6 Ways on How to Structure An Automatic Drip Campaign Email Series

Email drip campaigns can be a gift and a curse. Done well, they can help you build trust with potential buyers over time, laying the groundwork to eventually convert them into customers.

However, done wrong, drip emails look a lot like spam. For every great cold email you send, it only takes one impersonal or poorly timed follow-up message to lose a prospect (and damage your reputation) forever.

Here’s a good example of a well-structured drip email workflow that Pardot uses to connect, nurture, and convert its prospects into customers.

Pardot example

The idea is intimidating enough for marketing teams using complex marketing automation platforms. We’ll do our best in this article to simplify the entire process of how you can implement drip emails.

What is Drip Campaigns?

Drip campaigns are series of automated content sent to leads at specific times to nurture them to take specific actions and move them down your sales funnel. They’re also known as Nurture campaigns or Campaign automation.

They’re usually triggered by an action taken by your subscriber. Your drip campaign will come to an end when you send the last message to the prospect; usually via email. You can judge the performance of your campaign by how many subscribers performed the intended action.

This action could either be to buy your product or register for one of your services. It could even be to sign up for your free webinar.

Whether you’re in the e-commerce market or blogging, you need drip campaigns. And you need to get it right for your specific market. According to Email Monks, companies that excel at drips generate 80% more sales at 33% lower costs.

Get more conversions

So what are the ways you can structure your drip campaigns to get more conversions?

Let’s consider the 6 proven ways that thousands of businesses; both large and small structure their Drip Campaign email series:

1. Top of Mind Drip Emails

When your leads are ready to buy a product, they check out the company that comes to their mind. Staying on top of your subscriber’s mind means they think of you when they’re about to buy the type of product you sell.

At this stage, you have a lot of new leads who are yet to make a decision. Several of them are already on your email list, while others are simply regular blog readers, social media fans, and so on.

When they enter through your funnel by subscribing to your newsletter, you have to dazzle them with awesomeness so they will remember you when(ever) they’re ready to buy the product.

 

So how do you stay on top of their mind?

Simple: Provide content that shows value to your leads. What are the benefits of your product to their lives or business?

You can send this type of content regularly in form of blog posts, videos, webinars, etc.

This type of drip emails also works when a customer has shown an interest in your product. If one of your subscribers has checked your car sales page, for example, it could trigger the first drip emails.

You could send an email to such a subscriber about coming to your dealership office for a test drive of the car they just checked out. If you get a “No” response, you can send another message encouraging your lead to come for another test drive.

If they end up coming for the test drive and bought the car, then you send a ‘thank you’ message and transfer your customer to another drip campaign. Isn’t that impressive?

But if they fail to buy after the test drive, you can send another message with details of the car and discount or other incentives to encourage them.

The aim of this drip campaign is to make sure your potential customer doesn’t forget about you during the sales process.

This is an example of a top of mind drip campaign. Your lead continues in the sales funnel if they click-through your email. If they don’t, you can define another action. This could be sending a variation of your first message.

Email interaction

You can also set the time for delivery. In this example, there’s a wait time of two days. It’s also sent on weekdays and during work hours when people will be able to see it and take action.

Wait Timer 1

The campaign with the messages look like this:

Email Click Open 1

2. Educational Drip Emails

Many times, people want to be sure they’re making the right decisions. Even when they want to buy a shoe, T-shirt, or even, an information product (e.g., ebook, software, online course). They want to know they’ll get value for their money.

The goal of this email is to take your timid subscriber/prospect from that state of indecision to a confident and hot prospect who is ready to take action without seeking other people’s opinion. That’s the purpose of education!

Educational Drip Emails

Through educational drip emails, you can give them the information they need. This would outline how your product will benefit their personal life, business, or career, as the case may be.

You’ll tell them all the areas of application of such product. Case studies of companies that have used it.

This is an example from Wishpond, which follows two educational content with a soft sell. I received this in my inbox when I subscribed to the company’s email list.

This is for the first email.

Wishpond Example

This is followed by the second email.

Second email

And the third that delivers a soft sell.

Third email

You can set and schedule an email every three days. You can also A/B test ‘timing’ to find your best time interval.

This is another example of educational content from a Content Marketing Company, CoSchedule.

CoSchedule Blog

3. Competitive Drip Emails

The reality is that there will always be competition for your product or service. Another company is probably targeting the same lead. This is all good for the consumer as they have different choices.

If you integrate your email marketing software with a CRM tool, you’ll be able to track users’ online behavior to a certain degree.

Lead Intelligence

In turn, this lead intelligence best practice will help you communicate in a way that draws the prospect to you when you send a competitive drip email. After all, you understand them better than the competition does.

But your business has to be on top of the competition or you lose. What is your product’s unique selling point (USP)? What are the benefits users get from your product?

Unique Selling Proposition

Do you provide a great support? Are you offering a promo? The aim of this drip email is to show your lead that they’ll get the best product/service when they purchase from you — instead of your competitors.

This is an example of RIP CURL showing the unique selling points of their SearchGPS wristwatch.

Rip Curl Email

You can send this to customers who are qualified leads or to those who have checked the content that’s relevant to the product.

This type of drip email should show your subscribers what they will gain when they buy your product. You should also tell them what they’ll lose if they don’t use it. Given that people generally hate to lose, they will likely take action right away.

4. Promotional Drip Emails

Providing incentives to buyers is one of the strategies that motivate them to buy. When you have a discount for your product or a coupon code, let your subscribers know.

The aim of this is to tip those who are on the fence to buy your product. When your buyers are in the purchase stage, this is vital. It could encourage a subscriber who is still skeptical about your product.

This is an example of a promotional email from Optinmonster.

Optinmonster

This is another example from Bath and Body Works.

Bath and Body Works

You can see they look totally different. Your promotional drip email will depend on your industry. You have to indicate the end of your promo period and urge subscribers to hurry.

Often times, a promotional drip email will have a single email if the user opens and clicks-through. If the user doesn’t open or click-through, you can send one or two more emails within the promo period.

5. Behind-The-Scene Drip Emails

Sometimes, customers want to know if you’re following the due process in manufacturing your products. This is especially important for health products or high-risk manufacturing.

The product should be its own best salesman. Not the product alone, but the product plus a mental impression, and atmosphere, which you place around it.” — Claude Hopkins

Show them the behind-the-scenes details of how your pharmaceutical product go through the hygiene standards. Show them the safety standards that ensure your workers’ lives are not at unnecessary risk while making a product.

This is quite popular in the movie industry. Behind-the-scenes capture viewers attention and show them exactly how the movie was shot, and so much more.

Movie Scene

If you’re website developer, you could share videos on how you come up with design ideas, the first stage of the design, and how you write codes. Anything that will be relatable will inspire the prospect/subscriber.

This improves trust and can trigger a positive word-of-mouth campaign for your company. You can achieve this through videos, in-depth blog posts, SlideShare presentations, or PDF reports.

Below is an example of a behind-the-scenes content by Carrie Green with a link to watch a video at the end.

Carrie Green example

This is another example by Schlitz on how they make sure their beer is healthy for customers.

Schlitz Example

6. Client Onboarding Drip Emails

Many times, businesses make this mistake. They think their work is done after selling their products. That’s a bad strategy.

When customers buy your product, it’s a risk. When you take them through the onboarding process, you’re eliminating this risk. Period!

You have to send training materials to them and answer frequently asked questions (FAQ). This helps customers to use your products effectively — which, in turn, leads to happier customers and more business.

How soon should your onboarding drip email start?

Immediately a customer buys your product.

Are you still confused? Do you need help on how to get started? Why not schedule a Strategy Session with Bloominari. We’ll guide you.

In this case, your emails could be frequent. Your customer wants to know the most important features of your product quickly. This is especially important if your product is technical.

Here’s an example of an onboarding drip email sequence by Klaviyo. This aims to encourage active a user who has just signed up for a free trial. This is the first message.

Email 1

Followed by the second message.

Email 2

Then the third email 3 days later.

email 3

And finally the last one.

Email 4

You can see the shortest interval is 3 days. This is due to the user signing a trial version. You don’t want to be too aggressive in this case.

Below is an example of an onboarding email from Dropbox.

Dropbox Example

Conclusion

Sending drip emails to your subscribers reduces the time you spend on your email campaigns. But more importantly, improves email campaign’s performance both in the short and long-term.

If you’ve not been sending drip emails, you should start with your email marketing software. You can craft as many as you want and define their triggers.

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