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Understanding Email Drip Campaigns: The 2022 Ultimate Guide

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When it comes to moving customers down your sales funnel, automated marketing campaigns are stellar. Why? Because timing is key, and drip marketing campaigns can increase your sales. With a 20% increase in sales opportunities from nurtured leads vs. non-drip nurtured leads, don’t underestimate the power of a drip campaign for your business. 

Laptop showing the text "email marketing

What Is A Drip Campaign?

According to Mailchimp, a drip campaign is a ‘series of automated emails sent to people who take a specific action’. This communication strategy drips a pre-written set of messages to customers, prospects, or leads over a period of time. By creating a drip email marketing campaign, you can personalize your emails based on data such as the contact’s name, interests, or user behavior. This is useful because it allows you to target your customers with tailored messages that appeal to them. 

For example, if you own a clothing brand, you might send a drip email to someone who signs up on your website. This could also be a follow-up email to people who have added an item to their online cart without buying it. Otherwise known as an abandoned cart message, this drip email can recover around 10% of lost revenue. 

Phone showing email inbox

Types of Drip Campaigns

There are five main types of email drip campaigns: 

Welcome Campaign 

When someone signs up to your mailing list, they will be sent a welcome email. This is particularly useful if you own your own business, are a creator, or a marketer, and want to build a relationship with your readers or subscribers. Welcome campaigns earn a 58.7% open rate on average—over double the standard email open rate of 14.6%. 

Remember, a good welcome email needs to stand out. You need to send it as soon as a customer signs up so you capture their interest. If you leave it too long, the subscriber is less likely to open the email. 

Retargeting Campaign

email retargeting campaign

Email retargeting helps you to reach out to potential new customers. This works via a browser cookie and is based on their actions on the web. According to Moz, email retargeting conversions can be as high as 41%. If you own your own SEO auditing service, for example, you might reach customers looking to get their website audited or need advice, after they visited one of your blog pages with SEO tips.

Abandoned Cart Campaign 

If you run your own business, whether that be marketing, clothing, accessories, or any other services, you will know that an abandoned cart can be frustrating. After all, three out of four of your shoppers will leave your site without ever making a purchase. An abandoned cart campaign helps reengage your customers and lead them back to complete the checkout process.

But why do people leave unpurchased products in their basket? Below, we have highlighted common reasons for cart abandonment:

  • Lack of trust 
  • The product is too expensive 
  • Checkout process is confusing
  • Lack of customer service 
  • Not enough reviews of products 
  • Site is difficult to navigate
  • They might have found the product cheaper elsewhere

Post-Purchase Campaign

On the other hand, a post-purchase campaign is when you send a follow-up campaign after a product has been purchased. Whether you are a social media manager offering your services, a creator selling products like e-books, or somebody selling popular e-commerce products, this allows you to re-engage customers and increase customer lifetime value. After all, it is easier to attract an existing customer than a new one. 

post purchase email campaign

Unsubscribe Campaign 

People can leave your email list anytime. When they do, you miss the opportunity to convert them into customers or retain them as long-term customers. However, there are still options to follow up with a drip campaign. Your best option is to send one last email to bring your customer back, encouraging the person to re-subscribe. 

Why You Need Email Drip Campaigns

So why do you need drip marketing? Drip marketing allows your business to start building relationships that are critical for success. After all, getting your customer to understand the value they get from your products, solutions, or website is important. They are more likely to stay subscribed, engage with your content, and purchase your products. 

How Do I Start A Drip Campaign?

Image Credit: Zoho

It is clear that email drip campaigns are an easy way to connect with customers. It saves you time and easy to implement, especially if you decide to use an automated marketing service like ConvertKit to create your campaign. 

 So how do you create a drip email series? Here are four easy steps you can follow:

Identify Your Audience

Before you create your email marketing campaign, you need to understand your audience. For example, are you looking to target users aged 25-35, based in the United States, with interests in technology and gaming? Having a clearly-defined audience helps you write clean, cohesive, and on-brand emails, with a point of view. 

The two main triggers for an audience campaign are an action trigger and a demographic trigger. With an action trigger, a user would subscribe to your emails and you would send a welcome email. Or if a customer buys a product, you would send an order confirmation or receipt.

A demographic trigger, on the other hand, could be your customer’s birthday, prompting a happy birthday email, with a special treat i.e. a discount voucher. Puma is a company that identifies demographic triggers exceptionally well. The key is to reward your customers once you have identified them to increase customer satisfaction. 

Write Your Email 

Crafting email copy is very important so you shouldn’t take this lightly. You need to have a clear call to action (CTA) and think about what your email needs to do. Do you want an email that will encourage them to buy, tell them to sign up, or follow you on social media? What is your goal and purpose? Make sure your message is clear and is on-brand, with a distinctive tone of voice. Copy that defines your purpose is vital here. 

Plan Your Campaign

You need to set a marketing goal, learn how to segment your email list, and define how you will measure the success of the campaign. For example, let’s say you are a marketer teaching budding entrepreneurs how to make money from home. You have an online course for which you have a free taster, but only for subscribers. 

Your goal would be to attract your target audience and get them to sign up for your taster course, hoping that they would then enroll in your paid course. You would measure the success based on the number of signups your drip campaign had and the percentage of those who converted into paying customers.

Launch Your Drip Email Campaign 

You are ready to send out your drip campaign, but here are a few things to consider!

  • How many emails will you send?
  • Do your triggers match the message and tone of the email?
  • What types of tools, analytics, and metrics will you use to track your success?
  • What email marketing campaigns do you admire? What could they do better?

Top Tools You Need for Drip Campaigns

All good drip campaigns need excellent tools. Below are our favorite drip campaign tools that we have used personally. 

Mailchimp 

MailChimp homepage screenshot

Mailchimp is one of the best email automation services out there. It has a free plan, offers a built-in CRMM, 10,000 emails to 2000 subscribers, as well as a pay-as-you-go plan. Users can even integrate with popular third-party services like PayPal, Wordpress, and Google Contacts. 

Pros

  • The number of integrations this tool offers 
  • Detailed drip campaign analytics and metrics 

Cons

  • The automation workflows are not easy to understand
  • The higher plans become expensive 

Best for?

  • A freemium plan for anyone regardless of budget

Hubspot 

Hubspot allows you to capture prospects and turn them into paying clients. You can manage your customer base and content, and build professional drip email series. 

Pros 

  • Triggered complex drip sequences 
  • A/B testing and ability to test dynamic content 

Cons

  • Has limited features in its free version
  • Modifying their email templates is tough without knowledge of CSS

Best For? 

All-in-one CRM system with great analytics, creates drip sequences, and is good for marketing and sales teams. 

ConvertKit

ConvertKit homepage screenshot

ConvertKit is a full-featured email service provider, which offers customizable sign-up forms and landing pages to bring in more subscribers. You can send unlimited emails (unlike Mailchimp), and it helps you automate drip email sequences. It is largely used by creators, including bloggers. 

Pros:

  • Robust tagging system for managing funnels and targeting users with optimized emails 
  • Broad integrations available for other platforms and opt-in form plugins

Cons:

  • It needs to offer more as it is only email marketing and landing pages for list building
  • The analytics need to be more in-depth so users can gain more insights

Best for?

Content creators and bloggers who want a tailored drip campaign 

Do’s & Don’ts of a Drip Campaign

Do’s 

Align your email drip strategy with your business goals

A drip campaign is part of your overall marketing strategy and should work toward the same business objective. You need to plan ahead, define your vision, and follow through. Make sure your end goal is clearly mapped out. 

Test your drip email campaign

You need to segment your email list and make sure there is a correct email sequence in place. You also need to use A/B testing to see which subject lines get the best open rates for your emails.

Don’t miss marketing opportunities

Although you don’t want your drip email to be overly salesy, you should make sure you take the opportunity to market to your audience. For example, if you have released a new clothing line, shout out about it. Have you released a new e-book? Get people to sign up. Whether it’s through a blog your email is linking to, an infographic, video or anything else, work towards a clear goal of moving leads down the funnel. Timing is key though, so it should come at the right time in your sequence.

Don’ts 

Don’t include too many calls-to-action (CTAs)

It’s true that CTAs are important because it leads the prospect to your website or take the desired action. For example, if they have abandoned an item in their basket, your email can redirect them to the purchase page. However, too many calls-to-action is confusing. 

When you offer too many options, this can be confusing for the reader. It is not as effective as having a single CTA. Sometimes less is more. 

Don’t send too many emails 

Laptop screen showing email inbox

It is great that you are trying to build a relationship with your audience, but don’t overdo it. Don’t send too many emails as you will alienate your mailing list. Instead, focus on quality over quantity. When you space out your outreach, you give your subscribers time to digest the information. If you send too many emails, your subscribers will switch off.

Don’t use a one-size-fits-all approach 

What works for one reader, might not work for another. Your readers might represent different age groups, backgrounds, locations, and interests, so it is important that your emails reflect that. You need to create segmented lists that categorize leads based on interests and deliver tailored content. 

5 Email Drip Campaign Examples 

You are almost there. You understand the different types of drip email sequences, have familiarized yourself with the automation tools available, and have discovered how to create a good email drip campaign. Now, you need to learn from the best. Here are 5 email drip campaigns that have revolutionized the drip marketing space. 

Netflix Win Back Campaign 

Screenshot of Netflix Win Back campaign email
Image Credit: Optinmonster 

At first glance, Netflix’s drip campaign email is nothing special. After all, in comparison to the other examples we have highlighted, it seems simple. However, a simple email is often effective. The email is not too pushy, or too salesy. Instead, the brand tone of voice is just right. The email won back customers who had canceled their subscription through two emails. 

The first confirmed the cancellation, but included a CTA to restart the membership. If that didn’t work, they then emailed the customers with all the TV series and movies that the user was missing out on. Then the last email was a targeted email that outlined all the perks that they had missed out on, such as advert-free viewing. 

Why does it work? 

It shows previous customers what they are missing out on without being pushy. 

Dollar Shave Club 

Dollar Shave Club website screenshot

Dollar Shave Club used a cross-selling strategy to reduce cart abandonment and increase sales. It encouraged customers to buy more without coming across as too promotional. In their email, they summarized the order by including useful information about the products. In the next section, they gave the customer a chance to buy extra products that will go well with their first order. 

Why does it work?

It is simple yet effective. It encourages the customer to buy more.

Amazon

Amazon page showing camera bag

Behavior-based drip marketing is one of the most effective strategies out there. Nobody does it better than Amazon. They create behavior-based email drips based on what you have searched for previously, and what it assumes your interests are. For example, if you are a photographer, and have been searching for DSLR bags, you will receive an email with product recommendations. 

Though you might not buy it straight away, their targeted recommendations can lead you to purchase later down the line!

Why does it work?

Because it shows you products that you actually want, and are searching for, rather than random product recommendations. 

Klarna 

Klarna email marketing campaign

Let’s get one thing clear. Simple emails convert, period. After all, you are pressed for time and need an email that gets straight to the point. Klarna’s promotional email introduces Klarna in an effective way. There are not too many CTAs or lengthy content. Instead, they advertise their offer using short copy and a relatable image. The CTA is clear and effective. 

Why does it work?

It uses short copy and one simple CTA.

Beardbrand 

Beardbrand email campaign showing bearded men

Ever read an email that made you feel guilty? It is a common marketing tactic, but Beardbrand decided to do something different. Instead of making their customer feel guilty about not visiting their website for three months, they chose to entertain them. 

Built on the fact that human hair grows about 0.5 inches a month, this re-engagement email is one of the best we have seen. It educates the reader, is light-hearted, and smoothly transitions into product recommendations that they think the customer needs. It piques the reader’s curiosity and inspires them to at least visit their website, if not purchase their products. 

Why does it work?

Because it does not make the reader feel guilty. Instead, it piques their interest. 

The Future Of Drip Email Marketing 

Drip marketing helps take your business to the next level—and with fantastic ROI. But where does its future lie?

By 2023, there will be an estimated 4.3 billion global email users according to Statista. In 2025, there will be 4.6 billion. That is a huge number of people and it is important to capitalize on that. 

We predict that there will be three main email marketing trends this year: more personalized emails, emphasis on greater customer lifetime value, and the rise of user generated content (UGC). 

Since most users tend to look at promotional emails in the same light as spam, future drip emails need to be more personalized. By creating funnel-optimized content, you can use automation to help create a more personalized experience.

As well as personalized emails, customer lifetime value will become more important. The pandemic changed the way that we view emails, so customer lifetime value is central. Better brand experience, tailored emails, and customer service are important to building customer loyalty. 

Last but not least is the growth of UGC. 2022 will see businesses and marketers use UGC in their emails. Why? Because it shows that you have a relationship with your audience and are rewarding them for investing in your business. It demonstrates that you care about customer satisfaction and has built-in social proof. 

What are your tips for drip email marketing in 2022?

Ana De-Jesus
Freelance Writer
Former Company
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Ana De-Jesus
Freelance Writer
Former company
About Author
Ana De-Jesus is a multi-award-winning lifestyle blogger, copywriter, and freelance writer. She has worked with brands such as Pretty Little Thing, Jet2Holidays, and Microsoft. With over 7 years of experience in the writing industry, Ana’s blog fadedspring.co.uk is ranked in the top 15 UK blogs, and websites in the UK. She has also won Best British Blogger, Best Storyteller, and Freelance Newcomer to name a few. Ana likes to see herself as a jack of all trades and has expertise in industries including food and drink, travel, blogging, social media, marketing, and entertainment, to name a few.
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