A Complete Guide To Drip Campaigns Part V 10 Mistakes to Avoid


    Mistake 1: Corporate style
    Mistake 2: Long copies
    Mistake 3: Multiple CTAs
    Mistake 4: Distracting readers
    Mistake 5: Multiple goals
    Mistake 6: Not giving enough time
    Mistake 7: Multiple different subject lines
    Mistake 8: Not taking the tech side seriously
    Mistake 9: Not analyzing the statistics
    Mistake 10: Not optimizing your drip campaign

    Welcome to our fifth, and final part of the Drip Campaign Guide series. This series is meant to give you everything you need to build, launch and analyze your own campaign. With each chapter we cover different sides of drip campaigns. If you missed any chapters, you can find them here:

    Part IWhat Are Drip Campaigns And How To Use Them
    Part IIEtiquette & Must-Haves
    Part IIITools and Technicalities
    Part IV Email Sequences

    This week we decided to focus on what people tend to overlook – the small mistakes we all make. They can happen at any stage of your drip campaign, and we will provide you with advice on how to identify and avoid these mistakes.

    Mistake 1: Corporate style

    Drip campaigns were invented to make your emails look natural, personalized and friendly. When faced with an email that looks more like an article, sounds too dry and corporate, or even worse – too salesy, most people will close it. Leave corporate style email letters for C-level executives at enterprise-level companies and government institutions.

    For drip campaigns, keep your emails friendly and polite. Use the same language you’d use with your partners, colleagues, or even relatives – simple, respectful, and human-like. Yes, drip campaigns are automated, but your email shouldn’t show it. Don’t give your recipients a single reason to think this is just another email campaign for you.

    Mistake 2: Long copies

    Long copies is a problem that usually plagues those who use corporate style. Way too many marketers and sales reps think that including as much information into an email as possible is the way to go. Having a long intro describing your company, yourself, and what you offer used to be the norm, but is it now? Not really.

    Now you have a whole flow of emails to present your information bit by bit. Speaking of the initial/welcome email, always keep it short and incentivize the recipient to reply or click a link.

    By using long copies you will only ruin the mood, make your email look automated, salesy and definitely not catchy. Put yourself in the recipient’s shoes – which copy are you more likely to read and reply to?

    Email 1

    Hey [NAME],

    Hope all is well and you’re doing great! Do you still work as a CMO at [COMPANY NAME]? Would love to have a quick chat with you.

    Email 2

    Good evening, [NAME].

    My name is [NAME], I’m a marketing specialist at [COMPANY NAME].

    Our company has been the leader in our field since 2014 and since our founding we have been developing rapidly. You may have heard of our other projects [PROJECT1], [PROJECT2] and [PROJECT3].

    We develop modern solutions for professionals in marketing and sales. Today we want to offer you our latest product – [PRODUCT NAME]…etc.

    The difference is pretty clear.

    Mistake 3: Multiple CTAs

    Using multiple CTAs is not only ineffective, it’s also distracting. It’s a “grasp all, lose all” situation.

    To make every piece of your email sequence as effective as possible, make sure you only have one CTA per email.

    It’s also good practice to have one single CTA for all emails within a drip campaign. Your campaign has one main goal, so make sure all your CTAs lead to it.

    Mistake 4: Distracting readers

    Multiple CTAs are not the only distraction that can ruin the effectiveness of your drip campaign.  There are many other distracting factors: additional links, links to social networks, downloadables, invitations to events and additional questions, all within a single email.

    Don’t bombard your recipients with more distractions, they are already distracted – they have things to do and very limited time to check their email. You’re in luck to have your email opened in the first place, so don’t waste their time. Make sure you don’t distract your recipient from the CTA with something else. If your CTA is a question and your goal is to get a reply as an answer to your question, make sure you don’t have any other links, buttons, etc. If you’re inviting your recipient to a webinar or an event, make sure the invitation is the only thing your recipient can focus on.

    Mistake 5: Multiple goals

    Don’t expect one drip campaign to help you reach all your goals. Instead, go one step at a time, one drip campaign after another. It’s best to keep to one goal per drip campaign.

    Let’s say you want to start a communication with a cold contact, invite them to a webinar, and then offer them something they can’t resists after the webinar. In this case create 3 separate drip campaigns: first, work on getting a reply and starting a communication, then launch a drip campaign that invites them to the webinar, and then push your offer with a third drip campaign. 3 goals = 3 campaigns.

    Mistake 6: Not giving enough time

    People tend to rush in everything they do – live fast, work fast, drive fast. But this attitude has to stop somewhere. We understand you may have an urge to deliver as many email letters in a sequence as you can. But such impatience can ruin your campaign.

    There are ways to create a sense of urgency without emailing your recipient twice a day. Even one email per day is too much. Give recipients some time – this will make your campaign look more natural, similar to how you naturally send your follow-ups: a few days later, then again in two more days, and another one in a week.

    However, if we’re talking about timing that is based on triggers, make sure to send your message just in time. For example, if you want to congratulate a user on a milestone reached in your user flow, do it instantly (within minutes, maximum two hours) after the user reaches it, don’t wait until they forget about it.

    Mistake 7: Multiple different subject lines

    This is not a mistake per se, but you may see better results if you fix it. What we are talking about here is different subject lines within a single drip campaign.

    When you use different subject lines in an email sequence, every message is delivered as a separate new email. But when you use the same subject line, your email will appear in your recipient’s inbox as a natural follow-up (with a Re: in the subject line).

    This way your messages look like a part of a conversation, as if you are replying to the initial letter and actually know who your contact is. This adds a layer of importance to your messages and makes them stand out in the recipient’s inbox.

    Mistake 8: Not taking the tech side seriously

    Tech is no joke – every mechanism, machine and automation system is based on certain algorithms. Drip campaigns are subject to the same rules and limitations as ordinary emails.

    What this means for you is that even in drip campaigns your email messages should not have too many links, use multiple or specific scripts, use words that are tracked by spam filters, be sent to unverified emails, and so on. All of this can trigger spam filters and your message will eventually end up in the Spam folder, leaving you no chance for a conversion, no matter how good your drip campaign is.

    To avoid this, run some tests: run your email copy through a spam wording check, make sure you don’t use more than 1-2 links in your email, don’t use any additional scripts (like the ones used for collecting retargeting audience), and make sure all the email contacts in your list are verified, valid and working.

    Mistake 9: Not analyzing the statistics

    The statistics module is where you can actually follow the results of your campaign. If you don’t check your stats daily you might lose a chance to fix any possible issues, and, therefore, lose conversions, time and money.

    Don’t just check the general stats of how many recipients reached the goal (though it should remain your top priority), but also analyze all the steps in between, like delivery rate, open rate, click-through rate and reply rate.

    These metrics will let you analyze the performance of each email in your drip sequence. By improving one link at a time you will be able to create the best-converting version of your drip campaign.

    Remember, no drip campaign will perform perfectly on the first try, especially if this is one of your first campaigns in general. Learning more about your target persona and how your messages perform will let you improve your campaigns and start getting better results faster.

    Mistake 10: Not optimizing your drip campaign

    Even if you watch your statistics all day long, staring at them won’t help you unless you analyze, make decisions, and act on them to make actual improvements.

    To optimize, A/B test or change only one parameter at a time. It could be the subject line, the copy, the CTA, personalization, or any other element. You should only experiment with one aspect of the email message at a time, because that’s the only way to know for sure that this is the element that affects your results. If you try and optimize both personalization and the CTA at the same time, you won’t be able to differentiate exactly what made your copy perform better.

    There is a way around this, of course: A/B test and optimize things that influence different metrics; for example, subject line influences open rate only, while copy, personalization and the CTA influence reply and click-through rates. Therefore, you can optimize the subject line and the CTA at the same time, but never CTA and the copy.


    Most drip campaign mistakes can be described as minor, but like with all intricate things sometimes the smallest mistakes do most harm. Putting yourself in the shoes of your campaign recipients will show you exactly what has to be changed, be it the style of your copy, its length, CTAs or the timing of the sequence.

    Some mistakes have more to do with technicalities (mistake prevention) and analysis (mistake correction). Being meticulous in building your drip campaign will pay off, but don’t be upset if your campaign doesn’t perform perfectly on the first run. It’s through mistakes that we can get better and see the bigger picture.

    You can revisit the previous parts of the guide or find out more about Snovio Drip Campaigns tool here.

    Good luck on your next 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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