A Complete Guide To Drip Campaigns Part IV Email Sequences

    In Part IV of the series we will walk you through The Emails. This is the meat on the bones of your drip campaign. In case you’ve missed Part III, last time we discussed what exactly makes a drip campaign and one of the things is email sequences.

    We will focus on the main types of email sequences, from cold outreach to user campaigns, show you examples of email sequence flows per every type, and take a look at the most typical emails that are repeatedly used across all email sequences.

    Types of drip email sequences

    There are hundreds of different types of drip email sequences each with its own purpose, such as driving a user from a registration to a notable action in your product, driving active users to a purchase, nurturing your blog readers and much more. These are just a few, your imagination and business goals are the only limitation.

    It’s impossible to mention every type of email sequences, but we can break them into 3 main types – cold emailing, subscriber mailings and user mailings.

    1. Cold mailing and outreach campaigns

    This type of drip campaigns is used by both marketers and salespeople in almost every company on the market, because as drip campaigns progressed, they began generating an impressive number of incoming leads and conversions. Here’s what they are used for:

    • Scheduling a demo of the product or service
    • Starting a conversation to get feedback
    • Establishing connections with influencers and gurus
    • Finding new partners and affiliates
    • Inviting relevant audience to the webinar
    • Running SEO link-building campaigns through outreach
    • Inviting speakers and attendees to offline events
    • Sharing an e-book, guide or research with the relevant audience

    The goal is to either start a conversation or to grab the lead. Both scenarios then lead to nurturing the person and making them convert according to the main business goal.

    Here’s an example of the flow. Let’s say, our goal is to get a reply from a potential partner or client, and once the reply is received our sequence stops:

    Day 1: Initial email → Day 2: Reminder 1
    Day 5: Reminder 2 → Day 10: Reminder 3 + Content/Giveaway →
    Day 14: Reminder 4 → Day 20: Goodbye letter.

    2. Subscriber campaigns

    Drip campaigns for subscribers is a must-have for every corporate blog, media and topic-related website, offline event page, webinar page, podcast service and so on. Subscriber campaigns are usually run by marketers, not salespeople or SDRs.

    Often email address is the only communication channel with your audience. The better your subscriber drip campaign is, the more subscribers you can convert.

    Main goals are the following:

    • Making subscribers share your content
    • Distribute a valuable piece of content
    • Invite subscribers to the product demo
    • Invite subscribers to the offline event
    • Distribute a special offer for subscribers only
    • Nurture subscribers into users or potential clients

    Subscriber campaign goals are a bit different from cold campaign goals. Here the main goal is an action – registering as a user, registering for the webinar, sharing content, or even buying your special subscribers only deal.

    Here is an example of the flow. Let’s imagine your goal is to make your subscribers buy a special deal:

    Day 1: Welcome email Day 3: Email with content/a PDF
    Day 5: Special deal email 1 Day 8: Email with a video explaining pains & solutions
    Day 10: Special deal email 2 Day 15: Email with content/a PDF 2
    Day 20: Email offering free consultation with an expert Day 25: Goodbye email.

    3. User mailings

    Probably the most used type of drip campaigns, used by every company selling digital products/services. Email drip campaigns are not the only method of communication in this case, as you can also use in-app messages, phone calls, and even SMS marketing. However, they are the best and the most efficient nurturing method, allowing users to learn more about the product before making the final decision.

    With these campaigns you can lead users from one simple step to another, and everytime a simple goal is met, the next drip campaign kicks in and converts the user further. This way you pursue multiple goals, one after another.

    Here are the main goals:

    • Educate users on how to use the product or service
    • Convert a newly registered user into an active user
    • Score user and check whether they are eligible to become a client
    • Invite user to a demo session with a support specialist or a sales representative
    • Invite user to a webinar or any other event
    • Make user leave a positive review, testimonial or case study
    • Sell product or service through the special offer or one-of-a-kind deal
    • Retain existing paying users
    • Upsell additional features or services, and more.

    The main idea is to convert a user from a newly registered user to an educated user, then to a client, then retain them and make them stay with the company for as long as possible, then upsell and retain again. This may sound complex, but it’s achievable with multiple drip campaigns.

    Here’s the example of the flow. Let’s say your goal is to educate your user and then invite them to your monthly webinar:

    Day 1: Welcome email Day 2: Email with a good article leading to your blog
    Day 4: Email with an educational PDF guide Day 7: Webinar invitation 1
    Day 9: Email with a case study Day 12: Webinar invitation 2
    Day 15: Email providing access to an online course Day 18: Webinar invitation 3.

    Typical elements of email sequences

    Every drip campaign will differ depending on your goal, business type, product etc., but there are elements of email sequences that are common for every campaign.

    1. Welcome email/Initial email – the first email of your email sequence. In a cold mailing campaign it usually contains the main topic of your email sequence. If it’s a subscriber or user campaign, then it’s really more of a welcome email just to make your user feel comfortable and appreciated and prepare them for upcoming mailings.
    2. Reminder email – used as a follow-up email in cold and outreach campaigns. It’s a reminder of your initial offer if the recipient didn’t open your previous piece of the email sequence. The number of reminders per campaign can be anywhere from the 2 up.
    3. Content email – used in every type of drip campaigns. This type of email is great not just for pushing your recipient to the goal, but also for showing them value and educating. This can be done with articles, videos, PDFs, guides, etc. Content emails can be, and often are, used as reminders. It’s good to give before you take.
    4. Giveaway email – also adds value to your email sequence, but with something more than just an article or a video. Use rich pieces of content as a giveaway (e-books, frameworks, online courses), or actually give away a demo piece of your product, a voucher, an exclusive access to something, etc. The more valuable your giveaway is the better.
    5. Invitation email – a good way to pre-convert. You can invite people to both online events (webinars, online session with an expert) and offline events (exhibitions, forums, seminars). It’s a great way to get more info about the person and actually have a conversation with them (if it’s a cold campaign). When used in subscriber or user campaigns, it’s a chance to convert into a client.
    6. Special deal/offer email – used for those who’ve subscribed or registered already. Special deal/offer is actually a chance for your recipient to buy something at a big discount, with special conditions, or just get more than they expect. Special deals and offers are used to convert warm users bypassing the demo session with a sales representative or an expert. This saves time and can even turn viral if your deal is good enough.
    7. Goodbye email – mostly used for cold mailings and outreach campaigns. It contains the actual “goodbye” – it’s last email you are sending to the recipient. It can once again contain your special deal, your main question, or maybe a valuable piece of content that can “return” the recipient and make them reply. The goodbye email is triggered as the last email in the sequence if no previous emails were clicked or replied.

    Each drip campaign is unique, but the more examples, types and elements you know how to use, the richer, more efficient and diversified your campaigns will be.

    Stay tuned for our fifth – final – article of the series coming out next week. We’ll share our list of the most common mistakes and how to avoid them when creating your drip campaign.

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    Paul is a digital marketer and growth hacker with 10 years of experience. Currently a CMO at PromoRepublic and the founder of StartupRadius.com, Paul Shuteyev also consults digital businesses on various digital marketing aspects, such as lead generation, PPC, inbound strategies, conversion optimization and more.


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