5 Mistakes You’re Likely Making (or Likely to Make) with Your DRIP Campaigns

5 Mistakes You’re Likely Making (or Likely to Make) with Your DRIP Campaigns

DRIP campaigns have been shown to improve open, click-through and conversion rates, as well as deliver higher revenue per sale than business-as usual campaigns. They are also somewhat ‘set it and forget it’ – meaning you set them up once and they require minimal maintenance and time from your team to keep them running.

But too many companies are seeing lackluster performance on their drip campaigns – where are the huge rewards they thought were inherent if you automated the program? Here are the most common reasons why your DRIP campaign is not performing as well as you want or need it to – and how you can correct them.

  1. Content

    When organizations think about drip campaigns they often focus on the frequency and cadence. But what really matters is the content.

    It’s important to create a message map for your drip campaign. Just automating the send on your existing campaigns that aren’t performing as well as you’d like isn’t enough.

    So how do you do this? There are a number of ways to get the data (yes, it’s data) you need.

    • Look at objections – why have people in the past not taken the action you are asking of them?

      I worked with a client earlier this year – they are looking to leverage the shared economy, having people swap homes for vacations. They make their money by matching people who want to swap houses for a week or two.

      They had the results of a survey they had done asking people why they took a free trial but didn’t end up purchasing a membership to swap homes. It was gold and helped us craft a campaign to get others to join.

      The objections were what you would expect:

      • It’s just not the right time
      • t’s too expensive to join
      • Why would anyone want to stay in my house?
      • Is it safe to allow strangers to stay in my house when I’m not here?
      • I’m game – but my spouse is against it.

      And so on.

      We used these objections as a jumping off point to create a message map for the program. Each email would address one objection. We mixed targeted, benefit-oriented, direct-response copy with a link to an existing blog post or testimonial written by a happy customer to address and overcome the objection we were addressing.

      I can’t stress the importance of well-written direct-response copy enough. Too many organizations are sending email messages which are too subtle. This fear of including a direct call-to-action is holding many organizations back. Be soft, yes – but be effective.

  2. Timing

    I often get asked what the ‘perfect’ length and cadence is for a drip campaign. The truthful answer is, it depends.

    If you haven’t mapped your customer journey, you’re missing a critical part of the equation. Some decisions are made in days. Others in weeks or months. Your drip campaign is typically nurturing prospects to become clients. So knowing how long it typically takes to turn a prospect into a client is an important piece of data to develop your campaign.

    The standard seems to be one email a week for 4 to 6 weeks. But is this really optimal? Sometimes a sales cycle is 3 or 6 months; sometimes it’s 6 to 10 days. Your drip campaign should mirror your standard sales cycle and the number of key messages you need to convey.

  3. Number of Efforts

    Once again, you should be driven by a combination of content and timing issues. If your message map has 6 key items on it and your typical sales cycle is 6 weeks then sending one email message week makes sense. But if you have six key issues and a typical sales cycle of 6 months, perhaps you need to spread things out a bit.

    Frequency and cadence should be driven in large part by your audience. Of course there is a time value to money, so if your email drip campaign can speed things up that’s great. But there’s only so much you can do to move your prospects buying cycle.

  4. Tracking and Reporting

    This is a big one. In addition to tracking overall sales attributed to the drip campaign there are two other measures you should look at. They are:

    • Treated versus Untreated: you should set aside a portion of your list and not email them. Then compare their sales to the sales generated by your drip campaign group. This will give you a clean read on the boost provided by the drip campaign.
    • By Effort: Analyzing the results of a drip campaign, really diving in, is more complicated than looking at the performance of each effort. You need to look at how the campaign as a whole did to drive results (isolating just those subscribers who have received all efforts in the campaign, not just a few). You also want to look at how individual efforts drove response, and even how individual actions taken in those efforts, even if the purchase didn’t come directly from that campaign, drove people to take the desired action.
    • I’ve seen situations where viewing a certain video increased the chances of the prospect becoming a customer, either with that effort or a future effort, exponentially. These are the learning that you can use to optimize your program and increase your return-on-investment.

  5. Testing

    People view automated drip campaigns as “set it and forget it.” This is partially true. But to constantly improve performance you need to constantly test.

    This means testing your cadence (a week between messages or a few days or something else), your content (does that video belong in email #3 or will it be more effective in email #1, or should we drop it entirely) and many other factors (can we segment further to provide more relevant content? Would we do better with more/fewer efforts? What other objections or benefits/advantages should we be addressing?).

    If you test and test and you can’t beat the control program then you’ve got proof it works. But if you don’t test you don’t know if it could be more effective. And the key here is to test on conversions and revenue – not simply on opens and clicks. Which requires integration with your Web analytics, your shopping cart software or your offline purchase tracking system.

Does it sound complicated? It is. Email marketing is easy – you just create messages and send them But optimizing those messages to maximize revenue? That’s not so easy. It takes some thought and, as a short-cut, someone with expertise in optimization. If you’re struggling to develop or optimize your drip campaigns, give me or someone like me a call to help.

Title: 5 Mistakes You’re Likely Making (or Likely to Make) with Your DRIP Campaigns
About: Email Drip Campaigns
Audience: Email Marketers
Publisher: OnlyInfluencers.com
Copyright 2015, Only Influencers, LLC