How to create an effective email drip campaign

50% of leads are not ready to buy right away. But they’re not cold leads. They’ve already shown interest in your business and what you have to offer by interacting with your website or a post on social media. They just need some nurturing to pull them further into the sales funnel. An email drip campaign is one of the most effective ways to nurture these leads and keep your business top of mind until they are ready to purchase.

An email drip campaign is an automated email campaign. It is a set of emails that are sent out automatically on a specific schedule. These campaigns can be based on various triggers, but the primary way a person ends up in a drip campaign is by signing up for your email list or making a purchase. These campaigns are about providing the reader the right information at the right time to help achieve the goal of your campaign, whether it is to make a sale or increase awareness.

Here are the things to consider when creating your next email drip campaign.

Identify the goals of your campaign

Not all drip campaigns are the same. If you don’t have a strategy in place with a goal for your campaign, it won’t provide the results you want. Identify the purpose of your campaign and then base that campaign on what you want to achieve. It could be nurturing new leads who aren’t quite ready to purchase by increasing their awareness of your business and offerings. It could be re-engaging with your existing customers and potentially trying to cross-sell or upsell them. It could be keeping your existing audience engaged with information and insights they can use to improve their business and practices. Regardless, the best campaigns provide value to your audience. They should be relevant to your audience and personalized to meet their needs.

Create the persona for your drip campaign

Sending emails relevant to where your audience is in their buyer’s journey enables you to target your campaign and content to meet their needs and pain points. But first, you need to determine who you are targeting with your campaign. Create a persona for that target buyer. Give them a name and a story, and take the time to map out their needs, problems, and concerns and how you can solve them.

Then lay out their buyer’s journey for this campaign

Now that you know who your target persona is for this campaign, it’s time to map out their buyer’s journey. Think about where your persona is in the buyer’s journey when they enter the campaign and where you want them to be at the end of the campaign. Determine what the touchpoints are for this campaign. Then plan out your campaign based on those touchpoints. Design your campaign to guide your audience through a specific part of the buyer’s journey, whether they’re starting at awareness or are post-purchase.

Create useful content

Nobody wants to feel trapped in an email series that is just one long hard sell. Your audience is more likely to engage with your campaign if they feel it provides value. Create email content that helps expand their awareness of your business or product and provides thought leadership that helps them either improve or solve a problem or better understand how you can help them solve their problems.

Strong subject lines and calls-to-action (CTAs)

Strong subject lines help drive engagement, and a great subject line can mean the difference between your prospect opening your email or it going unread. They’re the first part of your content that your audience sees, so you want to create subject lines that entice your audience to open the email. Once the email is open and they’re reading your great content, be sure to tell them what to do next with a compelling CTA. Your CTA should be clear and let the reader know what will happen when they click on it.

Map out the exit strategy

If a prospect does what you want (clicks the CTA, sets up a demo, contacts your Sales team), what happens? Do they continue to receive the rest of the drip campaign? Mapping out what happens if a prospect does what you want helps to strengthen your overall campaign strategy. It could be that they completely exit the campaign. But even better could be that they enter a new campaign that provides thought leadership and is designed to keep you top of mind.

Measure performance

No email campaign is perfect. There is always room for improvement. The only way to know what is working and what needs to be adjusted is to analyze the data. Run analytics on open and click-thru rates to determine what email content is successful and what is not. Do A/B testing of subject lines and CTAs to see what works best for your audience and then adjust your campaign and strategy accordingly to strengthen your conversion rates further.

Email marketing is one of the most efficient and cost-effective ways to build awareness and stay top of mind. Designing an email drip campaign that targets the prospects you want is one of the most effective ways to generate leads and make sales.

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