21 Proven Drip Campaign Tips for Email Marketing

Drip campaign work involves sending a series of emails to your list automatically, and to a set schedule.

With drip campaigns, the schedule of emails is usually triggered by an action a person takes. If someone subscribes to your blog, for example. Or if someone downloads an eBook.

How to start a drip campaign

I’ve been creating email marketing drip campaigns for a while now. I know how they work. Like most things in digital marketing, these campaigns rely upon the coming together of lots of different elements.

Here are some tips that will ensure your drip campaigns hit the mark, every time.

Tip 1: Get the frequency right

If you have a click-through rate of 2-5% (or higher), you’re hitting the sweet spot. Well done. If you’re not getting these results, it could be because:

  • You’re cranking out emails at too high a rate. People are simply receiving too much in their inbox from you. Slow it down
  • You’re sending out emails too infrequently. They don’t hear from you enough to feel engaged in what you’re saying
  • Your email content isn’t resonating with your recipients. There is no value

Experiment with rectifying these issues until the click-through rate increases.

Tip 2: Test the subject line

The subject lines for drip campaign emails are all part of the storytelling. Test out subject lines every single step of the way.

There’s a fantastic tool by CoSchedule that allows you to test out subject lines, for free.

Tip 3: Make the email campaign personal

Include the recipient’s name in the email. Sound’s obvious, but it is all part of you engaging them and making them feel like the most important person in the world.

Tip 4: Use power words

See the title of this post? It has a power word in it. Words like ‘proven’ have an impact on readers.

Use power words to get those emails opened. Check out these:

100+ Words That Increase Opens

Thanks to CoSchedule for this list.

Tip 5: Make email marketing mobile friendly

Whichever email marketing platform you use, make your drip emails ready for mobile.

Well over 70% of emails are now read on mobile devices.

Tip 6: Send test emails

With drip email marketing, you’re sending multiple emails over time. If they don’t look right then your brand just looks unprofessional.

Send them to yourself. Most email platforms allow you to send the entire sequence to yourself before you send it to your list. It’s a good way to make sure you haven’t included spelling errors, or got the recipient’s name wrong.

Tip 7: Never, ever use all-caps in subject lines

Avoid all-caps in your subject lines. This makes you look a little cheap, to be honest. You’re aiming to build trust and gain engagement with people who you expect to read through a number of emails. Shouting at them with text will just turn them off.

Tip 8: Keep sentences short

Emails should never be long anyway, but a really useful tip is to focus on creating sentences that are no more than 25 words long. This is the maximum length before readers decide they would rather watch paint dry.

Tip 9: Offer (real) value

In my experience with drip email marketing, offering value at every step of the campaign is the only way to go.

What this means is ensuring that the recipient feels like they gain something every time they read an email in the campaign. With my drip email marketing, I always include one of the below in each email:

  • A link to a high-value blog post that solves a problem for the recipient
  • A link to a free eBook that helps them with their pain points
  • An infographic
  • A ‘cheat sheet’ helping them get to grips with an issue

They get value every time, and that’s how it works.

Tip 10: Use fresh visuals in your email drip campaigns

Your customers and prospects will likely have seen your emails before. To understand that this drip marketing campaign is worth paying attention to, they’ll need to see something new.

I’ve even seen brands use emails that have no visuals, simply because all their other emails had eye-popping imagery. It’s all about doing something different. Give the drip campaign a different look and the audience will stick with it.

Tip 11: Write short paragraphs

Your audience will still want to skim the email, so help them do just that. Each paragraph should have no more than three sentences in it.

Tip 12: Send emails at the right time

This is all about knowing your audience, but with drip marketing you need to know when the best time to send the emails is.

The infographic below is a rough guide, but use your email platform to understand when your audience is most receptive.

Thanks to CoSchedule

Tip 13: Send from a real person

Your emails should be sent by a real person. This cannot be stressed enough. If you just use the company name, you appear cold and faceless. Exactly what you don’t want to look like during a drip campaign.

Tip 14: Monitor the email campaign as it runs

Believe it or not, some brands and companies send out emails as part of a drip marketing campaign and then just ‘wait for the conversions’.

This is not how it works.

Anything can happen. It’s in your best interests to monitor every single email after it goes out. Check for open rates and clicks to make sure the emails are working as the campaign is live.

You could miss a disastrous open rate that you might be able to fix before it’s too late.

Tip 15: Clean your list

Run through your email list before you start a campaign to make sure you aren’t sending the emails to recipients who haven’t opened your emails for a while. This will prevent an adverse impact on your open rates.

Tip 16: Know your goal with email marketing

You must have a campaign goal before you create a drip marketing run. Do you need to have recipients go to a particular page on your site? Or are you selling a course?

Knowing what your outcome is meant to be will allow you to have a general theme and tone for the emails in the campaign. It makes writing the emails a whole lot easier.

Tip 17: Use clear CTAs

A call-to-action (CTA) should be there in every email during the sequence.

Tie the CTA to the value I talked about in Tip 9 and you will have compelling emails that get results. If you don’t ask people to do something they won’t do it. You have to guide them.

Tip 18: Work to a plan with email campaigns

Always plan out the campaign before you get started. At the very least, cover the following points before planning to ensure you have a successful run:

  • What order will you send your emails in?
  • Is there a match between your triggers and your message?
  • Analyse your success criteria (what numbers are you going to track)
  • Identify your audience and why they matter
  • Identify your campaign’s goal

Tip 19: Be clear, and short

A good rule of thumb is to be as clear and direct as possible in your emails for the campaign, whilst also being as brief as you can.

Never go over 275 words.

Tip 20: Keep the campaigns

Don’t delete them after a run. Instead, keep the campaigns so that you can alter them a little for another audience.

I’m always amazed at how many clients I work with who have previously thrown away their campaign materials because ‘it was done’.

You can reuse them. you may have to tweak them but they are valuable assets, plain and simple.

Tip 21: Hire a copywriter for email marketing

This is probably the best tip you could have. Basically, use a trained copywriter when creating email drip campaigns.

A trained copywriter creates campaigns for businesses and those campaigns convert. It’s as simple as that. The copywriter will know how to use the right words in the right sequence. Copy writing is a science.

The best copywriters make 6-figure salaries because they make money for businesses.

if you do not hire a copywriter, you don’t have the knowledge, experience and objectivity required to make sales through email.

This is the point where I mention that I am a trained copywriter (you can hire me here).

Getting email marketing drip campaigns right should not be left to chance. Neither should email marketing in general. If you want the best people behind you, try Aweber. There’s a reason why it’s one of the biggest email marketing service providers in the world.

Email Marketing for Business: The Ultimate Guide (Part One)

This is the first part of our Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing for Business.

A lot is going to be covered. We’re going to start off with a simple question.

Why email marketing?

The most compelling reasons you should make email marketing one of your priorities are:

Fully 99% of consumers email is checked out on a daily basis. It’s very much the most popular communication channel between brand and consumer. It’s still trusted and used by millions of people.

In fact there are 4 billion plus email users daily (HubSpot).

You have ownership. It’s important to remember that you own your email list. No one else does. You might have a huge list of Followers on Twitter but imagine if Twitter changed it’s algorithm tonight and you lost 10% of your Followers. How about 20%?

It converts. And like nothing else. The average open rate for emails across all industries is an incredible 19.8%. (Constant Contact, 2021). That makes it one of the very best ways to drive revenue.

With thanks to Adam Solomon via Unsplash

It has a wider reach than social

Everyone who is online has their own email address. That’s just the way it is. They also have a high level of control over their email address. It feels safer.

Compare this with social media, where there have been more data breaches than we can count over the last three years or so, and you can understand why more emails get opened and read than social media posts. People are just a little more wary of social now, and email feels…trustworthy.

It brings the biggest ROI too

We thought we’d get perhaps the most important reason why you should use email marketing for business right here at the end. Marketers keep finding that email simply returns the most money against any investment.

In fact, for every $1 spent on email marketing, the ROI is $38 (Campaign Monitor).

In our next post in this guide, we will look at how to build an email list.


The 16 Golden Rules Of Email Marketing

Just starting out with email marketing? Do you need a guide to email marketing? Check out the following tips to gain more opens, clicks and conversions.

Do not buy email addresses

While it is easy to buy email lists, the people on the list didn’t choose to receive email from your company. Plus, these lists are often full of invalid email addresses and spam traps, both of which will help trigger spam filters.

Do not send spam

Spam is an abuse of other people’s privacy by sending unwanted advertising or promotions via email without any request for permission. It carries legal consequences as well as being a serious violation of your ISP’s Terms & Conditions.

Send emails that are relevant to your customers’ interests

Keep track of what topics they’re interested in by asking them questions about their latest purchases or other interests throughout your communications with them, then developing themed newsletters around those topics to create interest among subscribers who may want more information on this topic.

Make sure you e-mail only to those who want to hear from you

It’s bad e-mail etiquette to send email newsletters or announcements to people who haven’t asked for them, even if they are your best customers.

If you must include promotional information in an email that is sent to all of your customers ask for permission first . Some companies offer incentives like discounts, free samples or coupons for taking part in surveys and consumer panels.

Be sure the subject line of your email message is relevant and non-spammy

This will ensure that the customer opens the message, rather than marking it as spam.

Don’t make unsubscribing difficult

Remember the last time you wanted to unsubscribe from an email and it was a headache? Make sure your unsubscribe link is easy to find and click on.

Include a personal touch

Personalize your email by including your customer’s first name or using the company name they made their purchase under. Sending emails that are ‘pre-drafted’ without any customization can be off putting and repetitive for customers, as opposed to personalized messages which show you care about individual preferences.

If you use images in your email give them descriptive alt tags

If text within the image is important to understanding the message of the mailer, this will make it easier for those who have graphics turned off from being able to understand what they’re missing out on by not reading your email .

Make sure your emails are sent from a real person

A statement or even a brief biography on your company’s website that introduces the person sending the email can be helpful, but avoid having someone write emails in their own voice. If you are using an autoresponder why not have it say something like ‘Hello, I’m Jane Smith, Marketing Director of Company X and I am pleased to announce our latest product….’?

This helps your customers remember who you are and how they know you, which is especially important with online purchases where identifying branding is often less obvious. People tend to buy from brands rather than companies so make sure they know what brand they’re buying from at all times. A message that personalizes each email will help them feel more comfortable about future transactions .

Write email subject lines that are short and highly ‘clickable’

Make them concise and hard to ignore. Be creative, but do not overdo it. Many email services will display the subject line in all caps or bold font to draw extra attention. Personalization is key here, so use their name if you can.

Remember that most people receive dozens of emails per day and simply don’t have time to read everything on offer . Be direct about what your message contains and how it relates to them, i.e., include a relevant link with succinct copy on why they should click through. If your copy is too long they won’t read it; if the reason for clicking isn’t immediately obvious, they probably won’t bother clicking either!

Don’t ask people to sign up for email updates if you’re not going to deliver anything substantial

You should always be concentrating on giving all subscribers a ton of value with email marketing. If you are giving away good stuff to people who have subscribed, they will trust you more and are more likely to go on to purchase one of your products or services at some point in the future.

Remember that email marketing is a numbers game

You can’t expect every email you send to be read by everyone who receives it, but if you have good content then many of those who do read it will click through and hopefully subscribe to future updates too.

Keep messages brief

If possible stick to just a few lines at most in order to avoid coming across as being long-winded. There’s no need to write a novel when something short will suffice just as well.

Include some great images related to the content that you are sending out

Don’t overload people with photos though — just pick a couple that will capture attention and illustrate your point perfectly. You might want to use pictures of yourself in your email marketing so they can see who you are, which helps them trust your words more!

Include a clear call to action (CTA)

Make it as easy as possible for people to do what you want them to do — whether it’s joining your mailing list, clicking through to a particular page on your site or making a purchase of one of your products — then tell them exactly what you’d like them to do in the e-mail itself. This is easier said than done — especially when dealing with creative types — but keep thinking about this from the user’s perspective and you should find that it becomes a lot easier.

Include one call-to-action per email

Don’t go overboard by giving subscribers too many options. This is one of the quickest ways to lose their interest in your business, because it makes you seem unprofessional and unsure about what you’re doing.