Email Drip Campaigns for Generating Leads and Increasing Sales!
By: Peter Spoleti, Vertex Markets, October 29, 2020
The fundamental goal of any email marketing campaign is to draw in relevant prospects and subscribers, those that will react to your call to actions. But in this competitive and unique environment your target market has all the control over which emails & content they’ll engage with. So, thinking your going to be succesful by jumping into the large pool of their inbox without a well though out strategy and topics they’re interested in isn’t going to work.
You need to have a strategy to keep your subscribers engaged and with a goal of building your list as a top priority when developing a successful email marketing campaign. A great way to achieve that goal is with an email drip campaign.
Email drip campaigns, when effectively designed provide more than a continuous flow of content. There goal is to guide your readers through a stream of strategically designed messaging with the purpose of educating and motivating your audience to begin a conversation and relationship with your company.
An effectively designed email drip campaign will move your prospects organically through their decision-making processes. Ending your prospects journey with them being fully committed to engaging in a conversation to discuss their company’s needs, while transitioning them into your sales processes.
What is an Email Drip Campaign?
Email marketing is a great way to communicate with and learn more about your prospects and customers. An email drip campaign automates that process based on a specific schedule or certain actions from your audience.
It is an automated group of emails programed to be systematically sent based on a user’s actions or a specific schedule. Its meant to deliver the right information to the right individual at the right time. Such as, a visitor who has multiple times visited your website’s products page but hasn’t made a purchase or inquiry on your services, they’ll receive an email offering a demo or additional information. While someone signing up for your email or content list receives a welcome email and then a couple of days later receives a recent blog post or newsletter.
Drip emails are created in advance and may be personalized with the prospect’s name and/or other information targeted to that prospect. According to research from email marketing software provider Emma, “relevant, targeted emails produce 18 times more revenue than non-targeted emails, since users are more likely to click the links in the emails; drip campaigns produce a 119% increase in click-through rates over regular campaigns”.
What makes an email drip campaign work?
Fundamentally, email drip campaigns are easy to impliment when using an email marketing or marketing automation SaaS company, such as active campaign, or mail chip. You’ll design the triggering mechanisms which initiates the drip campaign process and the automation takes over.
Your able to segment your email list to suit your specific strategy and assign different triggers to different segments, assuring your content is as relevant as possible to the recipient.
Email drip campaigns are an effective way to stay on top of your customers or prospects inbox and subsequently their mind. While advancing their journey through your sales process with relevant strategic content.
Some Examples of Commonly used Email Drip Campaigns:
- Onboarding emails are delivered early during the customer’s journey with your company, providing information about your business. Making customers aware of important information on your company or products or services and touting your unique attributes that make you stand out amongst the crowd.
- Welcome emails are used for new subscribers to your email list to introduce your brand and your community to them. You can also use this email to deliver a discount or free offerings as an incentive for them continue their journey and conversation with your company.
- List building, using an email drip campaign to target your unique website visitors, encouraging them to opt in to receive content, emails and push notifications. This process combined with identity resolution, is a great way to grow your email list and community with engaged people.
- Subscription renewals & Shopping cart abandonment, implementing an email drip campaign for these items can directly and immediately effect sales. Notification of subscription renewals is an opportunity for you to thank your customers for their business, remind them of their renewal date and request updated payment information if necessary. Shopping cart abandonment is when a visitor places a product in their online shopping cart then leaves without making the purchase. By using a email drip campaign to automatically send an email to these visitors, reminding them what they have in their cart, may help close the sale.
Some benefits of an email drip campaign?
Email drip campaigns have multiple benefits when designed and implemented properly. Design your campaign so that each email stands on its own but builds on prior emails taking your audience on a strategically planned journey resulting in a specific action by your reader.
- Saves you time, a major benefit of an email drip campaign is that once set up the emails are automatically sent out requiring little time for maintenance and adjustments. Freeing up your time for other pressing issues.
- Move prospects and customers through your sales funnel. Email drip campaigns are a highly effective automatic process for converting prospects into customers with out using a heavy hand. Strategically moving your prospects through their sales journey step by step by answering questions and providing product knowledge.
- Promote branding, products, and content. If your producing content (and you should be) email drip campaigns are an excellent way to build your brand, get your content in front of your customers and prospects. You can create content to create brand awareness, new product information, showcase company initiatives, and address customer or prospect issues.
- Increase engagement and Nurture leads. Email drip campaigns increases prospect & customer engagement by providing a continued conversation between your company and your community, providing you the opportunity to get to know them and their needs. This ongoing conversation provides your company a strategic opportunity to advance prospects through your sales funnel towards purchase.
- Abandoned cart & reactivating disengaged contacts. Every contact list has its percentage of disengaged contacts. A targeted email drip campaign can get some of them off the bench and part of the conversation. Many individuals place items in online shopping carts, then abandon them before checking out. You can set an automated drip email reminder prompting them to finalize their purchase.
These are just a few of the many ways email drip campaigns can benefit your business across many departments and processes.
Steps to an Effective Email Drip Campaign.
We’ve outlined just a few of the benefits of an email drip campaign, here are the steps to use when creating your drip campaign.
Know your Audience and Set your Goal.
Being able to direct your campain to a well-defined audience is the most important part of an email drip campaign. The first step of your campaign design is to identify who you would like to talk with. Do you want to generate leads, get them to buy, or introduce a new product or service, or something else? After specifying your audience, you can decide which triggers to be used for your campaign.
There are few main types of triggers, action trigger, criteria trigger, or demographic information.
- An action trigger is the classic email drip trigger. Someone subscribes to your newsletter, fills out your form, makes a purchase, downloads the trial version of your app, etc., and it triggers your drip campaign.
The idea is a prospect or customer is visiting your site or your app and engaging in some manner. What ever that manner is, you’re collecting their email address and hopefully some additional information as part of that interaction. You then drop them into a relevant email drip campaign to start the conversation.
- Criteria Triggers are a little more complex. Many of the times, criteria triggers rely on back end information. Someone enrolls in a trial period for your product or service, but never started using it, your current client’s subscription is coming to an end, you send out a reminder and request updated billing information if necessary, an event or selling season is approaching and you want to inform your customers who attended your last event or shoppers from your last selling season, etc.
In these examples, your email drip isn’t directly triggered by a specific user action. Instead, it’s triggered by some sort of criteria that the user meets. That criteria is important to you in some way, so it triggers an email drip which will hopefully evoke the desired response from the user.
- A demographic trigger is initiated by natural occurrence a birthday, anniversary, etc., that triggers the drip wishing a happy birthday, etc., with some sort of enticement to initiate an action from the recipient.
Using Your Triggers.
In any of these examples your trigger tells you a great deal about your audience. Since the trigger is mainly the motivation for the campaign, you should have a good sense of your audience and what motivates them.
The goal is to figure out how to get them to perform your desired results. Your desire is for them to re-engage with your company, for them to learn more about your busines and your mission, drive increased and repeat traffic to your site, or drive sales from prospects. Learning & knowing who you are targeting and what you want them to do will help you decide exactly which type of campaign to create.
Why Target your Audience?
Targeting is a great way to personalize your campaigns while providing strategic company information designed to build brand loyalty, strengthen relationships, and enhance and move them through their sales journey.
Creating a successful email drip campaign is setting and measuring your goals up front. A defined goal enhances the planning process making it easier to layout your campaign components. Be specific when setting the end goal so it can be measured, and then make sure you measure it.
For example, if your goal is to create a lead gen drip campaign. Think about which actions you want qualified leads to take. Eventually your goal should be to generate a sales call or setting up a demo with a targeted decision maker.
By the time your prospect arrives at the end of the drip campaign, the should have a clear picture of their specific need or problem, how your company can address those issues, and how you can work together to solve those problems. Your campaign should eliminate as many of your prospects potential surprises by working backwards from your original goal.
Segment your Campaign.
Segmentation of your email list will increase the effectiveness of your campaigns. If you aren’t segmenting your email list, consider doing so. Targeted emails translate to a more effective email drip campaign.
Not all your customers or prospects have the same needs, concerns or issues. Prospects with a better understanding of their needs who are nearing the bottom of your sales funnel should be seeing different emails than those who have just been introduced to your products or services. With a segmented email list, you are better equipped to address their individual needs.
Create multiple parallel campaigns, the majority of the content can be consistent but tailor each campaign as much as possible to each specific segment, addressing their needs, and concerns.
For example, create tailored landing pages for each campaign you are acquiring emails from. Then you can better identify & segment your list, to better develop unique email drip campaigns depending on which page each user was engaging with when joining your list.
Creating the emails for your campaign.
You’ve identified your audience and set your goals now you can use that information to create the emails for your campaign. As with any email marketing, the emails making up your drip campaign need to be well thought out and designed to grab people’s attention, be helpful, and have a clear call to action. Keep in mind, even though your creating all your emails at the same time, your audience will be seeing them separately, so they have to stand on their own, stand out from the competition, and accomplish your goals.
- Your Email Content Matters Most.
An email drip campaign isn’t going to be successful unless the content of those emails is well thought out and very good.
Your emails need to add value, don’t make them spammy or your conversion rate will suffer. Many people don’t take the time to read the whole article they scan it so make it easy for them to scan, use subheadings, bold sections, etc.
- Provide the information your prospects need to move forward.
When creating your emails for your drip campaign, ask yourself what does your message, for your audience, have to me to get them to take the journey you want them to?
For example: if your goal is to sell your SaaS product, you can create emails that highlight its functionality and include client testimonials on how they filled needs and solved problems.
If your goal is to sell a product your goal should be to gain your prospects trust that your products will solve their problems. To accomplish this, create educational emails addressing areas of potential concerns of your product, and include proof on how your products will adress their concerns and solve their problems.
Some tips to help you create compelling emails for your drip campaign.
- Subject Line.
Your email subject line is the fist opportunity to grab your audience’s attention, and a deciding factor in your open rate. It needs to pique their interest, make them want to see what your email has to say.
Subject lines should be short and to the point.
- Email Copy.
After grabbing their attention and getting them to click on your subject line. Your email content is the next most important part of your email. You want it to be appealing to the eye and catch your readers attention, but a flashy design isn’t going to compensate for poor copy. Your copy is the most important component of your message make sure it is well though out.
The competition for your audience’s attention is steep and they don’t spend much time on each email, keep your copy short, and to the point. Concentrate your email copy on what your audience cares about, address issues they are facing, and how your products or services can solve those problems, while moving them through your sales journey.
- The Design of your Email.
Your subject line and copy are more important then your design. It is important your design doesn’t put off your audience, or is distracting from your copy. Also remember that many people consume their emails through their mobile devices, make sure your design is mobile friendly.
Set Campaign Delivery Strategy & Launch your campaign.
Now that you’ve identified your audience, segmented your list, set your goals, and created your emails, it’s time to set your frequency, strategy and timing of your emails and then let your marketing automation solution take over the heavy lifting.
There is no “one size fits all” rule that works here. Generally, you should start with higher frequency and slow down as time goes on.
As for your campaign sending times, refer back to your newsletter or other email campaign statistics to see if any specific time of day produced higher open rates for your other campaigns. There isn’t a universal “best” time to send an email, each audience is different, analysis your audience’s preferences and work within those parameters.
You can send email drip campaigns including, blog post, articles, whitepapers, case studies, etc., to people who have already been on your list & to leads who are still gathering information. A more consistent, daily, weekly, or monthly, campaign can keep your brand top of mind for when they are ready to take action.
For those leads at the lower end of your funnel you can utilize content to address questions and potential objections which might slow down their sales journey. These emails are best delivered based on triggers, like link clicks, open rates, or lead qualification. As prospects near the decision-making part of the sales process, they’ll need answers quicker, match their response pace, or you’ll lose their interest to someone who is keeping pace.
Analyze, Analyze, Analyze your campaign.
You have to analyze your campaign both during and after its implementation to collect accurate data on what’s working and what’s not. Use the analytics to pinpoint areas where your campaign performed well and where it needs improvement.
Besides the obvious, open rates and clicks, you should be measuring, return on investment, total landing page clicks.
One of the easiest ways to capture key analytics is to tag links in your email with UTM parameters, which ensure information is passed on automatically to Google analytics.
Email drip campaigns, when done right, are a great way to create an effective marketing campaign that can create a good ROI, because of their automation. They can also help advance a prospects journey through your sales funnel. Since, not all prospects who click on your ads, read your content or visits your site are ready to purchase your products or services.
But if you can engage them with a drip campaign, that nurtures them through your sales funnel, and builds your brand, you can significantly increase the number of clients you can generate from your marketing efforts.
Remember though email drip and marketing campaigns don’t always produce an immediate ROI. It is thought to be one of the most effective methods to move people through your marketing funnel and help to build your brand.