Last week, I saw my friend search up email drip campaign best practices and read frantically all that she could get her hands on. I was there some years back, searching and reading everything I found. But then, reality happened, and I got to implement all that I read – only to discover that “best” is a subjective term and can vary from business to business.
After having spent several years working as an email marketer and content person, I can now tell you that there are some tactics that always work, and then there are some that totally depends on what you want to achieve with your email drip campaign. From my experience, I will tell you 7 such email campaign best practices that I have tried and tested. These practices will work for you whether you are doing a drip campaign for the first time or the n-th time or you are reading to know more about drip email campaigns.
Drip email campaigns can increase your customer acquisition rates: True or False?
Before I tell you about the top 7 email drip campaign best practices, let’s find out if drip email campaigns really work. Drip emails are a series of marketing messages that are scheduled based on customer behavior, engagement rates, events, demographics, and more. However, you don’t get customers in one-day. In business, it takes some time before your potential customers get converted. This “some time” is very crucial because it is this period when you can do your best to make your subscribers aware of your product or services, and show them exactly why they should come onboard asap. And how you do this? Ofcourse, drip email marketing.
When you create relevant and targeted email drips, your subscribers start engaging and forming a relationship with your brand. The more they engage, the better it is for you. At the end, when your sales rep connects with this subscriber, it takes lot less time for the closure because you have already convinced your subscribers with all the resources they needed to decide upon your product or services.
There are several kinds of drips, like welcome drips that you get immediately after subscribing, onboarding drips that follow the welcome email, re-engagement drips for subscribers who have stopped engaging after some time, educational drips to educate the potential customers over a course of time, promotional drips to show relevant offers and discounts, and more.
All these various kinds of drips help in converting subscribers into customers without being salesy or pushy. It is more like activating your customers from one stage to another automatically and naturally. You want informed customers who will stay with your brand longer. That’s why relevant, personalized, and customized drip email campaigns are a great way to acquire customers.
The starting point is the welcome email drip. Statistics show that a new subscriber is most engaged in the first 48 hours. This means, if you are sending a welcome email and scheduling the second email sometime after the welcome email, you can engage your new subscriber immediately. For instance, look at this email from BuzzSumo. It has all the immediate queries answered for its subscribers to get started with BuzzSumo.
Having said that, lets look at some more email drip campaign best practices that you MUST implement.
Top 7 Email drip campaign best practices to implement NOW
If you want your drip email marketing to show results, then try these 7 email drip campaign best practices to make the most of your email marketing strategy.
1. Avoid using third party email lists at all costs
It is mandatory that you build your own email list. Using third party email lists or purchased email lists will hamper your email sending reputation badly. With the implementation of GDPR, it is mandatory that all marketing messages should be sent out after getting prior consent from the subscriber. When you buy email lists, you don’t get consent of these people to send them emails. As a result, they can mark you as spam. Since mailbox providers have become advanced in identifying unsolicited emailing, the more your emails are marked spam, the more their mailbox providers will block you. This will bring down your email sending reputation.
The best approach is to use popup forms that can be easily embedded anywhere on your website or landing page. You can start with the easy-to-embed popups on EasySendy Drip. There are over 200+ templates that you can customize and use for your brand. You cam embed these popups either on your website or on your landing page. Also, you can add social subscribe buttons to make subscription process easier. Added advantage with our popups is- the new subscribers are automatically added to your contact database for further nurturing. 🙂
You can use landing pages to build email subscribers. Place a small form on your landing page asking for email address and name in exchange of a free resource. For instance, Check this landing page from Vindicia where you have to fill up this form to download the ebook.
A landing page is the best gateway where your email conversions happen; hence it is a productive part of successful email marketing. A high –designed landing page can help the users to sign-up a form, download content, register for a new event or buy a product /service. A well-built landing page helps in boosting conversions and sales.
IMPORTANT: Always use Double Opt-in method on your popups and landing page forms
A double opt-in involves sending the person a confirmation email after they sign up. This email drip practice lets them know that they signed up and are required to click a button to confirm they indeed they want to stay signed up.
While practicing email drip campaign best practices, a double opt-in process is recommended in so that the people can realize about the mail as they always get overloaded with millions of emails. For instance, when you subscribe to EasySendy Drip, you are required to confirm your subscription from your email.
I like to call this another way of saying “You sure na, you want this”. 😛
Segmentation of lists help you in grouping them into relevant segments based upon location, demographics, psychographics, interests, etc. If the target audience is defined correctly, you can easily create and send content which is relevant to your niche audience. For instance, I am an avid Netflix person. I love Marvel movies, and I keep watching these superhero movies back to back when I get time. Ofcourse, Netflix knows that too and I am definitely grouped into the segment where there are more like me who love superheroes. Hence, when a new Marvel movie or a superhero genre movie makes it to their list, I know I will get an email for it. Because thats how targeted marketing works – they track my behaviour and send me emails that suit my taste. Like in case of when Avengers was available on Netflix India. Look at their subject line!! Awww…
Segmentation can take your campaigns a long way. It helps you to build a relationship with your customers by providing them what they want and understanding their buying intent. Not all customers will jump to the purchase page instantly afterall.
3. Subject Line must be on the priority
The above email from Netflix is one great subject line. It is simple, but makes me want to click open and see what they have added new. Their subject line clearly shows that this email content is specifically designed based on what I like. Yet their approach in choosing words “you might like” makes it more humble and genuine approach.
If you have failed to put the best subject line, then check this masterguide to creating superb email subject lines.
Few heads-up in writing a great subject line:
- Consistency in sending emails help readers know what to expect. Some email drips like blog newsletters perform best if they are used with the same subject line.
- A tasteful emoji or two
- 30-50 characters tops
- Action verbs
- An irresistible value proposition that matches the content of your email
4. Email Design and Layout: Use the right design elements
What grabs the attention of a subscriber? There are different patterns such as template design, background images, colors, layout and other design elements which make an email useful. To induce engagement, you can include prominent and robust calls-to-action using both text and simple graphics to produce engagement.
Check this email from Canva. The arrangement of all the templates is neat. It also features the layouts I use the most. And the beautiful templates make the email look soothing. It not just highlights the new templates now available, but also makes me go ahead and check them almost instantly. Thats the power of right design.
5. Test your email templates
Have you tested your email campaign’s performance based upon the design and copy? No, then you are lagging behind in this long run of the competitive world. There are different elements which are required to be tested such as the subject lines, colors, style, font sizes, formatting content and the call-to-action used in the email. There are different combinations in which clienteles can test their emails before hitting the send button.
6. Plan Email Automation for your campaign
Have you used any email automation tool for your brand?No, then you are lagging behind every marketer’s race in this field .For any effective communication of your brand’s promotions, you can set up an automated campaign which sends a series of emails. These automated emails can be in the form of lead nurturing emails, promotional emails or behavioral emails.
I will show you two examples of how behavioral drips actually work.
I was looking for flights to Kolkata from Ahmedabad city on MakeMyTrip. However, I was just looking! And hola, after a day’s time, I get this email from them-
It had a “best fare” which was lower than what i had seen last day. Also, it highlighted how I can get full refund at just INR 99. Well, a low-cost fare is surely one great way to bring your customer back to the “buying” page.
Another example is from Creative, a platform that hosts beautiful templates and bundles for designers and non-designers. I occasionally download templates to design on my keynote. Based on my last download, Creative sent me a host of templates I might have missed or are similar to what I usually browse. It shows clearly that my browsing patterns are monitored carefully and so are my download activities.
In both these cases, the entire workflow is pre-set. Based on my behaviour and current location, MakeMyTrip’s email hit my inbox after a span of just 24 hours. Infact, they followed up with another email after 48 hours from my first activity. Each email was carefully crafted and was definitely automated.
Same with Creative. Based on my business website and profile details, they know what kind of templates I will need for my work. Apart from that they have monitored by engagements and behavior. Their contacts are automatically segmented based on these (And more) factors which help them to send regular curated emails that are relevant.
If you want to create a drip email campaign that shows results, you will need to plan out all the if-then conditions. For instance, in EasySendy Drip you have the flexible drag and drop email campaign editor. You can set up actions, conditions, and decisional triggers to schedule your email drips. Below is an example of a welcome drip we created for our new customers. If you see closely, we follow up with a text message after 1 day after the new user has opened the welcome email. We have another action scheduled where we reach out to the user in 1 hour’s time.
7. Customer Retention is quintessential
Retaining your existing customers through drip emails is important.
It all goes back to the golden rule: 20% of your existing customers will bring in 80% of your sales!!
Customer retention can be an issue if your customers have suddenly stopped engaging with your brand. In that case, a re-engagement campaign can help where you can design specific offer and try to trigger some engagement. Before that, you must understand why your customers stopped engaging. It can be your content, it can be a change in demand that went unnoticed, etc.
Another customer retention technique is to remind your customers when their subscription is about to end. Something that Warby Parker has done so beautifully.
Psst… Did I tell you EasySendy Drip lets you create event-based emails and re-engagement emails as well??
These are some practices that I implement for my drip email campaigns. Drip emails can work really well if you are creating relevant ones. Spend some time on your emails and craft out emails that your customers cannot ignore. Also, you can create short drip series within EasySendy Drip and get going in less than few minutes.
Tell me what other practices you use? How has your drip emails performed? Is there anything I missed? Let me know and I can keep updating this blog.