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What Are Email Drip Sequences and Why You Should Care

Email marketing remains one of the most efficient tools for reaching customers, leads, and your broader community. However, the most successful email campaigns go beyond monthly newsletters and transactional notices. Drip sequences, also called email drip marketing, allows you to guide customers to desired goals through a personalized, highly relevant series of messages. Learn how drip campaigns are different from standard email marketing tactics and the importance of drip campaigns, and some examples of drip sequences.

How Are Drip Campaigns Different From Regular Email Marketing?

Email marketing is a broad term referring to any marketing, promotional, or outreach message sent through email. These messages may seem outdated compared to more recent trends such as targeted social media ads or immersive augmented reality campaigns. However, email campaigns are still a powerful outreach tool that can drive conversion for your brand.

When you email someone, you have the opportunity to start a personalized, organic conversation. Thanks to today’s huge inbox storage capacities, many people save relevant emails indefinitely, creating a personal database of helpful information. The ideal email campaign adds value, delights customers, and drives conversions.

Many email marketing campaigns are built around recurring messages sent to most or all of a brand’s contacts. Take a look through your inbox. You likely receive monthly newsletter updates, sales promotions, new product alerts, and other messages sent to vast numbers of people. 

Broad messages such as newsletters can offer value to customers, but they don’t provide a personalized experience. Drip campaigns allow you to send specific messages to unique customers based on their behavior and interactions with your company. Drip messages are driven by automation and may also be called automated messaging, autoresponders, lifecycle messages, and other similar terms.

How To Set Up A Drip Campaign

You establish a drip campaign by identifying a trigger behavior that starts the messages. For example, you can create a triggered sequence of emails when a customer places their first order, joins your email list, or reaches a loyalty milestone. 

Next, determine a goal for the campaign. Consider a drip campaign for customers who’ve just made their first order. Your ideal next step for this customer could be leaving a review, placing another order, following your social media accounts, and more.

Finally, consider the messages you’ll send this customer to move them from their trigger behavior to your ultimate goal. Converting your customer won’t happen immediately. Instead, count on sending multiple messages, or drips, to encourage your desired behavior. An entire drip campaign includes every message a customer might receive in this effort. 

Most brands run multiple drip campaigns at all times. Depending on the range of a customer’s interactions with your company, they may be targeted by various campaigns at once. Be mindful of your branding to make sure every message adds value and delight to your customers’ lives.

How Drip Campaigns Help You

Drip campaigns are one of the most efficient marketing tools for engaging with your community. These sequences make the most of email automation, which almost every modern email provider offers. Drip sequences can be time-intensive to establish, but they drive engagement and conversion once created.

Automated emails allow you to give a personalized experience to every customer without putting extra strain on your staff or other resources. Drip messages should engage your clients at specific steps of their journey with your brand. A campaign can encourage and reinforce your customer behavior, subtly driving them to new conversion goals.

A drip campaign is also an opportunity to reuse your existing content. Audit your previous email messages, blog posts, sales announcements, and other digital collateral to see what’s still relevant for new customers. Add or adapt your best content as drip messages, and you can also feel free to double-dip among campaigns. An email about a new product line can be helpful for potential clients as well as established customers.

Examples Of Drip Campaigns

Many companies maintain several drip campaigns at once. Your complete range of campaigns will vary based on your business model and goals. Here are some common campaigns to consider as you move into drip marketing.

New Client Orientation

Welcome clients to your community and educate them about your brand with a welcoming drip campaign. This sequence can be triggered when clients make their first interaction with your company by placing an initial order or opting into your newsletter list. Help new customers and prospects feel at home with a series of friendly, no-pressure emails. Aim to expose these customers to the pillars of your brand, including your mission, values, key staff members, services, and contact methods. An example goal behavior of this campaign is for clients to further engage with your brand through another purchase.

Overcoming Hesitation

When you identify prospects who’ve come close to converting without following through, a drip campaign can help them overcome their hesitation. For example, when a customer adds a product to your shopping cart but doesn’t make a purchase, this behavior can trigger a drip campaign. Drive conversions in this case by highlighting user reviews, offering a discount, or suggesting similar items.

Customer Milestones

Build loyalty by celebrating important customer milestones. Your clients will feel valued and build positive associations regarding your brand when you highlight your growing relationship. A possible trigger behavior is when six months have passed since a particular customer purchased anything new. Consider throwback or “remember when” messages, highlight new colors or product updates, and suggest similar products this customer might enjoy. You can also celebrate events such as birthdays that don’t directly relate to your services. Either way, a milestone drip campaign builds relationships and can enhance customer loyalty.

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