7 Steps To A High Converting Email Drip Campaign

September 6, 2015

7 steps to a high converting email drip campaign (article)

The promise of the internet has always been a business that reaches a lot of people cheaply, and makes money while you sleep. Many a business owner will refer to their website as an employee that works 24/7, never complains, and never takes a day off.

The problem is that without an effective email drip campaign and the proper on ramp to enter it your website requires a human standing by to be truly effective. Even the greatest website is half the battle for most businesses. When someone opts in on your website they have taken a first step. The ball is now in your court to make the next move. To effectively nurture you visitors to customers you need to:

  • Promptly deliver a quick win to get the prospect’s attention
  • Make them aware of the larger problem they have
  • Present the solution (your product or service)
  • Offer to exchange their money for your solution (ask for the sale!)

In a modern business this is handled through some well crafted emails assembled as an autoresponder or drip campaign. The next 7 steps will outline how to set this up for your business.

7 Steps To Set Up Your Email Drip Campaign

1. Determine Your LeadMagnet

Step 1: Determine Your Lead Magnet

The first thing you need is a compelling reason for your visitor to opt in to your list and listen to what you have to say. It’s time to buy their attention. The absolute best way to do this is by giving them a quick win that relates to your product or service. A few examples are:

  • A resource guide (5 tools I use to solve ____ problem)
  • A free design template
  • A free training video

(Need more ideas? Check out this article.)

The key is that the visitor can get the value within 5 minutes. It should also help them to use your product or service. If what you offer is a pie, your lead magnet would be a slice. The key is to not overthink this. You don’t need to put together a 100 page ebook to get someone’s email… In fact that ebook will actually convert much lower than a one page guide.

2. Create an Opt In Form

Step 2: Create An Opt In Form

The next piece of your email drip campaign is a way to opt in. Typically this is a landing page, a pop up offer form, or a form on your website. Landing pages and pop up forms can be easily made with a tool like LeadPages whereas on page forms can be set up with a tool like Rapidology if you are using a WordPress blog.

It’s worth noting that if you are using wordpress and rapidology this set up can be completely free! It is actually what I use on my blog.

Not only do these tools allow you to capture emails on your site, but you can integrate them easily with your email platform. Which brings me to the next step…

3. Integrate With A Modern Email Service Provider

Step 3: Integrate with a modern email provider

Once you have successfully convinced your visitor to part ways with their email address you have to send it somewhere to do the actual “dripping”. 😉 Here are a few choices and a few to avoid based on what you are trying to accomplish…

Great Low Cost Choices:

  • Active Campaign: Free trial, super scaleable, plans starting at $9 / month.
  • Autopilot HQ: A new player on the block with a solid feature set at $4 / month for 500 contacts paid annually.
  • ConvertKit: Used by greats like Pat Flynn this platform is perfect for a blogger who wants to send an email drip campaign. Pricing starts at $29/mo for 1,000 subscribers.

Stay Away From:

  • Mailchimp: For setting up drip campaigns their program is no longer free, it requires a double opt in, and they will ban you at a drop of a hat if too many people mark your email as Spam. It works, but there are better alternatives out there.
  • ConstantContact: Having actually tried to use this program it is like a terrible remnant of the 90’s.

I would also stay away from some of the bigger platforms at this point until you are ready to do some full on marketing automation.

4. Determine Your Goal

Step 4: Determine your goal

Before you start building out your drip campaign emails it’s important to start with the end in mind. What is the desired outcome for each of these emails? While it’s easy to say “sell more stuff”, think of the process. For the majority of businesses you cannot just buy their product or service on their website.

A more accurate goal might be “schedule a consultation”, or “start a free trial”.

Think of your email drip campaign as a conveyor belt moving prospects closer to a sale.

5. Create Your Drip Campaign Emails

Step 5: Create your drip campaign emails.

Now that you have your goal in mind, it’s time to create the path that will get them there! On this path the bricks are laid with targeted emails with clear calls to action. (View Some Examples Here) The best results typically come from shorter, to the point emails that call readers to action.

  • Keep the tone conversational
  • Always be adding value and helping
  • Have one single call to action per email (call us, reply to this email, schedule a consultation, etc)

While it is outside the scope of this article your subject line is absolutely crucial. If it doesn’t get their info they will never read your email. Check out this great article on writing an effective subject line.

6. Publish Your Campaign

Step 6: Publish your campaign

The moment of truth! It’s time to publish your campaign. Different programs have different terminology for what you are publishing (automation, autoresponder, drip campaign) but when you hit that button your creation will be live to the world.

Before you go live, here are a few things to double check:

  • Delays: Make sure that you have delays between your emails of at least a day. (I usually use 2 days as a default) – If you don’t have delays your emails will all basically send at once.
  • Days You Are Sending: If your product is being consumed by businesses make sure your emails are sending on weekdays ONLY. I suggest Tuesday – Thursday early in the morning or at lunch time. (You will want to test this)
  • General QA: Make sure you have actually sent a copy of each email to yourself and clicked every link to ensure they work.
    Default Copy: Finally make sure all default copy (Awesome Subject Line Goes Here) have been removed. Look everywhere!

Here is an example of how to set up a campaign in ActiveCampaign.

7. Analyze And Tweak To Perfection

Step 7: Analyze and Adjust

The vast majority of people stop once they publish their campaign… However you are really selling yourself short if you only do this. The final step to rolling out your email drip campaign is to monitor and adjust based on how your emails are performing in the real world.

Here are the KPI’s or key performance indicators you can control:

  • Open Rate: A measure of your subject line performance. If you don’t get this right nothing else matters. It literally measures how many people open the email. Shoot for at least 20%. Know however you can get MUCH higher than this.
  • Click Rate: Click rate measures the amount of people who click your email. There are two measurements (clicks / sent) and (clicks / open). You should watch clicks to emails sent and shoot for at least 5%. Clicks / open is misleading as you could have one person open your email and then click it for a click rate of 100%.
  • Unsubscribe Rate: Your unsubscribe rate is a measure of the amount of people who said they’ve had enough and never want to hear from you again. While I wouldn’t obsess over losing people (you always will) if this gets too high (> 3%) you will want to dig in and find out why.
  • Spam Rate (Or Complaints): You always want to keep this as low as possible. It is people who feel like they have been wrongly targeted for your emails. Think “Why am I getting this?!?” and that properly describes it. Shoot for zero.

Starting with your subject lines switch them out and try to increase your metrics. Keep a record of you progress in Excel or a Google Sheet.

How To Take Your Drip Campaign To The Next Level

Once you have your campaign optimized I encourage you to leverage it by running paid media (Google Ads, Facebook Ads) to your landing page. Your finely tuned drip campaign will do the rest! At the end of the day you will know that $1 = $5 out. In another post I will go through some best practices for running paid advertising for small businesses… So if you don’t want to miss it, subscribe below. 🙂

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