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What is an email drip campaign and how to use it for marketing

July 11, 2014

While email marketing is a great way to build loyalty and trust with prospects and customers, you run the risk of sending spam if you aren't implementing an email drip campaign in those mailings. There is a specific way to send out emails to your audience so that you come off as more of an authority than a spam machine. Here is an explanation of what is an email drip campaign and exactly what sequence should be implemented to be most effective. 

What is an Email Drip Campaign?
The email drip campaign is a systematic process for sending out emails to your customers. These emails can be triggered when a buyer performs a certain activity on your website. A new visitor signed up for a newsletter, your email campaign immediately sends them a welcome email. Your customer places their first order, your email campaign sends them a thank you and a promo code for a future order. These emails are all triggered by different activities on your website. They arrive almost instantly from when the activity has taken place because the process is completely automated.

What are the Benefits for a Small Business to use an Email Drip Campaign? 
When it comes to growing your small business, an effective email drip campaign can help in many ways. The first benefit is you increase customer loyalty. These emails remind the buyers of your business and keep you in close contact with them. Customer retention is important for a small business to grow, and an effective drip campaign allows your customers to be reminded frequently of your business and the latest products or services you are offering. The right campaign can skyrocket sales and allow those buyers to share your services with their inner circles on their social media profiles.

How Often Should Emails be Sent in an Email Drip Campaign? 
Before you can set up an effective email campaign you have to identify your goals first. Did you want to increase brand awareness, are you looking to just grow your sales, or are you looking to retain customers by offering specials that get them back in the store? Chances are your first emails are not going to generate huge sales; it is those follow up emails that will get the job done. Allow your customers to be able to digest the first email, rather than sending them every hour. After the first email goes out, set up your drip campaign to send out the first seven emails at the same time each day every day for one week. Daily emails help to keep you on the customer's mind and trigger them into buying when the time is right for them.

What is a good sequence to use for email content? 
Sending Friday's email today and Monday's on Thursday will certainly confuse your customers and kill your chances of looking like a professional in your industry. Take the time before setting the sequence to make sure everything is lined up correctly. The goal of the sequence is to literally walk the customer through a sales funnel that simply makes the decision in the end for them. So a typical sequence for a email campaign would start with the welcome email, followed by the email that asks if the buyer received the first email and if there is anything you can do to help. The next email should focus on a new highlight of a product or service you are promoting, again asking if you can help them. The next email should ask for the sale. 

If during the process a sale is generated, the sequence should be first emailing the order details, then emailing a followup about returns and your customer service. The next email should contain delivery information, followed by your return policy. Depending on the products you sell, your drip campaigns should first get them emotionally involved and walk them right to the sales page in the end.

A few things to consider in your email campaigns is to first always introduce yourself in the first email. Too many companies simply assume the buyer already knows who you are. Avoid those spammy titles in your email headers, or the majority of email systems will trigger to move your content right to the trash. Invest in a professional copywriter who can create compelling content in your emails.

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