Email Drip Campaign: Email Automation, Planning, Process, Design, & Analytics

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Email newsletters are great for keeping every one on an email list's subscribers — up-to-date on the latest news and promotions. There's one catch, though — in traditional email marketing campaigns, if you join after the first newsletter, you might not have access to older emails. It's a bit like hopping into a novel a dozen or so pages in.

Enter Email Drip Marketing

Email drip campaigns go by many names (automated email campaigns, drip marketing, and lifecycle email campaigns) that hint at the same reality: Emails are being sent out to people on an automated schedule. This allows businesses more control and participating subscribers the chance to stay in the loop from the beginning. (Pardot)

Scheduled Emails

Subscribers might receive an email upon first signing up, then another email one week into the campaign, and perhaps another email three weeks in, according to a predetermined schedule.

You might be asking yourself, why don't scheduled emails ever run into timing problems? The answer is simple: drip email campaigns cull emails from a queue of readymade emails crafted well in advance to fit that subscriber's needs.

This process might sound impersonal since your emails are written out beforehand; it's really not, though, since the emails that subscribers receive are hugely appreciated, relevant and customized around their contact information.

Behavioral Emails

Alternatively, an email drip campaign can be automated to coincide with changes in customer behavior or indications that they're moving along in the buying cycle.

An automated system might send another email after a subscriber drops by your website or right after making a purchase. Because this feature of drip marketing corresponds to changes in subscribers' behavior, we call these kinds of emails "behavior emails."

Drip marketing campaigns are so helpful to customers, because they send them timely updates and reminders while offering lead nurturing. For instance, if you have a customer who is ambivalent about getting a service upgrade, an automated email forwarding a blog post about reasons to go for the upgrade might be sent out.

Effectiveness of Email Drip Campaigns

During the planning phase, businesses and an inbound marketing agency should sit down and decide the behavioral triggers and timing of automated email messages.

The best part is that those same businesses can be assured of getting the most out of their campaigns since ongoing analytics allow inbound marketing campaigns to change things up if the timing of an automated email doesn't produce the desired results.

Drip Campaign's ROI

Email drip campaigns really compliment a business' other inbound marketing efforts since email drip campaigns have higher open rates among customers than single sends.

In fact, the rate is 80% better for email drip campaigns, which means that tethering the timing of an email to customers' behavior and evolving needs pays off with higher exposure and more customer engagement.

In light of the fact that increasing an email open rates by even five to ten percent can lead to significantly more conversions, the fact that email drip campaigns can almost double your open rates is profound from both a sales and marketing ROI perspective.

Ground Rules to Follow for Your Next Email Drip Campaign

Businesses need a clear starting point before starting out on an email drip campaign. Without a starting point, it will be very hard to tell whether your drip campaign is successful or not even with the best analytics. Successful drip campaigns, moreover, typically follow the following steps:

  1. Develop a goal
  2. Create engaging content
  3. Understand leads
  4. Calibrate timing
  5. Segment multiple campaigns
  6. Analytics

The first step need not be daunting since a goal could simply be increasing your exposure and selling more products this year.

Next, the content of your automated emails should add value to the customer's life, and the emails themselves should neither be too long nor too dense with information. Realize that a lot of customers want an email that's scannable since they have their own lives and a tight schedule to keep.

Understand Leads

While creating your content, businesses and inbound marketing agencies also strive to get in the heads of leads. Asking questions like, "who do customers normally buy from" or "could I improve my customer service" can help businesses keep their emails practical and personable. (HubSpot)

Segmenting and Analytics

When setting the timing of your emails, a good rule of thumb is to send an email to a new subscriber, then transition from sending emails every day to every other day, and so forth.

You don't want to overwhelm your audience, but you want to ensure that your open rates are high as well, which is where analytics comes into play.

One stumbling block that some run into is sending two or more drip campaigns to the same subscriber. Segmenting and prioritizing the most relevant campaign to particular subscribers is a surefire way to drive your open rates, exposure, and overall sales.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing

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