A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Email Drip Campaigns

Oct 12, 2020 8:30:00 AM

By Cathy Cain-Blank

In a previous blog post, we discussed the benefits of B2B email drip campaigns. Now it’s time to get started with creating these campaigns!

If you've been under the impression that creating email drip campaigns is complicated — know that this isn't true. It does, however, require planning and creating all of the emails before you are able to use your campaign. 

To ensure an effective campaign, it’s important to know the steps involved in creating one and how to select the right tools for your needs.

5 Steps to Creating Email Drip Campaigns

1. Choose Your Target Audience

Email drip campaigns are all about reaching the right audiences with the right messages at the right time. You'll need to segment your contact list so your campaign is tailored to your audience. Examples of target audiences are: 

  • First-time customers
  • Blog subscribers
  • Free trial users
  • Ebook downloaders
  • Mobile app downloaders
  • Video viewers

2. Plan Your Campaign’s Objective

The second most critical step is deciding your email drip campaign’s goal. What do you want to achieve? Are you looking to keep your subscribers engaged or are you intending to generate sales? Other objectives of your email drip campaigns might be: 

  • Lead nurturing
  • Greeting/welcoming new clients
  • Onboarding new clients
  • Enhancing customer experience
  • Cross-selling or up-selling

3. Pick a Trigger

Triggers allow you to automatically send out emails when your subscribers perform a set of actions. You can trigger an email drip campaign when a subscriber:

  • Visits a particular page on your website
  • Clicks a link in an e-newsletter
  • Explores your products/services
  • Submits a form on your website
  • Signs up for your email list
  • Registers for a webinar
  • Makes a purchase

4. Create the Emails

Once you have selected your target audience, determined your campaign objective, and selected triggers, you can start working on the email content and workflow. Ensure the emails are concise, crisp, and engaging.  Make sure the content flows between one message and the next. Don't repeat the same message over and over or it will lead to unsubscribes. Avoid information overload. When defining the timing of the emails, set up intervals between emails that make sense for your objective. And don't overdo it! No one wants several emails in one week from a vendor or prospective vendor. 

5. Monitor the Performance and Optimize Per Your Requirements

Even though email drip campaigns are automated, you will still need to monitor their performance. It's a good idea to divide your audience into groups versus adding everyone to your drip campaign at the same time. With this approach, you can evaluate the response and interactions from the first group (opens, clicks, inquiries) and determine if you need to update email content and/or subject lines for subsequent groups.

The Best Tools for Creating Effective Email Drip Campaigns

Today there are countless email automation tools in the marketplace. We've used 6-7 over the years and currently use 3 on an ongoing basis. Be sure to consider ease of use and deliverability rate when choosing your platform — not just cost.

Below are several platforms you may wish to consider:  

HubSpot

HubSpot is an all-in-one sales, marketing and service tool. Options include automating the release of multi-step HTML email campaigns as well as text campaigns through the sales part of the platform. The CRM in HubSpot (included with all tools) captures opens, clicks, and bounces of all emails for comprehensive monitoring of your audience's activity. 

Constant Contact

Constant Contact offers an easy-to-use email editor (builder), including the automation part of the tool. You can set triggers based on when you add contacts to a list, including when website visitors sign up for your email list, and include as many emails in your campaign as you like. One of the pluses of Constant Contact is unlimited phone support. 

GetResponse

GetResponse’s autoresponder tool allows you to create email drip campaign workflows, assign date and time to emails, send action-based emails, and set a variety of triggers.

MailChimp 

MailChimp is also a popular tool for planning email drip campaigns. Recent updates include pre-built drip campaigns for greeting/welcoming customers, communicating after sales, and creating 100% customized email drip campaigns. One negative is that only Premium subscribers have access to phone support.  

Jumplead

Jumplead allows users to customize drip campaigns for subscribers at every stage. It’s a customer relationship management (CRM) software that identifies potential customers in real-time and uses the information to send drip emails. 

Customer.io

Customer.io sends drip emails based on real-time website analysis for useful results. The tool tracks the actions of your website visitors (triggers) and refers to your predefined email drip campaign workflow to release emails. It also enables users to communicate with subscribers using customized messages even after an email drip campaign has ended. 

For more email marketing platforms and details, as well as online reviews, visit G2.com.