Nobody will admit it because we get hundreds of annoying emails a day, but drip campaigns work. Have you ever seen a message that promised 30% off of something you weren’t even considering buying until you did? That’s email marketing at work.
What is Drip Marketing? The Complete Guide to Drip Campaigns
Drip campaigns are a great resource for your business to utilize as you move the customer toward a final conversion point.
The idea of an email drip campaign is to continue to have a touchpoint with the user so that they will hopefully make a conversion decision and not opt-out. How do you do that? By being intelligent in what you say, when you say what you say, and how you say it.
Let’s look at an example. Imagine we own a car website called carz.com
If someone is going to buy a Nissan Altima on carz.com, and they put in their email address, getting hit by our dealer every five minutes for the first seven days is not going to be a good user experience. We might make some sales, but we’re going to get a lot of angry people as well.
A better way of doing it is by targeting users in specific ways. If someone is going to purchase a car and our analytics tell us they were looking at an Altima, we can send them an email that says, “What’d you think about the Nissan Altima? Did you also know that Altimas are one of the most reliable cars blah blah blah? Click here for more details.”
Now we have feedback.
Did the user take action? If so, and it was “leave me alone,” they’re out of the drip. If they requested more details, they’re either out of the drip because they were ultimately successful, or they’re in a new drip depending on what the action was.
If they did not take action, which is where a lot of email drip campaigns focus on, then what happens?
Well, 3 days later, we’re going to send another email that says something like, “Act now! Get a $1500 rebate this weekend only for Nissan Altimas. Click here for more details.”
We’re using cars, but it can be anything for eCommerce, services, etc.
Did they take action? If not, then we wait a little bit longer and follow up again.
The drip campaigns that are successful are the ones that do it the right way—by using the same techniques UX designers use. Every campaign has to adapt to persona, product, service, marketplace, industry, etc.
Guys, UX design is not just for websites. It’s for emails as well. Who are you sending this to? How are they getting it? Where are they reading it? What is the goal you want, and what is the goal that they want?
These UX strategies are what make drip campaigns successful.
Know Your Audience
Who is your audience? If you’re going to send an email campaign to cold, outbound emails, you’re going to have a poorer success rate. But that’s okay—we bake it into it when we do outbound marketing. People have no idea you’re reaching out to them. “Ugh, who is this person? Stop emailing me!”
What is the right touchpoint there?
There’s a strategy involved. If you know you’re going to be doing cold outbound marketing, don’t hit them up with “Buy now!” because that’s going to get flagged by filters anyway.
You want to start with a soft touchpoint. “Hey, are you getting the best conversion on your website? We help increase conversion by 50% in three months. Let me know if you’re interested or if you have any questions.”
It’s not just who they are, it’s where they’re at in terms of being a cold versus a warm lead. If they’ve been on your site and submitted some information, that’s a warm lead, and you approach them differently.
You’re never going to have the perfect email right out of the gate.
Let’s say you have an email drip campaign with four potential emails. That means you should have 5-10 variations for each email that you constantly need to test to see which does better. You need to go through the data.
Say you send out two emails, one at 8:00pm and one at 8:00am, and the morning one worked out better even though it’s the same messaging.
Why? It’s the first email they saw in their inbox. At night, they might have a bunch of other emails to read through first.
Everything can be tested, and you can never test enough. Things change all the time.
Shorter Is Better
Your messaging depends on what your product is and who your audience is, but there’s one universal tenet that all emails should follow: the shorter the better.
Repeat after me, “SHORTER. IS. BETTER.”
There’s an old saying in the digital space where you take your copy and cut it in half, then cut it in half again, and boom there’s your copy.
Nowadays, we have limited attention spans. We go to Netflix and it’s like, “Look at all these options! I don’t know what to watch.”
We’re competing with a lot of noise. Shorter. Better. To the point.
Also important is to know the technical limitations. Buy, sell, Viagra, pills, sex, etc are going to get flagged by spam filters. You need to use tools to test your messaging to see if it’s going to get flagged based not only on what you’re saying but also on how you’re sending it. Your URL has a chance of being blacklisted if you send too much spam.
Designing For Conversion
Lastly, the other thing that you need to really focus on is the actual conversion. You know your audience, you’ve tested, you’ve got our message, now what? Is this an HTML well-designed email, or is this just a someone-typed-it-out-real-quick email?
Both have value, but most of the time the ones you just type up are going to be more readily clicked on than the other ones. Most of the email drip campaigns that I get sent are simple ones, and those are the ones that I respond to more.
Generally, the nicely designed ones don’t have very good click rates. The reason is the user looks at it as a marketing thing rather than personal correspondence. Whereas, if someone says, “Hey Al, your SEO sucks and I can improve it for free,” I’m going to click on that.
That’s email drip campaigns in a nutshell. Know your audience and message and test everything by using good UX. Happy emailing!