In marketing, some communications are the product of logical next steps rather than sporadic decisions. Though there’s nothing wrong with spontaneity in your promotional efforts, sending a person an appropriate message at the correct time is a proven strategy for success.
Automated content means you’re creating a response to specific user actions, also known as a drip campaign. The marketing technique gets its name from the way content “drips” into the user’s inbox. While not always the case, drip campaigns are most common with email marketing.
Drip campaigns are so popular that they’ve become a broad topic unto themselves. The best way to see how successful drip campaigns work is to check out some of the greatest examples across industries.
The key to a great drip campaign is that it doesn’t necessarily feel like a drip campaign. While it may be an automated email sent out when a trigger is activated, it should feel like a personalized piece of content that was created just for the occasion. If a user thinks the content was written just for them (which, effectively, it was) they’ll be more likely to engage.
Source: Really Good Emails
When it comes to smart shopping, numbers are everything. How much are you saving? How big is that discount? If you buy multiple products together, do you come out ahead? Groupon’s drip campaign example stems from common user behavior. When people browse products on a site, they’re giving a direct indication of what they’re interested in.
What we love about it: This drip campaign opens up with the fact that users want to know more. How much would they save if they bought all those items they were recently considering? Sometimes the cumulative price tag of an order can make users think twice. The counterbalance to that is to show another cumulative number. In this case, it’s how much they would save.
To sweeten the deal, another coupon offer is provided as well. It could also be considered a backup plan. Just in case the user isn’t swayed by the savings of their original offer, they can get another discount. The classic drip campaign tactic helps companies capitalize on buyer interest by highlighting savings.
The takeaway: When your audience tell you what they want, you should capitalize. Even if they tell you indirectly, it is a perfect opportunity to reach out. The email doesn’t have to be overly extravagant. Just highlighting the savings offer is enough to get the point across.
The culinary industry needs positive feedback. If a restaurant gets any type of review, good or bad, it will travel quickly. Reputation is everything. When you’re talking about a great example of an automated email idea for restaurants, surveys are an easy choice. They provide a chance for feedback and show the customer their voice is appreciated.
What we love about it: This drip campaign message gets right to the point. One simple image and a small paragraph are all it takes to get the point across. The mood is set, the request is made, and the CTA is presented in a convenient button.
The best part? The email’s place in a drip campaign is clear. Let’s say a company gets a good review. What comes next? A thank you, and possibly a discount or other type of reward in exchange for completing the survey. What about if the review is negative? The next step would be compensatory or retention marketing, to try and make it up to the individual.
The takeaway: Drip campaigns are about logical steps. When you’re in the restaurant business, you need to maintain a great reputation. The opportunity for feedback is always a great occasion to reach out. It’s a good way to get to know your customers and learn how they feel about you.
Source: Really Good Emails
Charities, non-profits, and crowdfunding platforms all encompass the same feel. It’s about a collective effort, where every contribution is appreciated. The initial contribution is a great opportunity to send a message. This can start a drip campaign, or even function as a way to continue it if an offer to contribute was sent prior.
What we love about it: The email opens up with gratitude. When people pledge their support to a cause or project, it’s a big deal. Many organizations depend solely on these voluntary contributions. This type of input sustains the project, so every backer deserves special recognition. Since drip campaigns should always appear like a personal message, this one fits the mold perfectly.
There are details about the amount pledged and the rewards, as well as their estimated delivery date. The fine print about when the contributor will be charged is listed at the bottom. It ensures the bulk of the email is focused on the project, and more importantly, the person who contributed to it.
The takeaway: Even if an organization’s goal isn’t to turn a profit, monetary contributions should always be appreciated. There’s no better way to show this than with a personalized email. When a project is seeking contributions and receives them, it’s a perfect time to begin a campaign that can be followed up on regularly. As the project progresses, so can the campaign.
Source: Really Good Emails
The fitness industry isn’t just about getting in shape. It’s about getting healthy and working to achieve personal goals. Sometimes these goals are relevant to the individual. In other cases, they’re relevant to trends. Some trends have to do with the seasons. In this example, we see a campaign that’s triggered by the date. This makes it applicable to an entire list.
What we love about it: This email opens up with a strong image. The cartoon-style illustration provides a light mood, effectively relaxing the reader before offering them a unique challenge. Highlighting the slump in activity levels that typically occurs during the winter season, this email offers users the chance to boost their fitness routine. It gives them the opportunity to break the trend by urging them to work toward a collective goal.
The language is effective. Marketers know all about the use of power words. This email urges users to help break a trend. What’s more, it urges them to do it together, with others. The benefit here is that they can feel they are a part of something bigger. For the purpose of a great drip campaign, it sets them up for plenty of future emails. Progress reports for individuals and the collective are the next logical steps to follow.
The takeaway: The takeaway here is that fitness is a journey. Drip campaigns can follow along with this journey, by celebrating milestones and providing helpful tips along the way. Positive reinforcement and updates about how close the goal is are perfect for these types of email campaigns. It’s easy to make a series when there’s a goal in motion, so opening with one is a great way to set up a drip campaign.
Source: Really Good Emails
Colleges are used to having prospective students “shopping around.” Choosing an institution—or choosing to go to college at all—is a massive decision. It represents a person making a gigantic step forward in their life, and high school seniors are asked to make a very expensive decision.There’s plenty to worry about, including (especially) money. Email excels in the enrollment world in general, but can be particularly helpful when it comes to difficult topics.
What we love about it: This email capitalizes on a common concern prospective students (and their parents) may have. The cost of college is a hot topic. And the tuition price isn’t the only thing to worry about. There’s also general money management, which this email covers. It’s formatted well and reads like a business letter. Since the college is looking to display authority on this topic, the formal presentation works well.
The combination of a decent-sized header image ensures the text doesn’t look too overwhelming. Add in a neatly organized style with bullet points, and you have a great email design that covers many important sub-topics within the subject.
The takeaway: The academic industry is one where professionalism matters as much as any quality. This email provides a great collection of advice and has a formal look. While it may have been a response to an individual browsing the financial aid section of a college site, it could also function as an element of a much larger campaign. A campaign could be made featuring information like this on a wide variety of topics. Options include study tips, campus safety, life away from home, and making new friends.
As we can see, drip campaigns can take many forms. Emails can be part of these automated, triggered series and serve an important purpose. The benefit of such an approach is that you provide a more personal feel to readers. You also open them up to future emails.
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