The Genius of a Drip Campaign

Written by: 
Molly Niemczyk

Imagine you’re shopping for a new bike online. After hours of searching, you come across the perfect product and begin the checkout process. Before you make your purchase, however, you’re invited to sign up for a mailing list. You decide to subscribe, and immediately, an email pops up in your inbox welcoming you to the site. The next day, a message detailing a brief history of the business comes in. A week later, a coupon code arrives, one that’s specifically for new shoppers. This is the genius of a drip campaign.

What, Exactly, is a Drip Campaign?

A drip campaign, otherwise known as an automated email campaign, is a marketing strategy that sends automated messages to subscribers over time. These types of campaigns are ideal for e-commerce businesses looking to provide their customers with the most relevant content in their emails or other forms of communication, because the emails are meant to be specific to each individual customer’s journey. Rather than send out a mass email to every subscriber, which may or may not even be relevant to most of them, you can send specific emails to specific people within the customized lists and funnels that you create.

Funnels are essentially the way we lay out a drip campaign. You start out by emailing a group of people, and the actions they take once that email is sent can help determine where in the funnel they wind up next. This process repeats until they complete the journey or otherwise exit the funnel. Let’s look at an example.

How It Works

Say you want to encourage shoppers who have abandoned items in a cart to come back and complete their purchases. You can create a drip campaign that works to encourage these people to complete the checkout process. For example, you might schedule an email to send one hour after a checkout process is started (but not completed), reminding them to return to their cart. If they do, the next email will be one thanking them for their purchase. If they don’t, you can schedule another email to send a day later, offering free shipping.

Why a Drip Campaign

These types of email campaigns are great for building trust and rapport with your audience. Customers almost always prefer more individualized content, and are less likely to mark it as spam than a generic email that’s sent to everyone. These emails are meant to encourage a customer to take an action specific to their buying journey, which is why certain assumptions are made based on their behaviors to make the emails most relevant to them. Going back to the abandoned cart scenario, we can assume that people who have abandoned their carts like our products, and are at least considering a purchase. The emails should reflect this, and should not be sent to people who have not yet shown interest in a specific product or products.

When done properly, drip campaigns get results. In fact, companies have seen huge increases in sales and email CTRs after establishing successful drip campaigns.

Setting Up a Drip Campaign Funnel

There are a number of factors to consider when establishing a new campaign. First, you need to understand what your objectives are. Are you trying to increase sales by a certain percentage? Decrease cart abandonment? Whatever the case, it’s important that you quantify this goal: What percentage, dollar amount, or other numerical value will indicate that your objective was a success?

Once your objectives are defined, you’ll need to create a funnel that is meant to meet your objective(s). Figure out which actions you want customers to take, and what kind of message you’d like to send them at each step of the process. 

Next, the emails must be drafted. Make them engaging, exciting, succinct, and informative, and consider adding their name to the subject line to get their attention. When you’re ready, launch the campaign!

The work doesn’t stop when the emails start sending. It’s important that you review statistics involving open rates and how often your emails are marked as spam. If you notice that a particular email in the funnel has an abysmal click-through rate, it might be time to consider redrafting the email, or creating an A/B test to see which of two variations performs the best.

Final Thoughts

Welcome emails, coupon codes, purchase confirmations… all these and more can be included in a drip campaign, which is a vital part of the marketing efforts of any e-commerce business. Klaviyo is a powerful email marketing platform that helps to set up these user flows and more, allowing you to reach your customers at the best times with the most relevant content.

Relevance Advisors is a Klaviyo Partner. Contact us if you are interested in setting up a test.

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