What’s the first thing you do on your phone when you wake up? Is it email or social media? If you answered the email, you’re in good company.
58% of people check their email before anything else — even before social media. That’s 58% of eyeballs that could be right on your campaign from the wee hours of the day. If your email drip campaign is set up and designed correctly, of course. We’ll get to that in a minute.
Until then, allow me to remind you that, even if the email seems to be too old to be invited to the parties where cold marketers hang out, it’s still your best bet.
That is if you’re into things like up to 4-digit ROI and excellent results, of course. If not, feel free to ignore this article. If you are, don’t take my word for it. Check out what research has to say:
- For every $1 you invest in email marketing, you can get a $44 ROI.
- The over-achievers (18% of companies) get even more: $70 for every $1 spent on email marketing (stay with me, I’ll teach you how to join this select club).
- Email marketing brings 174% more conversions than social media.
- Automated emails generate 320%(!) more revenue than non-automated ones.
- Open rates for personalized emails are 188% compared to 12.1% for non-personalized emails.
So far, we know two things with certainty:
- Emails work
- Personalized and automated email works EVEN better.
Now that we know that email works like a charm, let’s uncover the secrets of email drip campaigns.
What Is an Email Drip Campaign?
An email drip campaign is a series of relevant, automated emails sent at specific times and triggered by a user’s behavior. You can find it under other names as well, such as drip marketing, drip auto-responder, automated email marketing, and more.
Due to their relevance and timeliness, drip campaigns are some of the highest-converting campaigns you can create.
The goal of drip campaigns is to re-engage dormant users, to remind them to take an action, to nurture leads, and many others. You could say that the sky is the limit. Got something to sell? The most affordable way to do it is with a drip campaign.
How Does a Drip Campaign Work?
I said above that a drip campaign has to be triggered by a certain type of behavior. For example, if someone subscribes to your newsletter, they will receive a series of 1-3 emails that welcome them to your list and maybe show them the most popular items in your store or blog posts.
If a user adds a product to the cart but abandons it, an email drip will remind them of that product. If the first email is successful, the drip stops. If not, the second email in the series might offer them a discount.
You can set up drip campaigns in pretty much any email marketing automation platform out there. The key is to find the right time to send them and a good reason to do so.
You can set up dozens of types of drip campaigns but as always, moderation is key. Spam your users with 10 emails a day and they will leave your list faster than you can say “drip”.
However, if done right, drip campaigns bring huge benefits (remember the list of statistics above?).
Let’s see what those benefits might be.
Top Benefits of Email Drip Campaigns
If you’re anything like me, you preface every marketing decision with several “whys?” Why should I try a new technique? Why does it work? Why should I spend time and money on that?
Or, my personal favorite (and a question I encourage you to ask as often as possible):
Now that you asked, a few of the benefits of drip campaigns are:
- Boost brand recognition — regular campaigns will keep your brand in consumers’ minds.
- Bring back users that may have switched to other eCommerce companies or simply forgotten about you. (I know, it’s sad, but it happens no matter how memorable and savvies a brand may be!).
- Boost customer loyalty. You remind them to shop with you and, if you incentivize them right, they can also take the small step between a loyal customer and brand ambassador.
- You position yourself as an industry leader if you regularly provide quality content via email.
- Drip campaigns make it super easy to promote new products and new collections or lines of products.
- Gather customer feedback easily.
OK, I’ve beaten around the bush for long enough. Are you still with me? Good!
10 Types of Drip Campaigns to Boost eCommerce Revenue
Just like social media campaigns or print ad campaigns, there can be an unlimited number of variations of drip campaigns. Some are great for B2B and some are great for eCommerce.
We are going to talk about the latter today.
Why 10? Because “if at first, you don’t succeed, try, try again”.
Joke aside, eCommerce shopper’s attention is SO in demand that one email is not going to cut it. Luckily, you can automate like mad when it comes to drip campaigns, so you don’t have to worry about spending hours on them.
1. Welcome Emails
Naturally, we’ll start at the top. Welcome emails are usually triggered when someone subscribes to your newsletter or has just purchased something and they checked the “subscribe to X category of news box” that I hope you have right there on your checkout page (especially the guest checkout page).
According to our friends at Constant Contact, users who receive a welcome email series are 33% more likely to keep engaging with the brand than users who receive nothing when they first subscribe to a newsletter.
A welcome series can be short, but we don’t recommend a single email. Sending at least two of them will give you a 13% higher engagement rate and that’s nothing to snark at.
Obviously, the first email should welcome them to your list. Keep it short, but include:
- A thank you for subscribing note.
- Some general information about your shop.
Example: Welcome to DogsRUs, where you’ll find everything your furry friend needs, from organic food to paw cleaners.
For the next emails in the series, you can include:
- A discount coupon for the customer’s next purchase.
- Information about any loyalty or referral programs you have.
- Anything that makes them feel “in the know” or part of the club. Remember that you’re trying to make them feel welcome and the best way to do that is to share as much about yourself as possible.
2. Post-Order Email Series
This type of drip campaign has two goals: to make users feel good about their purchase and to keep them in the loop about their parcel.
Here’s what to include:
- A quick thank you for shopping with you, along with the invoice for what they bought.
- Shipping information (how long until they receive what they ordered).
- Tracking number and tracking information.
- A few days after they received the product, an email asking for their feedback and asking them to leave a review on your website or somewhere else (a third-party review platform or social media profiles, for instance).
3. Abandoned Cart Drip Campaign
I might have given some spoilers about this one above. In my defense, the name says it all, so there wasn’t much suspense there, to begin with.
As anyone in eCommerce knows, there are a lot of abandoned carts out there. Here’s a good industry-by-industry overview:
Seeing a user abandon their cart and doing nothing about it is like leaving money on the table. And we don’t do that in growth-minded businesses, do we?
An abandoned cart email drip can help you bring back some of those users. Who knows? Perhaps their power went down in the middle of their shopping session or their boss walked in on them doing something other than work and they had to close all their tabs.
Of course, some of them will never come back. They completely changed their mind about your product.
The good news is that an abandoned cart email drip is so affordable to send that you can afford to cast a wide net.
Here’s what it could look like:
- Email one: a quick reminder that they left something in their cart.
- Email two: tell them the product they wanted to buy is in demand and/or with low stock. If they don’t hurry, they might miss it altogether.
- Email three: show them a few ways to use that product — this is an aspirational email that’s supposed to make users see themselves enjoying that product and looking cool while at it.
- Email four: a discount coupon for that very product.
- Email five: “Not exactly what you were looking for? Try these products instead.” This final email assumes that the user dislikes something about the product. Offering them suggestions for similar but not identical products may be the way to get them back shopping.
A quick note: these are just a few ideas to get your own creative juices flowing. Mix and match as if fit your brand voice.
4. Incentive Drip Campaign
Got a user who subscribed to your newsletter but never bought anything? Or perhaps a user who hasn’t bought anything in a long time? Get them into your store with a carefully devised incentive strategy.
Here’s a quick example:
- First email: “Hey, we noticed you like our products but never got around to buying one. Use this coupon to get a 10% discount on your first purchase.”
- Second email (only for users that haven’t bought anything after the first one): “Exclusive 15% deal on selected items”.
- Third email (only for users that haven’t bought anything after the second one) — ramp up the stakes here and create urgency: “Flash sale for members only: enjoy 25% discount off everything until midnight”.
You can use the same format to incentivize users to refer friends, for instance.
5. Promotional Drip Campaigns
Got a major sale planned? Is Black Friday approaching? Are you launching a new collection? These are the best times to rope in your best buyers with clever drip campaigns.
- Send the first email to announce the promotion.
- Send a second email with personalized recommendations based on the user’s purchase history with you.
- Add a third email reminding them when the promotion starts.
- Finally, create extra-urgency. Remind them that the promotion will end soon and that they have one chance left to benefit from it.
6. Upsell Campaigns
Unlike most of the other types of drip campaigns, this one can also be done with a single email. A few days after a user’s purchase send them a few complimentary products suggestions.
For instance, if the user bought new tires for their car, they may also floor mats. If they bought a new laptop, they may need a bag or a backpack that fits it perfectly. If they bought a duvet cover, why not go for the whole linen set?
You see where I’m going with this, right?
As mentioned before, you can do this with a single email or add one or two more, creating urgency or offering an additional discount for one of the complementary products.
7. Educational Campaigns
You’re in eCommerce, so your job is to sell stuff. You know that I know that, your users know that.
The only problem is that when you keep pumping sales alerts, it gets boring and mundane. A change of pace is always welcome.
An educational email drip campaign can show that you care about your customer. You can create a series of emails that:
- Show users how to best use your products.
- Offers inspiration — ideal for fashion or decor shops.
- Teaches them a few new tricks — great for sporting equipment stores, for instance.
The sky is the limit here, really. Just walk a mile in your customers’ shoes to understand their major pain points. Then send a series of emails explaining how to overcome them. All for free, no gated content, and no obligation to buy because when your customers are thriving you will be too.
8. Special Events and Birthday Drip Campaigns
You’re gonna love these — because your customers already do. I mean, who doesn’t like it when someone remembers about their birthday. Birthday drip campaigns perform incredibly well across the board:
- 179% more unique clicks
- 342% more revenue per email sent
- 481% more transaction rates
Yes, people feel generous to themselves around their birthdays. So make sure to send out drip campaigns that offer them exclusive discounts, access to products no one else can access (yet), an extra gift with every purchase (it is their birthday after all, right), and so on.
9. Personalized Product Recommendations
Personal shoppers are very expensive in real life but super affordable via email. I recommend you use this type of drip campaign during a period when sales are slumping.
Here’s how to act like your customers’ personal shopper from a distance with an automated email series:
- Create a trigger based on a date alone (a date when you know sales are usually slumping).
- Send an email with a “curated list of products just for you” based on the user’s purchase history. You want these products to be relevant. Don’t send an email advertising dog clothing to someone who only bought cat stuff from you in the past.
- Send a final email with a discount for the products mentioned above, but only to those users who never bought after the first email.
10. Charity or Nonprofit Association Campaigns
Buyers love brands that have the same values as they do. And they always love companies who know how to give back.
If you have a partnership with an NGO, a charity association, or a nonprofit, let your customers know about it. Send out a drip campaign to:
- Introduce the nonprofit you work with and explain why their mission is important to you and how you support it.
- Explain how your customers can support it too (for instance, a percentage of every purchase goes to that organization).
- Thank them for helping you help.
Automated emails can nurture existing leads, turn them into buyers, and then into raving brand ambassadors. You just need to get the timing and the relevance right and then you can forget about your drip campaigns.
For that to happen, you need your business-critical solutions to “talk” to each other, to share data. On SyncApps, you can create seamless bidirectional data flows between eCommerce platforms, email marketing solutions, CRMs, ERPs, and more.
Start here! It’s 100% FREE, so what have you got to lose?