Every single business wants to be the bee’s knees, the best of the rest - to make a splash. To be any of these things, you need to be able to properly get in touch with and nurture your customer base and audience.
This takes time to get right but this is where your drip email campaign will come into play. It's as gentle as it sounds, coaxing your audience from being watchers to being doers. A perfect drip email campaign doesn't exist, as there will always be necessary tweaks as your business grows.
However, it doesn't mean that you can't drum up that engagement, drive more conversions and learn from your customers as you go. Let's dive right into the drip email campaign process, how it works and the 9 steps that you need for your eCommerce business.
A drip email campaign is a method of marketing automation and it's most used for email marketing. You can write and schedule emails to be sent to your contacts, and these are scheduled to go out on selected dates of your choosing.
You'll use predefined triggers to time your emails and appeal to your customers and the best example is in the early stages of customer subscription.
So, let's say a customer subscribes to your email list: you'll have an automatic email going to their inbox to say hello and thank them for joining your site.
Next, you'll have another email scheduled for a few days later, and this allows you to deliver the correct message with a "drip" method - like raindrops down a window.
As you get to know your wider audience, you may adjust and reschedule your emails based on their behavior and response.
With a drip-email campaign, you can better nurture your customers, getting to know their interest in your business and not spamming out tons of daily emails that end up in the junk box of their email provider.
By using the drip email campaign method, you can slowly target and personalize your emails without being aggressive or pushy, and it leads to fewer people dropping off the list and a bigger, better conversion rate over time.
We've talked through how drip email campaigns work, but do they actually work? The short answer here is that yes, they do work!
Salespeople are taught to be persistent in their methods and with the growth of the advertising world most customers now need a lot of gentle brushes with a business name before they totally commit.
A drip email campaign allows a customer the chance to slowly and surely get to know more about you and they're a great way to keep in touch with people without stamping on them and shouting "BUY NOW!" every two minutes.
It's not what customers respond to, and drip email campaigns allow you to address specific issues your customers are having, how you can solve these issues and what discounts you can offer at the same time.
A drip email campaign is never something that is just released and left to its devices. Drip email campaigns are carefully strategized and calculated. These have almost always been associated with email marketing, but there are so many different ways to offer drip campaigns to customers.
Some of the most common types of drip email campaigns are listed below:
These are the initial emails that ping out when you gain a new email subscriber and they are welcoming your new customer to your email list. It's your way to introduce yourself beyond the website or social media page where they found you in the first place.
This is one of the most effective email campaigns to have for your audience, as there is a relationship opened up and you get the chance to build familiarity and understanding with a new subscriber.
You can talk about your brand, your discounts, whether their space as a subscriber means you offer VIP lists and discounts, etc.
There is a lot you can put into a welcome email and it starts here. You can also get to know your customer by asking them to complete some questions in a survey, which will only work to enhance your relationship.
Once you've done the welcome and introduction, a few days later a promotional email should go out so that your subscriber could turn into a customer of yours. You want to do this just once in the few days after and you don't want to hammer them in daily or you'll put the customer off.
You want to provoke emotions and humor and encourage your subscriber to become a customer in your business.
Every eCommerce business needs to invest in seasonal emails! These are still in the promotional category, but they are specific to the holidays that pop up throughout the year.
Whether it's Grandparent's Day or Christmas, Chanukah, or Easter, you can add seasonal promotions, discounts, and good wishes in your email campaigns. These are all periods of the year that are important for eCommerce businesses and shouldn’t be missed!
It's very likely that if you look at your inbox right now, you're going to see some excellent examples of drip email campaigns. We are all subscribed to at least one of them and we've listed a couple of good examples for you below.
If you're a subscriber (why wouldn't you be?), you'll know that from time to time you may need to pause the subscription. It happens, and most of us have had to stop the subscription at least once.
When this happens, Netflix will email you and ask you to reactivate, and they have an exceptional drip email campaign that uses friendly language to gently ask you whether you would like to come back.
They have clear calls to action and they take 3-6 months of drip-fed emails with shows and movies that are linked to your previous preferences.
If you use Grammarly as part of your business content, then you may be aware that they send offers to customers to entice them to sign up to their premium service. It's targeted to existing customers as they already know the benefits of the service and will be more likely to sign up! The language used is formal but fun, with incentives attached to encourage you to take up their offer!
Now you know all about drip email campaigns, let's take a closer look at the 9 steps that you need to create the right drip campaign for your business.
Email marketing is an effective way to share your business message and build those customer relationships. It's harder to hold onto existing customers compared to hooking new ones, and your drip email campaigns are going to do that for you - but only if you have the right tools.
It's all about the efficiency in your communication with your audience, but that said, a spreadsheet of your customers is not going to cut the mustard! You need more, and there are email marketing tools out there that can help.
When you choose the right platform, look for those that have great integration between your customer relationship management system and your email marketing tool, such as this HubSpot MailChimp integration, for example.
You need them to work together to provide that valuable content and manage customer data. You should also ensure that your email marketing tool allows for smartphone viewing and easy reading.
If your emails don't display correctly, they will bounce and this will make every effort that you just made a redundant one. Lastly, you want a tool that will manage response handling, too. Some of the best tools out there include:
2. Nail Down Your Objectives
What's an email marketing campaign without goals? There is no point in sending an email to your customers without knowing why you are doing it.
Some of the objectives for your drip email campaigns should include things like user onboarding, lead nurturing, sales pitches, and upselling.
You need to be clear on what you want to achieve, as you can then measure whether what you hoped to achieve was what you got. If not, you can learn where you went wrong and do better next time!
You need to get to know the targets of your emails so that you can better learn whether you are offering them what they need.
They are the recipients of your messages, and there is no point in sending anything that won't get any engagement or results.
So, you have to keep in mind how you segment your audience and you can do this by qualifying the leads that you identified during lead nurturing and put your customers into groups. Whether you do it via factual geographic data or your customer's wants segmentation is a must.
Why is segmentation important?
Without segmentation, you could end up sending irrelevant emails to your customers. There's no use in advertising a U.S base to Australian customers, for example!
How can you segment your email campaigns and based on what?
There are many ways to segment your email campaigns, from demographics to individual survey results. You have to find the methods that best suit your business.
You can even segment your customers via their email open rates: some businesses aim "money-off" emails to customers who open their emails daily!
Triggered emails get fired out by actions that your website visitors make. This is an automated process and it's a big part of behavioral marketing.
You can then send the right emails based on user behavior, and they are usually a successful way to do it as they’ve always done at the right time.
Triggered emails can be used for upselling but the idea behind these is not to sell but to offer more information for your audience.
So, if your customer happens to click on a product that is out of stock, or they leave their online basket abandoned, these actions could then trigger an email to let them know when said product is available again.
Ah, one of the biggest questions in the email marketing space: how often should drip email campaigns be active? If there is one thing that is common for all eCommerce businesses is that they want to get the timing of their emails right.
Too many emails and you're a spammer and will be added to a block list. Too few and people forget who you are, so you need to find a sweet spot that sits in the right place!
The frequency of your emails is vital for success, and that aforementioned sweet spot comes down to an email out to customers once or twice a week.
Of course, this isn't suited to every business and it comes to your individual business as to what will work. To add more without being a spammer, wait until those seasonal drip campaigns!
Email sequences are automated email campaigns that will be sent to specific segments of your email list.
This can be based on your trigger emails or your time-based ones and emails can be sent out based on actions such as your audience browsing behavior.
Email sequences are a series of emails sent on pre-set timers and the pre-set timed emails are those sent at specific times to capture your audience's attention without being annoying.
Trigger-based emails are those that are sent when an action on your website is taking, such as not logging in for over a week!
If you want your emails to be attractive, they have to look good.
It's not just about the pictures or GIFs used, but these do help. You need to ensure that from the subject line to the end of the email, you are going to offer something attractive to your customers.
They should want to click the link and open the email and for that, you need a punchy subject line. They should want to read your content and it should be obvious in the first few sentences why you are sending this email and taking their time.
Good visuals are eye-catching and they help your audience to remember your content - this is a success trifecta! Use graphic design or animation software like Vectornator or Canva or Animation Desk to create memorable visuals and illustrations to spice up your emails.
An audience HATES to be sent a generic "Dear Customer" email. It's not personal, it's cold, it's not fun - you need to personalize your emails that you send to your customers and the right email marketing tool will allow you to do this.
Personalization adds a layer of rapport that you don't get by being generic. It shows your audience that you have put some effort into sending them relevant content in which they may actually enjoy reading what you have to say.
Personalization is a big factor in your audience feeling like you actually care about them at all.
No matter what email you send, you need to measure all of your results. There are plenty of tools that will both allow you to get your email drip campaign out there and measure the results.
So, if you're sending an email to those in a specific city, you can measure how many people in that city received the email and how many of those emails bounced back.
You can measure how many people opened the email and how many became purchasing customers as a result, too. You need to measure the performance of your emails to know whether you are writing and sending them for nothing or if they actually offer your business some value.
So, now you know the drip email campaigns are designed to keep your audience interested, it's time to go out and see what you can achieve with them for your eCommerce business.