Email drip campaigns: the secret to reach out to multiple people at once
We will never get tired of saying it: customers have changed. Traditional marketing like we used to see on newspapers or billboards is a thing of the past. Customers are expecting brands to engage them with meaningful conversations, emotion-driven solutions, and stories that resonate with them. But creating engaging content is the biggest challenge for many businesses out there. Here’s the secret to reaching out to multiple people at once: email drip campaigns.
Even though clients share traits amongst each other, there are no two alike. A message that works on someone, might not be as effective on someone else. Luckily, there’s a strategy your brand can use to effectively and automatically engage and retain every single customer regardless of their interests, place on the sales funnel, or buying intention. It is called: “Email Drip Campaign”.
What are Email Drip Campaigns?
Email drip campaigns are an automated series of emails sent in a specific order to place the recipient in a “journey” and entice him/her to take a specific action. To understand the mechanics of a drip campaign it is important to know the main characteristics. They can be resumed in: at least two emails that follow the same line of content sent promptly to a well-defined target.
Unlike more traditional email marketing, drip campaigns’ main objective is to keep readers informed and engaged with your brand through relevant content sent in a timely manner. But there’s more than meets the eye. Although they are used as reminders of what a business is about, they can serve many different purposes such as:
- Lead generation: Use emails as relevant content to establish a connection between the brand and a potential customer.
- Onboarding & FAQs: Commonly used by digital platforms and tools, email drip campaigns are an effective way to clear any doubts new and more experienced users may have.
- Promotions: Emails can be a great tool to drive the buy and convert a lead into a customer or have an existing customer buy again.
- Parting Ways: It’s sad when readers unsubscribe from the list. But that doesn’t mean they don’t want to hear from that brand again. Email drip campaigns are an effective way to find out if the brand needs to rethink its digital strategy or make a good last impression.
- Lead nurturing: As leads travel across the sales funnel, is important for the brand to keep them interested in their product or service. This can be easily achieved with curated content that highlights how the brand is a good fit for them.
As you can see, these types of campaigns are more than just content. They have well-defined objectives with a strong influence on sales, return on investment, lead generation, and client retention.
How do Email Drip Campaigns work?
We’ve talked about sending the recipient on a journey to take a specific action. Now, this journey is related to the buyer’s journey but it’s not the same. I know this is confusing, even for us. To clear things out here are two examples of how an automated Email Drip Campaign journey works:
- Onboarding Campaign – Objective: Solve any doubts a new user might have.
Meet Amanda, a local entrepreneur looking to promote her business on the internet. She doesn’t have any experience with marketing whatsoever. During her “how-to” research Amanda comes across Bexi, the most user-friendly marketing platform available online, and she decides to sign up.
Here Amanda already went through all the stages of the buyer’s journey, she discovered the brand, evaluated its offering, and decided to become a user. But, the Email Drip Campaign is about to kick in.
As a new user, Amanda receives a Welcome Email that covers the basic tools and features she has at her disposal to become a pro in creating social media advertisements for her business. But a few days later, Bexi’s system detects that Amanda hasn’t created her first set of ads. This triggers a second email promoting her to go into Bexi’s resource center to learn more about the tool.
The objective now is to have Amanda use the platform to its full potential. The content changes, now as Bexi has discovered one of its users is having trouble, they send Amanda an email with a link to the resource center where she’ll be able to solve any doubts she may have about the platform.
With the new information, Amanda went into the resource center to clear any doubts she had. It is only now a matter of time before she can skyrocket her business into success!
The email journey has come to an end as the objective to onboard a new user has been completed.
- Lead Nurturing Campaign – Objective: Have a lead book a demo
This is Carlos, a Realtor looking for a tool that will help him save time promoting his listings online. He knows how digital marketing can help him reach more clients but he’s still undecided about settling with a platform. One of the options is Bexi. Carlos decides he wants to learn more about it so he provides his contact info to the company.
Unlike the previous example, here Carlos is at the awareness stage, the very beginning of the buyer’s journey. It is up to the marketing team to show him why Bexi is the best option for him. To make sure he’s receiving relevant content in his inbox, Carlos is placed on the first stage of a Lead Nurturing Email Drip Campaign.
As the days go on and Carlos has yet to make a decision, he receives multiple emails from Bexi that describe the most relevant features the platform offers to Realtors like him.
There are two things worth noting at this point. Number one: Bexi’s team needs to be careful. Too many emails in a short period of time can scare the lead away. Number two: Bexi’s job is to make Carlos approach them. That’s why a relevant Call-to-Action at the end of every single email would be: Schedule a Demo. This will give the team enough insight to know how close Carlos is to making a purchase.
In the end, Carlos is convinced and schedules a demo to learn more about Bexi and how it works.
The buyer’s journey is still not complete, it is up to the sales department to make a good impression on the demo call. Nonetheless, the email drip campaign journey has finished as Carlos took the desired action: booking a demo.
That’s a general overview of how email drip campaigns work and evolve as the recipient moves along a specific journey. Does it seem like a lot of information? That’s because it is! But don’t worry, let’s dissect it piece by piece.
Knowing your audience
We’ve talked about this one before. Every single marketing strategy you launch will not be effective if you don’t know who you are talking to. Knowing your audience is the cornerstone of every successful promotional effort, it will boost your lead conversion rate, and ultimately help you sell more.
That being said, email drip campaigns are versatile and very effective when it comes to reaching multiple audiences. Let’s take a look at both examples again:
In the first scenario, we have a business owner, Amanda, with no marketing experience looking to promote her business online. On the other hand, Carlos, the Realtor in the second example is more experienced and just wants a digital tool that’ll save him time reaching out to new clients.
As you can see, their needs and level of experience are different. Therefore the messaging cannot be the same. What might be relevant to a recipient might drive away another. But that’s the beauty of drip campaigns, you can create as many messages as you want to increase their effectiveness and make sure key messages are reaching the right people.
How to extract information from a business persona?
Demographics such as Age, Gender, Income, Studies, jobs, etc. are important. But to find the reason behind the buy you’ll have to dig a little bit deeper. Ask yourself this:
- Is the buyer experienced in my field?
- Does the buyer need guidance to understand what I’m offering?
- Does the buyer know the value of my product or service?
- Is the buyer aware he/she has a problem I can solve?
Again, customers are looking for meaningful conversations and helpful information to satisfy a need. Once you discover it, you’ll be one step closer to success!
Creating a path
As you’ve seen, email drip campaigns follow a series of steps triggered by specific actions. However, they can branch multiple paths that lead to nowhere if the strategy is not thought out. It is our responsibility to guide the recipient in the right direction.
These sequences can vary based on the action that is requested or if the previous email was opened (yes, brands know if you opened up their emails). It all depends on the objective of the campaign.
To establish the objective and create a well-rounded email drip campaign you must first answer the following questions:
- Where do I want to take the recipient?
- What do I want them to do?
An established path can provide insight into your overall buyer’s journey and where you need to double your efforts to not lose any customers.
Both the knowledge of your audience and an established path will help you define the most important aspects of an Email Drip Campaign: the content. As you’ve seen, many objectives can be accomplished with this type of strategy. Nonetheless, it is the content that will make it or break it.
We cannot provide specifics on what you should say or not say in an email. As you can see, every brand-consumer relationship is different and we don’t want to guide you into a dead end. Luckily, we can provide you three key points that are a must in email marketing.
- Offer Value: This is a no-brainer. A person will not read an email if there’s nothing to gain from it. Remember, a great way to approach this is by learning your audience’s pain points and explaining how only you can solve them.
- Short and Sweet: Did you know that 35% of recipients open an email based on the subject line alone? A safe bet is having the subject line be no more than 30 characters. On the actual content of the email, it’s best to not beat around the bush and dive straight into the point. Make sure to include the most relevant information and strive to make a personal connection. Avoid sounding too pushy or “salesly”.
- Write a relevant Call-to-Action (CTA): This circles back to creating a path. The CTA must be relevant to the content and what you want the recipient to do. For example, if your drip campaign objective is to increase your user base, a CTA that reads: “buy now“ doesn’t make sense and it will not be as effective as: “get a FREE account”.
Your CTA must stand out from the rest of the content as they are the key that takes a potential customer into the first stages of the sales funnel. When they click it, they are saying: “I want more”.
The power of an Email Drip Campaign
An important part of email drip campaigns is that they are automated. This means they require fewer man-hours to actually send them out to potential customers. Strategies like these are helpful for both the marketing and sales departments as they can be used for prospecting (cold email) or moving a lead further into the sales funnel (warm email).
If you are looking to implement an Email Drip Campaign here are some of the best practices we, at Bexi, find useful:
- Set SMART Objectives: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. Your objectives should meet those requirements so you can discover if your strategy is working and make any changes if needed.
- It’s all about timing: When setting up your campaign have the recipient in mind, more specifically their timezone. Research has found that emails have a better open rate when they are received on a Tuesday between 10 to 11 am. Whereas those that perform poorly are usually received on weekends or late at night. Be respectful of other people’s time off.
- Avoid attachments at all costs: Cybersecurity is a delicate topic these days. With many companies and bad actors trying to access your information, everyone is on the lookout for any suspicious emails. Nobody is going to download anything from your email into their computer unless they specifically requested it. Emails are not for giving away content, that’s what landing pages are for.
- The unsubscribe button: By law, every promotional email must have an unsubscribe to give the recipient their right to accept or reject the information you are providing. Make sure it works, nothing will stain your brand’s image more than an unsubscribed recipient who is still getting your emails. Not only is it rude, but it shows you don’t really care about them.
Email drip campaigns are an effective way to communicate with specific audiences about specific topics. They can help you obtain more leads as the content is 100% relevant to their needs. Just remember, for a campaign to be effective you must: know the audience, define a path, and provide the right content at the right time. Follow those steps and you’ll see results in no time.