Drip Campaigns Made Easy
What is a drip campaign?
Let’s begin with a definition:
“A Drip Campaign is a communication strategy that sends, or “drips,” a pre-written set of messages to customers or prospects over time.”
Drip campaigns can be used across many digital marketing mediums, but for the purposes of this article, we’re going to be referring exclusively to drip campaigns as they pertain to email marketing.
An Example of a Drip Campaign for Email
Let’s say you were the owner of a hat company.
The name of your company is The Fancy Hat Co.
Your business has a website and on that website, you have a section that allows people to enter their name and email to receive occasional newsletters from The Fancy hat Co.
One day, you decide you want to educate people— the people that are subscribing to your newsletter — on what you do at The Fancy Hat Co.
Maybe these people don’t know that you do custom hats, or that your hats are made in-store, or that 10% of all your sales go towards a local homeless shelter.
This is high-value information that people would enjoy knowing and it might help them become a paying customer.
And this is where the drip campaign comes into play.
Instead of manually sending each new subscriber a series of emails, you can use a drip campaign to trigger the automatic sending of emails to subscribers over a predetermined length of time.
Let me try and break this down as simple as I can.
- A person subscribes to your newsletter list
- They are now entered into your drip campaign
- The first email is triggered to send 24-hours after someone subscribes
- The second email goes out 48-hours after that
- The third email goes out 48-hours after the second email
- And the fourth and final email goes out a week after the third email
Sprinkled within each of those emails is a CTA of some king. The last email tends to have a hard CTA that really encourages the person reading the email to make a purchase.
Note! In a drip campaign, the number of emails you send and the frequency in which they are sent is entirely up to you.
Your drip campaign can be a single email sent immediately after someone enters their email (this is usually referred to as a “welcome email”, but it’s still triggered to automatically send when an action is performed), or your drip campaign can also be 10, 15, 20 emails long spread over many months!
There is no “right” or “wrong” amount of emails to send in a drip campaign.
If This Then That (IFTTT)
Many email marketers use IFTTT statements in emails.
Essentially, you’re coding your drip campaign so that people, depending on whether they engaged or not, get different follow-up emails.
Your drip campaign doesn’t have to feature IFTTT statements.
If you want to send all the emails in your campaign to everyone signing up, go ahead!
Many drip campaigns I write are chock-full of useful information that people enjoy looking at even after they’ve made the purchase or downloaded the ebook.
Plus, if they really want off the train, they can unsubscribe.
Bottom line is that you can make your drip campaign as complex or as simple as you’d like.
How to Grow Your List
This is a debated tactic as old as email marketing and not one I intend to debate or get deep into in this post.
What I will do in this post is share with you one way I’ve grown lists in the past.
The strategy: Run ads on social media that click out to a landing page. On that landing page, have a form for people to enter their email address and receive something for free (i.e. ebook or coupon). Once they give you their email, BOOM! they’re in the drip campaign.
Let me break that down even further for you…
FACEBOOK AD → LANDING PAGE → SIGN-UP FORM → DRIP CAMPAIGN
To grow your list, you’re going to have to reach new audiences. Paid ads are the quickest way to do that but I’d suggest also mastering ONE social media platform (i.e. Twitter), where you can build the brand and find followers for you or your product. The social media strategy takes A LOT longer, but I’ve seen dudes with insanely loyal followings make bank by simply asking their followers to buy their product.
Not only are drip campaigns great for nurturing leads, but they also remove a lot of work from your plate.
Imagine if every time someone signed up for your newsletter, you had to manually send them follow-up emails?!
What an absolute pain that’d be.
Drip campaigns take that responsibility out of your hands and into the hands of the email marketing service you are using.
In respect to creating content for your drip campaign, you obviously have to write out every email before you publish them.
The idea is that once these drips start, you can stand back and let them do their work.
And the last thing I’ll say is that in my experience, which is echoed by leading email marketing companies, is that when it comes down to the performance of plain-text vs HTML emails, plain-text emails almost always win.
They tend to look more personal and the CTAs are often obvious but understated if done properly.
This is high-value information that potential customers would enjoy knowing and it might help them become a paying customer.