Automated, sequential email messages are a great way to describe drip campaigns in plain English.
Often referred to as drip campaigns but also known by other names – automated email campaigns, drip marketing automation, email automation, lifecycle emails, autoresponders, and sometimes marketing automation – the idea is the same…
Drip campaigns are a sequence of marketing email messages that are sent out automatically on a preset schedule.
Picture this – one email will be sent out as soon as a new subscriber joins your list, another will go out 2 days later featuring your services, with one more going out 4 days later asking people what they’re struggling with. That would be a time-based sequence.
Or the emails in the drip campaign can be triggered by actions that the subscriber has performed or some sort of behavior he/she has demonstrated on your website. For example, an action is when a link in your email is clicked; A behavioral trigger can be a visit to a particular web page or a purchase.
NOTE: If you'd like to forgo the rest of this guide and skip right to the fun part of getting it set up, make sure to set up an Action Plan call with us through the Done For You Email Marketing page... We'll get you dialed in quickly :0)
Table of contents
In this complete guide to drip campaigns and email automation, we're going to discuss:
Chapter 1: Why your marketing needs drip campaigns
Chapter 2: Infographic: Drip campaign basics
Chapter 3: How is email marketing different from drip campaigns?
Chapter 4: When should you use a drip campaign? Drip use cases.
Chapter 5: Who runs drip email campaigns?
Chapter 6: How to create effective email drip campaigns
Chapter 7: Best drip campaign examples
Chapter 8: 7 lessons learned from high-performance drip campaigns
Chapter 9: Where drip campaigns go off the rails
Chapter 10: The tools you need for drip marketing
Chapter 11: How to measure drip campaign results
Video Transcript: Quick Strategies For Drip Marketing Automation
Why you need drip marketing automation campaigns
Combining marketing automation with drip campaigns can result in 20% more sales opportunities.
Every organization needs to run drip campaigns to reap the following benefits:
Be relevant with timely communication
With drip campaigns, you have the ability to deliver relevant information, precisely when your users need to have it.
The information delivered through drip email sequences is activated by how a user is engaging with your brand and web assets, and where they reside in the sales cycle.
Nurture leads until they are sales-ready
Drip marketing nurtures warm leads until they are sales-ready.
Work smarter with marketing automation
Drip campaigns allow you to put tedious parts of the sales process on auto-pilot. Drip campaigns inform and nurture your business leads without you lifting a finger. This way you can spend less time pitching your services and more time closing clients.
Infographic: Drip campaign basics
Want a closer look at drip marketing automation? Pardot has put together the infographic below to present the basics of what you can do with automated email campaigns. Click on the drip campaign infographic to zoom in.
How is email marketing different from drip campaigns?
When should you use drip campaign automation and drip campaign software?
Drip marketing is an umbrella that covers a number of different marketing techniques. But the end goal remains the same: keep users immersed in your product.
Let's look at a few use cases where creating an automated drip campaign may help you deliver better information to targeted viewers, and convert them into paying customers. You might want to try some of these drip marketing examples with your subscribers, or perhaps these use cases will spark your imagination for other approaches to marketing your products using drip campaigns.
You can't take every user by the hand through their buyer's journey, but drip email campaigns can do that difficult task for you. You can use welcome, onboarding, or abandoned cart autoresponder sequences to nurture your leads and prepare them to become paying customers.
You could use a welcome email sequence to automatically send a new list subscriber some of your most popular blog posts. Or, if you get new free trial signup for your SaaS product, you could try a drip showcasing an example of how other customers are making use of your product features.
Pageviews and free trial users are good, but ultimately you need your users to purchase something from your business. That's where an onboarding drip campaign would come in handy: combined with welcome campaigns and newsletters, onboarding emails provide targeted messages to the customer which are small wins for your business.
You designed compelling newsletters, offered flash sales, and tempted your user to click the "add to cart" button. But then, the user leaves empty-handed. Shopping cart abandonment can be a plague for an e-shop. But with a drip campaign to recover abandoned carts, you can re-engage those customers and drive them back to complete the purchase.
Whether your user renewed their membership or the subscription is about to end, you can leverage drip campaigns to captivate subscribers. For automatic renewals, you might want to use an autoresponder that sends users a notification that their account is about to be charged.
However, you need to test the effectiveness of this because in some cases it might result in people canceling their account before their subscription is extended.
If your subscriptions don't auto-renew, create your drip campaign with a clear CTA, asking users to commit to your service for another term or year.
The math is quite simple: the more often someone interacts with your website, the more likely they are to turn into a paying customer.
Engagement email sequences are a kind of drip campaign that encourages the recipient to come back to your site and browse, triggered either by some on-page activity or complete inactivity.
Social networks are a fantastic example of how you can use activity-based triggers for drip campaigns. If somebody on Twitter mentions you in their tweet, Twitter can send out an alert-style email, motivating you to visit Twitter, see the tweet and respond.
Putting together a drip campaign to deliver a multi-part online course is a way to repackage old content or promote new content, and it helps you attract more targeted subscribers. Plus, once the user receives the last email they know your product and are ready to move deeper into your funnel.
Who runs drip email campaigns?
Promote a new freebie (ebook, checklist, or free course), automatically share your new blog posts, engage your audience in pre-launch campaigns.
Grow your list by dripping free email courses to new signups, segment your subscribers into interest groups and send highly personalized emails to increase course sales. Build a referral program so that every student can refer their friends and earn a gift.
Warm-up your leads and nurture them until they leave their free trial and become paying customers. Create an onboarding sequence to showcase your product features to new users. Reduce churn by timely managing subscription renewals.
Stay ahead of the competition and follow-up on your prospects effectively. Drip campaigns can do the work for you, as well as take care of most recurring tasks. Sky's the limit, really. Drip campaigns can nurture your real estate leads.
Any solopreneur or freelancer can deploy drip marketing campaigns and automation to their benefit. Take insurance brokers for example. They need to constantly be in touch with different segments of their audience, i.e. cold leads, warm leads, customers, health plan customers or home insurance customers, and so on.
Set up drip campaigns to send out flash sales offers, happy birthday emails, customer satisfaction surveys, abandoned cart drip campaigns... you name it!
Track and automatically reward your most loyal buyers, use upsell and cross-sell to increase your revenue, or send personalized product recommendations based on behavioral patterns or the location of your customers.
Cart abandonment drip campaigns, product replenishment drips, VIP customer reward campaigns, and upselling/cross-selling sequences are the most typical drip email examples in eCommerce.
Online entrepreneurs/affiliate marketers
There are practically unlimited ways to use drip marketing automation to grow your business. With drip campaigns, you can achieve any of the goals mentioned here plus creating any customized campaign, like promoting an affiliate program to grow your business even further.
If you are an affiliate marketer, you'll be interested to read this post about high-conversion affiliate marketing email sequences.
How to create successful drip campaigns
1. Determine your goal
If you have no idea what you intend to achieve, how can you even accomplish it? You have to choose whether you need to warm up your leads, get them to purchase, or take some other action that serves your marketing goals. When describing your goal you need to be specific if you want to be able to measure it.
2. Optimize your messages
Simply having a drip campaign in place won't bring you much. The information in these emails must be great. If you send poor content, the outcome will be lousy. If your drip campaign doesn't add any value to the email recipients, it can do harm to your marketing because people will unsubscribe or even report you for spam.
Keep the emails short (up to 250 words) or your list won't bother to read them. Know that the majority of your customers are not exactly reading your newsletter rather they are scanning through the content, so make your emails scannable.
3. Focus on your CTAs
When you start developing content for the drip campaign, think about this: What is it that my leads need to make a decision or take action? For example, if your objective is to activate more users of your SaaS, you might want to create an email drip campaign that describes the best functionality of your drip campaign software and shows success stories of how other people used it and got results.
On the other hand, you should aim to enhance people's confidence in your brand by building credibility - that is if your objective is to sell them on your products and services. You should be able to do this by educating them, addressing their concerns (i.e., removing friction), and presenting proof of how your product helps them materialize their aspirations.
4. Set frequency and timing
When it comes to the optimal email sending times, check your email marketing platform stats to see if any particular times of day generated more opens. With regards to frequency, there is no one-size-fits-all guideline here. Typically, you should send emails more often when someone is new to your list and slow down as time as they go further down your funnel. You could start with sending emails once a day, then every couple of days, then once a week, and finally once every two weeks or so.
Of course, there are exceptions. Someone might be on your list for a long time but suddenly they express their purchase intent by visiting your e-shop and by abandoning a product in their cart. In this case, it makes sense to email them daily to recover the cart while the user is still warm.
Or you might be segmenting old subscribers by having them sign up for a new ebook or whitepaper. Then, you could also email them frequently to educate them more on the particular subject and entice them to opt-in for one of your relevant offers.
5. Segment your lists
So, a way to optimize your drip campaigns, especially if your list has more than 600-700 subscribers, is to create segments. With segmenting, you are able to send different parallel campaigns but tailor them to specific groups of subscribers.
For example, you can design two separate landing pages for two different list segments. Now, when people subscribe to your list on one of those two pages, you'll be able to know what interests them more and add them to the better-suited email drip campaign.
6. Always measure performance
This goes for all your marketing efforts. You need to measure the results if you want to find and fix bottlenecks and optimize your marketing spend. With email marketing come to basic KPIs like open rate and click-through rate. Besides those, we suggest that you measure the revenue generated by your campaigns. In fact, the impact on your bottom line is all that matters. Set up UTM links within your drip campaign emails so you are able to track the complete funnel and identify the source of a sale.
Now let’s move on to some drip campaign examples so you get inspiration and ideas for your next drip campaign.
Best drip campaign examples
1. Example of an onboarding drip campaign
When someone turns into a buyer, you can schedule a series of email messages to activate them to use your product, and also be satisfied. Here is an example of an email drip campaign for customer onboarding:
Email 1: Encourage customers to finish setting up their new accounts. Take them through the basic steps they need to take to start using your product. If the account is fully set up automatically, use the first onboarding email to simply welcome new customers and let them know you are available for a demo.
Email 2: Show them around your training material and user guides. Give them links to resources, videos, your knowledge base, community forums, or FAQs. Encourage them to contact support if they need extra help.
Email 3: Point new customers to your blog, ebooks, or relevant beginner resources. Educate them, show them best practices, and anything else that will help them move forward and succeed. Show them that their success is your own success.
2. Welcome email drip
The most basic drip that you need to have is the welcome email sequence. This is the first sequence that is activated after a new subscriber has joined your list. This is often the first impression people will get from your brand.
So, the welcome email is super important. Welcome email drips also serve to increase your bottom line. According to Experian, they generate 3x more revenue than other types of emails.
Have a look at this illustration of a welcome email from Yoga Pod. It offers a brief greeting, a vibrant video with real customers, links to explore the class schedule, and detail about the business location.
SmartrMail also did a comprehensive review of the welcome drip series from Barnes & Noble. This drip campaign consists of an initial welcome message, then an email with a 15%-off coupon, then come recommended products, followed by an email summarizing the value of Barnes & Noble, and finally an email informing customers about their mobile app. After this email series come the regular newsletters.
The value of this complete drip campaign example is that it gives users a thorough look at the Barnes & Noble brand and highlights the brick-and-mortar locations of the stores.
3. Retain current customers drip example
There's a very good chance that you're going to want to return the favor when somebody does something nice for you or gives you something. This natural urge to even the scales is referred to as the reciprocity effect. Reciprocity can have a big impact on customer advocacy, loyalty, and retention.
For instance, one of the top ways to keep current clients is to help them obtain more value from their investment in your product. You can deploy an automated drip campaign to share helpful content about market trends influencing their situation, inspiration, ideas and ways to use your product, and other practical resources that will keep them engaged with your product and brand.
Take a look at this use case: After closing the sale, Contently's business development team sends customers regular emails sharing popular blog posts that bring in practical value.
4. Drip campaign example to acquire referrals
About 83% of happy customers are more than willing to transform into your advocates.
The Yesware sales team sends out automated email campaigns to follow up with active customers two months after they joined. When your team makes sure customers are satisfied and are seeing the value of the product and your support, it becomes easier to get upsell and referral opportunities.
In this example, the dripped sequence of messages looks like this:
45 days post-close: Sales team sends the buyer a reminder email message to confirm that they are satisfied and doing well. Then, they schedule a two-part email campaign to send to the client, with the first of the two emails going out that day.
60 days post-close: Email #2 is automatically delivered wishing the client a happy two months. Yesware is asking if they know of any other organizations that would potentially benefit from Yesware's products.
5. Offer and promotion drips
Anything like offers, sales, promotions, other in-store campaigns, or seasonal campaigns can be added to a dripped series to automate the workflow. Such a drip campaign could consist of promo codes, discounts, limited-time offers, freebies, VIP access, or anything else you may use to drive a purchase.
You've got a 24-hour coupon! Claim this offer before it expires! are great drip campaign examples of subject lines of a promo email.
Moreover, customer milestones make for fantastic reasons to present a one-time offer to your clients. Plus, contacting them as they progress allows you to make your communication more personal. Email drip campaign ideas are when you send them a birthday email or celebrate their anniversary of becoming a customer.
Here's how Nike makes the most out of email drip campaigns to put birthday emails on auto-pilot:
So, instead of sending a basic "happy birthday" email, Nike rewards customers with a unique coupon code for a 25% discount on a product. It makes sense that you need to provide value not just wish your customers happy birthday for the sake of it.
Lessons learned from high-performance drip campaigns
Neil Patel has published a very interesting blog post on 7 lessons learned from top-performing drip email campaigns.
He studied 7 branded drips that achieved their goals and presented the results in this article. In brief, here's what the best practices are:
1. Highlight the next step
The majority of free trials (~50%) don’t turn into paying users. People need some guidance on what to do next, especially if they haven’t seen that ‘first win’ yet.
Neil gives the example of how Time Etc., a virtual assistant service, sends an early task or feature highlight to new free trials in order to activate them. The goal is to prompt people with a specific next step.
2. Use psychology and personalization
Neil uses drip email examples from different brands to demonstrate how psychological triggers (like urgency and scarcity) along with personalization elements (e.g. location-based email campaigns) can generate more sales.
The lesson learned is that more sophisticated drips can increase your bottom line.
3. Reduce cart abandonment
In that article, there’s the example of how Expedia sends behavioral, event-based emails shortly after the user abandons the search for hotels in specific locations.
The moral of the story is that you can build a winning drip campaign when aligning what a web visitor was just doing on your site with the email subject line. This aligns with what they were thinking about and will get their attention.
4. Start slow and escalate
Neil also teaches as, when he brings up the example of one of Ramit Sethi’s campaigns, that you can fork a drip campaign to segment users according to their behavior (e.g. clicks) and use these segments to transition seamlessly from mentioning pain points to offering a solution.
5. Reduce churn proactively
A churn rate of 5-7% might be typical and acceptable, but anything greater can quickly send you out of business.
To cater to that proactively, you can utilize email drips that will be trigger at some points where you sense or predict churn. You can avoid churn by proactively responding to it.
6. Set up personalized notifications
Another drip campaign lesson is learned when Neil mentions how Mint uses email notifications to help their users recognize and understand their difficult situation and then explains how Mint can help.
One example of how Mint does that is by tracking personalized, historical averages and then sending notifications or alerts when aberrations appear.
7. Timely and stylish communication
Finally, a lesson learned from op performing drip email campaigns is that contacting a new user within a short time after they’ve signed up can help to activate them. The communication style and content, as well as personalization elements, are important to keep your user coming back to your site and keep them engaged with your brand.
There’s a pattern among all drip campaigns that have a major impact on their success. Personalization. Keep in mind that the more you are able to personalize your drip campaigns (using name, location, job title, stage of the customer journey, or anything like that) the better results you will get.
Where drip campaigns go off the rails
For every effective drip campaign, there are dozens that crash and burn. But what makes a campaign go off the rails? These are some of the most frequent missteps with drip marketing:
Don't: Send too much email
A subscriber's level of engagement and stage of their journey can give you a hint about the ideal frequency of your emails. As we discussed, it's normal to contact the new lead every day soon after they've subscribed to your brand's mailing list. But when the user is mature, maybe once a week or every two weeks is best.
Don't: Email your list more than once a day
Some marketers would say that mailing more than once a day can increase engagement. According to our experience, that's not true. It's actually a bad idea. It can come off as too salesy or aggressive even intrusive if you mail people more than once a day. They might think you are too desperate to get their attention - and that's not good at all.
As time goes by, you can look at your drip campaign stats and see what time of the day bring the highest open rates. That's the best way to do it, instead of sending a lot of emails to make sure the subscriber opens at least once.
Don't: Resend old content
Repurposing content for publishing on different media is a good content marketing strategy. But sending the same old content again and again to the same people will not pass unnoticed.
Your audience will soon realize that they are part of a robotic drip campaign that has lost human touch. They will also think that your company has nothing new to say to them.
Make sure your drip email content is delivered once to every customer or lead or else it will have the opposite effect.
Don't: Leave your sales staff in the dark
In most companies, there is a gap to bridge between marketing and sales. What you need to do is use account based marketing (ABM). ABM will help your business align sales and marketing efforts so that you derive the maximum benefit. If your marketing team launches a drip campaign but neglects to loop in your sales team then prospects will wind up receiving both a drip campaign and a direct call the same day. This wouldn't be the end of the world but can be confusing to receive mixed messages.
Establish regular sales and marketing meetings to discuss outbound strategies and campaigns.
Email Drip Campaign Software
Axis One: Convert customers with email marketing and automation
Axis One helps you contact and convert more customers by building email marketing campaigns that actually work. From sending broadcast messages to deploying triggered autoresponder sequences, all is done for you in Axis.
With this tool you can achieve the ultimate goal of every business: get as many conversions as possible from the prospects that visit your website.
Watch the video below to find out how simple it is to use Axis, and how it stacks up against competitive email marketing tools.
Some of the benefits you can reap from Axis include:
- Grow your email marketing list the simple way
- Send one-off broadcasts, i.e. email blasts
- Automate new subscriber onboarding with autoresponder sequences
- Create triggered email sequences that will automate your communications
- Effortlessly stay in touch with your past customers
- Re-engage your list and convert more subscribers into customers.
All these reasons make it a worthy investment for your business. After all, you need to do email marketing if you want to grow your business. There is nothing quite like reaching your customers’ inbox, when we talk about conversions!
Other Drip Email Software
There are dozens of different tools available for managing your emails and crafting an effective drip campaign -- Drip, MailChimp, and Active Campaign are some of the most popular ones. But each of those marketing automation tools has a different set of features, limitations, and price points, so you'll want to review them thoroughly before committing.
Scriptly: Autoresponder engine with email swipes and DFY scripts
Scriptly provides professionally written scripts that you can start using as they are or customize to better suit your business. These scripts or email swipes will help you write high-converting sales copy right away, even if you’ve never written a line of sales copy before.
As a Scriptly user, you’ll get instant access to:
- Autoresponder engine – This is set of dozens of email sequences that are completely done for you. Anything from affiliate autoresponder sequences to webinar sequences is there.
- Page builder – Create any kind of customizable landing page. All templates are tested and proven to convert to paid traffic.
- Customer avatars – No need for a separate tool to define different customer avatars, to customize your marketing material to address different target groups. We have it all covered in Scriptly.
- VSL creator – Video sales letter can be easily created using Scriptly’s well-structured templates. For every part of the sales letter script you can choose the sales copy that resonates with your audience.
- Webinar creator – Create your next webinar is minutes, not hours, with this unique fill-in-the-blank formula. The webinar creator is a handy tool that will help you get past the writer’s block in an instant.
Statly: Understand marketing data to improve sales performance
If you want to succeed in drip marketing automation, you must be able to track and analyze data. See, you may be successful at attracting tons of targeted website traffic to your website. But, what if only 2% of those visitors convert, while the rest remain anonymous? Don’t you want a way to identify who they are, track their behavior, and keep them coming back? Of course, you do.
How are users acting when they visit your website? In today’s competitive times, obtaining meaningful data is an important part of a successful marketing plan.
This is where Statly comes into the picture. As the complete tool that helps you in real-time tracking of users leveraging the sales funnel strategy, it can immensely help your chances of converting traffic into sales. Statly helps you obtain meaningful data so you can make the right business decisions.
But how does Statly work? Statly gives you a comprehensive idea of how your sales funnels are actually converting. It helps you spot opportunities and the parts of your funnels that need to be improved. Watch this video to learn more about what our patent-pending tool can do for your business.
Here are some of the salient features of the tool:
- Real-time website analytics
- Conversion tracking through sales funnels
- Tracking conversion opportunities
- Tracking sales and user behavior on the website
If your site is powered by WordPress, then all you need to do is install the latest version of our plugin to get started with Statly’s advanced analytics and sales funnel tracking. Click here to sign up for a free Statly trial!
With Statly in your arsenal, you will be able to better optimize your automated marketing campaigns and the buyer’s journey, so you entice more web visitors to convert into paying customers. Sitting in front of a load of data wouldn’t do any good, would it? But with Statly by your side, all these previously intimidating numbers will finally make sense.
How to measure drip campaign results
As with all business endeavors, establishing a set of metrics you will use to track the success of your drip campaigns is crucial to making the right decisions. So, what's the best way to keep track of how users are engaging with your content?
One of the best strategies to accurately track sources of traffic (and the funnel that follows) involves UTM codes (alternatively called URL parameters) -- small text strings that come at the end of a URL. UTM codes don't affect the destination they just add tags to the URL so you know where the visitor came from.
UTMs are utilized to track web browsing via cookies in Google Analytics and other analytics suites. Using UTM tags, Google Analytics can show you exactly where a user has been before they visited your site, and whether or not they've been to your website before, amongst other information.
When you use UTMs in your drip campaigns, you'll be able to track visitors coming from each email message that is part of your drip.
Google has built a custom URL builder that you can use to create custom UTMs.
The beginning of a UTM code is a question mark? at the end of a URL. Here's an example:
Whether you use the part that comes after the question mark or not the user will land on the same page. But if the URL is tagged you'll know where that user came from.
A lot of the time if you're using an app to manage your drip campaigns, the app will automatically tag URLs. So, you need to set up the tagging pattern once and your app will do the rest for every newsletter you send.
Now, here are some important drip campaign metrics or KPIs you need to measure on a regular basis.
Depending on the sort of drip campaign software you are using, you should be able to find most of these drip campaign metrics on your dashboard. For the rest, simple calculations would give you what you need.
1. Open Rate
Open rate shows the percentage of your email recipients who opened your message. This is an essential metric to evaluate because your email drips won't do much unless your list subscribers are actually clicking to open your emails. Opening an email means reading it in most cases.
How to calculate open rate: Total Opens / Total Emails Delivered
2. Bounce Rate
Bounce rate is the percentage of your emails that weren't delivered to your subscribers' inbox. There might be a lot of reasons for bounces but the most common one is that the email address does not exist.
How to calculate bounce rate: Total Bounces / Total Emails Sent
3. Click-Through Rate
Click-through rate is the percentage of clicks on a link inside your email over the total number of emails delivered. Typically, getting your list members to click on a link within your email message will be the main objective of your drip campaign, because clicking a link is equal to taking action.
How to calculate click-through rate: Total Clicks / Total Emails Delivered
4. Unsubscribe Rate
Unsubscribe rate is the percentage of people who unsubscribed following an email blast. If you send 1,000 emails and 10 people click on the "unsubscribe" link inside your email then the unsubscribe rate is 1%.
How to calculate unsubscribe rate: Total Unsubscribes / Total Emails Delivered
5. Conversion Rate
It's all about conversions, isn't it? So, conversion rate is the percentage of the people on your list who completed an action (e.g. filling out a form or purchasing a product) after receiving your email.
As explained before, you will need to have UTM links in place to track the whole funnel from click to purchase. Click the link to read more about how to keep track of the complete customer journey.
How to calculate conversion rate: Total Conversions / Total Emails Delivered
6. Drip Campaign ROI
Your campaign's Return On Investment is the overall return on your money spent on the email drip campaign.
How to calculate drip campaign ROI: ($ Sales-- $ Invested)/ $ Invested
7. List Growth Rate
This is a generic measure of how good you are doing growing your email list. List growth rate is the rate at which the number of people on your list has grown over a specified period of time.
How to calculate list growth rate: New Subscribes-(Unsubscribes + Complaints) / Total Subscribers (over a period of time, e.g. the last month).
So, that was it! The Complete Guide To Drip Campaigns And Email Automation.
We hope we did a good job explaining what drip campaigns are and how marketing automation works towards optimizing your processes and increasing your revenue.
Email drips or email automation or marketing automation, whatever you call it, is here to stay; jump on the bandwagon to reap the benefits of automated lead generation, lead nurturing on auto-pilot and sales conversion 24/7 using email drips. Click here to go back to the top of the article.
Video Transcript: Quick Strategies For Drip Marketing Automation
Today we're going to be talking about drip marketing automation.
This is going to date me a little bit but back when I first got into internet marketing 14 years ago, but I remember listening to an audio program from this guy named Eben Pagan and Frank Kern. They were talking about the miracle of email marketing in building your email list, and this thing called an email autoresponder.
The magic of an email autoresponder
This email autoresponder, basically somebody will go to a landing page, they'd fill in an opt in form for a lead magnet or a freebie of some kind, a bribe, and this autoresponder would send them email, after email, after email, after email. Day one it would send an email, day two it would send an email, day three it would send an email. So, that was this autoresponder. The big company back then was a company called AWeber, and they're still around. They're still actually a great drip campaign software. They're also in Pennsylvania here, but AWeber created this autoresponder so that an assistant, or you, or whoever wouldn't have to actually email your list every single day based on when somebody signed up. So day one, the email goes out. Day two, the email goes out. Day three, the email goes out.
So, everybody is happy and everybody is being marketing to automatically. It's the beauty and the magic of technology. Now fast forward to today, and that autoresponder has since been renamed a drip email sequence or drip marketing.
The evolution: drip marketing automation
So, drip marketing is same thing as an autoresponder. Email one goes out, email two drips out the next day. Third email drips out the next day. Fourth email drips out the next day. Your membership content is dripped out week, after week, after week. So, this drip is now basically what the terminology is calling automation or autoresponders. Now, when we get to drip marketing automation really, the automation piece just adds another layer on top of it. So, the automation piece adds a trigger. So, now you have this email, this drip marketing sequence that is set to go out. Email one, two, three, four. It's set to go out.
Now the automation piece adds in a trigger, and the trigger might be a tag is added to a contact record. This person visited a landing page. This form was filled out. This webinar was attended. This survey result was submitted. So, there's lots of triggers that will fire that drip marketing automation, and that's where the magic all comes together. So, it's the trigger. When we build sales funnels for our clients, we will go in and we will set up a bunch of drip marketing already because we already know how people are going to be moving through the sales funnel.
Ideas for drip email examples
Some of them, the biggest, most common drip email examples are we will set up a lead magnet fulfillment sequence. So when somebody downloads a lead magnet, then they go into this fulfillment sequence. The fulfillment sequence drips out, day one, drips out the link, the download link that they can get the report. Day two, maybe it drips out the social media profiles for our client. Day three, what we're trying to do is we're trying to bond them. It's called an indoctrination sequence. So day two it might be social media profiles, day three, "Hey, this is what we do." Day four might be the about page of day five is, "This is why we do what we do." So, it's basically telling the story of our client.
Webinar Promo Campaign
Another example of a drip marketing automation campaign that we have, that we put together for our clients, would be a webinar promo campaign. It's a four email sequence that promotes a webinar, or a webinar replay sequence, which is a six email sequence that we use to promote the webinar replay. Or, a strategy session promo sequence. So, these we already have all loaded up inside whatever CRM our client is going to be using, because we know that these emails are going to be used.
We're going to be increasing website traffic fast through a sales funnel. Now we have to figure out what triggers.
- automation piece of the drip marketing automation
- triggers are going to fire
- forms are going to be figured out
- pages are going to be visited
- webinars are going to be attended
- if that person signs up for the webinar and doesn't attend, what happens?
All of those triggers then put people in different drip marketing campaigns.
It layers all of that complexity in on top of itself. So, that's some great drip marketing examples. Ways that you can engage your folks through your sales funnel. Another thing is an affiliate sequence, so finding three, or four, or five, or eight affiliate products in your space that you can promote and get paid commission. Another drip marketing example would be looking at all of your blog posts over the last six months and then taking your best ones, putting it all together into an autoresponder, and then letting your prospects go through it on autopilot. So that they're bonding with you and engaging with your company without you actually having to do something.
Deploying the best drip campaigns now in terms of the best drip campaigns, there are so many examples.
Many different ones to use. My absolute favorite are Axis One, Infusionsoft, Ontraport, and ActiveCampaign. We have clients using all of them. Infusionsoft, a little bit bulky. It's Keap now but like I said, I've been doing this a long time. So, it will always be Infusionsoft to me. Ontraport is one that we use personally for our stuff. We use Axis One personally for our stuff, and then we also use ActiveCampaign for a bunch of clients. ActiveCampaign, brilliantly awesome drip campaign software however, it doesn't let you do much from a sales pipeline standpoint. It doesn't let you do much from an API tie in standpoint, so it's one of the reasons why we choose the other three unless our client is just looking for drip marketing automation, that's it.
What is an excellent open rate in an email marketing drip campaign?
That's an interesting question because when somebody is brand new to you, your open rate is going to be high. So if somebody signs up for a lead magnet, then that first email that they're going to get is going to be an open rate of 50%, 60%, 70%, even if it's not double opt-in. Then from there, it's going to go down. It might go down to 20%, 30% for the next couple of emails. Once you get to two weeks, three weeks, four weeks out then your open rate is going to be probably between 16% and 20% unless they purchased something.
If it's actually a buyer's list, then your open rate is going to be high for a really, really long time because these are buyers. As long as you didn't sell them some shit product, then they are going to love you for a while. Especially because you're emailing them. So, that is one of the biggest reasons why your buyer's list, the metric is at 16% more profitable than your prospect list, and that is why. So if you are looking for drip marketing automation software, then check out AxisOne.io. If you would like to talk about setting up marketing automation for your business, setting up your products, setting up services, and figuring out how best to use drip marketing automation for you or for your clients even, then go to DoneForYou.com/Start.
This is episode number 78, how to set up drip campaigns and email automation. This week is marketing automation week. It was so funny, I actually talked to a guy yesterday named Clint who literally geeks out on marketing automation the same way that I do, which is, I mean, it's this magical thing, really.
When you have one piece of software that can talk to another piece of software and you can send all kinds of interesting things back and forth and really is, it's magical, because you can set the few things up so that if somebody hits a website, then you get a ping and slack. Nuts, right? You're able to literally see the life of your website, the life of your sales funnel, who is coming to your sales funnel, what their phone numbers are, what their email address is. Then you just pick up the phone if you want, if you want to be that aggressive from a business development standpoint.
It's pretty cool the way marketing automation or marketing technology or martech or adtech or whatever kind of fun little synonym you want to put into play. I mean, it's funny how all of those things come together to just give us something us marketing nerds can geek out on. That is pretty cool when you can reach out and have an impact in somebody's life, help them make some transformation, help them on their journey without having to do it personally, without having to do it one-on-one. That's the fun part.
How to Set Up Drip Campaigns and Email Automation
For those of you who don't know who I am, my name is Jason Drohn, the creator of doneforyou.com. We specialize in three things, setting up offers, helping build offers, helping build sales funnels, and then also setting up marketing automation and traffic. That is where we live. It's the thing that I have spent the last 14 years of my life perfecting. It's what my team does every single day.
This is called The Complete Guide To Drip Campaigns And Email Automation. We're going to talk through it. I'm going to show you some cool stuff.
Now for those of you, if you have marketing automation set up in your business, just say, "Yes," because marketing automation really is super, super important.
It started back a little while ago. I don't even know how long ago, 16 years ago, 14 years ago maybe. It started as just an email autoresponder. The simplest form of that is in Gmail. When you set up your vacation message, that is an autoresponder. When you get an email, then a vacation message triggers out, so it alerts the person that you were on vacation and you will not be getting back to them, and here's the number to call if you have an urgent problem. That's the simplest form of an autoresponder.
Sequence of Autoresponders
Now the next level higher is actually just a sequence of autoresponders. It's an autoresponder that's set up and sends multiple emails or multiple text messages or whatever. What this lets you do is it lets you predefine how people, what copy is going to be going out for somebody to read. You get to write five, seven, 10 emails once, and then on day one, that email goes out and somebody gets it. On day two, the next email goes out and somebody gets it. On day three, the next email goes out and somebody gets it.
It's powerful in simplicity because when you have a sales call, you can literally just put somebody on that list, and then they get the next 30 days' worth of email from you. You aren't writing any of it. You're not sending it one-on-one. It doesn't even enter your consciousness. The software just sends it and the person receiving it, usually knows it's an email autoresponder at this point, but they didn't use it. But even now seeing your name pop up in the inbox, seeing your image, your logo, the copy, the content, all of that stuff, it helps them know, like, and trust you. That is what good marketing automation does. That's what drip campaigns do.
Now drip campaigns, there is a sequence of marketing email messages that are sent out automatically on a preset schedule. That preset schedule can be daily, it can be every other day, it can be every three days, it can be at 7:00 a.m. every morning, it can be at 11:00 p.m. We try to send them out first thing in the morning. We try to make sure that they are going out a first thing or as first thing as possible.
Why you need drip marketing automation campaigns?
1. You want to be relevant with timely communication.
You don't ever want somebody to forget about you. Never, ever do you want them to forget about who you are, what you do, what you stand for. You want them to remember you, to remember your brands, remember doing business with you, to remember getting value from you. That is one of the biggest things, one of the biggest reasons why email automation is so important.
2. You want to nurture leads until they are sales-ready.
Not everybody who comes to your website is going to be ready to pull the trigger and buy something right now. You want to help them get there. That might mean a month's worth of warming up to you. It might mean days or hours worth of warming up to you. It might mean years of warming up to you. Marketing automation buys you that time so that you are able to market to that person without it involving considerable mind share from you.
If you have a list of 70,000 people, you might only actively be doing business from maybe a consulting standpoint, with 150 of them and at any time. But that also means that how many tens of thousands of them are engaged with you ready to become your next customer. It's all because of marketing automation.
It also lets you work smarter. It lets you work smarter with marketing automation. Think about it hard once and then you put it together and then you dial it in forever.
Infographic On Some Drip Campaign Basics
Now here's a little infographic on some drip campaign basics. I will let you explore that, some other little videos and stuff. Just some very simple sequences that you want to have in place when you start. You want to nurture your leads. That might involve podcasts and blog posts, other pieces of content that you create. You want to welcome them onto your list so that they are seeing what you do. They're being onboarded correctly. You want to make sure to send abandonment cart emails. Those abandonment cart emails, it's a marketing automation thing. If somebody hits your order form but then doesn't buy within an hour, you want to send them emails and say, "Hey, you really should go back and buy. Your discount is expiring. Your whatever is expiring," and hit them with a couple of emails there. That's marketing automation.
Anytime there's a renewal, so whether it's a monthly subscription renewal or an annual subscription renewal or whatever, and they're almost at their end. The subscription renewal is every 30 days usually. On day 27, day 28, you should email them a report or email them something nice.
Reengage them in your brand so that they feel value a couple of days before it's time for them to renew.
This encourages them to stick around longer. It's a very simple trigger. It's like if they sign up now, that first one goes out on day 27, the next one goes out 30 days after that, so it's day 57. The next one goes out 30 days after that, day 87. Let the software track it, let the software handle it. All you got to do is think about it. Just think about it hard for an hour and put a couple of blog posts together, put a couple of leads together, whatever, figure out what you're going to do for that person, and then let the software handle it.
Engagement is another one. If somebody needs to be reengaged, if they haven't done anything, you haven't seen them, heard from them, they haven't been to your website, they haven't opened an email in 90 days or more than you want to try to reengage them. If they don't reengage, you cut them from your email list because you want your sender score to stay high.
Drip Your Course Through Email
One of the cool things about drip automation is you can actually drip your course material out through email. Rather than go through the hard work of protecting your membership website, doing the login and the password and all that other stuff and protecting the pages and then worrying about some folks not being able to login or some password reset reminders or all of the customer support that goes with membership, which there is a lot, you can literally just automate in an email. They buy a course on day one, they get the first email. In that email, they get access to all the videos. On day eight, or seven, whatever, they get access to the next lesson, the next module, and that's all the videos.
You don't have to worry about a login. There are benefits to log in, of course, but there's also a lot of drawbacks to forcing a login. It just depends on how committed you are, if you have a support team. If your mind getting support reminders about passwords and stuff, it might be simpler just to kind of let it publicly available, but not have that URL show publicly, like in Google so you can have them de-index it.
Who runs drip email campaigns?
Bloggers, core sellers, SAS businesses, realtors, insurance brokers, fashion industry, beauty professionals, eCommerce online. Basically, if you have a business, you should be running email, you should be running marketing automation. That's really all there is to it.
Now we talked a lot about this yesterday, but basically, there's a couple of different things. Every marketing automation lives in this triggered category right up here, so in the center in the white there. Every automation has a trigger. That trigger activates the content. It activates the dripping material that's going out, it also activates any nurture sequences, but everything has a trigger. The automation doesn't start until the trigger fires. That trigger might be a URL visit, it might be a form fill out. It might be somebody logging into a CRM and manually adding a tag. Everything has to trigger in order for it to go out.
Determine your goals for your marketing automation
You want to make sure to determine your goals when it comes to marketing automation. That is a very kind of macro question. What do you want your prospects to do? If your goal is to have your prospects sign up for a strategy session with you, then everything, all roads lead to Rome. All roads need to end at that strategy session. It might be a call to action in your blog posts, it's going to be a PS, and all of your up on emails, all your webinars are going to pitch that strategy session. All marketing automation needs to be constructed around that idea of your goal is X so all automation is pointing to that one area.
That lets you optimize your marketing messages. It lets you know what your language is going to be like. It lets you focus on your CTS so that your calls to action there. All of that stuff, super, super important.
Frequency and Timing
Then your frequency and timing. We talked about this on Monday, but how often do you mail? How often do you set it up so that somebody gets something from you? Personally, we do usually daily. Daily emails go out and if somebody doesn't want an email, they just delete it. But most of our folks open and they at least open and read. Then there are the people who are engaged, click, go over and watch the live stream, go watch a video, go read a blog post, whatever.
Very little of what we do is a direct link to a sales video. Most of it is content-based, and that's by design. The people who want to buy something, end up buying something down the road. But a lot of that is based on the segments. Who are our more engaged buyers, who are the folks who just signed up, who signed up through a webinar, and maybe they're going through a replay sequence, or did they just find us by visiting the website and opting in for something?
Those segments tell us a lot about their intention. Inside your CRM, you want to set up groups. The group might be a tag, it might be a sequence, it might be a thing. But then that group is how you trigger the marketing automation itself.
Make sure to measure performance
Then you will always want to make sure to measure performance. What are your clicks, opens, or 90-day engaged numbers? How many people did you sign up for your list yesterday? How many emails did you send? All of that stuff is you can just set up a good dashboard for it. Most good CRMs have dashboards like that, how many emails were sent, how many people are on your list, all that stuff.
Onboarding Drip Campaign
Now, some campaign examples. There's an onboarding drip campaign. Email one might encourage customers to finish setting up their new accounts. Then email two shows them around your training material, maybe user guides give them some demo videos and stuff. Email three is going to point customers to a blog, maybe some updates, maybe some ways to keep track of what is new and exciting in your world.
That's an example of a nice onboarding campaign. A lot of these you can just kind of click-through. There's a welcome email drip sequence that we talk through a little bit. You can retain a customer or current customers. There is a drip campaign example to acquire referrals. That one I think is going to be really good for a lot of you. Email example, email two examples.
Offer and Promotion Drips
Then we have the offer and promotion drips. When we are trying to get somebody to buy or when we maybe do a flash sale or send out a discount code, then that stuff would be in there too.
Let's see. Use psychology and personalization, reduce cart abandonment where drip campaigns go off the rail. That's a funny picture. I didn't take that. That's funny, but it looks like something Sebastian would do. Let's see, resend old content. Don't leave your sales staff. Drip automation software and so on and so forth.
Marketing automation is something that you need to have set up in your business.
If you haven't already addressed marketing automation and you don't have a plan for it, you don't have the emails that are supposed to go out or even an idea of how those need to go, then definitely by all means set up an action plan call with us. Over at doneforyou.com/start, you can book a call with my team and me.
What we're going to do is we're going to look at the sales funnel because the sales funnel is really kind of the big piece. I mean, it's the big visual component of your process. You have your lead magnets, you have your webinar registration page, you have your webinar replay page. You have all of that stuff up live in public, but then you have this underlying piece, which is marketing automation.
Sales funnels don't work without marketing automation.
A sales funnel that is just pages is very simply just pages. It is a collection of pages that do certain things, but without marketing automation, none of the rest of it works. When somebody signs up for your lead magnet, then they would get no emails telling them what to do next. If somebody signs up for your webinar that is going live in 15 minutes, they would get no replay emails without marketing automation. If somebody goes to your webinar and books a sales call without marketing automation, nobody would get the reminders for that sales call. Marketing automation is the glue that really brings all of this together.
It's something you need to address in your business, whether the sales funnel is built, whether you're thinking about building a sales funnel, all of it needs to be addressed through this lens of marketing automation. Click funnels are great. The lead pages are fine. Optimize press is fine. So many of these page funnel building software is completely awesome, but they're page builders. They don't have this underlying kind of marketing automation component. Click funnels to have something. Does it do what you need it to do? Maybe it's a great scenario, maybe it's not. You just need to know what you're looking for and what that end result is and then what the capabilities of the software are going to be in order to really put everything together.
For Questions and Guide
We will be happy to explore that with you, all the way from a done for you sales funnel, all the way to sending traffic to marketing automation. Just go to doneforyou.com/start, book, fill out the little form, book your call and we will get started there. If you have any questions at all about getting all of this stuff set up, just comment below and I'll make sure to kind of backfill on any comments and answers and we'll go from there.
Thank you so much for joining me today. I will see you tomorrow. I think tomorrow we're going to talk about SMS maybe. We're going to talk about different marketing automation. I think it's going to be SMS. Show you a couple of cool examples. And then Friday, we're going to wrap up the marketing automation week and I will talk to you soon. All right. Thanks. Bye.