Offering a 119% increase in click rates and 18 times more revenue than globally-broadcasted emails, drip campaigns are a powerful form of marketing. Emails are automatically sent out in a specific order, according to a schedule or certain triggers. You can segment your email list so that people are contacted after they’ve bought your product, or signed up for your newsletter, for example. It all comes down to sending the right information, at the right time, to the right audience.

When effectively utilized, drip campaigns move site visitors deeper into the marketing funnel. You can educate potential customers about what you do by bringing new subscribers up to speed on your blog. Prospective customers who have been browsing your product or service page may be more enticed to buy your product or service with an email featuring all your best reasons to buy, or a special offer.

But ensuring a successful drip campaign requires careful planning. So, what if you don’t know where to start? Fear not, as we’ve created a step-by-step guide so you can identify the content you need for your upcoming drip campaign.

Step 1: Identify Your Drip Campaign Goals

Successful drip campaigns rely on two things: targeted messaging, and a clear and quantifiable goal. Some potential goals to consider include:

  • Lead nurturing to move candidates deeper into the sales funnel.
  • Promoting special offers and discounts to convert new customers.
  • Driving traffic to new products or published content.
  • Re-engaging with leads you haven’t interacted with in a while.
  • Sending a series of welcome or getting started emails to users who’ve just signed up for your product or service.
  • Soliciting positive reviews after a purchase has been made

The quantifiable side of your goal should relate to the metrics that your company tracks and values. By how much do you want to increase CTR? How many more leads do you want to identify this quarter?

Step 2: Map Out Your Drip Campaign

Once you’ve identified your drip campaign goal, you next need to map out what the campaign will look like. Pardot laid out an example map for a company using a drip campaign to re-engage with leads:

drip campaign diagram

Creating a map will help you carefully outline every aspect of the campaign. When creating yours, make sure to consider:

    • Time Between Emails: You don’t want to send out emails at too quick a pace, yet you also don’t want them to lose their impact after too much time. It’s a matter of finding the balance.
    • Steps For Every Possibility: Campaign maps branch out whenever a user does or doesn’t do something. Understand what needs to be done at every branch. If a user clicks on your link, do you assign them to a sales rep and end the drip? If a user does nothing, do you send them a shorter email? If a user opens an email but doesn’t click through, what is the next step for encouraging them to complete the desired action?
    • Categorized Types of Content: Successful email drips need different content types to get the most user engagement. If a link to a blog post does nothing, maybe a video is the next step. If someone has an inactive account, try sending them a promotion email for a discount when their trial expires.
  • Segmented Lists for Each Audience: If your company markets to several different types of consumer or audience, segmenting your drip is best practice for improved results. Break down your subscribers into segments that make sense – maybe you’ll have one segment for people CEOs, and one for managers, or one segment for customers interested in one product line, and another segment for customers interested in another. Develop the language around your drip emails so that they directly relate to the segment you’re sending to. Segmenting your list allows you to create customized content so your message can resonate with each individual audience.  
  • End Points: Knowing where your drip campaigns end are important for plotting the paths in your email automation platform. They also serve to ensure the path ends where it should. Would it be better for your campaign to end after three follow-ups, or would two suffice?

Step 3: Create the Necessary Content

With your drip campaign mapped out, it’s easy to identify the content needed to bring your campaign to life. Emails are a given, but now you know exactly what types of emails you need to write. When creating and gathering content, keep the following in mind:

  • Pay close attention to subject lines: they’re often the only thing your customers see and can make or break your open rates.
  • Avoid spammy or inaccurate subject lines: Not only will they reduce your open rates, but they may hurt the credibility of your company.
  • Consider your different customers: Where people are in the marketing funnel, and what segment you are targeting will decide what kind of material your emails will include. Are you introducing a potential client to your company, or persuading a prospective client to make a purchase?
  • Keep your target audience in mind: Language and references are just a few factors that will vary depending on who you’re speaking to.
  • Personalize your emails wherever possible: Your marketing automation platform will allow you to insert fields, such as company and first name, to pull in the lead’s contact information.
  • Update your drip emails regularly: Review all previously made content before including links to them in your emails. Make sure sources and facts are still relevant. Update images and graphics if needed.

The Benefits of a Drip Campaign

Email marketing remains one of the most viable tactics for marketers today. In 2015 alone, email marketing generated $38 in ROI for every $1 spent. Customer loyalty and retention also increase when emails deliver regular and relevant messaging.

Drip campaigns are effective because they take the manual sending out of the equation. Automation ensures your strategy is executed as intended every time. This opens up your schedule to the content and messaging side of your email campaigns. In other words, focusing your time on the 3 steps we’ve outlined here!


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