3 Steps to Take Before Wasting Time on a Drip Email Campaign
Creating a drip email campaign has a lot going for it - yes, it's a lot of work up front, but once you're done you just hit the start button and let it ride.
But there are things you need to think through before you start putting in all that work. The last thing you want to have happen - and I've seen this quite a lot - is spending time putting something together only to realize you haven't thought through everything and it's not going to work.
Here are the steps you need to take when putting together a drip email campaign.
What is Your Goal?
This is the first thing you need to ask yourself. Is it lead generation? Education? Brand awareness? For most people it's lead generation which means you need to ask yourself this next VERY important question: What kind of leads do you want? Don't move on to the next step until you know that.
What's Your Starting Point?
The beginning of the campaign is usually an opt-in of some sort. The problem often lies in what people are offering. Keep in mind that for someone to give you their email address, they're giving you something very valuable. No one likes spam, so it's getting harder and harder to entice people to hand over that information.
You need to create something for a specific audience that will make them take action. General information WILL NOT WORK. Things like courses or downloads that help with a specific task or provide education for a niche audience should be what you spend your time creating. And ASK PEOPLE what would be helpful! There's often a disconnect between what we as business owners want to say and what our clients need to know.
This is something that's more specific to my client base which is financial planners: DO NOT INVEST IN "OPT-INS" THAT YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW TO USE OR PROMOTE. Unfortunately for some financial planners, they don't have permission to use software that creates drip email campaigns or opt-ins. I've seen so many advisors get talked into investing lots of money in eBooks or things like that only to find out they have no way to promote them. Understand the steps you need to take to get your money's worth before you make the investment!
How do You Create Emails that Lead to a Sale or Conversion?
Beyond creating or figuring out what your opt-in is, this is the most time consuming part. It might be tempting to develop a bunch of emails that just straight-up sell your services. But we're not there yet.
At the beginning of your email campaign, you're still building trust. Here is a suggested sequence of emails (and keep in mind that this is geared toward my financial planning clients - but would likely work for any service provider):
Welcome email/free download.
What did you think of the eBook/course? Include some extra tips that apply to what you've already sent.
Email that includes something in the news that backs up your position or thoughts (this adds to your position as an authority figure).
Email that encourages someone to find a professional in your industry that can help them. For example, my financial planning clients might include "5 Questions You Should Ask a Financial Planner Before you Hire Them." This plants the seed that they need a professional, but you're not being pushy.
An email highlighting your blogs or videos that focus on more information about their specific interest (or why they opted into your campaign).
A check in to see how they're feeling about taking next steps. "I'd love to hear from you!"
An email encouraging them to make an appointment. Don't sell - make it feel more congratulatory.
Keep in mind that as they're receiving these emails, they're also getting your regular newsletter that probably has more general information. So, it's okay to get specific in this campaign and dig into what they've chosen to opt into.