Many buying cycles have changed. More people need and want more education and training. You need to stay in front of people – in a helpful and relevant way – over a longer period of time.
An email drip campaign can help. And a better email drip campaign can help more.
Here are 8 tips to help you work through and build out one or more email and video email drips.
Thinking About An Email Drip Campaign
An email drip campaign is a series of emails and video emails, tied together in a sequence and set to send at specific times.
For example, let’s say you’re a real estate agent working in a fast-growing, millennial-heavy market with many potential first time home buyers. Many of these people may not be ready today, but you want to be their first choice when they are ready. You want to get in front of them early in their search.
Create a drip campaign specifically designed to train up and educate first time home buyers. Become the trusted advisor. Be sure that you’re the one they call when they’re ready to buy.
Continuing the example, let’s say your drip campaign is comprised of 8 emails and video emails. The first one goes out as soon as they fill out a form or when you manually start them based on a conversation or exchange. The second one goes out two days later. The third a week later. The fourth two weeks after that. And the others a month apart. You set the sequence and schedule.
Having this marketing piece in place allows you to stay in front of people over longer periods of time in a helpful way.
No matter what business you’re in, you’ve likely got several opportunities to win with an email drip campaign – new prospect, new customer, new employee, new supplier.
So let’s run through some tips …
1. Ready to Learn
In many industries – real estate, mortgage, automotive, software to name a few – the availability of online information has changed the buying cycle.
As consumers, we can research deeper and longer than ever before. We can read reviews. We can reach out to friends, neighbors, and perfect strangers for advice and recommendations. And we can connect with professionals.
As a sales professional, you’re likely connecting with people who are ready to learn, but not quite ready to buy.
So as you’re outlining and building the content for your drip campaign – focus as much on their needs and interests as on selling your product or service.
Yes … you or your product or your service needs to be the protagonist in the problem/solution and question/answer dynamics your content works through. But, no … an incessant hard sell over time is not what they signed on for.
Meet people where they are. Often, that’s ready to learn.
“drip drop” by Alec Mills, Flickr, Creative Commons, commercial use & modifications allowed
2. Frequently Asked Questions
So, you’re thinking about sending 15 emails to people over a year’s time automatically through a drip email campaign.
But you don’t know what to say.
Here’s the best place to start:
- Who is this email drip campaign for?
- Where are they now?
- Where do they want to get?
- What questions do they have preventing them from getting there?
So: think of the frequently asked questions (FAQs) you get from this type of person.
With our first time home buyer example above: What do first time home buyers you’ve talked to need and want to know? Price points by neighborhood? How to get loan approval? How inspections work?
With a new employee onboarding drip: What do new employees tend to ask about? What do you need them to know? Who are the people, departments, and roles they should know about? What forms do you need completed and when? What procedures should they be familiar with?
Think of the questions you’re answering over and over again for specific types of people.
- New day
- New person
- Same questions
- Same answers
This tells you which drip campaigns you should make – and what the content should be.
Answer frequently asked questions! And sequence them thoughtfully.
“Falling drop” by photophilde, Flickr, Creative Commons, commercial use & modifications allowed
3. Timely, Relevant, Anticipated
The best email is always timely, relevant, and anticipated.
It should arrive as promised – and be current and specific.
It should be useful to each person receiving it.
It should be recognized on arrival and, better yet, hoped for and expected.
A better email drip campaign is also timely, relevant, and anticipated.
Let each person know what’s coming. And when. How many emails? Over what period of time? What will they learn?
Be very clear in what they’ll get – and when and why they’ll get it. Do this upon sign up – from a form, landing page, conversation, or exchange. Do this within the campaign – tease ahead and promise ahead.
Set expectations, then deliver.
“The drip” by OlliL, Flickr, Creative Commons, commercial use & modifications allowed
4. Mix Video, HTML, and Plain Email – or Don’t
Each email of your drip campaign has a job to do. If one doesn’t have something to accomplish, then it doesn’t belong.
One tool doesn’t fit all jobs. In some cases, a video email with a deep-teaching, 8-minute video might be best. In another, a quick, 40 second video with a clear call to action may be needed. In another still, a simple text email with a very specific piece of information or call to action may suffice.
You may want to schedule in a phone call, handwritten note, or direct mail piece to complement the emails and video emails.
Your campaign doesn’t all have to look the same. Each email doesn’t have to make the same call to action. They don’t all have to have video. They don’t all have to go in your beautiful, branded HTML email design.
Think of your email drip campaign holistically. Again, how are you helping someone get from here to there? What are the right steps along the way?
Mix up the emails and touches as appropriate.
“Lucy In Ths Sky With…” by peasap, Flickr, Creative Commons, commercial use & modifications allowed
5. Follow Up Based on Tracking and Analytics
As your drip emails go out on schedule, people are interacting with your messages. And BombBomb knows all about it.
A system like BombBomb provides you all kinds of tracking and analytics – both reported and stored in your account and pushed to you live, in real time.
Your phone calls and follow ups don’t have to conform to a prescribed schedule. Act on this information. Follow up directly as people interact with your drip emails. They’re raising your hands through their interactions.
Who should you reach out to? The 12 people most engaged in the drip so far!
How do you find them? Your Relationship Score.
Make a phone call. Send a personal, one-to-one video.
Your drip campaign is simply a means to an end. Efficient and effective follow up builds on the means and gets you closer to that end.
“Splash!” by Jan Smith, Flickr, Creative Commons, commercial use & modifications allowed
6. Removal from Drip
Congratulations! Your drip campaign has done its job. It’s answered questions, solved problems, and nurtured to conversion.
But the person is only 60% of the way through the 10 email drip campaign.
Should he or she receive the final 4 messages in that drip? Of course not.
Make it part of your process to remove each person from the drip campaign if it’s done its job, but it’s not yet completed.
“Splish” by Jez Elliott, Flickr, Creative Commons, commercial use & modifications allowed
7. Maybe a Monthly Newsletter Instead
Because a drip campaign is partly static, you should keep an eye on it and update it as appropriate. Especially if you’re selling in a changing market or hiring in a changing organization.
Don’t want to make the commitment? Not sure about building out all this content in advance?
Consider a monthly newsletter instead.
This accomplishes some of the jobs of a drip campaign: helps you stay in front of people, provides timely and helpful information, lets you know who’s most engaged through tracking and analytics.
Advantage: A newsletter’s inherently more timely, because it’s produced and sent in a current window. You make the newsletter today and send it some time this week. You make a drip campaign today and you’re likely running the exact same drip a year later.
Disadvantage: If it’s for everyone in your database, a newsletter’s less relevant for any one person than a drip campaign for that type of person and his or her specific needs or frequently asked questions.
Still: It can get some jobs done for you.
Again, make it anticipated. Whether you go monthly, semi-monthly, weekly, or whatever cadence you can support, make the promise and deliver on that promise.
The best answer, of course, is both. Ideally, you’d have drip campaigns for one or more specific segments of people, as well as a newsletter for some or all of your database.
I introduce the newsletter here, though, because many people find it more manageable, it performs some of a drip’s jobs, and it has some advantages over a drip campaign.
“Dipping & Dripping” by Neil Williamson, Flickr, Creative Commons, commercial use & modifications allowed
8. Repurpose the Content
Let’s assume you’re all-in on drips. You see the value and potential. You gather the resources to make one or more email drip campaigns. You build it out and people are receiving the campaign.
Think about all the content you just produced. Especially where there’s video involved. Especially if you oriented the campaign around frequently asked questions.
- 5 tips as someone’s preparing to sell their home
- 10 things to consider before choosing your next camera
- 7 ways to know if you should refinance your loan
The content for your emails is great content for a series of blog posts, for a YouTube playlist, for an FAQ section on your website, and more. It speaks to people who are ready to learn.
Each of those individual pieces of content is a great place to invite people to subscribe into the drip email campaign on the same topic, too.
So, if you’ve been thinking about making a drip, but you’ve been anxious about the commitment – know that you can get significant, additional mileage from the effort.
Plan repurposing in from the start.
“Dripping wet washing lines” by Simon Dean, Flickr, Creative Commons, commercial use & modifications allowed
I hope you found this helpful as you plan to build out your next drip campaign.
Feedback? Success stories? Email me a video: Ethan (at) BombBomb (dot) com
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“Flowers on Chair with Drip” by tourist_on_earth, Flickr Creative Commons, commercial use & modifications allowed