If you took environmental science in high school, then you’re familiar with the concept of drip irrigation: the process of providing plants with drops of water, feeding them without drowning them, etc. Drip campaigns use the same concept, hence the name, only with emails and customers instead of water and plants. The goal is to provide customers with emails as they need and want without drowning them with unnecessary information. A drip campaign is a type of email campaign that sends emails after something specific happens. In a drip campaign, a business will send pre-written messages to prospects and customers at time intervals determined by the customer’s usage behavior. Though drip campaigns can use direct mail and social media, email is the most typical form.
In order to investigate exactly which email strategies are the most effective, I “signed up” for the services of 20 different websites. Interestingly enough, very few websites that I signed up for used drip campaigns. Out of the entire sample of websites I signed up for, only two wholly took advantage of drip campaign tactics, but they both did it really well.
As I mentioned in my earlier blog post, graphic design in any email campaign is essential. The emails from Codecademy are visually appealing, but not overwhelming. With a simple design and elegant color scheme, the important headlines are easy to identify and the calls to action are prominent. While many drip campaigns send emails at regular time intervals, Codecademy uses a different strategy. I received Codecademy emails upon my account activation and my completion of each course. Each email says something among the lines of, “Great job finishing First Website Using HTML and CSS! Now get started on Advanced CSS Selectors.” These messages effectively encourage me to continue with Codecademy lessons and give me the sense that, by using their website, I’m receiving a valuable experience. The time intervals at which Codecademy sends emails are based upon my usage, which means that the more involved I am, the more information I receive.
Before I begin my analysis of Amazon’s drip campaign, let me admit that I have a little bit of a love-hate relationship with my Amazon emails. I get so many of them that it drives me crazy, but I realize that it’s a testament to how often I use Amazon and how many of their features I’m signed up for: I have a buyer account, seller account, MYHABIT, the list goes on.
Amazon sends me emails at both regular time intervals and based on my usage. For example, I receive Local Deals daily containing discounts for nearby stores that Amazon, somehow, knows I’m interested in. In addition to those, if I have been searching the website for computers more frequently, Amazon will send me recommendations for listings related to my search. And, of course, if I buy or sell an item, I receive standard “online order” emails.
What largely sets a drip campaign apart from an ordinary email campaign is timing. Both Codecademy and Amazon truly tailored their time intervals to best achieve their goal results. The purpose of Codecademy’s emails is to motivate recipients to learn coding on their website. Online learning is something that people do at very specific, self-determined times, which means that using regular time intervals make less sense. Instead, Codecademy emails as users complete courses, rewarding and encouraging further progress. Amazon sends emails with different intent: they want to sell discounted items. With the sheer amount of products and services available, users need to regularly be informed of offers even when they don’t have a particular search query in mind. Daily emails targeted based on location and interests serve this purpose. When Amazon notices that users are making specific searches, they know you are know you are actively looking to make a purchase in a given category. Amazon capitalizes upon this knowledge by sending emails with related offers, thus basing their messages off of usage as well.
Tips for your drip campaign
- Keep your purpose in mind in order to choose the appropriate time interval.
- If you’re sending emails every time your users click a button, then it isn’t drip marketing by principle. Drip marketing requires a great deal of thoughtfulness about which actions elicit an email.
- Segment and target your campaigns based on your audiences. If a recipient speaks Spanish, then that is something you should accommodate in your messages.
- In order to build relationships and retain interest, personalize your emails. Use sales reps’ names, the customer’s name, customer interests, customer activity, et cetera.
- Create template for your campaign. This way, you don’t have to be bothered with thinking of new, unique designs for every message.
- Visit this link for “5 Fab Follow-Up (“Drip”) Campaign Ideas”.
Using a drip campaign creates the opportunity for you to automate and customize your startup’s emails at the same time. If you take the traditional route of personalization, writing individual emails is time consuming and laborious. On the other hand, automated general emails risk losing customer interest. With a drip campaign, you can automatically tailor content to individual recipients based on their needs, which is a valuable middle ground.