Drip campaigns are one of the types of emails you should be sending and are crucial in educating, nurturing, and converting your prospects. They’re the star player in your overall marketing and sales game, so assembling them must be done with a lot of thought, care, and strategy. You also need a firm grasp on what makes your prospects tick so you can fill your campaigns with targeted content and the right message, which will move them through the funnel more seamlessly. 

Drip campaigns have this annoying habit of seeming like a very confusing strategy, one with a lot of moving parts and factors that ultimately determine their success. While it’s true that a lot goes into them, they’re actually a huge time-saver, and putting them together doesn’t have to be such a headache. 

We’ll cover all of the basics that you need to know about drip campaigns, including the benefits that they offer your marketing strategy and how to put them together effectively. So don’t grab the Excedrin just yet.

The Benefits of an Email Drip Campaign

When it comes to marketing, every minute matters, and every strategy has to deliver. So let’s get into the weeds a bit on the beneficial reasons to invest time and resources into drip campaigns. 

1. Personalized Content

Personalized emails result in transaction rates that are 6x higher than non-personalized emails. The whole point of drip campaigns is to offer your audience a consistent stream of touchpoints, filled with personalized content based on what they need and where they are in the buyer’s journey. Each email within a drip campaign works off of each other, offering a little bit of content each time that is meant to help solve a problem your prospect is having. 

2. Steady Progress

Drip campaigns aren’t designed to push leads through the funnel faster than usual. Instead, they guide them at an even pace, gradually helping them become more informed and moving them closer to a decision. As I mentioned in the previous point, each email is meant to work off the one sent prior. They’re designed to assist you with creating a steady progression for your prospects, informing them more and more with each email, hence moving them through the funnel at a controlled pace they’re comfortable with. 

3. Smarter Leads

An educated prospect is a better prospect. With drip campaigns, you’re providing ongoing education for your leads, proving your worth, and building trust. The result is a well-informed lead, and we all know that a knowledgable lead makes for a strong, long-lasting customer relationship. 

Okay, now it’s time to get started. Enter: email automation software, of course. When paired with an effective CRM, the right automation platform can help you track and analyze your prospects to figure out where they are in the buyer’s journey and segment your lists for your drip campaign. It will also allow you to put together the drip campaign and automate it for marketing ease.

How to Build an Email Drip Campaign

Putting together a drip campaign is a lot easier than you might think, once you have the right tools. Follow the steps below and create a campaign driven to convert.

Step One: Tier Your Prospects

To make sure the right content is sent to the right people, you need to segment your prospects based on where they are in their journey. Here’s a quick breakdown of what that might look like.

  • Leads — Awareness phase. Leads are anyone who visits your site. Their level of knowledge regarding what you do is most likely low. 
  • Prospects — Awareness and consideration phase. Prospects are anyone who downloads something on your site and subscribes to your email marketing campaign. They may know a little bit more about what you do, but they’re still learning more about you. This is where your email drip campaigns come in to play. 
  • Opportunity — Consideration phase. When a prospect becomes an opportunity, it’s because they’ve asked for a demo of your service or product. They are now seriously considering working with your company. 
  • Customer — Decision phase. Customers are obviously anyone who decides to partner with you and use your service or product. You’ve done it! You converted a lead to a customer! 
  • Closed/Lost — Anyone who qualifies as an opportunity but then decides against moving forward, for whatever reason. Womp, womp. 
  • MIA — Unresponsive opportunities who go dormant after requesting a demo. Super womp, womp. 

There’s an opportunity within each of these classifications to engage (and re-engage) in a way that moves the relationship forward. To do it, move on to step two.

Step Two: Create Content for Each Stage

Collaborate with your sales team and your account team to gather insights on the pain points of people in each of the classifications mentioned in step one. What do they want to know? What don’t they know already but should? What might they be confused about at this stage?

Once you’ve workshopped a bit and built audience personas for each group, get to work creating content that addresses their unique wants and needs, or start assembling your existing content that fits within these areas. Think broadly, focusing on general content that can be useful for each type of lead/prospect, including gated resources, manuals, webinars, and blog posts. Having this content on hand will give you a good base of educational materials that you can then put to use in your drip campaigns.

Step Three: Segment Your Lists

You’ve tiered your prospects already, so now it’s time to create your actual email lists. Create a list for each tier, and make sure to automatically enroll new prospects into the most appropriate list for their current stage. 

How you do this depends on how your marketing automation software helps you qualify your prospects. Some allow you to take into consideration a lot of factors, like actions they’ve taken on your site, the industry they’re in, and the size of their company. But at the end of the day, you should have segmented contact lists that you can easily connect throughout each campaign.

Step Four: Craft Your Emails

Once you’ve got your lists segmented, start putting together the actual email series for your drip campaigns. To make it easy on yourself and your team, you may want to tackle just one prospect tier at once. Start small while you get your footing and see what works, and then adjust accordingly.  

Make sure you create engaging email content that will delight your prospects. You want them to enjoy reading your emails and look forward to opening them. Don’t forget to add links to your existing content so that you can make these more personalized and helpful.  

Step Five: Check In to Measure Success

Let your drip campaigns run their course for a few months, then check to see how well they’re performing. Focus on how well they’re able to move prospects through the funnel and see if your sales team is getting any feedback for improvement. Also, look at click-through-rates, open rates, and conversion rates to help determine overall success. Sometimes, something a simple as swapping in updated and/or otherwise enhanced content will be enough to overcome hurdles.

Remember: drip campaigns are ongoing strategies. Tweak your practices and your content as needed, and always use any associated data to help evolve your campaigns. Soon, you’ll have a drip campaign that operates — and excels.