Email Marketing Basics: The Drip Campaign

Several years ago when I was first able to dip my toes into email marketing, I essentially did what I was told. When leadership wanted an email to go out to a list of prospects, our team created and sent an email out - no questions asked. This cycle continued as they had something new they wanted to blast out.


Well where's the strategy, you ask? There really wasn't one. But I wasn't in a position where the team valued my strategic direction (yay entry level financial services marketing position), so at the time, I did the best I could.


Insert my new boss...

About six months into this role and when my new boss started, one of the first things she did was ask what I was currently doing and what I wanted to be doing. That was the spark that ignited the flame. Finally someone listened to my ideas and actually gave me the power to implement them. One of those ideas was utilizing drip email campaigns.


What is a drip campaign?

Think of water dripping from a leaky faucet. It doesn't just drip once - it continually drips. And that's the core concept of a drip email marketing campaign. According to MailChimp - "Drip marketing is simply sending a limited number of emails to your audience automatically, on a set timing, based on actions they take or changes in their status."


Drip campaigns are a little more complex than a leaky faucet because you get to manipulate what happens after the first drip, but you get the idea. Actions you can use for your various paths are opening an email or clicking a specific link in an email among many others. If the person completes the desired action, they follow one path, and if they don't they follow another path. And each path you create is personalized to that subset of contacts.


Why use a drip campaign?

Something I had learned in college, and still know to be true to this day, is that it takes at least 7 touches to capture a prospect's attention. So what we were doing - we termed as "one and done" emails - was highly ineffective. We were legitimately contacting people with one touch and expecting great results to come from that. Now that I had a super knowledgable boss on my side, we implemented a rule of a minimum of 3 emails per campaign and enforced being more strategic in our email marketing efforts.


My Go-To Tool for Drip Campaigns

There are many tools out there where you can set up email marketing automation, and my go-to is HubSpot. The way you implement drip campaigns is through the use of workflows (which can be used for other types of automation). As you're creating emails, set them as automated, not regular, emails. Once you do this, create a workflow and pick from your list of automated emails to drip out whether it's over a period of days, weeks, or months. The downside - you have to have at least the Professional package.


Marketing automation is a powerful tool for any marketing team and is something you should consider if you're utilizing email marketing (which you should be). If you're interested in setting up your own drip campaigns, book a consultation with me to talk through your ideas and how we can get them started for you.



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