No Bullsh*t Advice From Email Experts
The role of a marketer is never done. You may have come up with a brilliant drip campaign two years ago (way to go!), but it’s probably time for a revamp if you haven’t tweaked those emails since. Drip campaigns are not something you can set and forget — especially after a world-changing pandemic.
Your company may have grown; your business goals may have changed; your product offerings may have expanded or are different. More importantly, your subscriber’s inbox and shopping behaviors and expectations are not the same as they once were.
Since many companies are experiencing tightening budgets, and marketers have to do more with less, we thought it was a perfect time to discuss ways to increase revenue without increasing your budget.
This month, we asked email experts from Benchmark Email, dotdigital, Email Uplers, iContact, emailmonday, Netcore Cloud & Customers Who Click to share ways to help you improve the effectiveness of your current nurture campaigns and marketing automations.
Here’s what they had to say…
Regularly Review & Refresh Content to Scale With Your Brand & Product
Drip campaigns are effective because they can be set up on the front end and automated, providing you with tons more time to get other necessary tasks done. They nurture your leads, move them through the funnel, and essentially help increase conversions, all while requiring very little effort on your end.
However, that doesn’t mean they should be forgotten once they’re set up and turned on. If you want to continue seeing optimal results from your email drip campaigns, you need to regularly review them and look for ways to improve your campaigns, so they scale with your brand and product.
As time progresses, the content you share within your drip campaigns can become stale. Your brand can shift, and your product offerings may shift with it. Or, perhaps your target audience has changed over time, too. These are all things that are part of a growing business and can affect how successful you are at nurturing your leads.
If you’re on top of your content strategy, then you’re already creating new content. That content should be centered on the needs of your audience and subscribers. From there, refreshing your automated drip campaigns is easy; you just have to swap in fresh content (like guides, blog posts, or pillar pages) for the old, sale content.
Make sure you audit your drip campaigns regularly. Look for any dated articles, language, promos, or CTAs. And, don’t hesitate to adjust the frequency and your triggers. You may want to create and schedule new campaigns altogether.
When It Comes to Drip Campaigns Dynamic Content Delivers Results
Automated drip campaigns are a great way to target your customers and prospects with personalized content, at scale, to encourage conversion.
So, once you’ve got a few drip campaigns set up, how can you improve them? As with any automation, optimization is the key to getting the most out of your campaigns.
When it comes to automated drip campaigns, scalability is a big plus. You’re able to send relevant, personalized and timely content in a way that would be impossible if each send was manual.
To improve the effectiveness of your drip campaigns, dynamic content is a must. Dynamic content allows you to send multiple, personalized versions of a single email. Spend some time getting stuck in and creating detailed, dynamic emails, and you’ll soon see results.
Ensure you’re showing contacts content that relates to or complements their previous behavior and interests. As well as serving the customer content that will appeal to them, which will help with conversion, it’ll also demonstrate a clear ‘value exchange’ and create stronger bonds between you and your customer.
Another top tip for improving the effectiveness of a drip campaign is to target specific segments. Again, using dynamic content, you can deliver highly-relevant, conversion-driving messages to segments based on their RFM profiles, such as ‘need nurturing’ and ‘high value.’
Our in-situ program reporting helps identify drop-off points, so you know exactly where to focus your attention. Continue to test and improve based on previous results; even seemingly small tweaks can add up over time.
Similarly, comparing campaign results against other programs will help you identify opportunities to expand or implement new drip campaigns.
Ultimately, automated drip campaigns are a key tool in your email marketing strategy, and if you’re willing to drill down into the detail, keep testing, and always be optimizing, you should see strong results.
A Profitable Email List Requires Constant Attention & Discipline
Drip email marketing refers to strategic email sequences that slowly nurture a subscriber to become a customer and then a loyal customer. Drip campaigns are thus crucial for your business and must be planned and executed conscientiously.
We can easily optimize drip campaigns to make them more scalable, effective, and personalized. How? Here are five factors to focus on:
Segmenting for effectiveness
Segmentation increases the effectiveness of your campaigns as it helps to send personalized and targeted messages to prospects/ customers based on their position in the sales funnel. Tailor each campaign to the specific segments addressing their concerns and needs.
Tuning for scalability
Email drip campaigns are replicable and scalable. Let’s consider this example – you have created a drip campaign for your new subscribers. Now, when you have a new batch of new subscribers, you can use the same drip.
Timing the emails right
The time you send your drip emails is crucial, as you’re eyeing better engagement. The subscriber’s time zone is a good place to start. And what should be the ideal interval between your emails? It depends on the type of drip campaign. Also, you can tune your email campaigns based on pre-set behavioral triggers.
Testing before sending
A/B testing is a great way to test your drip campaigns before hitting the send button. Ideally, you should test options of only one parameter at a time to find out what’s working best. However, you can test an element that affects the open rate and an element that affects the click-through rate at one go – so you can club the subject line and CTA variations in one A/B test.
Analyzing for future campaigns
Performance analysis of campaigns helps to not only fix issues with ongoing campaigns but also create better campaigns in the future. Metrics like opens, click-throughs, and conversions let you know how each email in your drip sequence is performing. Tweaks to these emails can improve the overall drip sequence performance.
It’s imperative to build drip sequences meticulously. They may not perform as expected on the first run, but you’ll learn from your mistakes and eventually master the art. Need an in-depth understanding of drip campaigns? This go-to guide should come in handy.
Don’t Create a Wastland of Emails for Your Subscribers
Drip, drip, drip. That is the sound you hear when you leave your faucet on. It is a waste of water, and even worse, it can keep you up at night if you can hear the incessant sound.
With email marketing, drip campaigns are when you send a set cadence of emails to your subscribers when they are added to your automated email sequences. If you do not plan your drip campaigns right, you will create a wasteland of emails, and can also keep you up at night.
There are a few things that you can do to make sure that you have successful drip campaigns that convert.
Send the right amount of emails
Get to know your audience and set up your drip campaigns so that they are valuable and effective. Your drip campaigns need to have the right amount of emails. You do not want to send 10 emails if you can put the same information in five emails and be just as effective.
If you sell a product or service and your drip campaign is to raise awareness and convert sales, you can send an email introducing the product/service and list the features and benefits.
The next email can provide testimonials and reviews. Videos would be powerful here. Get others to help sell your product and services and build trust.
A third email can explain your support or return processes to make subscribers feel good about their purchase. People want to be heard and feel supported.
The last email in this drip campaign can include an incentive to seal the deal. This can be a coupon code or anything that will help convert those that did not yet pull the trigger.
Develop a relationship
Use personalization and data to create a better experience and increase engagement. You can make an email feel like a one-on-one conversation by using personalization. You can greet your subscribers by first name and include content that matters to them by using data you have accumulated, such as survey information, purchase history, engagement history and more.
Give your subscribers something to look forward to
Each email should create excitement, interest and anticipation. Tell our subscribers what is coming in future emails, so they look forward to it. By creating a “series” of emails, you create curiosity. You see television shows do this by teasing what is coming in the next episodes.
Be where your subscribers are
Make sure to ask your subscribers to also follow you on social media to increase engagement and your branding efforts. The more channels you can get subscribers to follow you on, the more opportunities you have to develop a relationship and convert more sales.
Now get out there and create your next drip campaign in a way that it will fill up your sales “bucket,” rather than creating waste. You will sleep better at night too! Speaking of sleep, want to see a great example of a drip campaign? Look no further than Casper Mattress.
4 Ways to Make Your Drip Campaigns Provocative, Personal & Fascinating
Why do most follow-up sequences feel like they are just repeating something uninteresting that you are 99% certain you already know? Please, people: Bore-sell no more!
Drip campaigns are great because you can “touch” leads consistently and keep them warm without taking up a lot of marketing or sales resources. So, you create a drip campaign. Say, for instance, a welcome or onboarding sequence. That campaign can just run for each new subscriber automatically. Nice!
But to make it effective, you have to make it seductive. So how do you build a seductive sequence?
Make it match step 1 without giving away the farm
If your entry is a landing page / sign up, you promise something there. Make sure your first email aligns and matches delivering on the first part of that promise immediately. At a minimum, make sure that people know what is coming in the further emails. But please don’t make it complete. Don’t give the whole answer; it should be purposely incomplete.
Wondering why? That is a great question; I’ll answer in one of my next tips. But first, something about being personal.
Pump up the detail in your story copy
There are many email copywriting techniques that can make every email feel more personal. Not changing the core of the message but changing the way they are written.
You can be user-focused without making empty promises. Meaning DO NOT make everything about them and their goals, but present the story with detail, so it comes alive and be sure you show how it relates to their situation.
Here is an example:
👎 Snore script: “Increase your conversion with segmentation.”
👍 Score script: “Do you ever feel like [emotion], because [problem with business challenge]. Let me reveal the exact 3 steps [company X] took to increase their [outcome] by 15%. [personal quote story what happened when success was done]”
Fine-tune the Score script to match your example, stats, proof or anecdote. As long as you add color to the narrative, it will be more valuable and personal.
Get interaction by controlling the flow
Taking it up a notch. If timing isn’t set in stone, you can use an email marketing automation tool like GetResponse or one of the many others to give more control of the flow.
Let people themselves trigger the next email to come sooner:
- The next email on X is coming in 3 days
- Skip the line, send it to me tomorrow
Instead of asking about preferences, just let them pick the topic of their next email(s) directly:
Pick the topic of your next email:
- Boiling the perfect egg (beginner)
- Summer dishes that go great with cocktails (advanced)
- Marinating like the pro’s (expert)
If you use the right landing page software, the page they land on can be dynamic, and ask a bit more about the preferences they just gave.
Keep ‘em hanging on (without a nasty cliffhanger)
A tip for sustained attention span over multiple touches is to make people aware that it is a set and know what is coming next.
For instance, by numbering your training or welcome sequence in the subject line. Eg:
- 4 steps to unlock the secret of drip campaigns (1 of 4)
You can add a description of the next touch as a PS., that works – but be aware to avoid a PS placement feeling like a nasty “gotcha” growth-hackers trick or feeling disconnected to the story.
More elegant is building up a bit of tension in-paragraph, as I showed in tip #1 where I hinted: “Pro’s keep attention high by being purposefully incomplete. But why?”
Understand that the tip here is incomplete and the set up to the CTA. If it flows from one to the other it makes for a follow-up and is super seductive.
So it is the perfect hook for pointing to an evergreen webinar, training, article, product or whatever it may be that has a next hint of the solution. And you keep that chain of helpful but not complete answers growing and growing until the audience learns that your messages are valuable and interesting!
Those were 4 tips for improving your drip campaigns. As you have seen, there are many ways to make your drip campaign more provocative, personal and fascinating.
Adding one last tip: Have fun with the sequence give some attention to it and people will notice the love and craftsmanship you’ve put in.
Drip Campaigns Are Value Investing: 5 Key Tips
Automated drip campaigns are perfect for marketers to keep in touch with their email audience in a personalized and targeted manner. With drip campaigns, the content is pre-defined and mapped to the subscriber to take the next step.
A study by Accenture reported that 90% of consumers seem more likely to buy from companies that remember them and their choices. Not only that, but lead generation also depends on drips sent to prospects.
Think of drips as a blue-chip stock that you buy one time, and it keeps giving you dividends over the years.
Drip campaigns are value investing.
If you are confused between striking the right balance between scaling, personalizing, and making them practical, here are some points to keep in mind:
🔑 Have measurable goals for the drip.
Before you design a drip, consider the following questions:
- – What’s the purpose of this campaign?
- – How will you measure the success or failure of this drip?
- – What specific user event will the drip campaign be based on?
Having a definite purpose for your drip campaigns is necessary for their success (either lead generation or conversions). Quantifying these goals is vital to keep track of its performance. The plans don’t depend on the scale of the audience but rather the type of audience you reach out to.
E.g.: Will you target the drip to all customers or those who have purchased above $500?
🔑 Segment your audience based on customer intent.
List segmentation in 2021 demands to be more advanced based on propensity modeling, RFM frequency, and more. Divide your customers into categories based on their age, gender, past buying behavior, preferences. It could also be done based on user actions like clicks, abandoning cart, subscribing to a newsletter, making a purchase.
Segregating your drip audience based on micro-level preferences will personalize and target your customers’ specific needs and motivations.
In this win-back campaign by Netflix, the intent is clear:
🔑 Maintain and review drip performance.
It’s natural for your product offerings and services to evolve. The automated campaigns you designed six months ago may not be relevant anymore. Review them periodically to make sure they are updated and generating results.
E.g., Now, with Apple MPP changes, you will have to review all the campaigns triggered on ‘open’ events and change them to other performance metrics like clicks, conversions.
🔑 Don’t just personalize; humanize your campaigns.
Personalizing subject lines and the body with the recipient’s name has become an industry best practice.
But too much personalization could come off as creepy.
Instead, have a feel-good vibe about your emails so that customers read them every time. With the pandemic still raging globally, keep things positive and happy. Include inspiring content to get them excited to hear from you again.
Nurture your audience over a series of short emails (microns) and develop a relationship with them.
🔑 Have a multi-channel strategy.
Though email is one of the most direct channels, you should experiment with other channels like SMS, social media, app-push. During the holiday season last year, consumers discovered products on social media, which contributed to 11% of global retail revenue in 2020. So design an omnichannel strategy for those customers who don’t respond to emails.
Regardless of the channel you use, every consumer expects consistency in experience and messaging. That needs to be the same to maintain consumer trust and loyalty.
In a nutshell:
- – Target relevant content
- – Analyze customer intent
- – Maintain with evolved offerings
- – Humanize your brand
- – Monitor performance periodically
- – Develop an omnichannel strategy
Drips are an excellent technique to hand-hold your leads/customers through their journey of discovering your product before asking them to buy.
Ask Relevant Questions to Inform Your Drips & Convert More Customers
Asking some basic questions on signup can allow you to tailor your campaigns really easily and effectively. It could be as simple as asking what category of product they’re interested in, or whether they have dietary requirements, or what they plan to use the product for.
Just a simple question or two will allow you to build out different sequences that speak more personally to these customers about the specific pain point they are facing.
I have a client in the computing space, so we’re asking whether they’re after a PC for Gaming, Flight Simulator, Video or Audio editing, or office work. Based on their answer, we then explain each computer’s pros and cons in a way that relates to that specific audience.
And before you think ‘more form fields mean lower conversions,’ remember customers are happy to answer relevant questions.
If you ask for a phone number, address and how they heard about you, the conversion rate will be lower because they see that as you just collecting data, and it’s of no value to them.
If you ask questions that are clearly framed to help the customer, they’re happy to answer, you collect more data, and you’ll convert more into customers.
You need to build out a few more flows with a few more emails. Still, the effort to tweak copy and imagery in a few extra emails is massively outweighed by the extra conversion and average order value that you’ll see from this approach.
More No Bullsh*t Advice From Email Experts Coming Soon
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