Before proceeding onto Drip Email Marketing, we need to be clear with the concept of Lifecycle Emails. “Lifecycle Emails are sending the right emails, to the right people, at the right time.” -Patrick McKenzie. Customer.io, a leading email automation company defines Lifecycle Emails as “sending people emails based on what they do or don’t do.”
Drip Email Marketing is a part of Lifecycle Emails which divides communication into a series of emails and sends them out to your users based on your understanding of how your users can consume it. To put it in simple words, right from the first stage when your users enter and view your website or content, to the final stage of purchase.
The essence of this kind of campaign lies in the fact that unlike your website or regular email marketing, with Drip Email Marketing you send out only a part of all that you want to convey to your users, little by little, in each email that you send them; eventually taking them forward from one stage to the next.
5 Steps to Set Up Your Own Drip Email Marketing Campaign
Define The Start Point-
The first stage of any Drip Email Marketing Campaign is to determine where your subscribers are entering from. Users may enter into your email list from any of the following sources:-
- Existing Customer Information
- Website Chat Integration
- Conferences and Seminars
- Lead/Subscription Form
Your initial objective must be simple and easy to define. For example, your objective can be to target all those who have downloaded your most popular e-book rather than trying to get all those to convert who have d0wnloaded any file or whitepaper from your website. Try to be a little specific when you define your start point. Defining the start point will help you determine what kinds of segmentation you require to collect the data as well as choose the right tools to collect the data in the most efficient and cost-effective manner.
2. Attribute-Based Segmentation-
Once we have defined our start point, we then need to compile all our historical data and past records to segment allocate) our subscribers into different baskets based on their interests or activities.
Users may be segmented on any of the following attributes:-
- Company Size
- Product of Interest
You will be sending out a different communication to different audience segments. For example, someone watching a video may be more interested in viewing audiovisual content and should be targeted only through webinars as compared to someone who has spent 10 minutes viewing your blog post.
Note: You should be in a position to actually arrange the data you require from your audience, i.e. they should be willing and able to provide you with this information.
3. Identify All Events You Want To Capture-
Events can be decided based on:-
- Page Views:- Number of pages viewed or time spent on each page.
- Action:- The actions taken by a user. E.g. to download an e-book.
- Email Activity:- The response of users to the email communication sent to them. E.g. Open rate, Click through rate.
You can then decide which events you want to track and segment users on. Based on these events, users would be sent a different communication.
4. Create Workflow-
The most critical part of a Drip Email Marketing campaign is to create workflows. Based on the various segments and trigger points that you have decided, you will now create the workflow. Similar to a content calendar in the case of social media marketing, a workflow will enable you to plan out the communication that will be sent to a user based on the activities that he/she performs.
The workflow can be altered based on changes in the customer lifecycle and ensure that it is in sync with the audience segment.
A typical flowchart for a Food Blog.
5. Write Drip Emails For All Nodes In Your Workflow
Once the workflow is created, in the final stage we will actually design the emails for each of our audience segments. Each audience segment will have a different trigger point which should be clearly communicated through your emailers.
People usually don’t like to be bombarded with irrelevant emails. Make sure you maintain an adequate time gap in between the emails sent to your audience and keep a track of the open rate. The emails should be short and precise, addressing the users in a friendly and personal manner. At each stage, users have certain blocking questions which prevents them from converting. These questions should be promptly addressed in the email, based on their relevancy to the audience.
Two leading tools used for Drip Email Marketing are:-
- Drip:- As the name suggests, Drip is an excellent Email Drip Marketing Tool through which you can easily send abandoned cart messages and customized emails that drive sales and deepen customer relationships. You can easily design comprehensive, custom email campaigns and simplify your sales funnel. A major strength of Drip is that you can create customized workflows (paths that determine what emails will be sent to which user and at what time) based on their attributes. For businesses in the B2B space, Drip is an excellent platform for lead scoring (categorizing users based on their value).
2.Customer.io:- An advantage of using Customer.io is that you can easily implement and do A/B Testing. You can segment people based on their Page Views (viewed a particular page of your website), Events (actions performed by users on your website like spending more than 5 minutes on a webpage) etc. or a combination of several of such activities.
3. MailChimp:- MailChimp is one of the leaders in the section of attribute-based segmentation and helps you to easily manage subscriptions with a user-friendly interface for all our non-techies out there. I would recommend this tool for beginners who are new to the practice of Drip Email Marketing or have little or no technical skills.
I would suggest you go ahead with a trial version of all 3 tools and then decide what suits you the best.
Image Source- Google