As a lead-in, let me first explain what drip marketing is.
It is the process of sending emails, SMS, online notifications etc. to a group of prospects for purposes like (and not limited to) marketing of a new product, re-marketing, sales etc. The base list of prospects is gathered by studying the users’ behaviour related to the product being marketed. This could be the online behaviour or in a store offline. The content of a drip is in accordance with the receiver’s conduct. These emails are typically automated.
It is referred to as “drip” marketing as it involves the communication to be sent one-by-one to a prospect, like a drip, at a pre-scheduled date & time on the basis of this prospect’s reaction to the preceding drip email.
In this article we will focus on drip marketing by emails.
What are the possible reactions by a prospect to your drip email?
When you send out drip 1, the prospect can do either of the following –
- Ignore it
- Open it
- Open & click on the link provided in the email body
- Open & respond to the email
- Open, click on the link provided in the email body & respond to the email
Prospects who respond to drip email 1 are excluded from drip email 2 and the ones who respond to drip email 2 are excluded from drip email 3 and so on till the last email.
There are several tools available online (which also provide a free trial period) to automate this entire process. These tools help you track everything, from emails delivered to open rate, click rate, response rate & also A/B test which is crucial here!
How is the success of a drip campaign measured?
The success of a drip campaign is measured by calculating conversion which happens in the following ways-
- Deliveries — No. of emails that successfully got delivered to the “inbox” of your prospects. Your emails should not land in the spam box.
- Open rate — Open rate is calculated by dividing the no. of emails opened by no. of emails delivered. For example — 100 emails got delivered & 10 of the prospects opened them. So the open rate is 10%.
- Click rate — Most drips contain links to the sender’s webpage. So the click rate is calculated by dividing the no. of unique clicks on the hyperlink by no. of emails opened.
- Positive response — A positive response can come via a reply to your drip or in some cases, the receiver might call you. So it is very essential to provide the correct contact information in every drip. A prospect who makes the effort of calling you or writing back has a very high intent and should be handled with utmost care 🙂
- Conversion rate — This is ratio of no. of positive responses received and the no. of emails delivered. This ratio represents the success of a drip campaign.
How to get max deliveries, open rate & click rate?
1. Perfect subject line
Perfecting the subject line is crucial. A good subject line does not exceed more than 5 words. These days when most users check emails on their phones, it is vitally important that your subject line fits in the space allotted for subject lines on mobiles. A catchy subject line translates into more opens which means a higher open rate.
2. A/B test
This refers to using variations in a drip’s content to find what kind language is most acceptable to your user base.
A/B testing is also known as split testing. It shows which of two (or three..A or B…or C) options is the most effective in terms of encouraging opens or clicks.
To A/B test your drip campaign, make two variants of an email. These variants could be in terms of two different
(1) Subject lines
For example — Subject A: You have a gift voucher!
Subject B: Redeem your gift voucher
(2) Email bodies ..one starting with Hey, another with Hello
(3) Placement of a clickable link in the email body..in the beginning or somewhere in the middle
(4) Variants can also have different color schemes, fonts etc.
Take about 25% of your complete set of prospects to make a test group. Half of the test group is sent Version A, while the other half gets Version B. The result, measured by the most opens or clicks, determines the winning version. This is then sent to the remaining 75%.
3. Send Time Optimization
STO refers to finding the best time when the maximum of your users are active online. Sending the drip at that moment will land it at the top of a receiver’s email box. This will boost the chances of the drip being opened and raise the open rate.
In my experience, people who work 9–5 are more likely to check their emails in the morning and late evenings. It will take a few A/B tests to find the best time of sending out a drip.
Same as time, choosing the rights days to drive the drips is critical. Again, depends on the product you are selling & the user base you are targeting.
Sending out a drip for a holiday package gives a higher conversion on Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays. On the other hand, a drip on selling an analytical tool used to make graphs and presentations gives a better conversion during the first half of the week.
4. The gap between two mails
Keeping an ideal gap between scheduling two drips of a campaign is pivotal in making the whole campaign a success.
A campaign of 3 emails typically has a sequence of email 1 on day 1 followed by email 2 on day 3 which is followed by email 3 on day 7. Deciding what day will be day 1 can make all the difference!
You can exclude Saturdays & Sundays while counting the days for rolling out drips targeting working professionals as they are not likely to check emails on weekends (also explained in STO section above).
5. Correct placement of clickable links
If you want your prospects to click on the link, it is advisable to put it before the middle of the email body as 80% of the users do not go beyond it. The link should be clearly differentiated from the rest of the text. It should not get subdued in the rest of the email as 95% of the users only take a quick glance. Right position of the link leads to a higher click rate. Again, A/B test!
6. Avoid spammy words
“A great place to hide a dead body is in the spam box of your prospect’s email.”
Terms like free, opportunity, work from home, you have won, lottery, call now etc. are considered to be spammy in the drip marketing world. Never load your emails with these words. No one likes seeing them. Too many images, too many clickable links are also considered to be spam.
All email service providers filter emails containing such text and move it straight to the spam box!
But this does not necessarily mean that you can not use these words at all. All of them can be used in moderation. However, too many of them or too much repetition of one of them can land in you the spam or junk folder. If you do find yourself having an inbox deliver ability problem, removing any instances of these spam words from your email subject line or email content can help to get you back into the inbox. 🙂
7. Spell & grammar check
Poorly composed emails are a big turn off! As your emails represent your brand, check them for any spelling mistake or grammatical error.
Summarizing the perks of drip marketing
- It is automated. Emails are sent as per preset date and time.
- It reduces manual effort of sending each email one by one. Hence, is easier for scaling up email marketing projects.
- Content can be fine-tuned for a better conversion using audience’s response to drip emails.
- It’s easy to reach a wide base of prospects in one go.
- Various tools are available online to set up drip campaigns.
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