What is Drip Email Marketing?

Drip Email Marketing
Yurii Bitko Yurii Bitko 08 february 2022, 09:37 355
For beginners

You make it once, and it works for months. So if you want to attain more interest in your product or generate extra leads and sales, you might want to consider setting up a drip email campaign.

What Is a Drip Email Campaign

There is a Mexican proverb that goes “Better a steady drip than a sudden deluge”, and this is the main thing you need to know about such campaigns’ mechanics. Drip marketing is one of the communication strategies where a company sends automatic email chains to the clients based on their actions.

It is assumed that regular contact can dispel the clients’ doubts and make them more inclined to cooperate. Just like with caring for plants, gardeners don’t pour the whole bucket in at once, instead they patiently give them a little at once, monitor the response, and watch them grow.

Drip marketing is like plant care

Such communications are also called Lead Nurturing Campaigns because they gradually bring the subscriber round to performing an action and move them to a new status — from site visitor to buyer, from subscriber to club member — and this is the exact purpose of drip marketing.

The perfect drip email campaign should be solid, clearly planned, and automated. And it does require a lot of resources for preparation and implementation, but if successful, all these efforts will pay off.

How to Automate Drip Marketing in Three Steps

The main thing that differentiates this type of campaign is that it is based on users’ actions as opposed to a fixed schedule. Regular email series are organized sequentially, and the time intervals are the same for all subscribers. Here the approach is personalized and more targeted. Everyone will get their "drop” in their own time.

Automating this process lets you track your leads' behavior on the website and the kind of content they prefer, so that you could then use these observations to assign a certain status to each lead. You want to give your client the most fitting content for the moment, and knowing what marketing funnel level they are at now might come in handy. So let’s go over these steps.

1. Nurturing

You are probably already doing this by sending your potential clients all kinds of educational materials, from statistical calculations and infographics to successful case studies and blog posts. However, according to the Pardot agency, 77% of customers want to receive only emails that match their level of awareness. To get to the next step faster, optimize the format and content of your emails, and always monitor reactions.

2. Segmentation

Keeping track of how the lead interacts with your content makes segmentation possible. Divide all of your leads into groups — there can be dozens of them — just focus on your business’ points of contact and think of how many steps it takes your client to make a purchase. For example, if your latest webinar has brought you a few subscribers through a UTM link, you can assign them to a ''November, 21 Webinar'' segment.

Next, you send out a letter to each contact from the list. You can do it either manually or automatically, which we will talk about a bit later.

3. Grading

Having sorted all your subscribers, you can determine at what marketing funnel level each of them is currently. Drip marketing automation systems can determine this fast and efficiently — and after that, you can make the corresponding changes to the lists while also adapting the emails sent to particular segments. As soon as a person reaches the final point, they are ready to be transferred to the sales department.

Types of Drip Campaigns

Drip campaigns come in different forms, just like usual email chains. Here are the seven main types of drips:

Top-of-the-mind campaign is aimed at forming strong associations with your brand in the customers' minds. Just like the word "burger" is immediately associated with McDonald's. Content elements of this nature can be implemented at all stages of interaction with a potential client.

Educational campaigns gradually walk your customer through the advantages of your product or service and warm them up for a purchase.

Re-Engagement campaign is aimed at subscribers that have recently lost interest in your offers, which is known to you by:

  • complete inactivity in mailing lists, that is, zero openings;
  • emails are read, but there are no transitions to the website;
  • looking through the items on the website, adding them to the cart but never making it to the check-out;
  • no activity in purchases after the first one;
  • have not made orders for 30, 60, or more days.
A re-engagement letter from GoDaddy offers a clear message

A re-engagement letter from GoDaddy offers a clear message

The email should serve as a gentle reminder of your quality product and good service. To make a customer active, you can offer them a discount.

A competitive campaign is focused on turning your competitors' customers into your customers. It can be applied to the cohort of those “choosing a product between different manufacturers”. In this case, it is worth giving them information about how your products or services differ favorably from competitors' offers.

A promotional campaign is based on the provision of various discounts, bonuses, promotions, special offers, valid for a limited time period.

A training campaign involves conducting various pieces of training or courses where each letter ends with a specific task for the subscriber and a glimpse of the next email. It also implies that a certain result will be achieved upon completion of the course. This type of campaign is applicable both for beginners and for active subscribers.

An educational email doesn't have to be all about the “what-we-do’s”

An educational email doesn’t have to be all about the “what-we-do’s”

Drip emailing is not limited to the above campaigns and can be much more diverse depending on the marketing expert’s imagination and experience, as well as the market specifics of your business.

Drip Test

Even if you have an impressive knowledge base and experience under your belt, conducting a marketing campaign in conditions of information scarcity still threatens to turn into a hassle. Fortunately, there are email services that greatly simplify the process of collecting the necessary data through a test. You can test any part of your email such as:

  • Call To Action buttons (their color, size, location)
  • Navigation bar structure
  • The content of promotional emails and their frequency
  • Visual content
  • Headline texts
  • The structure of the lead form, etc.

But it’s safe to assume that the test should never be random. You have to first come up with a valid hypothesis, like “The last email with a kitten photo and a bright CTA button gave us more transitions than ever. Let’s see whether it was really the kitten that did the trick or the button”. The test email can be made in several different versions, to be sent out in 2-2-6 proportions, where you send two variants to two 20% groups and the most effective one will go to the remaining 60%. Most often, just two options are used and this is called A/B testing.

Drip Marketing Tools

An important aspect of drip marketing is targeting a specific audience. Using certain services available on the market, you can create a list of contacts and track their behavior on your website to further segment and adapt your messages. This will allow you to create drip emails that are generated on the basis of a survey of subscribers, their behavior, interests, and location. Using this tool, you can automate the entire life cycle of a subscriber or client.

With other tools, each customer profile can be associated a photo and all the necessary details. The service automatically determines the contact's social media profiles and location, and keeps track of website behavior and interests.

No one really likes a one-for-all email newsletter. There are platforms that work together with Shopify, Salesforce, and OptinMonster. These allow you to collect sales data about the customer to personalize each letter accordingly.

Besides these drip email services, there are many more, and you can always find the one that fits you best with regard to interface and money.

Is Drip Email Marketing Really That Important?

Yes, it certainly is. If the process of lead nurturing is not automated, most likely your sales department is wasting time trying to sell the product to people who are either not ready to buy anything yet or are on the fence and still figuring things out. The automation system allows you to save resources and helps to increase the sales efficiency and the profit of the entire company. Forrester Research has shown that companies using drip emails generate 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% lower cost.

Drip marketing is applicable both for building long-term relationships with the target audience, and for achieving other goals, such as creating a need for a product and increasing sales. To do so you need to first consider the business specifics and your target audience and then create several campaigns with different email arrangements for them.

You can create trigger chains or promotional mailings for certain customer base segments. In both cases, the essence of an automated email drip campaign is the gradual delivery of information and recurring reminders about your product or service.

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