Clients have asked me, “What is an email drip campaign?”
I respond, “Just what you probably think. It’s an automated email campaign sequence that drips information to leads and those who have engaged with your brand at some level. It is aligned with a business goal, tracked, and measured for success.”
In many cases, it starts with an initial point of contact, such as completing a website form, signing up for a webinar, joining a newsletter list, contact at a conference, etc. It is often managed with an automated tool, such as SalesForce®, Infusionsoft®, MailChimp®, Constant Contact®, and so on.
The hard part is the logic. Knowing when to send an email, to whom, is the key.
Here are some tips to help get you started.
- Know the email sequence’s goal. Is it conversions, brand awareness, or customer retention? No matter what the effort, it should align with a business goal.
- Logic determines frequency. How often should you send the campaign elements within the sequence? Here’s a rule of thumb, avoid sending more than one per day or five per week. Space the emails out so recipients are not overwhelmed with the messaging. Leave enough space between messages to give your recipients time to digest the information. The more complex the content, the further they should be spaced apart – within reason.
- Sequencing must be right to avoid looking like a scammer. Think through the email sequence and what should be presented in each step, in order. This is the hardest step. Flowchart it or draw it out if needed. Getting this step right could be the campaign’s success. Poorly-developed sequencing will sink a campaign—guaranteed.
- Test the campaign all the way through before launching it. Do a friends and family test or test it within your own team. Be sure the sequence is right, and the call to action and offer is tantalizing enough to execute toward the goal.
- Track, measure, and report on the sequence to determine success/failure. You may need to tweak copy or the calls to action before it works well.
Example: Four-Step Whitepaper Download Email Sequence
- Day 1: Welcome email thanking them for their recent whitepaper download. Include one of the features mentioned in the white paper. Provide a scenario of a problem that is solved within the whitepaper, which encourages them to read it. Don’t expect the person to contact you, yet.
- Day 4: Add a catchy headline, something that was called out in the whitepaper or highlighted in a pull quote. Provide another scenario of a problem and how it was solved. Add a free consulting call to action in this email to encourage them to contact someone for a free 15-minute call.
- Day 6: Highlight another problem and the solution. Encourage them to call with a new call to action.
- Day 7: If the user hasn’t called by now, you have two options:
- Move their email address into another marketing funnel that puts them on a generic email list (monthly emails perhaps, until they opt out).
- Send a final “We haven’t heard from you” email notice with something like, “We haven’t heard from you, but believe you are seeking a solution to one of the problems mentioned in our [insert whitepaper title] whitepaper. Let’s chat soon. You can easily schedule a free, 15-minute consult with one of our team members by clicking here.” Then link them to an online scheduling tool if you have one; if not, link them to some form of calendar tool or call feature. This action then starts another email drip campaign sequence, and moves the user from one marketing funnel location to another (from the top to the middle of the funnel).
This process may be automated based on a user’s actions, in many cases called automated workflows. However, the logic needs to be defined before the email campaign is developed to ensure the right sequence of emails happens, as well as the branching sequences.
Email titles are important. Avoid “spammy” email subject lines as well a trigger words the spam filters love to hate. Here is a comprehensive list from Sprout Social.
Work with a copywriter to help with grammar and prose. Nothing can kill a campaign quicker than misspellings and poor grammar.
Email drip campaigns can be time consuming, but produce solid leads. What questions do you have about email drip campaigns?