What You Need to Know About Drip Email Marketing

Dripping Maple Goodness by LadyDragonflyCC - >;< , via flickrDrip email marketing is the “dripping” of series of relevant emails to a specified list of subscribers. These messages are typically designed to build a relationship, increase customer retention, or guide leads through the sales process.

Automation of email messages in a drip campaign is based on pre-determined time intervals, email order and number of messages. For example, when someone downloads an eBook from your website, they might get the first thank-you/introduction email within 24 hours, a second follow-up email in three days, and a third email a week later. In this example, you’ve sent three messages total; however, drip campaigns can have any number of emails in the channel, the number just needs to be determined prior to the start of the campaign.

Drip campaigns are commonly employed because they are both efficient and successful at keeping a brand top-of-mind. Efficient, because once implemented, they free up time for your sales and marketing teams. Successful, because they can lead to up to a 20 percent increase in sales opportunities if designed correctly.

Common Types of Drip Campaigns

As mentioned above, drip emails can be used for a variety of purposes. Here are some drip campaigns topics you can introduce to your email marketing mix:

  • Relationship-building campaigns: Funnel leads through the sales process by establishing a relationship first. Offering valuable content, answering questions, and attempting to engage with your readers are good elements to include in your emails.
  • Educational campaigns: Keep leads and/or customers informed about relevant product information as they need it. You can use advanced segmentation to ensure only people interested in your updates receive communication about them.
  • Re-engagement campaigns: Target your cold leads or customers you haven’t heard from in a while with a clever email series. Perhaps you could use this as an opportunity to present a special offer or try something out-of-the-box to grab lost attention.
  • Promotional campaigns: Inform subscribers of upcoming or limited-time promotions.

It’s important to note drip campaigns can be particularly useful for creating qualified leads for sales teams, as the farther through the campaign a lead goes, the more exposure they will have had to your brand, which will help them in determining if they’re ready to invest.

Regardless of what sort of drip campaign you’re conducting, it’s smart to segment your subscribers by their similarities and their relationship to your brand. Segmenting will help ensure your emails remain hyper-relevant and timely to their position in the sales cycle.

Tips for Your Drip Campaigns

Escalation – You want to make sure your emails make sense sequentially. The best drip campaigns are often ones where the messages increase in value and prominent calls-to-action as they proceed down the channel. People generally take a long time to make decisions, so use this opportunity to send snippets of information that build with time.

Testing – Like any email, the key to a successful drip campaign is to perform testing to see what works best for your subscribers. A/B test ideas include, but are not limited to:

  • Subject Line
  • Frequency
  • Timing

Value – It’s critical to include some form of value in any and all email communication you send to leads and customers. This component is especially critical during drip campaigns, where many of your readers are in the evaluating/research stage of purchase. For leads who have the potential to turn into customers, the pre-investment stage is a perfect time to squash their indecision on purchasing by assuring them through your content that your company is the best at what it does. Do this by offering thought leadership through means of educational resources, videos, case studies, blog posts, etc. Additionally, stand out by tailoring your content to subtly address the questions leads may be having about your industry and/or brand.

Something Extra – We preach about this often, but if you want to stand out in the inbox, you need to do something different, and make an impression with readers so they remember your brand. Try experimenting with creative themes and a bold, brand-conscious look and feel. You could also try including something interactive in your email, such as a quiz.

Victoria Lopiano
Marketing Coordinator, WhatCounts

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