Drip campaigns are a great way to engage new subscribers and increase the value of your mailing list. This type of campaign is known by a number of monikers – drip campaigns, automated emails, lifecycle emails, autoresponders and marketing automation.
The name may change but the concept is the same. These campaigns are a sequence of marketing emails that are sent out automatically according to a schedule.
Drip campaigns can be used by all manner of different businesses. You’ve probably received hundreds of examples in your own inbox. E-commerce businesses often use drip campaigns to welcome you to their brand and offer an exclusive discount to encourage a purchase.
Bloggers use them too, to share their most read content with new subscribers, ensuring you haven’t missed a thing. We also use them here at EmailOctopus, to welcome new users to the platform and ask if they need any assistance in getting set-up.
Benefits of using drip campaigns in your email marketing
Regardless of your industry, there’s a host of benefits that drip campaigns bring to your email marketing:
1. Drip campaigns drive higher engagement
Welcome emails alone generate 4x more opens and 5x more clicks than regular email marketing campaigns, according to stats compiled by Invespcro.com. And the majority of subscribers today expect to receive a welcome email when they sign up to a mailing list. It’s when they are most receptive to your message. Which is what makes a good welcome email an integral part of your email marketing strategy.
2. Drip campaigns save you time
The beauty of drip campaigns is that once you’ve created the emails and set up the sequence, they run on autopilot. So whenever a new subscriber joins your list, they automatically receive a welcome email and any other email you’ve scheduled into your drip campaign.
3. Drip campaigns nurture leads
If you’re using segmentation in your email marketing, you may also be using multiple mailing lists to group subscribers. You could have one mailing list for blog subscribers. Another mailing list for users/customers. And a third for leads – potential customers that have expressed an interest in your product or service by signing up for a specific piece of content, for example.
With drip campaigns, you can create an automated sequence of emails that nurture leads through the sales funnel with information on your product or service, guides on how to get the most out of your product or service, and finally an offer to encourage them to purchase or sign up.
Now that we understand the benefits, let’s take a look at some examples of drip campaigns.
Examples of effective drip campaigns
A welcome email is a great place to make a first impression on your subscribers. You can get across the main message of your brand and set expectations.
This example email from Ace & Tate welcomes new subscribers and includes the unique selling points of the brand – in this case, free shipping and home try-on incentives. The email also includes links to the main categories of product they offer. This makes it easy for subscribers to navigate back to the website.
The copy is concise and kept to a minimum, yet includes all the essential info the brand wants to get across to potential customers. And there are links to their social media channels to encourage further engagement.
If you have a particularly complex product, an onboarding email series is an effective way to introduce users to its various features and benefits. Think of this email series as a tour guide for your website – directing new users to the information they need to get the most out of your product.
This onboarding sequence from payment processor, Square, takes subscribers through the initial process of accepting payments, all the way through to upselling customers and increasing sales through gift cards.
E-commerce sites often offer discounts to their new subscribers to encourage a purchase. And this can also be done using a drip campaign. You can include a discount in your welcome email, as Tattly do in the example below. Alternatively, you can wait a few days after they first subscribe.
If you’ve got a list of past purchasers, you can add them to a separate list and send them an automated email inviting them to purchase again with an exclusive discount. This is a great way of building brand loyalty and increasing the lifetime value of your customers too.
Discounting can be a powerful way to generate incremental sales from email subscribers who may have just had the intention to browse. Using scarcity or urgency can make discounting even more effective. Simply limit the discount code for a certain amount of time, helping encourage your subscribers to complete their purchase there and then.
Drip campaigns aren’t just limited to use by e-commerce businesses or blog owners. They’re also hugely popular with course creators too, such as Double Your Freelancing. They use email courses to educate their subscribers and build authority as an expert in their field. Each email includes a lesson about a particular topic. And by the end of the email sequence, subscribers would have received a mini-course.
Trainers, consultants and educators often use this tactic to provide potential customers with a preview of the content they’ll receive if they sign up to paid course they offer. It’s a form of lead nurturing. And these drip campaigns help build a relationship with subscribers before trying to convert them to a paying customer.
For authors, drip campaigns are a fantastic way to build anticipation for your next book release. You can use a sequence of emails to reveal new characters or tease your readers with quotes from cliffhanger scenes.
Drip campaigns can also increase sales by giving new subscribers access to an exclusive chapter preview of your most popular book. Further along the email sequence you can offer them an exclusive discount to prompt a purchase of your book.
How to set up a successful drip campaign
The key to setting up a successful drip campaign is to decide:
- who’s your target audience
- what action will trigger the drip campaign
- the objective of your drip campaign
Once you have this finalised, you’ll be able to map out the best sequence of emails to reach that objective. And craft the message of each email to best suit your target audience.
Here’s an example of a simple drip campaign to get you started.
Setting up drip campaigns with EmailOctopus
It’s easy to set up drip campaigns with EmailOctopus. Our automation feature allows you to automatically send emails to contacts based on time sequences. For instance, you can set up a welcome email to be sent immediately after a new subscriber joins your mailing list. You can then schedule follow up emails to be sent to those subscribers X number of days later.
Via our integration with Zapier, you can also trigger drip campaigns from EmailOctopus based on actions prompted by your favourite apps. This includes lead nurturing sequences triggered by contacts collected via Facebook Lead Ads. Or post purchase follow up emails triggered by e-commerce data in Shopify.
Drip campaigns on other channels
Email is the channel most associated with drip campaigns. But in today’s digital era, there are even more channels available to marketers wanting to nurture leads and educate consumers new to their brand.
Welcome messages and onboarding sequences can work just as effectively as drip campaigns delivered via SMS and messenger chats.
Try it and see!