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What is an Email Drip Campaign?

For every $1 organizations spend on email marketing, they enjoy an average return of $36. That lofty dollar amount gives email marketing the highest return on investment compared to any other form of marketing.

If you aren’t familiar with the vast capabilities of email marketing, you may think it’s just as simple as sending out a monthly company newsletter. While monthly newsletters and one-off email sends are considered part of email marketing, they only make up a small portion of what email marketing can do for your business.

When done right, email marketing can be one of the most effective ways to turn prospects into leads and leads into customers. Utilizing automated drip campaigns is one of the best ways to drastically elevate an organization’s email marketing efforts. The ability to send personalized content to users through drip campaigns is an incredibly powerful tool, so let’s break down what you need to know about what makes email drip campaigns so successful.

How Do Drip Campaigns Work?

One of the most results-driven email marketing tactics is automated drip campaigns. An email drip campaign is an automated series of personalized emails sent to your audience based on specific actions they take.
Drip emails can be triggered when users take one of a variety of actions. A few of these actions include:

  • Filling out a contact form
  • Signing up for a webinar
  • Downloading a whitepaper
  • Attending an event
  • Abandoning a shopping cart
  • Making a purchase
  • Speaking with a customer service representative

Once a campaign is triggered, the automation begins by sending an initial email based on that user’s actions. After this initial step, the drip campaign can go in many different directions depending on how the user engages with the first email. Each action a user takes determines which email they receive next. For example, a user that opened the email may follow a different path than a user that didn't. Here's one such example of a drip email path.

An example path for an email drip campaign.

There are numerous ways that a path can be segmented. For example, marketers can use any of the following details to set users on a different path and deliver them personalized content.

  • Information found in the contact’s profile
  • Whether a contact clicks a link in another email
  • Which page a contact visits on your company’s site
  • The completion of specific campaign goals like booking a consultation or making a purchase

No matter which route your email drip campaign goes, the ultimate goal should be to nurture your lead through the marketing funnel. Using contact behavior and information to create an email drip campaign is an effective way to send the right message to users at the right time.

What are the Different Types of Email Drip Campaigns?

There are several different types of email drip campaigns. The key to an effective drip campaign is audience segmentation into the right campaign to help nurture the contact to the conversion point. To achieve this goal, organizations may need to utilize a variety of drip campaigns to target different users.

Welcome campaign

One of the most popular drip campaigns is a welcome or onboarding email campaign. This campaign is usually your first email touchpoint with the customer and is your chance to introduce them to what your business offers. Onboarding campaigns typically include a coupon or exclusive offer, educational blog posts, or key products or services your company offers.

Retargeting campaign

The purpose of a retargeting campaign is to re-engage with users who have engaged with your content in the past to bring them back to your site. These automated campaigns are usually triggered after someone took a certain action on your website, like downloading a piece of content or checking out a particular webpage, without taking the goal action.

Re-engagement campaigns

Re-engagement campaigns have a similar goal as retargeting campaigns, with the goal of re-engaging past users. However, a re-engagement campaign is usually sent out to users who have not engaged with your brand in quite some time. Taking some effort to try and recapture these wayward individuals can help remind them just how much they missed your organization so that they become a lead once again.

These campaigns are also used to weed out potential leads from prospects that are no longer interested. If a prospect has lost interest, there is no need to send them regular emails anymore. By identifying these users, you'll be able to keep your email lists clean and boost your open rate and click rate as you will avoid sending emails to uninterested prospects.

Educational campaigns

The goal of an educational drip campaigns is to provide meaningful and relevant resources to your audience. These campaigns usually start off with some basic topics introducing key ideas and then get a little more granular as the campaign progresses. Education email drip campaigns often include blog posts, whitepaper downloads, and other informational resources to better educate contacts on your business’ knowledge in the industry and what you can help them accomplish.

Up-Sell campaigns

Up-selling campaigns are a great way to get existing customers to make additional purchases from your brand. These campaigns often use purchase history data to recommend similar products or services that would be of interest to them. The actions a user takes can really personalize this journey for them – and in turn increase sales for your company.

Abandoned cart campaigns

Have you ever added an item to your cart online but decided to not go through with the purchase? Well, you’re not alone. This common phenomenon is often referred to “abandoned cart.”

Abandoned cart email drip campaigns can be set up to remind contacts of an item they put in their cart, but never followed through with purchasing. Once an abandoned cart is detected, a campaign can be triggered to send an email with the abandoned item as a friendly reminder. These reminders are highly effective, as approximately 45% of abandoned cart emails are opened and upwards of 10% of contacts end up making a purchase from them.

How To Set Up an Email Drip Campaign

Email drip campaigns are an excellent means to engage with consumers in a variety of ways, but it does take some work to make them work. As such, you’ll need to take multiple steps to set your drip campaign up for success.

1. Outline the Purpose of the Campaign

Decide which type of campaign is best for accomplishing your goals. The list above has some popular campaign types to choose from, but the options are endless.

2. Choose a Campaign Trigger and Audience

Determine what events or criteria will trigger your drip campaign. This can be an action like a form fill or page visit, or it could be a set date and time.

3. Design the Emails

Cater your email messages for each step along the journey. Make sure emails are following best practice guidelines to optimize open and click rates, and to avoid landing in a user’s spam folder.

4. Create the Automation

Use your marketing automation platform to create an automation that includes your campaign trigger, email messages, and any behavioral actions.

5. Test

Don’t forget to test your all your emails, your automation, and any forms that may be associated with your campaign!

6. Audit the Campaign

Even after your campaign is up and running, your work is not quite done. It’s important to regularly audit campaigns and adjust automations based on performance and company updates. For example, if an email in your campaign has a lower click rate than the rest, it might be a good idea to revamp the subject line.

It’s also important to make sure your email copy stays consistent among company changes like logo updates. You also want to check and make sure there are no broken links in the campaign and the email copy is still relevant.

How to Implement an Email Drip Campaign into Your Digital Marketing Strategy

When done right, email marketing can be one of the most effective ways to engage customers, generate leads, grow profitability, and nurture leads into a sales opportunity. Of course, it takes a bit of work and expertise to get started.

Whether you’re looking to create a robust marketing automation campaign or revamp your email marketing strategy, we’ve got you covered! Aztek has a team of certified email marketing experts with experience in a variety of platforms to help turn email connections into conversions.

Ready to engage with your users and drive leads? Let’s talk about how we can help you achieve your digital marketing goals.