Modern businesses have a lot of choices when it comes to digital marketing. There are many varied channels you can explore to reach new audiences and convert new leads. Options like influencer and other social media marketing have recently come into vogue. One of the most effective marketing channels, though, is still one of the more traditional. That channel is email.
Email marketing campaigns can and do deliver outstanding results for companies across niches. A recent report estimated that the average ROI for email marketing was a whopping $38 for each $1 spent. What that tells you is that done right, email campaigns can bring your company a considerable amount of business.
What you need to know, then, is how to set up email marketing campaigns that will get you those kinds of results. It takes more than one blog post to share all the ins and outs of excellent email marketing. Fortunately, though, getting to grips with the basics is pretty straightforward. It’s also enough to help you build your first high-converting campaigns.
Read on, and you’ll learn;
A drip email campaign is a sequence of emails sent by a company to a recipient. It’s also sometimes called an ‘autoresponder cycle’. You can set up these campaigns through an email marketing platform and then allow them to run. You don’t need to send each message yourself; it’s an automated process. In the email marketing field, that’s called a ‘set and forget’ campaign.
Emails within a drip campaign get sent at specified times and intervals. Exactly how many emails there are in a sequence and how closely spaced those emails are, can differ. A traditional welcome email campaign – more on this later – can have as few as three messages. Those messages often cover only a couple of days.
More complex campaigns can include many more messages. They can also extend over several weeks. In some cases, the more involved campaigns will also incorporate ‘action-based tracking’. They track what recipients do with the messages they get and send different emails as a result. For example, if someone doesn’t open the first message, they’ll get a different series of emails to someone who does.
The best drip campaigns target a specific issue or opportunity. Brands use them to resolve a particular pain point or to achieve a defined goal. Common examples include the following:
Now you know what a drip email campaign is, you’ll want to see why it’s the type of campaign you want to run. Many factors combine to make drip campaigns effective.
The main feature of drip campaigns is that they include a sequence of messages, rather than one. That multi-message nature is also one of the reasons this type of campaign is so effective.
A useful way to think about it is to focus on the ‘drip’ part of the name. Imagine you’re in your kitchen, and the tap drips once. You might notice it, but you’re not going to stop what you’re doing and give it your full attention. If it keeps dripping, though, you’ll eventually decide you need to do something about it.
In the same way, people who receive more than one email from a sender are more likely to react. Depending on the ultimate aim of the campaign, that reaction may be a reply, a new subscription, or a sale. Drip campaigns, then, can have a positive impact on any company’s bottom line.
The effectiveness of these campaigns isn’t all about volume, though. It’s not a case that the more messages a campaign includes, the more success it will have. At a certain point, recipients will start to view your emails as spam if you send them too many. You need to strike a balance between getting their attention and causing a nuisance.
Your campaigns also need to stay focused on the issue you designed them to resolve. Each message should move you one step closer to your campaign’s ultimate goal. Take, for instance, a cart abandonment campaign. It aims to persuade a customer who added a product to their cart but didn’t buy it, to come back to your site and do so. Each message in the campaign must try to address one reason they may have abandoned the purchase. That way, it’s more likely to hit the specific pain point of each recipient.
By talking about what makes drip campaigns effective, we’ve already given some general hints on setting them up. You should understand the exact issue you want a campaign to address before you start. Then, you need to assess the length of the message sequence you need to get the best possible response rate.
Now, it’s time to get a bit more focussed. The following are five key email campaigns that you’ll want to consider for your business:
Each of those campaigns can bring significant benefits to your company. To get the most out of them, you need to know what they are and how best to set them up. By looking at them in turn, we’ll tell you everything you need to know.
A crucial drip campaign for any business to utilise is a traditional welcome sequence. That sequence is a short series of emails that you send when a new subscriber joins your email list. It’s best to keep these campaigns short and sweet. You should shoot for a trio of messages spread across a few days.
There are a handful of simple things you’re trying to achieve with your welcome sequence:
The first email in the sequence is where you introduce yourself or your firm. It’s looking to make a good impression, but not be too salesy. Make it an informal welcome message that might make a recipient smile. The below email from Virgin America is a great example:
You can then follow up that first email with a second, a day or two later. That email should point the recipient to a blog post, video, or another piece of content that they’d find useful. Try to convey the fact that the material is only available to those you email, or that it would otherwise be difficult to access.
You should send your final welcome message a couple of days later. Pop in another link to a different piece of content or perhaps even to a freebie or offer. Don’t go over the top selling a recipient on your service or products. That’s not the purpose of this campaign.
An upselling drip email campaign is where you can be more sales focussed. It’s a campaign you can use to persuade an existing customer to spend more with you. When someone has purchased a product or service, they’re more likely to be willing to buy more. They’ve decided your offerings are for them and have taken their purchase decision. You can strike while the iron’s hot.
Once again, it’s best to keep this email sequence nice and short. A simple pair of messages should suffice. The first needs to come quite soon after the recipient’s initial purchase. Try to make sure they get the email within two weeks at the outside. That message should reference their purchase and point them to related possibilities.
Take, for example, a SaaS firm that offers several service alternatives. Two or more of those services may work well in combination. The company should make that point in the initial email of their upsell drip email campaign. They should then offer their email recipients a discount or offer on the related product.
The second and final message of the sequence is about creating urgency. You should send it a few days to a week after the first. The second message must tell the recipient that their offer will soon expire. That will help to spur them on and make them more likely to take up the offer.
Whatever your niche, if you sell products or services online, you’ll have an issue with cart abandonment. That’s when people get as far as adding a product to their shopping cart, but don’t go through with buying it. You can use a platform like Google Analytics to track your site’s exact cart abandonment rate. Rates, though, are high for every industry and sector:
A cart abandonment drip email campaign is a way to get some of those potential customers back. It’s a sequence – often of around three messages – to persuade those near-customers to complete their purchases. The chain can aim to address specific reasons why you think a lead may have abandoned their cart.
Alternatively, a more straightforward option is to use scarcity and promotion to win back business. In that case, you should use a campaign that looks something like this:
It’s not only those who abandon their carts at your site who you can offer promotions to via email. A promotion-specific drip campaign is a great way to turn a contact or lead into a customer. To make this sequence as effective as you can, you need to think about why a recipient may want to take up your offer.
Often, customers take up an offer for a combination of reasons. Put simply; they first desire the product or service on offer. Then, they get convinced of the logic behind buying it through the specific promotion. You should build your email campaign to account for this. In three simple emails, you can create desire, appeal to a recipient’s rational side, and create urgency. Like this:
You have lots of information on your customers and visitors to your site. You get that info when they fill in forms and thanks to the data collected by Google Analytics and other tools. A special date campaign is a way to make clever use of some of the information. You send this kind of sequence on or around a specific date. Often, that will be on the recipient’s birthday or the anniversary of when they became your customer.
You need only send two messages as part of this campaign. Send the first during the day in question. Congratulate the recipient on the special occasion and offer a promotion or bonus as a gift. Then, send a follow-up email the next day, telling them that their offer will soon expire. These campaigns are great for two reasons. They drum up additional business and build a more personal relationship with customers.
Drip email campaigns are a vital part of any firm’s marketing strategy. They’re proven to be effective in warming up cold leads and turning prospects into customers. Used right, they can also get more business from your existing customers. What’s more, thanks to their ‘set and forget’ nature, the campaigns are far easier to manage than most.
The above hints and tips should set you on your way toward building effective drip campaigns. By following our simple guide and tweaking campaigns to suit you, you’ll soon start to see the results. As part of a well-rounded marketing strategy, the email sequences can play a crucial role in the success of your business.
Nick Brown is the founder & CEO of accelerate agency, a SaaS SEO agency. Nick has launched several successful online businesses, writes for Forbes, published a book and has grown accelerate from a UK agency to a company that now operates across US, APAC and EMEA and employs 160 people. He was also once charged at by a mountain gorilla