Drip Email Marketing Best Practices Demystified for Small Business Owners

You spend time and money generating leads, but not every lead is immediately ready to buy what you’re selling. To maximize sales and convert as many leads as possible you have to nurture your leads and you have to automate the process.

That’s where drip email marketing comes into play.


What is drip email marketing?


A drip email marketing campaign is a sequence of automated email messages set up to target a particular audience, at a specific stage of your sales cycle, with the precise objective to move the recipient to the next stage.

Drip email campaigns use behavioral emails that provide an opportunity to stay in touch with your prospects by feeding them the right information based on their demography or actions (hence the name behavioral emails).

The frequency of drip emails (the time gap between successive emails) can be pre-designated or should be triggered as a response to the actions leads take on the emails or website. Drips result in better conversions.


Why drip emails work better than traditional email?


If your business is using a one-size-fits-all ‘spray and pray’ approach to email marketing, you’re losing business. You have to tweak your messaging based on where a lead is in the sales cycle to keep leads engaged and on the path to conversion.

And that’s the idea behind drip email marketing, it’s designed to increase engagement and conversions by sorting your leads into different groups based on their sales stage, and then send each group a custom email sequence that nurtures them into the next stage of your sales pipeline.

Examples of drip emails

  • Top-of-mind/Educational Email Sequences
  • Limited-Time Promotions or Special Offer Email Series
  • Onboarding/Training Email Sequences
  • Re-Engagement Email Series

Drip emails do two things: increase engagement and boost conversion. There’s no better way for small businesses to stay engaged with their audiences than using drip emails for things like cart abandonment, trial renewals, booking abandonment, product recommendations, re-engagement, help in converting free audience to paid customers and cross-sell and up-sell.And the best part is you can automate the process.

The flow of the emails can be automated based on the action of the subscriber using triggers. For instance, you can set up a welcome email for everyone who signs up for your newsletter, blog, or product free trial. Then set up a series of white papers, videos, eBooks, product demos based on the interest levels of your subscribers.

Let’s take a look at some of the best practices for drip email marketing.


Drip email marketing best practices


1. Set up campaigns based on your business goals


Setting up a campaign requires you to first define your goals, which could be more subscribers, more free trial signups or more webinars participants.

Identifying the goal before setting up a campaign, helps to better nurture leads and measure campaign success. Tailor your campaigns to target segmented audience with precise and personal messages. The deeper your segmentation, the more personal your messages can be.

Key takeaway

Link your business goals to your drip email marketing efforts. What do you want your prospects to do after they receive your email? Do you want them to opt for free sign ups? Do you want to increase paid customers? Do you want more referrals from existing audience? Do you want more subscribers to the social platforms? Define goals and plan campaigns to achieve them.

Targeted drip email campaigns

2. Design audience specific campaigns


Understanding your audience is this key to segmenting groups within your drip email campaign. You want to segment your audience, based on their action or demography, before designing your campaigns.

This could include prospects who are new visitors to your website, customers who have purchased from you, subscribers of your newsletters and a lot more.

Example include:

  • Create a segment of new prospects who subscribed to your blog page and hit a welcome email.
  • Create a segment of audiences who made a recent purchase of your product by clicking on the Facebook advertisement and hit an email with purchase details/ product features/ product recommendations.
  • Create a segment of customers for product A, and send an email regarding the webinar of product A enhancements.
  • Create a segment of the audience who signed up for a service but never turned up, send a reminder email if they would want to reschedule an appointment with you.
  • Create a segment of subscribers who recently downloaded your application, send email on application features, customer support in case they need you.

Key takeaway

Sorte your subscribers or leads into groups based on where they are in your customer lifecycle. The better you understand who your audience is the more effectively you can tailor your messaging. Once you’ve segmented your audience, it’s time to set up the email flow for each group.


3. Measure the results of your campaign flow


Of course, drip email campaigns can be automated, but there are things to monitor and take manual action on. Revamping a segment and strategizing your efforts, based on the audience engagement with initial emails, is critical in setting up further steps. Consistently measure the click rates and open rates, and try to understand their effect on the ROI. You should continually tweak your emails based on engagement metrics, for example:

  • No open rates? Change the subject lines by including offers/coupons.
  • No click-throughs? Improve the content of email, design, and content of call-to-action, and layout of the email.
  • No conversion rates? Send more lead nurturing emails – videos/eBooks/white papers/product demos.
  • No engagement at all? Review campaign goals and re-segment your audience.

Key takeaway

Pay attention to the metrics you track and continually optimize your campaigns.


drip email automation


4.Utilize marketing automation for better drip emails


A good marketing automation tool (like Agile CRM) provides you with everything that you need to create powerful drip campaigns for an easy flow of leads through your sales pipeline.

When marketing automation is integrated with your CRM, it’s easy to segment the audience based on lead scores, referring demography and behavior.

You can configure and automate your entire drip email marketing campaign. This includes pulling your email list for each send, executing scheduled email sequences, scoring leads based on their actions, and passing them over to sales for follow up once they are qualified. You can also use pre-packaged templates to ensure your emails are always well-designed and professional.

Key takeaway

Using a CRM with built-in marketing automation gives you access to lead information and actions, social media connectors, and analytics that makes drip marketing campaigns easy execute.


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Editor’s Note: The article is part of the startup tools blog series Grow Your Business brought to you by the marketing team at UniTel Voice, the virtual phone system priced and designed for startups and small business owners.