How to Nurture your Customers with Email Drip Campaigns
Permission-based email marketing is all about finding and engaging those patrons who have sought out your organization and want to receive information from you. When somebody chooses to subscribe to your email list, they have certain expectations about the information that they will ultimately get.
In general, e-subscribers are looking for:
- Content that is relevant to the list they subscribed to
- Emails that are easy-to-read
- Information that is sent on a regular, consistent schedule
- A sense of community or belonging with your organization
When someone subscribes to your email list, the initial welcome email to them should touch on how your email program will deliver on these general expectations. Very often a subscription acknowledgment email just says, “Thank you for subscribing to our e-news list. You will receive the next edition of our newsletter soon.” Sure, it lets them know that their request was received but it’s not hard to go just a little farther. A few more bullet points or some images in your email will go a long way in managing expectations and building your new subscriber’s enthusiasm for connecting with your organization.
We recommend expanding the content of your initial “Welcome” email with some additional information to show your commitment to meeting your subscribers’ expectations.
For example, here’s some information to consider including in your welcome email when someone subscribes to your newsletter list:
- Tell them about your newsletter – the kind of content it contains, how often it’s sent, etc.
- Show them a sample image of a past issue so they know what it looks like
- Let them know if you’ll be sending them any informational newsletters or promotional offers in the future
- Give them links to connect with your organization through other channels such as your website, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
- Have the email come from a prominent person within your organization to make it a more personal welcome
First impressions are important so using a simple triggered welcome email is the perfect opportunity to get new contacts engaged right from the start. We typically see open rates on basic triggered welcome emails that are much higher than normal open rates.
Designing a “Drip Campaign”
Welcoming a new contact to your list doesn’t necessarily have to stop at one triggered email on the day they subscribe. Savvy email marketers in a variety of industries are using automated “drip campaigns” to reach out to new contacts several times over the course of days or even weeks. The basic idea behind a drip campaign is to send out three to five short, succinct emails over some period of time. This slow “drip of information” is designed to educate your new e-subscribers and promote the most important aspects of your organization and what you have to offer. By keeping this series of introductory emails short and to the point, your readers are able to absorb more information over time, more likely to retain your marketing messages, and more likely to take the actions you’re looking for.
Here are some examples for you to follow to design a drip campaign for new e-subscribers…
Email #1: Welcome & Thank You
Within in minutes of subscribing to a list, confirm their new subscription with a cordial introduction and some background information that clarifies what they can expect by subscribing to your list. Again, take the time to make this first email feel a little less automated and a little more personal.
Email #2: Build a Sense of Belonging
One or two days later, send out an email that highlights the things that your organization does to help patrons feel welcome when they come to performances, visit, volunteer, or provide other forms of support. Tell the short and compelling story about why your organization is important to your patrons and to the community.
Email #3: Promote Your Services and Programs
A day or two later, look to educate your new contacts about the variety of things that your organization provides its patrons. Highlight the services, programs, or memberships that you offer and the benefits associated with them. Make mention of any special partnerships or arrangements you might have with other businesses or organizations in your community.
Email #4: Offer Up Inside Information
A couple days later, let your new contact in on a little secret. We all love to be in the loop – to know what’s going on with the things that interest us. If your organization has a program that allows patrons a “peek behind the scenes” or a special “insider” newsletter, let your new contacts know how to take advantage of it. Linking to human interest stories or special biographies will always generate clicks and make people feel like they’re part of being in the know.
Email #5: Special Promotion for New E-Subscribers
Finish up your drip campaign with a special offer or a promotion. Let them know how much you appreciate them tuning in to your messages and taking the time to discover your organization. Give them another reason to take action – to purchase a ticket, to donate, to volunteer, to become engaged with your organization.
Again, this is just one simple example to illustrate how drip campaigns can work. Feel free to adapt the concept to what’s right for your organization and your e-marketing strategy. Once you’ve planned and designed the details of your drip campaign, it’s just a matter of setting them up as triggered emails in your Marketing 4 Abundance marketing automation software. Schedule the triggers to run on the desired time intervals, create the content, and turn them on. That’s it. They are truly a low maintenance way to get messages out efficiently and effectively.
Then in due time, you can use the completed campaign performance reporting to evaluate how your new contacts are responding with opens, click-thrus, purchases, and other actions. It all adds up to a great start for new people who are interested in your organization and gives you tons of insight into how well you’re reaching these valuable patrons.