Your Fast Track Guide To Drip Campaigns

|by Amba Wilkes

The days of bombarding your audience with the same messaging are long gone. Your prospects have come to expect personalised and relevant communications.  

A single email in isolation won’t generate great revenue for your business. But a well thought out series of timely, automated emails has the potential to. That’s where drip marketing campaigns come in. 

In this blog… 

In this blog we discuss:  

  • What drip campaigns are 
  • When to use them 
  • How to implement them in your email marketing strategy 

What is an email drip campaign? 

Let’s start with the basics. A drip campaign is a triggered sequence of automated emails that consists of marketing messages sent in a pre-defined order. You may have also heard these automated email campaigns being referred to as lifecycle emails, autoresponders, nurture campaigns and trigger emails.  

“Drip” refers to sending a slow and steady series of emails. This approach enables you to keep in touch with your audience in a personalised, and targeted way. 

What makes drip campaigns so effective? 

Rewinding the clock, email marketing used to be different. Known as the ‘batch and blast’ method, a business would create a single message and send it to everyone in their database before sitting back and hoping for the best. 

This resulted in emails that were poorly timed and not targeted which could often end up with emails getting lost in the inbox or landing in the spam folder. And the people who did receive and open the email were likely to unsubscribe due to irrelevant content.  

Drip marketing campaigns, on the other hand, can be easily tailored to the specific needs of your contacts without having to spend heaps of extra time doing so. When used alongside tools such as segmentation and dynamic content, you can set up personalised, long-term automation workflows that keep your brand top of mind.  

When should you use email drip campaigns? 

There are endless possibilities for nurturing your prospects when using a drip strategy. If you’re unsure on where to get started, here are some popular instances of when to use email drip campaigns:  

1) Welcome 

When a new user joins your mailing list, they expect an immediate confirmation of their action to show in their inbox. However, it’s beneficial to offer more than just this.  

A series of welcome emails can be used to show your new prospect that you care. These emails are an effective opportunity to show what you have to offer and what they can expect from your brand while they are newly engaged. 

2) Content downloads 

A drip campaign can be used when a contact submits their email address to access your gated content. This could be an eBook, a report, or a webinar. 

Once the content has been downloaded, an automated email can be sent featuring the download link allowing the contact to have access to it at any time. Based on the topic of the downloaded content, you can then send a series of emails filled with further content relevant to the topic. 

3) Lead nurturing 

If a subscriber has engaged with your recent campaigns, they most likely have a keen interest in what you offer. Creating personalised drip campaigns for these interested prospects is an effective way of nurturing them through the sales funnel. 

The goal of each campaign is to convince the subscriber to take the next step, whether that’s signing up a for a trial, purchasing a product or booking a call.  

4) Free trial 

A free trial sign up is a great way to be sure a user is interested in what you offer. When someone signs up for a free trial, an automated email should be sent that lets them know the next steps. This should then be followed by a series of onboarding emails that shows the prospect how to get the most out of your product or service.  

For example, if you’re offering software, this could include helpdesk links, video demos and key features to make their interaction with you as seamless as possible. Or you could offer a trail of specific products that the user has shown interest in like a sachet of a skincare product.   

The easier the learning process, the happier the user will be with their experience meaning they’ll be more likely to continue using your product after the trial has ended.  

5) New customer 

You’ve gained a new customer, that’s great! But you shouldn’t simply end communications at this point. This is the ideal time to send them a series of new customer emails and start your relationship in a positive, memorable way.  

Sending drip campaigns that welcome them onboard, share more information about your brand or products and content that are relevant to their purchase will help bring them back for more. By making use of the customer’s purchase history, this data can go a long way in building a relationship and increasing their lifetime value.  

6) Upselling 

Drip emails can also be used to upsell your products or services which can have a big impact on your bottom line.  

Emails can be sent that contain products related to a customer’s previous purchase. For example, a laptop bag to go with a new laptop. These upsell emails are also a good way of building relationships with your customers while making your messaging more tailored and relevant.  

7) Abandoned cart  

Cart abandonment is a common problem eCommerce businesses face. But it’s not all negative. You still have a fighting chance of bringing those lost shoppers back. One way of doing this is by using automated cart abandonment emails.  

When a shopper leaves an item in their cart and then leaves the site, an email will be sent to entice that customer to return and complete the purchase. These emails can include reminders of the product they planned to purchase and even a limited-time discount for them to use. Click here for some tips on optimising your cart abandonment emails. 

8) Customer service 

Customer surveys are a powerful tool for gaining valuable insight from your customers including their personal experience with you and their opinions on your brand.  

Sending regular automated customer satisfaction surveys is a simple email to implement in your drip campaign. The email can be sent at various points of your customer’s journey with you, or it could be sent after recently being in touch with your customer service team.  

The best thing to do is create your survey in advance (you can do this with a marketing automation platform) before placing the survey link in the email and acting on feedback in real time.   

9) Re-engage 

Re-engagement emails can rekindle your relationship with inactive subscribers or customers who haven’t made a purchase for a while. These emails can reduce churn rates and boost engagement levels by encouraging the subscriber to open and click it.  

For this reason, it could be worthwhile thinking about sending them an exclusive offer. If they don’t open the first email in your series, send them additional follow-up emails so they have plenty of chance to re-engage.  

How to set up a drip marketing campaign 

Whatever you’re wanting to get out of your drip marketing campaign, whether it’s nurturing leads, increasing conversions or boosting brand awareness, the visual Workflow Designer in Wired Plus provides everything you need to build a drip campaign. 

Where to get started? Here are five steps to follow for setting up your first drip campaign: 

  1. Define your objective: What specific action will your drip campaign be based on? 
  2. Identify your target audience: Your audience could be new subscribers, first-time buyers, lead content downloaders, free trial users, etc. 
  3. Create your emails: Make sure your emails are optimised and are consistent with your brand so your drip campaign can perform to their full potential.   
  4. Build your workflows: Select your trigger and add the different steps for your workflow. 
  5. Monitor and optimise: While your automated email drip campaign is on autopilot, this doesn’t mean you can set it and forget about it. You need to understand the performance of each email within your campaign so you can continue to optimise it. We advise evaluating your drip campaign on a weekly basis and optimising for the best results. 

6 tips for successful drip campaigns 

1) Consider the customer journey 

To increase your chance of success, the drip emails sent should be relevant to the recipient based on the stage they’re at. For example, if someone has only just become aware of your business, they might not be ready to buy. This is the time to nurture with educational, valuable content rather than pushing a cold, hard sale.  

By taking the time to discover your audience’s needs and pain points, you can adjust your messaging accordingly. This will not only help you strengthen relationships but also ensure better campaign results. 

2) Create a smooth email workflow 

The time between your emails is important. You need to be consistent with your communications but also strike the right balance to leave your audience wanting more. So, how do you discover the sweet spot when it comes to sending frequency? Since your business and audience are unique to you, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. However, as a rule of thumb, we recommend sending between one and two emails a week. More than this could cause the user to unsubscribe, and it gives them the chance to digest your content.  

You could also use an email preference centre, which will let your subscribers adjust their own subscription settings. 

Your drip campaign also needs to tie together in a seamless way. The easiest way to do this is to write all your email content in one go for consistency and to see how they flow together.  

3) Follow basic email writing tips 

When writing your email content, try following these tips for quality copy:  

  • Put value first: Always send valuable content so subscribers are engaged and don’t feel like they’re wasting their time by opening your email.  
  • Short paragraphs: Like with most content, big chunks of text are intimidating and can often lose the reader. Keep it short and add white space for a clean reading experience.  
  • Get personal: This is the time to build a connection with your audience. Share captivating stories or relevant anecdotes to help your prospects connect with your brand rather than simply reading a faceless email.   
  • Get creative with your email subject lines: Getting people to open the email is the first step, so the subject line must draw them in. 

4) Create urgency with deadlines and timely deals 

The easiest way to do this is by including an engaging CTA. Show the reader what the next step is by offering more value such as a link to download a whitepaper or access to a discount code. You could even tease the next email in the campaign to get subscribers excited for what’s coming.  

5) Connect your campaign to other channels 

You should strive to ensure your advertising efforts are working in synergy to create the maximum performance and the same applies to your drip campaigns.  

For example, this could be as simple as adding social channels to the end of your emails to let your audience know you’re also active on social media. You could also use similar content across different channels such as paid ads, blog posts and social posts to increase consistency.  

6) Continuously test your campaigns 

Even though email drip campaigns are automated, you don’t just neglect them once they’ve been created. A/B testing should be used to fine-tune and optimise your drip campaigns.  

It’s worth tweaking different elements of your emails such as the subject line and CTAs to see what performs best. Even these small variations can make a big impact to engagement and conversions.  

Over to you  

Sending regular emails to your prospects is time-consuming, but it doesn’t have to be. A relevant email drip campaign can do wonders for your business and a considered strategy plus a solid marketing platform can go a long way to diving success. Wired Plus lets you create personalised and targeted drip campaigns, so you can feel more in control of the customer journey. Book a demo to try for yourself.  

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