A Guide to Email Drip Campaign and How to Get Started With it

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Designing the roadmap of emails and executing the process step by step is crucial for the success of email marketing campaigns. Nowadays, drip campaigns are grabbing every marketer's attention. Automated software sends the emails in a set sequence to every new subscriber. It drives better results in the CTAs, audience engagement, and new customers. Let's understand what drip campaigns are and how they work in more detail.

Table of contents

What are drip email campaigns?

Drip campaigns, also known as automated email marketing campaigns send or drip the correct information at the right time by using the pre-defined triggers, actions, or events. When you map out a customer's journey, you identify the steps a customer would transition through. Then, automated software sends emails to the target segment according to the triggers/user actions and specified timelines.

For example, if a user registers on the company's website, an automated welcome email is sent, and later (after two to three days), another email is sent with relevant information about the company's product offerings. They can also add a touch of personalization by adding the recipient's name, including the company's information, contact details, etc. Companies can provide a lot of incentives to potential customers and rewards to loyal ones.

According to research, relevant, targeted emails produce 18 times more revenue than the globally-broadcasted ones. The drip email marketing campaigns have particularly shown a 119% increase in click-through rates. The idea behind these campaigns is to provide more and more value at every step to reach the conversion point. These campaigns are popularly called lifecycle emails.

It's interesting to see how these automated marketing campaigns work to get maximum results.

How does a drip campaign work?

The campaigns progress according to the pre-fixed timings and behavioral triggers such as visiting the website, clicking a link or simply, being a loyal customer. The automated emails tend to maximize the conversion rates and minimize unsubscribes. An email sequence is designed to send messages to potential customers at scheduled timings with proper planning. Here, the business organization builds, nurtures, and maintains relationships with the customers through automated email messages.

There could be any number of steps in the flowchart/pathway of a drip campaign. It should align with the company's goals/objectives, marketing strategy, and business requirements. However, the steps mainly revolve around three aspects:

1. Marketing

The campaign should focus on the target audience. You must identify the behavioral triggers and specify the steps in the consumer journey. You should design the campaign strategy and lay down the further route to establish a connection that is worth nurturing.

2. Lead nurturing

How will you nurture the leads? Which emails will you send? At what time intervals will you drip the emails? All these questions should be answered in this step. Craft the email content to retain the user's attention and push them to take the desired call to action.

3. Selling/CTAs

The ultimate goal is to drive in maximum CTAs. Here you'll have to plan on how you will close the deal quickly. For example, you can use AMP technology and include interactive AMP forms within the emails. It will generate quick responses from the users.

A carefully designed email drip campaign goes a long way.

What are the benefits of drip campaigns

Well, you would be surprised to know that the targeted, relevant and timely emails of the drip campaigns have 80% more open rates and three times click-through rates than other marketing emails. Have a look at the advantages of automated email marketing campaigns:

1. Powerful communication channel

Drip campaigns prove to be an effective communication channel to stay in touch with the customers and promote your products and services.

2. Cultivation of leads

A business can determine the user's interests as the prospect passes through different steps in the sales funnel. It helps in determining the quality leads and cultivating them for maximum profit.

3. Build connections

The automated messages to the clients help in building and maintaining valuable business relationships.

4. Nurturing customer relationships

The personalized emails establish an emotional connection with the customers. It makes them realize that the company actually values them. Rewarding loyal customers from time to time helps enhance the brand's reputation altogether.

5. Targeted segmentation

With drip campaigns, businesses can target a particular market segment easily.

6. Audience engagement

Nowadays, one can add interactive elements like images, graphics, forms, calendars, etc., right inside the emails, which boosts audience engagement and customer retention.

7. Automation and personalization

The dual aspects of automation and personalization can level up the entire game. Businesses can raise their sales revenue significantly by developing credibility and improving the brand recall value.

8. Satisfied customers

The welcome messages, onboarding messages, and other post-closure messages lead to customer satisfaction. Therefore, it helps in building a loyal customer base.

Related guide: A Complete Guide to Creating Engaging Onboarding Emails

Drip campaigns act as a helpful marketing tool right from identifying qualified leads to their final conversions and further rewarding loyal customers.

11 ways to use a drip campaign

To keep users engaged with the brand's offerings, marketers can use drip campaigns in different ways:

1. Lead nurturing

Drip campaigns act as a suitable medium for nurturing leads or prospects. The automated messages help gain the potential customer's trust, reinforce the positives, and convince them to try your product/service. You can use these scheduled messages to raise awareness and provide informative content that may clarify their doubts if any.

Stats show how the brands that nurture leads get 50% more customers who are willing to purchase. Emma, too pointed towards 47% larger purchases resulting from nurtured leads. Henceforth, we can say that lead nurturing through drip campaigns directly indicate more sales and revenue.

2. Welcome emails

Once a user signs up with your website, the next step is to familiarize them with your products and services. The welcome emails are apt for uniquely introducing your brand. As per the Experian's white paper, these welcome emails get a 57.8% open rate on average as compared to the regular emails that receive only a 14.6% open rate. This open rate rises to a whopping 88.3% when the welcome email is sent instantaneously.

Most companies are using welcome drips, including Google, Microsoft, and others. It's an excellent way of greeting before following up with new messages.

3. Onboarding emails

The marketing will be worthwhile only if the users make some purchases. The onboarding emails are sent to accomplish the "sell" goals. They may invite the recipient to download the company's app, get a premium subscription or register for a webinar.

For example, Spotify sends a simple onboard drip for easy navigation. Likewise, Dropbox's drip campaign was quite impressive. It prompted the users to download the desktop app if they haven't.

4. Renewal drips

When a trial version is about to end, you can send renewal drips or automated reminders. These emails can include links to a page/website for further payments, contact information, billing, and shipping details. As soon as they complete the action, you must send an automated thank you drip inducing them to share the product further. These drips help in retaining the old customers and attracting new ones.

Some companies make relevant recommendations alongside. The best example would be Amazon's reactivation drip, abandoned shopping carts, confirmations, engagement emails, new courses, and unsubscribes also come under the umbrella of drip campaigns. Each one serves a unique purpose. The campaigns may seem easy but need to be set up very carefully.

5. Customer re-engagement drips

Customer retention is a vital factor for the success of a business and requires consistent efforts from your side. You have to keep the customers engaged in your brand and keep on educating them about the latest releases and new services.

Once they have passed a minimum threshold, you can send special VIP customer offers to them and say a genuine thanks for being with your brand for this much time. Exclusive access to sales events before the general customers and exclusive discounts or free giveaways etc are some of the ideas that you can consider.

Related guide: Re-engagement Email Series for E-commerce and D2C Brands

6. Educational drips

These drip emails focus on informing your customers about your brand and its offerings that are relevant to them. You can offer them actionable and valuable insights into your brand offerings and keep them informed about the latest products and upgrades as well.

Online workshops, webinars, and courses are some of the most common educational resources.

7. Cart abandonment drips

These drips are sent to remind the consumer about the items they have left in the cart while they exited from the shopping without making the purchase. While you can use the terms such as ‘last day’, ‘stock is ending’ or ‘last 3 hours of getting your favorite item at discounts’ etc, you can get as creative as you want to deliver the urgency sentiment.

There are two benefits of sending such drips - your customers feel valued when you reach out to them proactively, and the odds of them purchasing a nudge are high.

8. Product recommendations

While we have used the term product, the recommendations are not limited to the products only. Recommendation emails are used for content, services (software packages and bundles), and subscriptions too. Recommendations are one of the smartest drip marketing efforts that showcase the other relevant brand offerings to the customers based on their previous brand interactions.

While they are automated, your customers get tailored and personalized experiences that pave way for higher satisfaction levels and more sales.

9. Cross-selling and up-selling

The drip campaigns can also be used to cross-sell (offering a product or service related to a product or service a customer is already using) and up-sell (offering a better and more extensive version of the brand offering a customer is using).

Both of them improve your sales figures and expose your customers to your brand offerings.

10. Event drips

These drip emails can be leveraged in many ways:

  • Gaining attendees for your events by sending them proactive drips about your upcoming events

  • Approaching the inactive customers and nudging them to join the event at reduced prices or with better perks to re-engage them

  • Transfer the new customers into more advanced stages of the marketing funnel by putting them into another drip campaign, for example, buying your subscriptions after attending an event discussing your services.

11. Re-engagement drips

These drips are sent to the inactive users that have stopped being actively involved with your brand and have not made any purchases for a long time now.

Some of the examples include:

  • Special offers and discounts to motivate the customers for the next purchase

  • Telling them how the product upgrades have made your brand offerings more relevant for them

  • Sharing what has changed at your side, in terms of products and services since they last made a purchase

Some other use cases for email drip campaigns are:

  • Pulse surveys, NPS, and CSAT surveys

  • Market researches

  • Opinion polls

  • Customer feedback and product reviews

  • Newsletters

  • Product launches and seasonal promotions

How to set up drip campaigns?

Drip campaigns can be set up by following these steps:

1. Choosing the event/behavioral trigger

First and foremost, plan the schedule of email messages that would flow through the funnel. Select the events or dates for sending the particular messages. Behavioral triggers/actions can also be pointed out, following which the software will send the automated emails.

2. Identification of the target audience

Identifying the target audience and their segmentation is crucial for the campaigns' success.

For example, one can classify the audience as entirely new leads, customers who purchased once, and loyal customers with repetitive orders. This segmentation can be done by using other demographics as well based upon the previous interactions.

3. Craft the automated email messages

Be it a welcome email or an informative one, the content should revolve around the users. It should be simple yet attractive!

4. Monitor the performance metric

Continuous monitoring and evaluation of the performance metrics of the campaigns are also necessary. The marketers should measure the performance from time to time. It will help in understanding which emails are working the best. The marketers can make the tweaks accordingly.

5. Review periodically

Upgradation is essential in every field. Likewise, email marketers must review and update the scheduled emails as per the user's preferences.

Creating drip campaigns that convert

When you have to focus on the conversions, you must take care of a few things to ensure that your drip campaign emails achieve what they were supposed to do - convert subscribers into customers and existing customers into loyal brand advocates!

1. Timing and frequency

A nudge can go a long way for your marketing efforts, nagging however won’t. Don’t bombard your audience with too many emails.

Plan your drip campaigns such that the frequency is neither too high nor too low. The timing of your drips should also not be erratic either. Depending on the type of audience segment you are targeting, you can set different timings and frequency rules for your emails.

For example, loyal customers would be more interested in any type of relevant content you share and might actually be waiting for your next email. On the other hand, the prospects and the leads that are not yet warmed up to your brand, might not be looking for such aggressive communication.

So, plan your campaign timing and frequency properly.

2. Don’t skimp on personalization

This goes without saying that personalization is the key to delivering delightful and powerful customer experiences. Add personalized touches that extend beyond the greetings and subject lines.

This is also where smart customer segmentation can be of immense help. When you have created customer segments on the basis of different parameters, such as location, age, gender, purchasing power, and shopping preferences, etc, you can address the personalization needs better and also leverage the other marketing practices like dynamic purchase nudges to be more targeted.

3. Choose your triggers well

Well begun is half done. While we might have a divided opinion on this, all marketers would agree - if you choose the drip triggers smartly, which is the first step, the rest of the steps will fall in place.

When it comes to driving the success of the drip campaigns, triggers are the most crucial thing you must focus upon. Triggers are the originating points of your drips and must be chosen well, while keeping many things in mind, such as:

  • Position of the customer in his or her journey with your brand

  • The behavior of the customer while interacting with your brand

  • The motivation of the customer while interacting with your brand

  • Specific actions that can be labeled as valid triggers

  • Choosing unique triggers that are mutually exclusive, etc.

Creating drip campaigns that convert is something that can have a long-term impact on the success and growth of your business as well as the brand reputation. When done properly, it is one of the most powerful brand positioning techniques that promise higher ROI and better reach than the other prevalent options.

4. Analyze to optimize

Drip campaign analysis allows you to:

  • Compare multiple campaigns in various ways

  • Check whether your campaigns have lost their appeal over time or they have become even more popular

  • Improve your next campaign

  • Build a best-practice culture for your campaigns organization-wide

  • Create an in-house educational and use case repository for employee training, etc

Nowadays, AMP emails are trending. Why? Because of their interactive seamless experience.

Sending drip campaigns using AMP emails

AMP emails take the email marketing drip campaigns to another level by adding the interactive content to the emails, such as carousels, accordions, and other purchase buttons. These emails are far more engaging than static ones. They also generate quick responses from the recipients resulting in a considerable increase in the CTR and conversion rates.

With AMP emails, users can book meetings, place orders, register, and provide feedback right inside the emails. They don't have to leave the email inbox for performing any actions. The touch of personalization in the dynamic content boosts the audience's engagement. The efforts genuinely pay off with high conversion rates and a loyal customer base.

Wrapping up

The drip campaigns using AMP emails skyrocket the email marketing results. If you're wondering which platform you should use for email marketing campaigns, we recommend you check Mailmodo.

Mailmodo amplifies drip campaigns through several factors, including AMP emails, marketing automation, CRM integrations, etc. Apart from these, their team of experts is always available to help you design and send drip campaigns to millions of users.

What you should do next

Hey there, thanks for reading till the end. Here are 3 ways we can help you grow your business:

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  2. Send emails that bring higher conversions. Mailmodo is an ESP that helps you to create and send app-like interactive emails with forms, carts, calendars, games, and other widgets for higher conversions. Sign up now and send 10k free emails/month. Sign up here.

  3. Get smarter with our email resources. Explore all our knowledge base here and learn about email marketing, marketing strategies, best practices, growth hacks, case studies, templates, and more. Access guides here.

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