One aspect of marketing that never seems to change is the value of a good email. Our inboxes are crowded and our time is limited, yet we still sign up for mailing lists, newsletters, and other digital mail. Even social media hasn’t destroyed the effectiveness of a masterful email campaign.
Year after year, research shows that building a mailing list is one of the best ways to reach leads. When people want to hear from you, give you access to their inboxes, and expect your emails, you've won them over.
Why is that? What makes email marketing such an integral part of human connection (and business success)? The answer lies in practices such as drip marketing. But what is a drip campaign?
In this blog post, we'll introduce you to the benefits of this especially effective type of email marketing and give you a few tips for starting out with your own drip campaigns. Let’s get going!
What is a Drip Campaign?
A drip campaign is a set of staggered emails sent out to a mailing list, typically through an autoresponder. That might sound boring and technical, but don't worry, it gets better. Unlike many other forms of marketing, email marketing becomes a personal and creative experience. This is especially true of lead-nurturing drip campaigns.
Trackmaven, a marketing performance platform, offers an excellent definition:
A drip campaign is a method used in direct marketing to acquire customers through lead nurture programs. It involves sending marketing information to prospects repeatedly over longer periods of time in order to nurture prospects or leads through the marketing funnel.
A drip campaign's goal is to nurture contacts that signed up for your emails. One of the most common types are educational campaigns — those that teach readers a skill, provide value with tips and techniques, or help new users understand a program. For example, think of a series of 12 emails titled, 12 Days to Master WordPress.
Other common types of drip campaigns include:
- Abandoned cart campaigns
- Welcome email series
- Retargeting campaigns
You can come up with a drip campaign for almost anything that can be delivered in a series, which is why it's such a powerful tool to add to your marketing plan.
What are the Benefits of Drip Campaigns in Affiliate Marketing?
The greatest benefit of drip campaigns to affiliate marketing is lead nurturing.
Lead nurturing is exactly what it sounds like. You engage your leads with content that relates to them and interests them. In the case of educational content, when a user opens their inbox, they’re excited to see your email because they know it will take them to the next level of whatever you're teaching.
A good drip campaign inspires your audience to miss you when you’re gone, creating a loyalty that is unmatched in other forms of marketing.
Another great benefit of drip campaigns is that you can use them to encourage conversion slowly. Your buyers, subscribers, and students won’t always automatically jump onto your services. It might take them time to get to know you and your methods, and a drip campaign can help achieve that.
Drip campaigns give you the benefit of permission-based reminders that you're the best option for your customers' needs.
In summary, the greatest benefits of drip campaigns are as follows.
Nurturing potential clients
The “setup and run” nature of drip campaigns means you can map out your campaigns and run them for years to come. When you have a winning strategy, stick to it, and you should have no problem with conversions in the future.
The most significant benefit to drip campaigns is trust. Whether you’ve already snagged a lead or are trying your best to master the power of suggestion, drip campaigns allow you to build a strong bond with your mailing list. You can't beat that!
How Do I Get Started with Drip Campaigns?
Now for the best part of this post — getting started with your own drip campaign. A good amount of planning will go into your campaign, but there are a few foundational things to consider from the start.
Choose an autoresponder platform
Your first step, of course, is to choose an autoresponder platform. You have so many fantastic options here, and your choice will depend on your overall goals. Drip campaigns require the ability to automate and segment emails, however, so keep those features in mind.
The following platforms are a great place to start:
Each platform features different perks, so compare and contrast before you get started. Once you've picked your mailer, you need to figure out your message.
Build your list
If you don’t have one already, you’ll need to build an email list. After all, you need people to send all your great emails to! To get started, we recommend you check out this great article on list building from HubSpot.
Understand your audience
Once you have your list established, you’ll want to break it down by segment. Drip campaigns always work best when segmented.
Email segmentation is when you boil down your larger list to create smaller lists targeting more specific groups. For example, your main list should comprise everyone whose email you’ve collected.
To segment this list, you could separate out the emails of those individuals who purchased from you in the past six months or who shopped your online store but abandoned their cart.
This type of segmentation improves your open rate and conversion rate for one simple reason: you're talking to the right person about the right thing.
Here's something you won't often hear: design isn't the most essential part of drip campaigns. In fact, a drip campaign works best when it's simple and straightforward. People have signed up for your words, personality, or lessons. They expect your emails to get straight to the point.
So don’t worry about grand design and elaborate imagery. When it comes to drip campaigns, less really is more.
What is a drip campaign? Simply put, it's a tactic that touches on the core of marketing – building trust and providing value. Through these campaigns you can effectively:
- Build a rapport with your audience
- Remind people of your perks and personality
If you’d like to connect with your audience on a whole new level, it’s time to give drip campaigns a try!
What are your golden rules for drip campaigns? Do you have a preferred email platform? Let us know in the comments!