Email marketing has been popular for over two decades and shows no sign of slowing down. Sending out emails can be a great way to announce news, latest products, events and more. Drip campaigns can be known by many other names, such as drip marketing, automated email campaign, lifecycle emails, autoresponders and marketing automation.
In basic terms this form of marketing means emails will be sent out automatically on a schedule. For example, one email will usually go out as soon as someone signs up, another will go out 3 days later, with one more going out the next weekend. Or, the emails can be varied based on triggers, or actions the person has performed like signing up for your service or making a purchase.
Drip marketing is popular for marketers and business owners as it’s all about giving people the right information at the right time. Drip emails does this automatically based on triggers and user segments that you set and define.
Many marketers and companies today are appreciating the benefits of email drip marketing and automation process, including being able to:
- Send the right messages at the right time
- Create more leads for your sales team
- Grow sales and generate more revenue
- Get customers ready for an upcoming event, launch of a new product, or opening of a new store
- Build long-term customer retention
- Save time and valuable resources by automatically educating and cultivating leads
Of course, it goes without saying that too many drip emails will only annoy and irate your customers. But a thoughtful and well-planned set of drip emails can be the perfect way to remind people to buy your product and potentially increase your sales at the same time.
Remember before starting a drip campaign you need to craft out your message and plan out your campaign. This means you need to know exactly who you’re targeting, you need to create messages which is helpful and gets their attention, you also need to think about what the user wants to do. These types of questions will be answered differently depending on which industry or sector you operate within; however, planning is the key to a successful campaign in most cases.
In most industries drip marketing can cover several different marketing strategies, let’s look at these in more detail:
Welcoming – A welcome email is the standard message people will receive after they sign up to a trail or request information about your products or services, you can also have welcome emails if they sign up to your mailing list. In basic terms a welcoming email will act as an introduction to your company and the products or services you sell, you can use welcome emails to drip further content which may apply to the person in question. For example, if somebody signs up to your email list you can highlight your latest blog posts, or if somebody requests more information about a certain product you can display the latest deals and so on.
Developing Leads – If a user has requested further information about a product or service you sell, then your drip campaign can be ideal for converting leads into paying customers. By dripping content over a period of time, you can entice them into the sales funnel by highlighting product features, potential benefits and deals and discounts if applicable. Sometimes it can be hard to ignore a good deal when present with one and this can be done automatically through your drip campaign. For example, let’s say Lisa wants to purchase a new bicycle, she wants to find out more information about a certain product you sell, after signing up for more information on your website, the first email she receives highlights specifications and general pricing of the item in question. A few days later she receives another email, which points her to one of your product demonstration videos on your YouTube channel. A couple days after this, you’re running a promotion on the bike she’s interested in, after doing her research and with the help of your drip campaign, she decides to purchase from you.
Recommendations – Think of all the major online brands, a lot of them use recommendation emails as part of their campaigns. Think about when you purchased a certain product, within a couple of days you nearly always receive an email recommending other similar types of items. This is because the company knows more about you, your interests and your purchasing habits, with that information, they can send you targeted drip emails that contain products or coupons which relate to your purchasing preferences. Big businesses do this type of marketing because it works, and in many cases, it will also work for you as well.
Abandoned Shopping Carts – If you’re running an eCommerce site, then you’re completely aware of the problems involved in closing a sale with potential a customer. Even if you reduced the sales process and the checkout pages, you can still have a high abandoned cart rate. There are many reasons why people abandon their carts – the best way to combat cart abandonment is by sending them an automated email reminding them that they forgot to checkout on your website. The idea behind abandoned shopping cart emails is to encourage people to close the transaction by not only prompting them about the abandoned cart but also offering a potential discount as time passes.
Confirmations – After a sale has been completed on your website, the drip campaign will confirm to your user their purchase by using a “thank you” or “order confirmation” email. Many companies are ultising the space in these emails to offer links to more products which can help customers re-engage with your business. Equally with confirmations for things like plane tickets, music concerts and hotel rooms, send a quick email a day before the event is happening to put any important confirmation information at the top of the user’s inbox. You can even send messages a few days after an event to for reengagement back into your company and potentially sell even more products.
Unsubscribes – Unfortunately people may want to leave your email list as well as signing up, these types of things happen in life. Even if this does happen to you there are opportunities everywhere. Instead of blacklisting the IP address and email address of the user from your site, use an autoresponder to take one last shot at drawing the user back in. Of course, you should use the standard “we’re sorry to see you go!” message as an introduction, but you can use your automated drip campaign to push other channels like Facebook or Twitter. In many cases users aren’t unsubscribing because they hate your brand, they could just prefer to interact with you in a different way.
Typically, you’ll need to keep an eye on your metrics and statistics to measure how well your campaign is performing. For most companies you’ll need to track the value and cost of leads per drip campaign, after all your main goal is to make money, so knowing the value of every lead is important. If you know the value of each lead you can then work out how much money you can spend to acquire new leads, you may spend this money on advertising campaigns, social media promotion and so on.
Another good metric to keep an eye on is your conversion rate over time, conversion rates can be different for each company, for example some may want to generate more users, others may want to sell certain products, whereby other companies may want to upsell items.
You can measure the effectiveness of your conversion rate by looking at how many emails it takes for the user to do the action you want. For example, let’s say you want to sell a pair of shoes and Lisa has expressed an interest for more information by email. It has taken you 6 emails for Lisa to complete the transaction. However, for Kelly to complete the transaction it only took 5 emails. This means on average you’ll need to send at least 5 emails for an order to be completed. However, by comparing your conversion rates over time, this may have decreased depending on how many orders and customers you have.
For example, last December you only had two customers, Lisa and Kelly, they took 6 and 5 emails respectively to complete the transaction. In a December this year, you had 30 customers, who on average took 4 emails to complete the transaction. This means your conversion rate over time has decreased.
Of course, metrics and data don’t stay static, you may need to change and adapt them as your campaign progresses. Equally you should also bear in mind that with more customers, comes more data this means you’re results could change dramatically, so testing and regular evaluation may need to occur before you start noticing a regular pattern emerging.