What is a Drip Email?

drip email

What does your email marketing look like? Do you use an email marketing software, such as MailChimp or HubSpot? Have you ever used automated email software? If you’ve ever dipped a toe into the world of email marketing, you may have heard the term “drip email.” At New North, we use drip emails both for ourselves and our clients right here in Frederick, Maryland, and across the country.

What is a Drip Email Campaign?

An email drip campaign is an automated series of emails automatically sent to a specific person after they take a particular action. Unlike sending a scheduled email to a list, a drip email campaign offers relevant resources, products, and services to a particular person over several days as soon as they are interested in a topic.

For example, if a lead downloads a whitepaper on recruiting best practices, they might be placed in a drip campaign sharing relevant recruiting content. After establishing your expertise, the final email could include a CTA to request a demo for your recruiting software.

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At the very basic level, drip emails nurture contacts along the sales funnel, keeping your company or message at the top of their mind. However, a drip email campaign is useful for more than just brand awareness. Keep reading to learn how a drip email campaign can take your email marketing to the next level.

When Should You Use a Drip Email Campaign?

A drip email campaign can address a lot of common problems in the email marketing in Frederick, Maryland community. Are you struggling with converting contacts into leads? Is customer retention a weak point? Have your customers abandoned their shopping carts? There are many reasons to start a drip campaign. Today, we’re going to look at it from a B2B perspective.

If you’re ghosted by your new contacts, a drip campaign can help you get more engagement and eventually nurture them into a lead. As you continue to follow up with this same prospect, it provides the opportunity to click on more links on your site and start to feel as your company is an expert in solving the problems they’re researching. These emails will direct them to services and pricing pages, increasing the possibility of turning them into a lead.

This is only one very high-level example of how you could use a drip email campaign to nurture a contact into a lead. Other common uses include:

  • Onboarding
  • Referrals
  • Recommendations
  • Increased client engagement
  • Ensuring customer loyalty
  • Relationship building
  • Inhibiting unsubscribes

So, the question “do you need a drip campaign” isn’t so much a question of need, but of your creativity. If you can solve your problem with enhanced or increased communication, then a drip email is a valuable asset in your marketing toolbox.

Benefits of a Drip Campaign

In this nonstop digital world, a drip campaign gives you the cherished opportunity of more “face time” with your contacts. Unlike a radio advertisement or billboard, a drip email is something that was opted into. When a visitor fills out a form and gives out their email, they’re consenting to communicate with you. You should never abuse that consent by overloading their inbox with irrelevant information, but you should take advantage of it. An email drip campaign allows them to interact with you in a positive way.

A drip campaign can also save you time. Unlike your newsletter, which needs to be re-written and scheduled out manually, an email drip can be put on autopilot. By creating a workflow, you can launch an email drip after a website visitor or contact performs a certain action. Then the campaign is launched and sent out every few days with a predetermined set of emails.

Do you have problems figuring out if a contact still has the possibility to become a lead? An email drip campaign lets you stack lead scoring on top of your email marketing. One easy way to tell if a contact is still interested in your services is to look at how many emails they have opened on your drip campaign. Contacts that have opened more than one email in the drip are intrigued, and a contact that clicks a call to action is ready for a personal follow-up from the sales team.

How to Automate Drip Emails

Easy campaign automation is one of the biggest benefits of drip emails. However, the ease of automation really depends on what platform you’re using. At New North, we use HubSpot to automate our campaigns. HubSpot’s workflows function allows you to structure out an entire campaign ahead of time, using if/then logic.

For example, if a website visitor fills out a form to download an eBook, they’ll be automatically entered into a workflow. The workflow starts with a thank-you email. A day or two later, the contact receives another email, but this time discussing common problems our clients struggle with. Next, a testimonial email with client feedback. And so on and so forth.

Time delays are a crucial part of any automated email drip campaign. Delays between sends give prospects time to open and read previous emails and also spread out the concentration of communication. Never send more than one email in a business day. Spreading out your drips over sequential days maintains the thought pattern and keeps your message at top of mind.

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It’s important to monitor your email drip campaigns carefully. If your emails have a low open rate, a low click-through-rate, or a high rate of unsubscribes, your messaging could be way off target.

Also, as a word of caution, take time to regularly test your forms to make sure they are still triggering the drip and the information being emailed is still relevant. You’d hate to realize that you’ve been sending prospects out-of-date information.

Email Drip Campaigns in Action

In order to fully understand an email drip campaign, it’s important to have a full grasp of both sides of the equation: the contact and the marketer. Let’s start with the contact’s perspective.

Whether you know it or not, there’s a high chance you’ve already been on the receiving end of an email drip campaign. As a website visitor, you may have scrolled through a site and come across an eBook that looks like it could solve one of your marketing issues. You click through to the page and fill out a form. In the next few minutes, you receive an email with your eBook download attached.

Here’s where the drip comes in. Over the next few hours, you receive another email from the same company. This one is thanking you for downloading the eBook and welcoming you to their website. The content has links to other blogs and eBooks that you might find useful. Intrigued, you click on a few and find more content around the same subject.

Over the next week, you receive two more emails, both based on actions you took within the emails or on the site. Eventually, the emails slow down and stop coming altogether. In the last email, there’s a link to a pricing and services page. If you like what you see and fill out the contact form, then you’ve just converted into a lead.

On the marketer’s side, you would get a notification that you’ve received a new contact from an eBook form. The next day, you might see the new contact pop up on your site, read a blog, or download another eBook that was linked in the latest email in your drip campaign. By the end of the week, you’ll notice that they’ve viewed the pricing pages, and have filled out the contact form. Now you have a lead. It’s your turn to either pass the lead on to the sales team or contact the lead directly.

In this example, the email drip campaign didn’t just get you a new lead, it also gave you a lot of information on what issues they’re struggling with. Take notice of what blogs and eBooks they were most interested in. Are they struggling with conversion rates? Email marketing? Customer retention? Be sure to take advantage of this information during your sales call.

See an Email Drip in Action—Download Our eBook

Here in Frederick, Maryland, the New North team has been working with email marketing in for over a decade. We plan and enact drip email campaigns that grow clients’ lists, generate high engagement, and convert contacts into leads. We believe that your B2B firm should be able to maximize the value of this powerful channel in a way that resonates with your audience. Download our guide to “Winning B2B Newsletters” to get the inside scoop on our email marketing strategies. Pay close attention to what emails you receive after you download the guide to get first-hand experience of an email drip.

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