The best feature of drip emailing is that it is a guaranteed timesaver. Once you have planned your chain of messages, you just let them do the work for you. They keep you in consistent touch with the consumer, which means you won’t miss sales by slipping through the cracks or being forgotten.
Why use drip campaigns?
Drip campaigns are designed to reach out with a targeted message for someone at the right time. Since they’re automated emails—like welcome messages, happy birthday wishes, and order notifications—they work for your business while you focus on other things.
Automated drip campaigns make it easy to connect with the right person at the right moment—without doing the work every time. Whether they’re triggered by dates or actions, there are many examples of drip campaigns that could work for your business.
Drip emails can accompany each potential customer through your sales pipeline. From welcome drips, onboarding sequences, lead nurturing campaigns, and abandoned shopping carts to new product recommendations.
Reach out on dates that are important to your audience
Subscription renewal or reordering prompts. If your business has any products on a subscription or membership basis—such as a gym or yoga studio, a paid newsletter, a farm delivery service, regular delivery of staples like toothpaste or shaving cream, etc.—then a drip campaign is a great way to notify your audience when their subscription is up for renewal. Remind them of the value you provide and how they’ve benefited from your services. If you can, entice them with new offerings that are in the works.
Birthdays, anniversaries, and other events. While you may not turn these into a series, an email on an audience member’s birthday, the anniversary of their first purchase, or another relevant event can be a great way to reinforce your brand value—and perhaps even prompt a purchase.
Communicate based on a user’s behaviors
Welcome emails. When someone new joins your audience, it’s a key moment to make a good impression. With welcome drips, you can share everything about your business that a newcomer needs to know. You can also use welcome emails to follow up with someone you met in person, like at an event you hosted—for example, a trunk show, wine tasting, or sale. A drip campaign can be an effective way to keep new audience members posted on upcoming events, sales, or other activities and to make them feel like you share their values.
First purchase automations. When someone makes their first purchase from you, it’s a great opportunity to thank them for their business, remind them of the product features and quality, give them tips on how to get the most from their purchase, suggest complementary things that other buyers have purchased, and reinforce that they made a good decision. Saying thank you at this early stage of your business relationship can make them feel part of a special community.
Product recommendations. When someone makes a purchase, a great way to boost sales is to suggest related items. This can be included in an order confirmation or shipment notification email. For example, if someone buys a dress on your site, you might suggest a belt or scarf—whether they’re often bought together by other shoppers or recommended by your in-house experts. Alternatively, you might follow up a few weeks, or even months, after a purchase to suggest refills or parts. For example, if someone buys an air purifier on your site, you might send an email 3 months later suggesting replacement filters.
Follow-up emails to educate and onboard your audience. If someone engages with your customer service or sales team—for example, to inquire about order status, shipping timing, or some other concern—a drip campaign can prompt them to do more. For example, if they call about a missing invoice or payment, a drip campaign might encourage them to sign up for emailed invoices or online or automatic payment. Likewise, if they started but didn’t complete a tutorial video on using your product or a product registration, a drip campaign can encourage them to finish—and better tie them to your business.
Abandoned shopping carts. Online shoppers often put something in their cart, then remove it before purchase—or abandon the purchase altogether. A well-executed abandoned cart email can encourage them to reassess the purchase. Be careful, though, not to be too “big brother”-ish—you don’t want to appear overly intrusive. For example, if the shopper abandoned a particular skirt, you might send an email promoting your whole spring line, or a line from that designer, without mentioning the specific item they selected.
Lead nurture. Active interest from prospects is particularly well suited to drip campaigns. If someone registers for a webinar or a content element like a white paper or interactive tool, that’s your cue to reach out to them with relevant content. For example, if you provide lawn care, and a prospect signs up for your guide to winter-proofing their yard, you can send them emails with additional tips and include promotions of your yard care products and services. Lead Nurturing can take many forms, like giving them more details about product features, or what they will learn from your online course, or educating them on your service, either way, a lead nurturing campaign can not only increase your sales but the purchase value as well.
How to set up a drip campaign
- Choose your trigger. What specific action or date will your drip campaign be based on?
- Identify your audience(s). For example, will your “first purchase” drip campaign go to all new audience members, or only those whose purchase is over, say, $100?
- Craft your message for each email. Your drip campaign emails don’t need to be long, but they definitely need to be consistent with your brand.
- Measure and adjust based on performance. The right measurement for your campaign will be based on the type of email you send, its audience, and other factors. Monitor how your various emails are working, their click rates and conversion rates, and be prepared to make tweaks based on what you learn.
- Maintain your drip emails. The copy you use may go out of date as your offerings evolve; review all your drip campaigns periodically to be sure they don’t go stale.
With all that you have to do, use drip marketing to help with company promotion efforts! While it’s sending the right message, at the right time, to just the right audience, you can be focused on other business priorities. You can use Mailchimp marketing automation software to set up an effective drip campaign. See how Mailchimp’s free marketing automation tools compare to the competition.
The key elements of a drip marketing campaign
1 – Triggers
Triggers are the events that set your drip marketing campaign in motion by either causing entry of a new lead to your pipeline or propelling it further down the funnel. Depending on the peculiarities of your particular business, the range and number of triggers may vary. Here are some of the most common drip marketing triggers:
2 – Conditions
Triggers set the campaign off and get the gears going. However, for the engagement actions to commence, a set of pre-defined conditions must be met first. Just like triggers, drip marketing campaign conditions are determined by the marketing manager planning out the campaign; hence they’re only limited by the aforementioned manager’s imagination. But if you don’t have any sort of idea as to where to start and are looking for some examples, we got your back:
3 – Actions
In drip marketing, actions refer to the actual engagement elements that establish a connection between the business and its customers. Depending on the type of drip marketing in question, these actions can take the form of emails, SMS messages, social media direct messages or push notifications, etc.
Why use drip marketing?
But where do all those fantastic stats come from and how can drip marketing cause such marvellous results? Here’s an explanation of the exact effects of employing a drip marketing campaign for your business.
- It improves engagement. It’s a proven fact that emails triggered by user actions are more likely to be opened than mass-send email marketing campaigns. Not only can you provide a personalised well-crafted email to promote your business and relevant products, but also get a response from your customers.
- It propels leads down the funnel automatically. Drip marketing enhances your productivity as it saves a fair amount of time and, therefore, money for your business. With marketing automation, you can push your leads towards conversion automatically, without an employee getting involved.
- It eliminates prospects’ irritation.Cold-calling or cold-emailing can be useful, but it inevitably means interrupting your prospects day. This can cause irritation and draw negative associations. With triggered emails, however, it isn’t the case! Take Russel from the Pixar film ‘UP’ as an example: the boy scout hit up the right prospect but did so at a wrong moment. Eventually, he did get what he wanted but, not gonna lie, it could’ve been done much easier had he used some drip marketing there!
- It enables cross-selling and up-selling. By extending your drip campaign beyond conversion, you can score yourself a loyal customer that would make repeat purchases. Hence, more sales!
- It increases brand awareness. Last but not least, if you pop up in your leads’ inbox regularly, you put a reminder about yourself into their heads and stay there for longer. Profit!
Drip campaign examples
This is not an exhaustive list, as just like chains, drip campaigns can have endless incarnations. However, these are the most common ones you definitely should take into consideration when creating your drip campaign.
When someone joins a mailing list, they expect at least an immediate confirmation of the fact they joined to show up in their mailbox, but you’d be wise to offer more than that. A series of welcome emails goes a long way to show your prospective client you care that they are showing interest. It also gives you a chance to go ahead and show what you have to offer and what they can expect from you while they are still newly interested.
Top of mind
The idea behind a top of mind drip emailing is to keep your prospect’s interest. These messages may be triggered by a lack of interaction with your site or spread to remind prospective clients what you have to offer. You want to remind them you exist and want to interact – which will hopefully lead to a click on that CTA button.
If your lead has gotten cold, you have to re-engage. There are many ways to do this, from a very casual “Hey, haven’t heard from you in a while” to a more formal invitation back. Maybe you need to retarget because the drip persona you chose for that person isn’t quite the right one. Whatever you do, turning a prospect into an engaged client is the end goal.
Part of building brand loyalty is showing the client the brand cares about them as an individual and as a customer. If you have a customer, the whole idea is to keep them! Courting new customers is crucial, but having existing customers come back to you is more important, as they are more likely to make future purchases with you. Post-purchase drip emailing can help you do that.
An email drip campaign directed at competitors’ clients explaining why your product is superior or more beneficial can be an effective way to pique interest and ultimately convert them. This is also a good time to run promos, as explained in the next section.
Everyone loves a good sale! Running limited-time promos almost guarantees a jump in interactions and sales. Set a drip campaign that will offer your prospects an occasional deal or sale. Free trials, promo codes, and temporary markdowns are all enticing and exciting for consumers, who are always looking to get the most bang for their buck.
It’s important to make sure you’re clear about exactly what your product is, what it does, and how to use it. This applies to everything from bookshelves to software: people need to know what they are getting. It’s also vital your client knows how to maximize their user experience, so any educational media, such as how to’s, tips, or industry information, can be shared for their benefit.
People who unsubscribe don’t always want to never hear from you again. Maybe they just want fewer emails or to follow you on social media instead. A link to a “sorry to see you go” webpage or email with those options might just keep someone from disengaging entirely.
Well-designed drip campaigns are a very effective way to keep in touch with your customers without having to do a ton of work on your end. Reminders, sales, interactions, all can be put into your drip campaign – it nurtures leads for you in a timely manner, specific to each customer’s actions.
Frequently asked questions
What is a drip campaign?
A drip campaign is an automated sequence of pre-written follow-up emails to existing and prospective clients. They can be sent over time or based on specific recipient actions to encourage interaction and maximize engagement. Drip campaigns are one of the most efficient and affordable outbound sales strategies with high conversion and the lowest investment.Here is a more detailed guide on drip campaigns.
Segmenting by behavior is a whole other game: planning, creating and executing behavior-based drip campaigns can be strategically complex. It involves the type of strategy that requires extensive planning, advanced software, and technical skills.While a simple autoresponder engine could be launched in a day, you should expect a complex drip engine to take much longer, and be considerably more expensive to set up.
Why Drip? Three Benefits.
Getting people through the sales funnel requires momentum that is generally powered by content. And the content must be valuable to recipients, else their next step might be out the door and into the open arms of your competitor.
Drip marketing is an ideal purpose for your content marketing engine because it allows you to deliver relevant, timely information to your target audience based on where they are in the decision-making process and what they’re interested in.
For example, for top-of-funnel prospects who download a white paper, a triggered message could be sent inviting them to view an on-demand webinar on that topic. For bottom-of-funnel folks who abandon a shopping cart, a series of triggered messages could be deployed to re-engage them and encourage them to complete their purchase.
Better yet, when drip marketing is automated the costs can be further reduced because good automation platforms (1) remove the need for IT support and (2) allow sales and marketing teams to “set it and forget it”, freeing up expensive resource time.
3. Is easy to automate. Drip campaigns are tailor-made for marketing automation. In fact, NOT automating your drip campaigns is arguably a fool’s errand; it would take a dedicated team of full-time staff to manually manage a successful drip marketing campaign, and the results would be less optimal and (much) more expensive than using an automated platform.
Marketing automation is about working smarter not harder. Meaning you can design complex decision-tree based campaigns up front, then simply take your hands off the wheel and let them cruise along on their own. By keeping the funnel filled and engagement strong, automated drip campaigns free up your resources to focus on closing more deals.
What is drip marketing?
At it’s simplest, drip marketing is automated marketing.The goal of a drip marketing strategy is to capture leads, and then nurture these leads through a series of specific events. Eventually selling these leads your products or services without lifting a finger.
The above, mixed and matched and synchronized can form a robust drip marketing campaign. The events can be triggered by user behavior, the passing of a certain period of time, purchases, and many other things that you’ll learn later in this guide.
Smart companies love drip marketing. Using specialized software, these strategies can all be automated, virtually replacing the need to sell 1-to-1.And even if you do still need to sell manually, you’ll be ahead of where you are now. Businesses that switch to drip marketing to nurture leads, have found a 451% increase in qualified leads.
So why is it called a “drip” campaign?Simple: a drip marketing campaign is delivered, piece by piece over a certain period of time. In metaphorical terms, think of each piece of a drip campaign as a droplet of water that, over time, nurtures a crop from seed to maturity.The seed is a new lead, and the mature crop is a prospect that’s ready to buy.
A drip campaign can include anywhere from two to hundreds of different emails. And fortunately for people’s inboxes, not all emails are sent to everyone: personalization and segmentation are key to the success of most drip marketing systems.
Onboarding emails for those who are unsure
When you have customers/prospects in this area, you have already introduced yourself to them, but they may need some more clarification as to what you do and how to do it. When this is timed correctly through a drip campaign, this can avoid any users from dropping off from lack of information.
Asana uses a drip model to send out emails that explain what it is they can do for your business. They take this opportunity to answer the general question that most of their customers have. They provide the solutions Asana has to offer, along with pictures of what to expect from their site. This gives their users the security they want because they’ll know what to expect from Asana overall.
For example, LearnPad, a developer of classroom tablets and tools, wanted to do a better job of getting educators to adopt their technology. Using Act-On, LearnPad’s marketing team created and executed a 10-step drip email campaign that systematically engaged with every one of their subscribers. Learn more about how automated campaigns helped them rapidly increase qualified leads, and to do it faster than ever before. And find out how easy it can be to set up automated drip and lead nurturing programs that get results.
Email Drip Campaign Best Tips
The beauty of email drip campaigns is that they can be perfectly timed and centered around certain consumer behaviors. But, how? When done correctly, it’s almost like an art form and will help you reach your best leads and generate higher than average open rates. Here are a few tips to help you maximize your email drip campaigns.
Email Drip Tip #1 – Identify Your Audience
The first step is to start collecting email addresses and identifying your audience. From offering email signup incentives to providing value added content with the promise of future promotions, there are a myriad of ways to generate leads. The goal is to generate the largest number of qualified leads as possible and then let your drip email campaign strategy do the rest.
Email Drip Tip #2 – Make Sure Messages are Relevant
A main goal of email drip marketing is to identify commonalities, fulfill a need or solve an issue. Highlight key benefits which is the main reason why a lead gave you their email address in the first place. “Sell” to the emotional human, not the logical business. It’s a well-known fact that people buy with emotion, then justify it afterwards with logic. In fact, a Harvard Business School professor says that 95% of our purchase decision-making takes place subconsciously!
Choose a messaging style and tone that feels unique to your prospects. Reference why you’re reaching out, provide examples of other clients like them, keep your copy short, and put an emphasis on adding value to your recipients.
Email Drip Tip #3 – Have a Plan
People are busy and you are competing with every other business sending email drip campaigns. You don’t want to bombard prospects and need to find a way to stand out from the crowd. Canned content that appears cold and impersonal won’t work. Identify the need you are trying to fulfill and ensure that your copywriting speaks directly to your leads.
The goal is to convince prospects that you are speaking directly to them. It’s also important to determine how many times you plan to reach out to prospects, leads and existing customers for that matter. Too many emails can be overwhelming and turn potential customers away for good.
And please, please, please, follow up. Sales are won and lost in the follow-up. Don’t rely on just one message or one campaign. You need to maintain consistent top-of-mind status and build relationships with your audience.
Email Drip Tip #4 – Be Prepared to Tweak the Plan
Creating an effective email drip campaign means being ready to tweak the plan as necessary. After emails are sent, it’s important to track engagement, open rates, click through rates and ultimately sales. If something is not working, you can always adjust the flow of the drip, change the creative or tweak the execution as necessary.
Email Drip Tip #5 – Use Software, But Send Personal Emails
The emails that Connect 365 send register 100% as personal emails in your inbox. Just like each one was manually typed out and sent. That’s because they essentially are. Our tool just does it for you. You see, Gmail, Outlook, etc. give priority to personal emails. Not emails sent from big box email marketing tools.
Make sure to cover the basics first.
Before you set up your program, outline the goals of your campaign and identify success metrics. And get to know your customers and prospects before crafting your messages. What search terms did they use to find your site? What pages did they visit, and what did they download? Do you have a persona outlined for this audience segment? Who are they and what are they likely to respond to? Segment your lists by interests, geography, responsibility – any factor or combination of factors that makes sense in your business model – and drip out email content and offers they’ll care about.
People often think of drip email marketing campaigns when they think of drip marketing, and while it’s true that email drip programs can be extremely effective, they don’t need to be the only way you connect with customers and prospects. Consider using timed social media posts, SMS text messages, direct mail such as letters, postcards, brochures, and printed newsletters, as well as phone calls. Better still, test a combination of formats, along with emails, to see what works and what doesn’t.
Nurture leads to warm them up for sales.
Drip nurturing is an excellent tactic for capturing the attention of someone who might be interested but not quite ready to buy. High-ticket products or complex services are prime candidates for drip nurturing campaigns. You can deliver a progressive set of messages as the prospect proceeds through the funnel. Nurtured leads become sales-ready with deeper knowledge and insight – and they tend to make larger purchases, too. With drip marketing, you can deliver the right information at exactly the right step in the buyer’s journey.
Free trials are a great way to get your solutions into the hands of your prospects and to become indispensable to them. But if they don’t work as advertised, they can alienate your potential customers as well. Using a series of messages to help prospects get the most out of your product or throughout a trial period will improve the odds of closing the sale. Provide them with a series of tips, best practices, and how-to webinars. Give them the opportunity to join an online community or to share their experiences on a message board. Notify them when the trial is about to close. Be sure to build in a step that makes another offer if they don’t respond.
When You Should Use a Drip Campaign
Drip campaigns are so versatile that it’s almost easier to list times when you _won’t _benefit from using them. Here are the top nine scenarios when drip emails are the perfect tool for your email marketing plan.
- Nurturing leads: Drip campaigns are the perfect tool for prospects that have yet to make a purchase. You can set up a long-lasting drip campaign that introduces leads to the value of your brand through helpful information and suggestion to build a relationship and encourage future sales.
- Welcoming: When you bring in new subscribers, drip campaigns engage them immediately. You can send an initial welcome email with an offer, then follow up with messages with product suggestions or helpful information based on their demographics.
- Onboarding: If someone has just joined your service, you can set up a series of emails that guide them through onboarding. A three-day series of emails about basic, intermediate, and advanced use of your service can get clients oriented and engaged without overwhelming them.
- Abandoned shopping carts: If a potential customer puts items in their cart and then leaves the site, you can use a drip campaign to bring them back. Try sending one email reminder about their cart an hour after they leave. If they don’t come back, follow up two days later with a second email with a coupon for 10% off their purchase. That can lower your abandoned cart rate significantly.
- Recommendations: A recommendations drip campaign can be very effective if you want to keep your audience engaged. Suppose a customer hasn’t purchased in a month. In that case, you can send a series of weekly emails with recommendations based on their previous purchases.
- Renewals: If a subscription renewal is coming up, you can send a set of drip emails reminding customers about the renewal. Follow up by offering discounts on upsold features or products in their next package.
- Confirmations: Purchase confirmations can be a series of two or three emails. The first can be a confirmation of purchase with a quick request for a review. The following emails can request reviews after the product is received and offer discounts in exchange for referrals. These help you collect valuable data.
- Engagement: You can use drip marketing campaigns to encourage audience members to engage with your brand by participating in contests or posting reviews. For instance, you can send a campaign thanking customers for recent reviews. Later, you can follow up with a request for reviews on other products or suggestions for items they may like.
- Unsubscribes: If someone chooses to unsubscribe from your mailing list, you can send a brief follow-up campaign. Ask if they meant to unsubscribe and say you’re sorry to see them go. This can prevent accidental unsubscriptions from going unnoticed by your audience.
Best Practices for Running Your Drip Campaign
If you want to get great results from your drip campaigns, you need to run them well. That means using customer data, personalization, and regular analysis to give customers the experience they want. These three best practices will help you do just that.
1. Set Goals
Drip campaigns are goal-oriented. Every email should be written to encourage a specific customer action, such as making a purchase or visiting a webpage. When you’re building campaigns, choose the action you want customers to take and focus on it from the start.
Consider a drip campaign that’s designed to guide prospects into making a purchase. Each email should target the audience’s unique pain points and how your products will solve their problems, guiding them through the sale. Wait to encourage referrals or reviews until later.
2. Use Customer Data
The best way to accomplish this is to have a single source with your customers’ information. You can use this source to check the kinds of data you have available, such as demographics and each customer’s previous interactions with your business. This lets you spot things like what different audience segments need and their relationship with your brand.
Using that information, you can customize your campaigns to each specific market and demographic segment. Some groups are more motivated by discounts, while others prefer high-end features or exclusive extras.
3. Measure Your Results
The only way to tell whether your campaigns are succeeding is to measure your results. You can collect data at both the individual email level and the overall campaign level. This data will help you learn how customers respond, which will help you tweak current campaigns and design future ones. Ways to measure your results include: