Simple vs. Complex
A drip campaign for your small startup does not have to be overly complicated. There are drip marketing tools that allow you to send different mails based on the behavior of the customer. For a small business a basic auto responder is generally all that is necessary. It allows you, once you have got a customers email address, to send them emails over a specific period of time. This will usually be enough to build trust with your customers and convince them to buy your product.
Once you have used a basic format and have tested how your readers respond best; you may want to setup a more complex drip emailing campaign. This will take a lot more time, effort and money. To create a behavioral based drip campaign; you will need to segment by behavior. This requires extensive planning and structuring. However more complex campaigns can be very effective in bigger companies so should be considered once your company has grown considerable. Here are some pointers to starting to segment by behavior:
Use welcome email to initially segment your audience.
Use drop lists in your signup form to allocate each person to a segment. But be sure not to add too many categories to your form – people don’t want to have to put in too much effort.
You can combine the two methods above if you wish to segment your audience further.
There are other methods you could use that are much more complicated and require a lot of effort and tracking. As your business grows you will identify different way you specifically can continue to segment your audience.
Only segment your audience as far as it is useful and needed.
Creating your own Campaign
Before you start with your auto responders (simple or complex) you should create a measurement plan. You will need to keep track of your goals and whether you are achieving them. This plan will help you structure your strategy for drip marketing. Focus on objectives, goals, key metrics and targets.
You now need to start planning the outline of your strategy. Even if you are using a basic auto responder you need to plan well, so as to allow yourself the structure to grow and make it more complex. You need to have clear goals and strategies to achieve them, but also think long term as to how your audience will look in a year and how your product range would have changed and grown.
Tip: you may want to use a flowchart to map out your strategy – include triggers and the customer’s next step.
Once you have mapped out your strategy and have a clear view of how your drip marketing campaign is going to work; you can begin to create the content for it. The emails are one of the most important aspects of the strategy. If you have a structured system then it basically come down to the emails to determine the rate of success of your campaign.
Tip: Take a look at our guide on creating emails to help you maximize the effect of your campaign.
After you have documented everything – your goals, strategy, plan, emails etc. you need to set up your software and put the campaign into action. Some software to try (The 3rd and 4th software is for more complex systems that send emails to thousands of users):
Remember to always refine and analyze your marketing campaigns. Keep track of how successful the drip marketing strategy is for your business. As you use it you will be able to identify areas that can be improved to create an even more successful strategy.