When it comes to marketing, you need to use a lot of sales tools in conjunction with one another to make a sale. One of those tools in your toolbox should be a drip email marketing campaign.
What is drip email marketing?
Drip email marketing is known by many names. Some call it drip marketing or an automated email campaign; others call it lifecycle emails, autoresponders, or marketing automation.
No matter what you call it, it all follows the same line of thinking. A customer is sent a series of scheduled emails after taking a specific action. The campaign is usually triggered when a customer completes a standard action such as making a purchase or signing up for the company newsletter.
“Put simply, drip marketing is all about giving people the right information at the right time. If someone just subscribed to your blog newsletter, for example, a drip campaign could send a welcome email right away, and two days later, an email that shows off some of your most-read content. Or if a potential customer has been hovering around your ‘premium upgrade’ page for a few weeks but hasn’t yet pulled the trigger, a drip campaign could send them an email with five reasons to purchase the premium plan.” (Source: Zapier)
Why should you use a drip marketing campaign?
One of the most significant benefits of a drip email marketing campaign is that you can set it and forget it. The emails are automated, and they’re customized depending on the actions of the client.
Better yet, they yield results.
“Drip marketing can help you boost sales by turning visitors into buyers, increasing repeat purchases, and reengaging a dormant audience. By communicating your company’s value, you build a relationship with your audience and demonstrate that you’re a great resource for their needs…Drip campaigns can also be effective because they’re targeted, meaning they’re based on a specific action and can be personalized. More than 90% of consumers say they’re more likely to buy from companies that recognize and remember them.” (Source: MailChimp)
Types of Drip Campaigns
There are many types of drip campaigns. Some only apply to your business. Others apply to almost every business and industry.
Welcome Drip Campaign
This one is really simple. When someone signs up for more information from your website, their email is added to your welcome drip campaign.
Now you start sending them information that’s useful to them. You let them know how your business can benefit them. Ideally, you’re warming the client up for a sale.
Retargeting Drip Campaign
A retargeting drip is a campaign that you use when someone has started to engage with your company but may not have made a purchase yet or signed up for your email list.
“You can send a follow-up email after a customer visits your website without taking action or after a customer reads your blog and leaves a comment. The critical part of successful retargeting is choosing those customer actions that you believe most deserve a follow-up email and then setting up a drip campaign that follows your ‘if this, then that’ rules.” (Source: Marketo)
Abandoned Cart Drip Campaign
An abandoned cart drip is a follow-up campaign. When someone places an item in their shopping cart but fails to complete the purchase, they are added to your abandoned cart drip campaign. The drip campaign is aimed at pushing the customer toward the purchase.
Amazon has a perfect example of this. Anytime you leave something in your shopping cart unpurchased, Amazon will send you an email to remind you the item is in your cart. They may send two or three follow-up emails depending on your reaction to the first email. If you still don’t make the purchase, Amazon will then follow up with similar items that you might like more.
Post Purchase Drip Campaign
The post-purchase drip is a campaign for clients who have already purchased from you. In this instance, it’s about creating brand loyalty.
“In a study, Emarketer estimated that email marketing can boost your retention rate to as high as 80%. The main reason your customers will come back to you is brand loyalty, and the only way to build that loyalty is through consistent, targeted communication at all levels. When you continue to engage with the consumer even after the sale is made, it enables you to build trust.” (Source: StayListed)
The post-purchase drip campaign is perfect for creating that consistent sales customer.
Unsubscribe Drip Campaign
You need to be careful with the unsubscribe drip campaign because you don’t want to become a nuisance. However, when properly deployed, an unsubscribe drip campaign can bring people back into the fold.
Simply put, an unsubscribe drip campaign is a series of emails that you send out when someone decides to unsubscribe to your email list.
Drip Email Sequence
The sequence of your drip email marketing campaign will depend on how many touches you need to complete your goal, but there are some basics.
“Your drip campaign can last from four to eleven emails that are sent four, seven, or fourteen days apart. Decide how many touches you need to effectively nurture your audience and prime them for your offer.” (Source: HubSpot)
Each email should be informative but brief and include a call to action.
The urgency of the wording should increase as the sequence moves forward. Use wording like “time is running out” and “just 48 hours left”. Urgency can sometimes push someone who is on the fence into making a purchase.
Drip Marketing Automation
As I mentioned before, the beauty of a drip email marketing campaign is that it can be customized and automated, saving you lots of time.
An automated drip campaign identifies the target audience and their problem or goal.
You can craft messages with that specific problem or goal in mind and then personalize them through your automated email marketing campaign. It’s a little like a modern mail merge.
Once you have your messages, you can schedule when they’re sent. Message 1 can be sent initially and then followed by Message 2 seven days later. With the help of an automated marketing email company like MailChimp, you’re able to set it and forget it.
You’ve done the work upfront, and the campaign is ready to run all by itself.
Don’t Forget to Take People Out of the Drip
Hands off, however, doesn’t mean ignore the campaign entirely.
As HubSpot points out, all of the work done by your drip campaign is lost if you fail to remove a customer from the campaign once they complete the call to action.
“The worst experience for a prospect is to take your desired action without being unenrolled in your drip campaign. Let’s say a prospect is enrolled in a drip campaign with the goal of getting them to schedule a demo. If they schedule a demo on a Tuesday and get another email on Thursday asking them to schedule a demo — that’s a terrible customer experience. It looks even worse when the drip campaign has been altered so that it looks like you’re sending the emails. This makes it appear that you either don’t remember who your prospect is or have been a fake the whole time.” (Source: HubSpot)
To keep this from happening, set up a trigger that removes a client from the drip email list once they complete the call to action.
Adjust as Needed
You will also need to check on your drip marketing campaign.
Like all marketing campaigns, you must adjust your drip email marketing campaign along the way. You’re going to find that some emails work better for clients than others. You’ll also find that some messages are clearer to clients than others.
A/B testing can be crucial in marketing campaigns like these.
If you do not make adjustments along the way, you will not get the best performance out of your campaign.
Drip Campaign Examples
So, precisely what is a good example of a drip campaign?
The company MooSend curated a few good examples, including one from Netflix.
When a user cancels their subscription with the streaming service, Netflix sends an email that says, “As requested, we’ve canceled your membership…Obviously, we’d love to have you back. If you change your mind, simply restart your membership to enjoy all the best TV shows & movies.”
It’s simple and to the point. The email includes a link to restart the membership.
But Netflix doesn’t stop there.
Over the next few weeks, it tries to entice the viewer back by sending emails that feature shows and movies that you can only stream on Netflix. The idea is that one of these shows will be so compelling that the customer will restart their service.
This is an excellent example of an unsubscribe drip campaign.
When it comes to shopping, Amazon’s drip campaigns are tops. Two work very effectively; the post-purchase drip campaign and the abandoned cart drip campaign.
Post Purchase Drip Campaign
In the post-purchase campaign, Amazon sends an initial email that thanks you for your purchase. That email includes links to other items you might like.
Another email is sent to let you know that the item has shipped. That email also includes links to other items you might like.
Once the item arrives on your doorstep, Amazon sends you an email letting you know the item is there. And oh look, there are more links with more items to buy.
But it doesn’t stop there. A few weeks later, Amazon will ask you to rate the item you just bought and maybe checkout these similar items while you’re at it.
If it’s a finite resource like toilet paper, Amazon will check in with you later to see if you’re ready to reorder.
That’s five different emails from Amazon that you’ve probably opened. Every contact serves two purposes, customer service and the opportunity to make another sale.
Abandoned Cart Drip Campaign
Amazon’s abandoned cart drip campaign works similarly.
If you leave an item in your shopping cart for too long, Amazon will gently remind you that it’s still there. The email will include an image of the item you added to your cart to try and entice you to buy.
If you don’t make the purchase, it will send you another email with similar items you might like instead.
This campaign is shorter than the post-purchase one—it’s only one to two emails long—but it can lead to the same result, a sale.
MooSend took a look at another abandoned cart campaign that tends to convert, this one by Kenneth Cole.
If you leave an item in the shopping cart, Kenneth Cole emails the shopper with an incentive. “You left something behind. Time to make it right. Take an extra 15% off your cart for the next 48 hours.”
This wording serves two purposes. The discount is there to entice any customer who was on the fence. The time constraint of 48 hours gives that extra nudge. It lets the customer know that this isn’t a deal that’s going to wait forever.
If the customer doesn’t buy, Kenneth Cole isn’t giving up. This time it follows up with an email that offers 20% off the items in your cart.
When it comes to making a sale, the odds are pretty low that the sale will happen right off the bat. You need to work for it. One of the ways that happens is by continuing to put yourself in front of the customer.
While you may not be memorable after the first time you come into contact with a customer or the fifth, the more you reach out, the more likely it is that a customer will recognize your name the next time.
It takes multiple touchpoints to make a sale. Drip email marketing campaigns help you do that.
Written by Erika Towne