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Email Drip Campaigns: 5 Steps to Set Up and Execute

Email Drip Campaigns 5 Steps to Set Up and Execute

As we learned in last week’s article, email drip campaigns provide relevant content to subscribers based on actions you define. To accomplish this, you’ll need to map a series of emails that will “drip” into your subscribers’ inbox automatically.

And the good news?

It’s pretty simple if you have the right strategy. Here are the five simple steps you can use to create successful email drip campaigns.

1. Who’s your target audience?

The most important part of your drip campaign strategy is segmenting your subscribers and deciding which triggers you’ll use to initiate the email sequence. Drip campaigns are usually determined by two kinds of triggers: actions or demographic information. These two triggers decide the target audience for each set of emails.

First, let’s talk about actions. When a user takes a specific action on your site or app, there is an automation that follows.

Examples of possible action triggers

  • When a user subscribes to your newsletter, they automatically receive a “welcome” email with information about how frequently they’ll get future emails
  • When a user makes a purchase, they automatically receive an email with a receipt and a couple upsells
  • When a user becomes a marketplace user, they receive a series of emails with testimonials from other users and marketplace features

Demographics can also trigger a drip campaign. Things like purchase history or drop-off can be useful data to build an email set around.

Examples of possible demographic triggers

  • A user hasn’t finished creating their profile, so you send them an email with stats showing how much more likely people are to engage with a completed profile
  • A user initiates a transaction but doesn’t complete payment, so you send them an email asking if they need help
  • A user tends to rent beach-side apartments every July, so you send them an email with current listings and a discount code

Email Drip Campaigns 5 Steps to Set Up and Execute infographic

Infographic by Pardot.com

Any business decision you make should be backed by data. Your drip campaign should be no different. Tracking the behavior of your users can help you build a profile for each of them.

Examples of behaviors to track

  • Transaction frequency
  • Email engagement
  • Product interests
  • How long they’ve been a user
  • How often they visit your marketplace platform

Understanding your target audience helps you identify their needs and how you can deliver value. Your email drip campaign will be more effective with every additional piece of knowledge you can gain about your customers.

2. What’s your message?

You’ve identified your target audience, now it’s time to create a message tailored to their needs. Think about what you want your user to do. Your message should grab their attention and make it easy for them to take action.

Your copy should be:

  • Clear - what’s your ask?
  • Actionable - how do they do it?
  • Attractive - how can they say no? (They shouldn’t)

It’s important to maintain the voice of your brand and make your ask extremely clear, actionable, and attractive. Do you want your users to attend an event?

Your copy might include:

  • Ask - Attend our free drip campaign workshop to grow your marketplace platform
  • Action - Click here to register
  • Attraction - First 100 registrants get an exclusive meet & greet with our CEO

How your emails are designed matters too! But most of us (including me) are not design experts. Here are some ideas for beautifully designed emails from the design school at Canva.

3. What’s your plan?

Now that you know what you’re sending, it’s time to work out the logistics of your drip campaign. Think about flow. What should the workflow look like from the initial trigger? This is the stage in the design process where you set goals, align copy, and decide how you’ll measure the results.

Frequency and order

Think about how much information the recipient needs at each stage. Depending on whether your campaign is designed for onboarding or retention, the frequency and sequence of your emails is critical for success.

Not sure how to decide? Check out these drip campaign blueprints by AdEspresso.

Triggers and message

A great way to irritate a customer is to send them a coupon for something they just bought. If you’d like to avoid this calamity, make sure your triggers are designed based on the segments outlined in step 1. Every email in your campaign should also be directly related to the trigger that you established.

Measuring success

The success metrics of your email drip campaigns should be aligned with their purpose. Your campaigns need to have specific goals in order to choose how you’ll measure success. Depending on the “why” of your campaign, you’ll use different metrics. Say you’re trying to improve user acquisition: you’ll analyze signups pre- and post- campaign to see if their was a change.

Regardless of the purpose of your email, you should always focus on analyzing:

  • Bounce rate
  • Open rate
  • Click-through rate
  • Conversions
  • Time on site

4. How will you deliver?

After you’ve decided on a drip campaign strategy, it’s time to hit send. There are many email marketing tools to help you design, send and analyze your automated email workflows.

You’ll want to decide which service is best for your marketplace platform by doing some research. Analyze the size of your mailing list, the features you need, and your budget to make an informed decision.

Here’s some help: 4 Email Marketing Services To Ignite Your Marketplace Platform

5. How did your campaign perform?

It’s always important to analyze and adjust your email drip campaigns based on performance. Even though they’re automated, you shouldn’t just set it and forget it. If you’ve done something wrong, automations can do more harm than good if left unchecked.

Here are some things to try:

  • Not getting opens? Try writing a better subject lines
  • Not getting clickthroughs? Try changing your calls-to-action
  • Not getting conversions? Try adjusting your sequence and how early you pitch

As always, I’d love to hear how you’re using drip campaigns to grow your marketplace platform. Please leave a comment below to start the conversation!


Topics: Email Marketing, Marketing


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