How To Plan an Email Drip for Your Small Business


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Email marketing is an incredibly effective form of marketing for businesses in both the business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) industries. HubSpot has found that companies that use segmented campaigns can experience a 760% increase in overall revenue.

With more than 64% of small businesses using email marketing to reach their targeted demographic, it’s more important than ever to remain competitive and create your unique brand voice and outreach process via email marketing campaigns.

Today, we’re discussing the benefits of a strategic email drip campaign, the planning process of a drip campaign, and examples of successful campaigns that have boosted return on investment (ROI) for some of America’s largest businesses.

Key takeaways: 

  • Plan and execute a successful email drip campaign for small businesses
  • Know and take full advantage of the benefits of a small business email drip campaign
  • Learn via case studies from top leaders in the industry and implement their similar techniques

What Is an Email Drip Campaign?

Email drip campaigns are a marketing technique used by small and large businesses alike to drive traffic, engagement, and sales. These campaigns are set on an automated basis, “dripping” out to consumers over set segments of time. They’re also often segmented and sent based on demographic information, customer phase, and other relevant factors.

How Do Email Drip Campaigns Work?

To operate an email drip campaign, businesses rely on automation and customer relationship management (CRM) tools to create seamless and efficient means for customer outreach and nurturing. You’ll need a robust email marketing service framework to run a strong drip campaign. Once a contact record has been tagged as a specific value type in the CRM, you can create a drip campaign easily designed to meet that value type’s needs and your overall marketing goals for that particular demographic.

What Are the Benefits of an Email Drip Campaign for Small Businesses?

There are several benefits of drip email campaigns that you can enjoy as a small or midsized business (SMB). We’ve listed the top three below.

Customer Engagement on an Automated Basis

Customer engagement is key to growing and maintaining your flow of business. Today’s landscape has become competitive with new ways to give customers immersive and gamified experiences, forcing businesses to remain innovative and flexible in their consumer engagement methods. For many companies, this has meant additional reliance on automation and tools, such as email drip campaigns.

Thanks to the comprehensive email marketing tools and services available, many businesses can build and execute targeted email drip campaigns seamlessly in a fraction of the time. These tools are often low or no-code, leaving you with a flawless user interface (UI) and less opportunity for customer-facing error.

Often, you’ll be able to take advantage of additional opportunities to integrate customer bonuses or other types of engagement as you refine your marketing technique for a specific demographic further.

Increased Brand Awareness and Perception

There are two primary critical facets of marketing that influence your customer engagement and retention rates: Brand awareness and brand perception. You can strategize your drip campaigns to amplify your small business’ mission, voice, and overall branding. This type of marketing can bring you a massive ROI thanks to the recognition that you can receive from consistent, automated engagement opportunities.

You can also create drip campaigns for cold leads and boost your brand awareness in that category as well. Awareness directly feeds overall brand perception, which is vital to maintaining high retention rates over more extended periods. Email marketing is a powerful tool, using every email as an opportunity to strategically connect with your ideal audience in a way that they’ll resonate with.

Boosted Revenue With Strategically Designed Email Campaigns

The business world moves at the speed of light — and e-commerce is no different. Customers may get busy and forget the key steps of the onboarding or signup process. They may also leave your products in the cart, presenting a barrier to purchase. With short, snappy, and compelling drip email campaigns, you can keep your business top of mind. Tonality is critical here, though. You’ll want to create emails that read less like nagging reminders and more like professional, on-brand conversations.

Emails are another opportunity to connect with your client or prospect at every point in the sales funnel. Using your emails as a strategic vehicle for brand voice and tone refinement provides endless benefits and a higher likelihood of genuine connection with your client or prospect.

How Do You Plan an Email Drip Campaign?

  1. Strategize with your team
  2. Map the anatomy of your email drip campaign
  3. Determine analysis and KPI structure

Successful email drip campaigns require a planning process that covers all of the significant points of the marketing funnel. Below are the steps that you can take to plan your business’s email drip campaigns.

1. Strategize With Your Team

Before you begin to lay out the necessary steps and anatomy of your automation or campaign, you need to strategize with your team and key stakeholders to determine the goals of your campaign.

Consider the impact of every single email in the campaign and what it may compel your prospect or customer to do. Identify core team needs and potential campaign risks. Discuss budgeting and requirements.

Finally, determine what key performance indicators (KPIs) you need to see to deem your campaign a success. This can help you replicate what “works” for the next campaign and eliminate any inefficiencies in your process.

2. Map the Anatomy of Your Email Drip Campaign

The anatomy of your small business email drip campaign will look different depending on the type of campaign that you need, and the goal that it serves. Since these are dripped over time, there isn’t such a thing as “too many” or “too few” emails in a single campaign.

Constructing the drip framework will often require the assistance of your marketing team to help ensure that it’s as comprehensive as possible.

To avoid leaving any customer touchpoints unaddressed by your campaign, consider walking through the proposed drip structure as if you were a customer yourself, identifying any areas for improvement or clarification. You can also view the copy, tone, and design through fresh eyes and fully grasp what the customer experience will be like on the receiving end.

3. Determine Analysis and KPI Structure

Drip email campaigns aren’t just tools to engage and connect with customers. They’re also valuable tools to assess the type of presentation, messaging, and marketing that your clients resonate with.

Creating a KPI structure that will clearly outline the threshold of success as well as creating an after-launch analysis process, will help you to get the most out of your email drip campaign efforts.

Successful Email Drip Campaign Examples for Small Businesses

There is always room for improvement and refinement when it comes to creating your business’s email drip campaign framework. Below, we look at some highly effective drip campaigns from industry leaders and highlighting essential tips that you can include in your framework today.

1. Netflix

Netflix cancellation confirmation email.
Source: MooDrip

Netflix is a household name — and, as of late, has been dealing with churn rate issues from a recent price hike. It creates conversational copy to address the customer’s cancellation and offers them a straightforward way to sign back on.

The email is also transparent with the customer about its intention, taking the “sales-y” element out of the email and instantaneously gaining credibility. It’s short, sweet, and strategic — as every email should be.

It’s also being sent from a branded domain, which also helps identify the email as authentic rather than spam. This is always recommended to do for credibility.

2. HubSpot

Email template sample from HubSpot.
Source: HubSpot

This example from HubSpot shows the power of leading your emails with a value prop that instantly resonates with your demographic.

Your emails should always be focused on what your customer is gaining, whether it’s upfront in a proposition value statement or woven throughout the copy.

This email offers immense value with little to no risk, highlighting the importance of a strategic call-to-action (CTA).

The Next Steps To Help Your Business Thrive With Email Drip Campaigns

Are you looking to start a drip campaign for your small business? Find a robust email marketing service provider and ensure that it integrates with your CRM. After your platforms have been chosen, you can collaborate with team members and stakeholders more freely and effectively to select the direction of your email marketing strategy.

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