A drip email campaign is a series of related emails sent to a prospect or a customer in order to influence them to take an action – to buy your product, use your service, renew their subscription or any number of other goals. For example, a prospect might subscribe to a newsletter which triggers a specific email drip campaign. An automated campaign enables you to nurture your prospects until they are ready for a sale and build loyalty with current customers.
Worldwide, 2.4 million emails are sent every second; the typical person working in an office gets 121 emails a day, and half of that is spam. Frankly, nobody is reading all that email. The open rate for email sent in North America hovers around 30%; marketing emails are less.
If you want to get the attention of your prospects and customers, you need solid, strategic planning to break through the clutter. Email drip campaigns – when done right – are an extremely effective, direct way to build relationships, increase your sales, upsell your customers and increase customer loyalty.
Clarify the Goals of Your Drip Campaign
In order to measure the success of your drip campaign, you must clearly set out your goal in advance. You might want the receiver to start a free trial, renew their subscription or upgrade their product or service. You may just want to increase top of mind awareness to soften the prospect for other sales efforts. Other goals include educating and training customers, making a special offer or enticing customers away from the competition.
Plan for All Contingencies
The frequency, number, and direction of the emails in a drip campaign will vary according to your goal for the campaign, your target market and the actions a prospect or customer takes.
Let’s say that your prospect has signed up for a limited time free trial. The goal for this drip campaign is to get the person to start using the product and eventually buy it.
- The first email is a welcome email that would include links to the service and other basic information.
- The next two or three emails may give your customer information that will help them to use your product or service.
- If your prospect has still not used your product or service at that point, you might email them reminding them of the limited time nature of their free trial.
- This could be followed by other emails that would be aimed at closing the sale, perhaps including a special offer.
- If on the other hand, the person has started using the service after the second email, this could automatically trigger a different series of emails and calls to action to buy.
Customize Your Message to a Segmented Audience
The more you can customize your message to an individual’s needs, the more likely you are to make a sale. There are many ways to segment customers, such as where people are in the sales cycle, what vertical they belong to, purchase history, size or revenue of the company, title, and demographic information as just a start
Grab Attention With Your Subject Line
Your subject line is extremely important, and it’s certainly the most vital part of a cold sales email. Give it a personalized, slightly informal touch with down to earth language and lowercase text. Avoid sales terms (free offer!) that will trigger both spam filters and mental red flags. Make sure it touches on something of concern to your customer rather than just your product features.
Offer Information of Value
When you email either prospects or customers, offer them information that is helpful to them. Don’t spam them with chest beating about how wonderful your product is.
Headers Are Important
People just skim copy, so unless your email is very short, using headers is a way to make information stand out.
Make Your Call to Action Clear and Easy to Do
By the time the reader reaches a call to action, they should be reasonably ready to act. Probably you want to your audience to click through to a landing page which can give them more information and guide them deeper into the funnel, but in some cases, the email itself is enough. Make it easy for people to convert with a click of a button without putting a lot of hurdles in front of them.
Whenever Possible, Keep Your Tone Personal
All the emails you send in your drip campaign should come from one individual, particularly if it is a sales campaign. You want to deepen a relationship with your customers, and that’s a lot easier to do if they feel they are being addressed by a real person.
Length Depends on Sequence and Relationship
- Sequence: Length of an email is partially governed by where in the campaign it falls. For example, you will want to keep your first email to a new prospect short and to the point.
- Relationship: A new prospect who has no relationship with the company is less likely to read through a long email than a loyal customer is.
A/B Testing Is Critical
Use A/B testing to determine the effectiveness of various aspects of email campaigns. You can test subject lines, paragraphs, images calls to action, headlines, designs and anything else. Of course, you can only test one thing at a time.
Monitoring Is Necessary to Determine Success
Monitoring and analyzing is essential in order to determine ROI of your drip campaign, find what resonates with your customers and tweak your emails for the future.
You need to look at all aspects of your drip campaign, including:
- Deliverability and bounce rate
- Spam complaints
- Percentage of email that is opened
- Percentage of people who clicked through
- Keyword effectiveness
- Rate of unsubscribes
- Social engagement – rate of shares
- Conversion rate