a significantly better chance of getting a response than email campaigns. This report found that open rates for triggered emails (or drip campaigns) were 61.7% higher than other email marketing campaigns.
More scope for up-selling and cross-selling
The scope of email marketing automation extends well beyond converting prospects to customers or getting shoppers to finish their purchase. Even after a purchase is complete, or a sale is made, you’d want:
- The customer to come back for a second purchase
- Or, in case of single sale products – to recommend you to their friends
- Or, in case of subscription sales – renew their subscription
Increase brand recall
Even if a potential customer does not end up making a purchase, a series of highly relevant emails would make sure to remind them of your offerings. You could also combine drip marketing efforts with targeted remarketing campaigns across various channels.
So, now that you know what a drip campaign is, what its benefits are, and the impact that it can create for your business, let’s move on to how you can create a email drip campaign.
Start building your drip campaign
It’s never too late to get started with figuring out a drip-based strategy for your business. You do need to make sure you’re not sending current users a bunch of emails they didn’t sign up for. More often than not, if readers don’t understand why they’re getting your email (especially if they don’t remember signing up), they could unsubscribe, or worse, mark your email as spam.
Here are five steps you can use as a base to begin planning out your drip marketing campaign:
1. Know your target audience
A major chunk of drip campaigns is based on figuring out who your audience is, what they want, filtering them into subsections based on their preferences and sending them content relevant to their needs.
The most important piece here is defining which triggers and segments you want to use for your drip campaign. Drips are usually based on two types of triggers – action based or user demographic based.
Action based triggers normally include actions, for example, when a user subscribes to your newsletter and you send them an email via your drip campaign. Or a user could make a purchase on your website, and you send them an email with the invoice.
Demographic based triggers target potential leads who perhaps looked for certain services in their area, stumbled upon your website and signed up, but did not take an action. You then send them an email, reminding them of what they were looking for, thus driving them to take action.
You could also use demographic based triggers to send emails to customers who purchased from you during the holidays last year and prompt them to make another purchase.
By tracking the behavior of users on your website, it is possible for you to build a ‘profile’ of your potential customer and figure out how to serve their needs better. Learn your target audience and the problem that you’re solving for them. Your drip campaign needs to be targeted to a specific behavior for it to be effective.
2. Provide relevant and valuable content
Create a message that gets your readers’ attention right from the start. Content that is helpful and relevant will always go a long way in getting a reader to engage with your business. The content delivered through a drip campaign is triggered by how a user is interacting with your brand and where they are in the sales cycle. Someone who is ready to make a purchase has different needs than someone who is just learning about your organization.
Segmenting your email lists is equally important to ensure you send the right content to the right person. Adjust your messaging as needed to match different audiences so your drip emails are always on point and engaging. Ignore the impulse to push for a hard sell too early in the process. Cultivate a strong foundation of trust between your brand and the recipient. Otherwise, prematurely going in for the kill will shatter that bond before it even has a chance to form.
3. Plan out your campaign
You need to figure out the logistics of your drip campaign – right from first contact sale to support. You also need to be sure that the content in each email flows together with the others.
Planning out your campaign usually begins with figuring out the number of emails you want to send and in what order. Whether you’re onboarding a new customer or keeping a user engaged, the sequence of your sends plays a crucial role in the success of each campaign. Consider how much information your target recipient needs, when they might need it, and why.
Next comes making sure your triggers line up with the message in your email. You wouldn’t like it if you received a coupon for a product you purchased last week or the notification for a sale that isn’t applicable to you (like, “first-time users only!”). You need to make sure your triggers are all laid out correctly and that each email in your campaign is directly related to a trigger. Users should always understand why they’re getting an email.
4. Always keep testing
You cannot just create your drip campaign and never look at it again. You need to keep analyzing and testing to see which of your emails perform the best.
We recommend carrying out multiple A/B tests to directly compare emails and how well they resonate with different recipients. You should also measure metrics like open rates, click-throughs, unsubscribes, delivery rates, soft or hard bounces, and conversion rates for every campaign. Testing elements like subject lines, calls to action, offers, images, and headlines will also help you fine-tune your drip emails better.
Plus, test the response rates to sending your messages on different days of the week and different times of the day to find what gets the best response for your specific target audience.
5. Email marketing automation is key
As a small business owner, you already have enough on your plate. And as your business grows and more leads start flooding in, it becomes even more challenging for your sales team to offer personalized experiences to everyone that interacts with your business.
Email automation helps you take care of your existing customers as well as new leads which are added to your database. If executed correctly, email automation delivers highly personalized and timely experiences that will convert prospects into customers. Or first-time customers into loyal repeat business.
Check out our list on automated email ideas to get you started
Put these tips to work today!
Drip email campaigns require patience, restraint, and nuance to strike the right tone and successfully nurture leads throughout the buyer’s journey. They don’t exist in a vacuum. The good ones play complementary roles in your overall marketing strategy and align with your current messaging to drive engagement.
Still not using email to market your events? Give Constant Contact a try for FREE!