Drip marketing is an effective marketing technique for feeding important and useful information that’s of value to both your prospects and your customers. Drip Marketing needs to be approached as it’s own campaign, that is run simultaneously to other campaigns with it’s own goal and actions to help you achieve it. In this post, I’ll walk you through some ideas and actions to help you get your first drip marketing campaign from concept to reality.
What is drip marketing?
Drip marketing is the process of breaking your marketing message up into smaller manageable pieces to be delivered to your audience in a sequenced approach in order to facilitate the completion of a goal. By doing this, you control the flow of information and don’t overwhelm your target audience so that they can better understand and retain your key messages. Arguably, drip marketing isn’t exclusive to digital marketing and can also be done through traditional channels, such as sending fliers and pamphlets in the post, however, by using digital channels you’ll be provided accurate data for who has seen and engaged with which stage and message of your campaign and can move people through your drip marketing funnel towards your intended goal. Drip marketing campaigns are commonly created as email marketing campaigns with options now becoming available to create them on social media platforms as well.
How Drip email marketing works
In order to be effective, drip email marketing needs to be done using an email marketing platform. If you’re ever planning on sending any email marketing correspondence to a large list, you should always use an email marketing platform. There’s a wide variety of different email marketing platforms out there and each one has their pros and cons depending on the size of your email marketing list, budget and goals. Some of the more well known platforms include: MailChimp, Campaign Monitor, and Active Campaign. At Optix we have our own Email Marketing platform called Optixmail.
Drip email marketing will often be called automation, journeys, autoresponders, automated email campaigns, marketing automation or lifecycle campaigns depending on the platform or business creating the campaign. We do know drip marketing works and we know it’s effective because in any email marketing platform it’s always a premium option that’s gated behind a higher pay bracket. Take MailChimp for example.
The basics of how drip email marketing works will be the same by and large across all email marketing platforms. You’ll need to create or choose a list for your campaigns to use when sending your drip marketing emails and set various triggers for why and when an email will be sent. These can include things like dates such as a policy renewal date if you’re an insurance company, actions like a welcome email series for when someone first signs up to an email list, or something as simple as a delay where after a certain number of hours, days, or weeks have passed, we send another email.
Why drip email marketing is effective
Email marketing is one of the most effective digital marketing channels and has one of the highest proven Return on Investments when done right. As I’ve already highlighted, we know drip marketing is a powerful and effective tool as it’s a premium feature for all email marketing platforms. It’s premium because it works. So, why is it so effective?
Drip feed information
If you tell someone everything there is to know in one big information dump, you’re either going to scare them off or confuse them. You want your messaging to be as simple and as clear as possible, what better way to do this than break your messaging into parts that build a story and lead people to action.
By making your messaging clear and simple you will quickly build trust with your subscribers. They won’t feel pressured into performing an action as you’ve spent time sharing more about your business, your values and what sets your products and services apart from your competition.
The more emails you send and the more invested your audience becomes in your drip marketing email funnel the more they will learn about your business. Having regular, engaging and above all else, useful and valuable correspondence from your business will naturally lead to a strong and healthy relationship between your business and your email subscribers.
As you build trust and develop an authentic relationship with your target audience through your drip marketing strategy, you should be leading them to a predefined goal. This goal could be anything from making a purchase if you sell products, increasing engagements with each email you send or ultimately making an enquiry. What’s important is that it’s a goal that will have an impact on your business.
Keep in mind that in order for drip marketing to be effective, you need to build campaigns with a goal in place and a strategy to help you achieve that goal.
Building drip marketing campaigns
Building a drip marketing campaign is a process and deserves time to design a strategy. You should always start with your goal. This could be something along the lines of: I want new list subscribers to make an enquiry. With this goal, we are focusing on new list subscribers and the goal is to get a new enquiry. Now that we have a goal we can work backwards to decide the steps we want new subscribers to go through to help them reach each goal.
There is no set amount for how long a drip marketing campaign should be and how many emails it should contain, however, we do need to think carefully about how every email is going to help further recipients to complete that goal. What is the natural progression of information that needs to be shared and what is the journey that we want our audience to embark on.
It often helps to start building your drip marketing campaigns offline. Grab a piece of paper and write down the end goal and work back from there. What steps will you need to include that will help your audience reach that end point whilst also providing value that will continue to build a positive relationship. Think carefully about what actions will trigger the next step in the campaign. If you work in a larger team, you can do this activity as a creative thinking session to build the best drip marketing campaign possible.
Drip Marketing automation ideas
Drip marketing is effective for reaching your audience at three key stages. These are new customers, engaged customers and lapsed customers.
There are a variety of different emails you can send to new customers to keep them engaged, build trust, develop a relationship and help them to complete a goal.
Send content around a content theme that your subscriber has signalled that they are interested in.
Send your subscriber a series of emails. This could be built around your most popular content and articles or a series of informational emails that teach recipients more about your business and values.
When someone first subscribes to a list you can send a series of emails. These could include special promotions to encourage an early conversion.
If there’s an area of your business that’s not well-known, difficult to understand or you want to promote you could create a series around teaching subscribers more about this lesser-known area.
If you have new customers who are highly engaged but have yet to convert, you can nurture conversions through offering trials and promotions.
Engaged customers are arguably your most valuable customers. These are the customers who have already converted and are likely to not only purchase again but promote your business to others.
Facilitate surveys and reviews
Following a conversion you can send a series of after sales emails to ensure satisfaction and facilitate a positive review either on Google or another website such as Trust Pilot.
Reward your VIPs
Reward your best customers and your most engaged customers with a series about your values, reinforcing how theirs are aligned with yours and provide bonus rewards such as discounts, early access to exclusive products, or exclusive offers.
Important date reminders
Send a series around an important date such as a renewal, reminding subscribers of why they chose your business in the first place.
Lapsed customers are an important group that you can’t ignore. This audience engaged and converted once which means that it’s likely they’ll do it again. The know who you are and they know you can be trusted, all you need to do is rebuild that trust and grow that relationship again.
Win back offers
Remind lapsed customers about your business and your values and send them an exclusive offer that they can’t ignore.
Key dates and Birthdays
Birthday emails are well documented as having higher engagement rates so creating a series around this or another key date that’s likely to get attention is a great way to get your audience to re engage.
Clearly there are a number of ways to build a drip marketing campaign. Once you have identified who you’re targeting and have chosen a suitable goal, you can get to work building the steps that are going to help recipients complete your chosen goal. Remember, you can also have multiple campaigns running at any given time, so you don’t have to be too exclusive with who you’re targeting so long as they’re being targeted in different campaigns. It’s true that building drip marketing campaigns can be time consuming but once they’re up and running, they will run themselves so you can focus on other areas of your marketing strategy.
Are you a fan of drip marketing and automation? What do you think is the best way to build an automation? If you’re still undecided on an email marketing platform, contact us about Optix Mail. Optix Mail is Optix Solutions’ email marketing platform with powerful drip marketing capabilities. Contact us today if you’d like to learn more.