How to run an effective drip email marketing campaign

Lilach Bullock on Email marketing,


You received dozens of emails this morning. How many did you open?

Business emails have an average open rate of around 25% - meaning three out of every four emails are simply ignored.



This isn’t going to improve any time soon. Though our inboxes are growing ever more crowded, email is still the most effective way of reaching your clients directly.

How can I boost my open rate?



Studies have found that emails sent as part of a series have an open rate 80% higher than one-off messages. In addition, leads are more likely to open and engage with email they had anticipated receiving.



This is where drip marketing comes in…

What is drip marketing?

‘Drip marketing’ is known by a variety of names: automated emailing, lifecycle emailing, autoresponding… Whatever the name, the basic idea is the same:



In a drip campaign, a series of automated emails are sent to subscribers. These emails can follow a calendar schedule, or be triggered by user actions.



Used intelligently, drip marketing is the best way of ensuring that your emails evade your leads’ trash folders.

Email drip campaign

In order to be effective, a drip campaign needs to be carefully thought out. A string of poorly planned, poorly-targeted emails is a guaranteed way to irritate leads and get ignored.

But a well-planned series of drip emails can be the perfect way to engage users.



According to research conducted by the e-marketing suite Emma, targeted emails produce 18 times more revenue than global broadcasts. Not only that, leads who open targeted emails are 119% more likely to click links.

The advantages of drip marketing are obvious. Your leads are more likely to receive content that appeals to them, and consequently more likely to convert.



From your perspective, you save time: Every drip email is pre-written. A single email can be mailed out thousands of times (personalised with relevant information, including your contact’s name). And because everything is sent out automatically, you can rely on a platform to do all the hard work.

So, what are the ingredients of an effective drip email campaign?

First things first: Segmentation

Before you decide what to send, make sure you know who you’re sending it to. A successful drip marketing campaign targets users with appropriate content at appropriate times.

Start by segmenting your database. You can segment your database by industry, purchase history, even the links that a user has clicked in the past…

Segmentation allows you to target your emails more effectively, meaning a reduced unsubscription rate and increased conversions.



A carefully targeted drip campaign will increase the likelihood that users will engage with content.



An effective campaign evolves as you acquire more data. Find ways of gleaning more information from leads, and monitor how they respond to your emails. You can adapt your mail campaign in response, or even create whole new campaigns… The more closely you pay attention to what your database is telling you, the more effective your marketing will be.

Target your message

Before you begin drafting copy, decide on a set of goals. The call to action, the copy and the subject line should all be drafted with these aims in mind.

Email drip campaign

Think carefully about what you want each email in a chain to achieve. For example, if your email is part of an educational series, you may simply want the recipient to open it, find it useful, and make a mental note to keep an eye out for the next instalment.

Whatever your goal, an eye-catching subject line is a must. No matter how relevant the content inside an email, if the subject line doesn’t give readers a reason to open your message your open rate will suffer.



As with every email you write, copy must be clear and to the point. Most importantly, it must contain an unambiguous call to action – it should be impossible for the lead to ignore the steps you want him or her to take.

Build content around triggers

Ultimately, the content of the drip emails you send depends on the actions that trigger them. This is the key to an effective drip campaign: Make sure content is relevant. The lead should always know why you’ve sent them an email.

For example, most drip campaigns are triggered when users perform a certain action (clicks a link, makes a purchase etc.).



When new users subscribe, they expect to receive a confirmation email, and are typically happy to read them. An Experian paper on welcome emails shows that, while the open rate for most business emails is around 14.6%, around 59% of welcome emails are opened. Not only that, emails sent immediately after a user signs up have a whopping 88% open rate.



Your first email should feature everything you want new subscribers to know about your business.

This email should be followed up a few days later with an email showing off some of your best content.

Over the space of two emails, leads are introduced to your top content and given a useful overview of your product.

Engagement emails

An engagement email is a drip email triggered by on-site activity. For example, an engagement email could be triggered by a user visiting your site’s upgrade page, but not completing.

Email drip campaign



Engagement emails should give leads a handy nudge in the right direction.



Supposing a lead has made a number of visits to your ‘upgrade’ page but hasn’t followed through, a short series of emails could convince them to commit.

Or if a user signed up for your service, and then disappears, automated emails could be sent to tempt them back with a free gift, or special offer.



Engagement emails are often triggered when a user completes a purchase. In the days that follow, the customer is sent a series of emails detailing similar products or services, or upgrades to the product they have bought.

Alternatively, a buyer could be sent a series of educational emails. For example, a software firm could send recent customers a series of lessons, teaching them how to get the best out of a platform they have purchased.

Courses

You can also invite leads to subscribe to a drip email campaign in the form of an educational course.



Free gifts are a great way of enticing new leads to subscribe to your mailing lists.

A course makes for a great free gift, and can easily be turned into an effective drip email campaign. Leads will anticipate each new email, and be prepared to engage with links. Not only does a course give you a chance to flaunt your know-how, it’s a brilliant way to reuse old content. Just make sure you know what you want the lead to do once you’ve sent the final email…




And finally, be prepared to tweak

You won’t get it right first time. Take time to monitor your analytics and be prepared to tweak your strategy accordingly.

You received dozens of emails this morning. How many did you open?

Business emails have an average open rate of around 25% - meaning three out of every four emails are simply ignored.



This isn’t going to improve any time soon. Though our inboxes are growing ever more crowded, email is still the most effective way of reaching your clients directly.

How can I boost my open rate?



Studies have found that emails sent as part of a series have an open rate 80% higher than one-off messages. In addition, leads are more likely to open and engage with email they had anticipated receiving.



This is where drip marketing comes in…

What is drip marketing?

‘Drip marketing’ is known by a variety of names: automated emailing, lifecycle emailing, autoresponding… Whatever the name, the basic idea is the same:



In a drip campaign, a series of automated emails are sent to subscribers. These emails can follow a calendar schedule, or be triggered by user actions.



Used intelligently, drip marketing is the best way of ensuring that your emails evade your leads’ trash folders.

Email drip campaign

In order to be effective, a drip campaign needs to be carefully thought out. A string of poorly planned, poorly-targeted emails is a guaranteed way to irritate leads and get ignored.

But a well-planned series of drip emails can be the perfect way to engage users.



According to research conducted by the e-marketing suite Emma, targeted emails produce 18 times more revenue than global broadcasts. Not only that, leads who open targeted emails are 119% more likely to click links.

The advantages of drip marketing are obvious. Your leads are more likely to receive content that appeals to them, and consequently more likely to convert.



From your perspective, you save time: Every drip email is pre-written. A single email can be mailed out thousands of times (personalised with relevant information, including your contact’s name). And because everything is sent out automatically, you can rely on a platform to do all the hard work.

So, what are the ingredients of an effective drip email campaign?

First things first: Segmentation

Before you decide what to send, make sure you know who you’re sending it to. A successful drip marketing campaign targets users with appropriate content at appropriate times.

Start by segmenting your database. You can segment your database by industry, purchase history, even the links that a user has clicked in the past…

Segmentation allows you to target your emails more effectively, meaning a reduced unsubscription rate and increased conversions.



A carefully targeted drip campaign will increase the likelihood that users will engage with content.



An effective campaign evolves as you acquire more data. Find ways of gleaning more information from leads, and monitor how they respond to your emails. You can adapt your mail campaign in response, or even create whole new campaigns… The more closely you pay attention to what your database is telling you, the more effective your marketing will be.

Target your message

Before you begin drafting copy, decide on a set of goals. The call to action, the copy and the subject line should all be drafted with these aims in mind.

Email drip campaign

Think carefully about what you want each email in a chain to achieve. For example, if your email is part of an educational series, you may simply want the recipient to open it, find it useful, and make a mental note to keep an eye out for the next instalment.

Whatever your goal, an eye-catching subject line is a must. No matter how relevant the content inside an email, if the subject line doesn’t give readers a reason to open your message your open rate will suffer.



As with every email you write, copy must be clear and to the point. Most importantly, it must contain an unambiguous call to action – it should be impossible for the lead to ignore the steps you want him or her to take.

Build content around triggers

Ultimately, the content of the drip emails you send depends on the actions that trigger them. This is the key to an effective drip campaign: Make sure content is relevant. The lead should always know why you’ve sent them an email.

For example, most drip campaigns are triggered when users perform a certain action (clicks a link, makes a purchase etc.).



When new users subscribe, they expect to receive a confirmation email, and are typically happy to read them. An Experian paper on welcome emails shows that, while the open rate for most business emails is around 14.6%, around 59% of welcome emails are opened. Not only that, emails sent immediately after a user signs up have a whopping 88% open rate.



Your first email should feature everything you want new subscribers to know about your business.

This email should be followed up a few days later with an email showing off some of your best content.

Over the space of two emails, leads are introduced to your top content and given a useful overview of your product.

Engagement emails

An engagement email is a drip email triggered by on-site activity. For example, an engagement email could be triggered by a user visiting your site’s upgrade page, but not completing.

Email drip campaign



Engagement emails should give leads a handy nudge in the right direction.



Supposing a lead has made a number of visits to your ‘upgrade’ page but hasn’t followed through, a short series of emails could convince them to commit.

Or if a user signed up for your service, and then disappears, automated emails could be sent to tempt them back with a free gift, or special offer.



Engagement emails are often triggered when a user completes a purchase. In the days that follow, the customer is sent a series of emails detailing similar products or services, or upgrades to the product they have bought.

Alternatively, a buyer could be sent a series of educational emails. For example, a software firm could send recent customers a series of lessons, teaching them how to get the best out of a platform they have purchased.

Courses

You can also invite leads to subscribe to a drip email campaign in the form of an educational course.



Free gifts are a great way of enticing new leads to subscribe to your mailing lists.

A course makes for a great free gift, and can easily be turned into an effective drip email campaign. Leads will anticipate each new email, and be prepared to engage with links. Not only does a course give you a chance to flaunt your know-how, it’s a brilliant way to reuse old content. Just make sure you know what you want the lead to do once you’ve sent the final email…




And finally, be prepared to tweak

You won’t get it right first time. Take time to monitor your analytics and be prepared to tweak your strategy accordingly.

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Lilach Bullock
Professional Speaker, Lead Conversion Expert, Social Media Specialist & Occasional Diva. Proud mum
UK https://www.lilachbullock.com/