Email Drip Campaigns: What are they and why use them?

Cassidy Oonk Marketing

Imagine you’re running a 5K. You’re feeling great, keeping pace with the other runners, but after the first kilometer, you decide to stop. “Eh, I already ran one kilometer, that should be good enough”. You’re probably thinking, “This scenario sounds silly, who on Earth would do that”?

Well, in the marketing world, that’s akin to sending only one email to a contact after they fill out a form on your website or ad.

If you’re in marketing, or used email automation, you’re probably familiar with the term “email drip campaign”. If not, don’t fret, nearly 70% of sales emails drop off after the first attempt, according to a study by Yesware. Reaching out to new contacts once then letting them sit dormant in your contact list, means you’re not moving your prospects down the sales funnel, and you’re missing out on potential opportunities.

What is an email drip campaign?

An email drip campaign is a triggered sequence of automated emails sent on a predefined schedule to targeted contacts to achieve a specific goal. This makes your life easier by taking away the need to personally write out an email to every new contact by using a queued list of pre-written emails instead. The automated workflow allows you to set a number of actions, including a send schedule, notifications to inform a specific member of your sales staff when they should reach out to a contact, and more. You can even decide how the contact moves through the workflow based on how engaged they are. For example, contacts that continue to open emails and have high interaction can continue down the funnel, while unengaged contacts can be taken out of the workflow, or sent a completely different email to re-engage them. Built effectively, it allows you to nurture qualified leads while weeding out the unengaged contacts. 

How do you build an effective drip campaign?

You’ll need to ask yourself a few questions before you’re able to set up an effective email drip campaign: 

  • Which CRM would you like to use? You’ll need to make sure it has the capability to build out email drip campaigns. There are plenty of software options, including HubSpot and GetResponse, that include email automation.
  • What content will you be offering? Do you have helpful whitepapers that someone would be willing to give their information for? What blogs, videos, tutorials, enticing news or discounts do you have available that will nurture your leads?
  • Who is your targeted audience? 
  • What is the goal of your campaign?
  • How will you be reaching your desired contacts? Are you building out a drip campaign for a contact form on your website? Are you promoting an offer on your website or through digital advertisements?

Once you’ve answered all of those questions, you can start building the campaign. There are endless possibilities when it comes to email drip campaigns, all depending on the questions above and how you want your leads to move through the funnel.

For example, let’s say you want to offer a free PDF on your website to generate some new leads. A website visitor fills out a contact form to receive the PDF from you. Upon submission, a personalized, automated email with the downloadable document is sent to the contact, thanking them for their interest. At this point, we know they’re interested in what you have to offer and you don’t want the relationship to end there. Following the initial email, you’ll want to set up a sequence of emails that keep the lead engaged. For the rest of the emails in the campaign, there are numerous things to move them down the funnel. These include: introducing yourself or your business, sending them another email with content related to the topic of the PDF the lead downloaded, offering a free demo or discount, or inviting the contact to schedule a meeting with you. Make sure to set a delay between the emails to give a necessary break; You don’t want to bombard your contact’s inbox right after they willingly hand over their contact information. 

Below is an example of a basic start to an email drip campaign. (This is what the workflow would look like on HubSpot).

Now that you’ve dipped your toe in the water, are you ready to start your own email drip campaign? You can also learn a few marketing strategies on how to improve your email open rate in our other blog here. Don’t know where to start? Contact us today, we’d love to help.