Drip email campaigns are by no means a new email marketing strategy, but they are still one of the most popular tactics when it comes to nurturing leads. Not quite sure what it is? A drip campaign involves sending or ‘dripping’ a series of regular promotional pieces over a period of time. Although each individual email serves a different function, it also builds on previous emails in the campaign.

Guest blog by Georgia Christian - connect on Twitter
Guest blog by Georgia Christian – connect on Twitter

The goal behind a drip campaign is to encourage a certain action from the lead (or customer), such as a sign up, or purchase. An effective drip campaign aims to keep your readers informed and aware of your products, which is especially necessary in the beginning stages of an online relationship, when you are establishing brand awareness with your leads and arming them with the right information to help them make the right purchasing decision.

Drip campaigns take their name from the agricultural term ‘drip irrigation’, whereby crops or plants are given small amounts of water consistently over a long period of time, thereby making it more resource efficient. This (and this is where the email marketing analogy comes in) is because with drip irrigation the ground is given consistent moisture as opposed to just being soaked and then left alone before it is drenched again (think email spray and pray tactics).

Email drip campaigns need clear goals, good content and segmentation

No doubt, drip campaigns need to be thought out carefully and planned strategically, so we’ve looked at four important questions you need to consider before you put yours into action.

1. What’s your aim?

What is your end goal and what exact action do you want/need your customers to take in order to reach it? You need to determine the key messages for each email and optimize them individually so that you can work towards reaching this goal.

2. Do you have your content lined up?

It’s been said a thousand times before, but it’s true. Content is king and well-written, informative content will keep your customers and leads interested. With drip campaigns, the content needs to be enticing, clever and even a bit teasing, especially if you are aiming to build up anticipation over the course of your campaign.

3. Are you able to segment your campaigns?

If you’ve only just started out, then you might not have much data with which to segment your campaigns, however even if you have basic information, such as whether they are male or female, it can be used to target your customers with more relevant content. Think about it, there is little worse than receiving an email that is promoting men’s underwear at half price, and you’re a woman. Customer engagement, I think not. As your campaigns and relationships develop, you’ll find out more about your subscribers, such as what their interests are, what they would like to see more or less off, their buying behaviour etc. all of which will help ensure you deliver interesting campaigns that hold value.

4. What’s your layout going to look like?

Think carefully about the layout and design. More than likely you’re going to keep the same template for the duration of the drip campaign, so while it might be nice to get a bright, funky, busy email once in a while, if you’re sending it once a day then the novelty will wear off quickly. Keep it simple, with short and concise copy, one or two relevant images and the necessary links. Remember, you want to keep the focus on getting your readers to perform a specific action with each email you send and you don’t want them to get distracted along the way.

While these steps are by no means the only questions that you need to consider, they are some of the most important ones. A drip email campaign can be one of the best decisions you make or a complete flop, so make sure you’ve planned and thought through each one meticulously before you hit the send button.

This article was posted on i-SCOOP’s Social Email Marketing blog and has been moved as part of an integration of all our blogs.