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What is Drip Marketing and Why Isn’t It Working for You?

You’ve probably experienced – or maybe even created – a drip marketing campaign without evening knowing it.

Simply put, drip marketing is the strategy of setting up a series of marketing emails to go out on a specific schedule. For example, many email marketing campaigns have an “autoresponder” email that goes out to a person as soon as they sign up for a mailing list, and then perhaps another email that will be sent out to that same person exactly five days later, then two weeks later, and so on. This same strategy can be put in place after an individual purchases a good or service.

Drip marketing campaigns can vary in length, but they all aim for the same goal – continual contact to ensure a continuous relationship with a client.

While drip marketing can be a great tool, it can also have its downfalls.

Avoid ‘set and forget’. Sometimes the emails within a drip marketing campaign can become stale, outdated or irrelevant. If the emails you’ve included in your campaign are so generic that they could be sent to anyone at any time, they are not going to be very effective.

Make sure you update the content of your drip marketing emails often. Experiment with different formats and topics to assess what gets the best return, consider the season and what your target audience is thinking about (back-to-school, holidays, etc.), remember to include new products and services, and make your emails as timely and relevant as possible.

Schedule your emails carefully. Deciding how frequently to email your audience can get tricky. If you email a new subscriber only once a month, they might forget they even signed up to be on your list. But if you email that same subscriber once a day, they’re likely to get annoyed and unsubscribe.

Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of how often to send those emails. However, research suggests that weekly emails (or close to weekly) are probably your best bet. Start with weekly emails, and pay attention to your open rate and number of people who unsubscribe. (Tip: In our experience, when our clients start to email customers after a long hiatus, a high number of unsubscribe requests come in. That declines and stabilizes after the first two emails. If unsubscribes continue at a high rate beyond that, you may be sending too much email.)

Send valuable content. Lastly, make sure the content you are sending is helpful, informative and relevant. Your target audience is not going to find much value in your emails if they are all just some variance of, “Hey, remember me?” Try sending an instructional video, a “best tips” list, or something else that could be of use to your audience. This will help your audience see you as helpful and as a trusted source.

There’s no magic formula for constructing a successful drip marketing campaign. But if you remember to update your email content regularly, be conscious about your mailing frequency and make sure your email content is awesome, you’ll at least be off to a promising start.