Gini Dietrich

Seven Step Process to Email Drip Campaign Success

By: Gini Dietrich | September 15, 2016 | 
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Email Drip CampaignLast week, at Content Marketing World, I did a breakout session on email drip campaigns.

Email newsletters are a great way to communicate with your clients and prospects, but there is one tiny flaw: New subscribers only see your new emails.

They never see the first emails you sent to your list and, therefore, don’t have the same context for your new content as the subscribers who came before them.

Because of that, and because I had only 40 minutes (it goes by so freaking fast!), I outlined the 15 types of email drip campaigns, but we focused on new subscribers (for the reasons listed above) and on online courses and educational.

A great email drip campaign not only levels the playing field for all of your subscribers but compels them to action.

And that is what we want. We want to compel our subscribers to action.

A Quick Story

Let me tell you a quick story.

Last March, Danny Iny called and said he was going to be in Chicago and invited me to have lunch with his mastermind group, who was meeting in person.

I will be honest: I didn’t want to go.

It was on a Saturday afternoon and I had just spent all week at Social Media Marketing World.

So the idea that I was going to spend another afternoon away from home wasn’t super exciting to me.

It’s always those types of trips or meetings that bring about big change. I didn’t want to go, but the three hours I spent with that group of people changed the way we’ll do business…forever.

I was supposed to be there to talk about PR and how these business owners could use it to build their brands.

Instead, it turned into me being on the hot seat for three hours, as they went around the room and asked me questions about why we didn’t compel our subscribers to action.

It was not fun. It was really uncomfortable. One person even got out of her chair and started banging her head on the wall. I felt like crying.

But they were right: We’d never motivated anyone to do anything, except read, comment, and share.

(Which is awesome, BTW, but those things don’t make payroll or pay the mortgage.)

You should see my notes from that meeting. I refer back to them often. And, it was in that meeting, that I decided we were going to do more than just email blog posts to subscribers.

15 Types of Email Drip Campaigns

While we’ve been doing true email drip campaigns for a year and a half, we have had significant success.

Spin Sucks, today, is our major revenue source—and we expect it to grow significantly in the next five years…and all of that success has come from our email drip campaigns.

Of course, all of the work we did in the eight and a half years before it has helped immensely—and so does the community (all of you)—but you don’t have to follow this exact path for email drip campaigns to be successful.

In fact, you don’t even need a blog (and, if I were starting today, I’m not sure blogging is the path I would take).

I mentioned there are 15 types of email drip campaigns. They include:

  1. Top-of-mind
  2. Educational
  3. Re-engagement
  4. Competitive
  5. Promotional
  6. Training
  7. Onboarding
  8. Courses
  9. Confirmation
  10. Renewals
  11. Recommendations
  12. Abandoned shopping carts
  13. New subscriber
  14. Lead nurturing
  15. Welcoming

Seven Step Process to Email Drip Campaign Success

Once you’ve decided upon which type of campaign you want to do from the list above, we have a simple seven-step process for setting up your email drip campaign.

At a high level, the process is:

  1. Identify your target audience.
  2. Craft your message.
  3. Decide on the content to produce or repurpose.
  4. Plan your campaign(s).
  5. Figure out when to schedule (and this takes testing, if you’re just starting out).
  6. Stop futzing and being already.
  7. Evaluate and adjust.

To help you figure out what to do in each of the seven steps, you can download my slides on SlideShare.

Make sure you watch it in slideshow view because the animation and builds are super cool.

Email Templates and Swipe Copy

And, if you want email drip campaign templates and email swipe copy, we have created a pretty PDF for your use.

You can download it by clicking here.

If you have any questions or need any help, leave a comment, find us on the social networks, or send me an email.

Now get to work!

About Gini Dietrich


Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro.

  • I like “stop futzing.” Great info here.

    • I love that word, too!

    • Hitting send can feel like a huge leap— so important to “stop futzing” and get started already!

      The examples in the PDF, showing how to put a specific campaign type into action, are a super helpful swipe file addition.

      • Yes! I equate hitting “publish” on an email campaign to buying plane tickets. I’m always in a slightly panicked state for both. I have no idea why! LOL

    • Of course futzing can result in unplanned pregnancies.

      • and drips gone far awry ….

        • Laura Petrolino

          LOL!! Best comment thread award right here! All the Futz!

          • Corina Manea

            LOL!

      • You should know…

  • Once again Gini doesn’t hype with ridiculousness like her peers.

    Each business is different and different types will work for different ones. Try them and see what works.

    This carries over elsewhere . I get direct mail from companies I have club cards with like ACE and Petco and some I don’t like bed bath beyond with call to action coupons. Or checkout coupons at the market.

    Email is direct mail. Just virtual.

  • Great post, I sat in on a professional development event on email marketing put on by IABC/Toronto’s Professional Independent Communicators group and this is timely follow up reading.

  • Thank you Gini for a great post and a swipe file that can be implemented immediately!

  • I’ve been following Spin Sucks on my rss feed for a little while, I’m not sure how I found you, but I’m so happy I did. I appreciate what you share, especially content like this since I’m building my business. I love writing my newsletter and, of course, there will be new subscribers so I want to onboard in the best way. I currently use Mailchimp, but have signed up for a one month Convert Kit trial, so far it seems a bit more intuitive, but the jury is still out.
    Thanks!
    p.s. I look forward to Gin & Topics every Friday, good stuff!

    • I really like ConvertKit and, if you eventually sell online, it works really well with Samcart (the EASIEST shopping cart ever). I’d be interested to hear what you think about it after your trial ends.

  • How do I love this post? Let me count the ways. Spot on! I wish more companies would use email drip campaigns in their onboarding – not enough do, which is part of the problem they have in their retention, CX and advocacy efforts.

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