Before I get into drip marketing and how to create a successful campaign, I have a question for you.
Have you seen an exciting-looking ebook or article, signed up for a newsletter so you could download it, but still felt like you missed something?
For many companies, new newsletter subscribers only see the first email or two sent after they subscribe. This makes it important that new subscribers know all the valuable information shared in each newsletter.
Drip marketing can significantly help when you want to reach each new subscriber with targeted, relevant information different from your regular mailing list.
Today, I'll take a closer look at drip campaigns, why they're effective, and how you can create a drip campaign and cultivate a lead into a customer.
What Is Drip Marketing?
Also called an automated email campaign, drip marketing is a form of email outreach. It involves emails that are automatically sent to an audience based on a schedule or a user based on specific user actions.
With drip campaigns, relevant information is sent to the right person at the right time. For example, you can set up a drip campaign that sends every new subscriber a welcome email.
And, actually, you can set a drip campaign for anything based on customer actions. Some actions a customer may perform include:
- Signing up for a service
- Making a purchase
- Abandoning a shopping cart
- Registering for a virtual event
- Downloading an ebook
The options are limitless, from nurturing a warm lead to converting a blog subscriber or prompting an action from a shopper.
The starting point is segmenting your email list and assigning different triggers to the different segments of your subscribers.
Drip emails are crafted ahead of time and only need to be personalized when being sent.
Why Is It Called “Drip Marketing”?
Drip marketing borrows its name from drip irrigation—you slowly develop a relationship with a prospect by nurturing them with information. Just like a farmer would do with a seedling.
Think of the pre-written emails you send clients as “drips” that need to be sent regularly to nurture client relationships.
Why Should You Use Drip Campaigns?
Drip marketing offers an array of quantifiable benefits. Here are some figures on the effectiveness of drip marketing:
- Drip campaigns can achieve up to 50% more sales-ready leads because of constant customer communication.
- Companies that use drip campaigns effectively can generate up to 80% more sales at a 33% lower cost.
- Companies report a sales increase of 20% after using drip campaigns in their marketing strategies.
- Triggered email campaigns have a 40% higher click-through rate than newsletters.
- Nutured leads have a 43% higher chance of purchase when compared to non-nutured leads. (Source: Pinpointe)
Benefits of an Email Drip Campaign
As we've seen above, drip marketing has some fantastic stats. Let's look at the benefits and effects of employing a drip email campaign:
- It boosts loyalty and engagement – You can personalize emails promoting relevant products to the user. The relevance increases the chances of getting a response from the user.
- Creates a lead-nurturing sales funnel – Customers are not always ready to buy. But, with drip marketing, you communicate your products' value propositions before the customer decides. Think of it as using multiple emails to have a sales conversation.
- Helps increase brand awareness – You regularly pop up in your prospect's inbox and promote relevant content. With your brand top of mind, the lead will be more likely to refer your products whenever their connection is in need.
- You re-engage with your dormant contacts – With automated drip campaigns, you can reach out to your lead base at any point during their purchase journey. You can create a campaign, target active users, and nurture them to become warm leads.
- Capture abandoned carts – When customers abandon their carts, you can introduce a discount and target them to return to the checkout page.
When Should You Use a Drip Campaign?
There are lots of ways you can set up a drip campaign and get relevant information to targeted subscribers. Here are a couple of instances when you can use a drip campaign:
Using Drip Marketing to Nature Leads
Leads keep the business up and running. They may need a bit of guidance to be converted.
Leads can be nurtured in many ways, including educating them about your service, free trials, helping them discover new features, etc.
Since you can't hand-hold every user from the discovering phase until a purchase, drip emails will solve the challenge for you.
Let's look at the different drip campaign ideas you can use to turn leads into paid customers.
Your marketing efforts have attracted new people to sign up or engage your brand. These new users need to learn why your brand is outstanding.
Welcome emails are the key. They allow you to introduce your company's top content and showcase your products.
For example, if the user has subscribed to your newsletter, your welcome drip can automatically send them some of your best-performing blog posts. If the user signed up for a free trial, a drip featuring case studies could be an ideal welcome email to showcase how other customers are benefiting from your product.
At the very least, use welcome emails to say, “Hello there, we're delighted to meet you.”
Use Drip Marketing to Onboard New Customers
You can combine onboarding emails with welcome emails. They can be in the form of scheduled newsletters that share your brand’s values.
Onboarding emails can also include a targeted product that is relevant to the user. You can prompt the user to download your mobile app, sign up for a webinar, or try out a new feature.
Targeting Abandoned Shopping Carts
You've drawn the customer in with newsletters and flash sales, and they even clicked the “add to cart” button. But they vanished!
Sadly, cart abandonment is pretty common. With your automated drip campaign, you target these customers and re-engage them to make a purchase decision.
Anytime users leave their carts with unpurchased products, you can use drip emails to let them know the product is still available.
Using Drip Marketing To Show Recommendations
Have you ever bought something on Amazon and gotten a recommendation for a complementary item? Giant online retailers have mastered recommendations since they know their customers' buying habits.
The good news is you can be something other than a billion-dollar company to target customers and give recommendations. You can segment your users based on their preferred service and then target them with drips with the best recommendations. You can use the content they're most interested in as a guideline.
Renewals and Confirmations
You can set drip campaigns to target customers when their subscription is about to run out. Autoresponders work best if the renewals are automatic, showing the users that they're about to be billed.
If the subscriptions are not auto-renewed, you can target the customers with a drip campaign and prompt them to continue with your service. Don’t forget to include a clear call-to-action and thank them for staying with your service once they renew.
Confirmation drip campaigns are best when a purchase has been made. You can include a link to some of your newest products and get the customer to re-engage with your brand.
Use Drip Emails for Engagement
Engagement emails invite users to return to your site and check out something else. They can be triggered by the user's activity or lack of activity.
Engagement emails can be typical, “We miss you!” emails or a tweaked version to showcase incentives.
When a user slips away using the “unsubscribe” button, you can follow them with one last autoresponder. Don't let them go without hearing from you.
Along with your email saying, “We're sorry to see you go!” you can push them to your other channels like Facebook or LinkedIn. Remember: Users who unsubscribe don't hate your brand— they probably prefer to interact in a different way.
How Many Emails in a Drip Campaign?
As a business, you want your new leads to see your value. But you don't want to sound desperate and say too much too quickly.
How do you know the right number of emails to send in your drip campaign?
For an ideal drip campaign, consider having between four to ten emails. Ideally, you should space the emails between intervals of four and 14 days. Here's how to go about it:
- Be a drip: Nurture your leads slowly – The goal is to coax your leads slowly from lead into a prospect and then to a client. For example, after your welcome email, you can send additional emails on days four, eight, twelve, and so on.
- Have a content marketing strategy as a guideline – With a drip campaign, you have an opportunity to approach your reader with a fresh angle. A content strategy is necessary to ensure your emails are in tune with your social media posts, blog content, etc.
Can you send too many drip emails? Yes. Too many emails may render your marketing efforts counterproductive if your subscribers find you annoying or spammy.
You want to keep subscribers interested without sending excessive messages. The best way to identify what works for your brand is to experiment with timing and monitor your open and click-through rates.
Types of Drip Campaigns
1. Onboarding Email Drip Campaign
After the lead joins your email list, your drip campaign should send them a welcome email. Additionally, an onboarding email sequence will keep the lead engaged, enticing them to take further action.
What can you include in your onboarding drip email campaign?
- Blog posts and case studies that relate to the subscriber’s interests.
- A welcome discount/offer that can be used for a limited time.
- A curation of products that the user may have looked at.
2. Retargeting Drip Campaign
A retargeting campaign follows up on users who have previously engaged with your content. They may have visited your page multiple times or downloaded an asset from your website.
To bring this user back, you need specifically curated content to prompt them to make a purchase.
With a retargeting campaign, you can send the prospect anything from the following:
- Guide complementing the ebook or whitepaper they downloaded.
- Direct sales email from a sales rep requesting some time to chat.
- Feedback request form about the resource/asset they downloaded from your site.
3. Post-Demo Drip Campaign
If your product can be demonstrated live, you can use a post-demo drip campaign. For instance, tech sales reps will use post-demo emails to convert their leads.
The post-demo email re-emphasizes the value the demonstrated product offers and how it can solve the customer's pain points.
Some content ideas you can include in your post-demo campaign are:
- Video testimonials from previous clients
- A tutorial on the product’s features that the prospect was interested in
- An offer for a free trial
How Can I Create a Successful Drip Campaign?
Now, I’ll show you, step by step, how you can create a drip campaign that will help you attain your goals.
Step 1: Plan Your Drip Campaign
Planning is figuring out the logistics of your drip campaign. What will your workflow look like? Plan your drip campaign goals and set up metrics to measure the results.
You can begin by asking yourself:
- How many emails will I send, and in what order? Evaluate the kind of information your users need and why they need it.
- Do my triggers match the message? Ensure the triggers you've laid out directly line up with the email message. You want your users to get relevant, timely messages.
- How will I measure the success of the campaign? For example, if your goal is customer acquisition, you need to track how many users have been converted. You can also have engagement or education as your goals.
Step 2: Choose a Drip Campaign Software
To send drip campaigns, you need an effective email marketing tool that has audience segmentation options. It should also allow you to schedule your email sequences in advance.
If possible, choose drip campaign software that seamlessly integrates with your CRM so you can get your campaign's real-time performance results. It should also have deep personalization options so that no two prospects get the same email.
Lastly, the email marketing software you chose should be user-friendly and easy to navigate for all your sales and marketing reps.
Step 3: Determine Your Target Persona
You want to ensure that the right person gets the right message at the right time. It is important to determine how your users end up in the drip campaign. Determine how the users opted in and are segmented within your drip campaign.
To begin with, ask yourself:
- What action will the user take to be included in this email drip campaign?
- What are the user's pain points?
- What are their goals?
- What will grab the user's attention during their busy schedule?
- Why would a user delete an email from this drip campaign?
- What actions do I hope the user will take after reading one of these drip emails?
Answering these questions will give you a good idea of your target persona, how you can segment your audience and the best way to reach and provide value for the different audience segments.
Step 4: Craft Your Email Messages (And Personalize Them)
Now that you have an idea of who you're targeting, it's time to generate interesting and helpful messages that will grab their attention. What do you want to help the customer learn?
Drip emails should be relevant and personal to every segment of your drip campaign. Write emails that are clear and actionable.
For instance, let's say you have a drip for people who download a case study featuring an individual in New York. You can set up a campaign that automatically sends relevant emails to any new prospect in New York state.
Then you can add some fresh content and details for each subsequent drip email. For example, you might build on an initial case study and encourage the prospects to check it out in your emails.
Step 5: Launch and Evaluate Your Drip Campaign
With your messages, drip software, and an audience ready, you can now start your drip campaign. Email marketing software does all the heavy lifting for you. All you need to do is create a schedule and set the triggers, and the emails will be automatically sent to your audience segments.
But, you need to continually evaluate and adjust your campaign based on results. For example, if the click-through rate is lower than your target, consider rewriting your messages and the calls-to-action.
You also need to know when a user opts out of the drip campaign and set up a trigger that targets and entices them back.
Examples of Drip Marketing
We could use a little inspiration from successful drip campaigns. Here are some examples of drip campaigns you can borrow inspiration from:
Netflix's Win-Back Campaign
At some point, your loyal customers can leave. They found a better product or lost interest in your services.
Competition can be tough, especially for small businesses, and that's why win-back drip campaigns are necessary to get your customer back.
Netflix is a fantastic example of a win-back drip campaign. The brand is not new to losing subscribers and losses. To counter the loss of subscribers, NetFlix has a smart re-engagement drip campaign that also boosts engagement.
The email is simple and direct; it aims to win back the customer with a clear and brightly colored call-to-action.
Besides this email, the brand targets unsubscribed customers with relevant movies, and TV shows that they're missing out on. Showing their most recent shows along with the user's top picks, the brand incentivizes former users to re-engage.
Netflix's entire win-back approach is meant to remind the customer that they're missing out. You can borrow this approach and show your customers why re-investing in your brand is valuable to them.
Joybird: Showcasing Five-Star Customer Service to Attract New Customers
52% of Americans are willing to pay more for excellent customer service. In the retail sector, nearly 33% of consumers are willing to pay up to 10% more for premium services.
Why not showcase your excellent customer service and attract new leads? Joybird has mastered the art of efficient customer experience, and they demonstrate this by offering customers a virtual tour.
Joybird's drip strategy is an excellent example of how a brand can anticipate a customer's pain points and solve them before they face them.
Mac Cosmetics: Targeting Users with Product Bundling
Drip marketing campaigns are meant to nurture leads. But you can also go into full sales mode at times, especially if you have some great offers.
Product bundling fits excellently in drip campaigns to keep your customers informed about what else you have for them.
Mac highlights a product bundling promotion, showing customers multiple products that can fetch a substantial discount.
The email stands out by highlighting the following:
- Comparatively low price for the bundled products
- The savings the customer will make
- That the offer is for a best-selling product, not samples or stock clearance.
Mac also throws some scarcity in the email by showing the customer that the sale quantities are limited.
How to Automate Your Drip Marketing
Email automation tools will help meet your drip campaign needs. You can use offer integrated email solutions to test emails and track different metrics and even monitor your email marketing campaign’s success.
How do you find the best email automation tool for your brand? There isn't any one-size-fits-all answer but when selecting a tool, consider the following:
- Availability of ready templates
- Integration options
- User-friendliness of the tool's interface
- A/B testing option
- Customizable methods that email recipients can use to sign up
- eCommerce capabilities
- Email deliverability options
- Pricing scalability
- Marketing automation features
- Free trial availability.
Let's look at some of the best drip marketing tools that you can compare and pick depending on your budget and requirements.
Free option available
Growing Business: $9/month
Free option available
Free plan with basic templates
Free plan- 500 contacts
Email marketing: From $15.58/month
Marketing automation: From $48.38/month
Ecommerce marketing: From $97.58/month
Starts at $39/ month for 2500 contacts
Lite: $1/month/per user
Premium: $4/month/ per user
Workplace: $3/month/per user
Supercharge Your Business with Drip Marketing
Drip campaigns help you keep customers interested and engaged with your business. As we have seen, drip campaigns can also help you re-engage dormant customers.
And drip campaigns are one of the least taxing parts of a marketing campaign since most of the work is automated by software.
Choose the right automation platform and create messages that resonate with your leads and prospects. You can sell effortlessly by continually nurturing your audiences with value while ensuring they get exact content.
Do you have any questions about drip marketing? Let me know in the comments section below.