Email drip sequences 101: How to architect a marketing automation workflow
This is the first post in a series on creating the best email drip sequences for your company. Whether you work for a small or large company, an effective email drip sequence can do wonders in increasing engagement and finding new customers. This guide will provide you with everything you need to know on how to architect, build, and optimize your email drip sequences.
Email Drip Sequence: Architecture
We are going to start this guide by talking about architecture. Essentially, architecture means the way that you design your email drip sequences so that you can maximize conversion.
To make it simple, there are really five steps when designing your email drip sequences. They are outlined below.
1. Determine Your Target Segments: First, you want to find out who you should actually be targeting. Also called personas or your target audience, your target segments are those individuals at your target organization that are critical to the success of your email drip sequence. While these personalities differ at various organizations, some of them include gatekeepers, decisionmakers, and evangelists. Depending on who you are targeting, you will want to slightly change your messaging.
2. Understand Your Clients’ Goals: This is a natural extension of determining your target segments. Once you know your target audience, you need to deliver content that speaks to them. The ultimate goal is to deliver a message that is personalized and that convinces them that your product or solution will solve a problem at their company. What makes this challenging is that for every business, each of your clients’ goals is going to be different.
This step requires you to show off your empathy and emotional intelligence. Some of your clients are looking for nurturing more than anything else. Others want help with prospecting, sales conversions, or referrals. Whatever the case may be, you cannot skip this step. It is up to you to determine what your clients’ goals are and craft a message that speaks to those goals.
That naturally leads to the question: how do you figure out what your clients’ goals are? There are plenty of ways. You can send out surveys to current and prospective customers, set up sales calls. You can even meet some prospects face-to-face and directly ask them these questions. However you do it, make sure that you intimately understand what your prospect wants and how your company can help them solve their problems.
As just one example, at Dubb, we break down our funnel into three segments: top, middle and bottom. At the top of our funnel, we have discovered that it is all about engagement, prospecting and nurturing. They want to better engage with prospects and find an easier way to create a steady stream of warm leads. In the middle of the funnel, our clients are primarily trying to educate, convey value, and provide solutions to their target audience. Finally, at the bottom, our clients want to formalize the relationship (i.e., obtaining a conversion). This process doesn’t stop after the sale, however. Rather, our clients are focused on referrals and retention, meaning that they want current customers to (1) stick around for longer and (2) evangelize your solution to other potential customers.
3. Create Great Content: Next, you have to create and deliver content that helps your clients meet their goals. Here at Dubb, we often think about the types of content that are going to best resonate with our clients. Often it is video, but there are other ways that you can connect with prospects. They are below:
- Ebooks: Ebooks have a ton of value because they can be useful at virtually any point of your sales funnel. Ebooks can be a great way to educate and nurture some of your leads by providing valuable content. Once you create them, they are easy to give away in exchange for something of value (like a prospect’s email address).
- Webinars: Webinars are an excellent opportunity to connect with prospects and show that your company has thought leaders. In a webinar, you can demo your product, share your thoughts on a particular problem your customer’s faces, and even offer live Q&A. Even better, a webinar can be an evergreen asset that you can use in the future. Because we are all busy and some prospects that are interested may not be able to attend your live webinar, should consider creating another landing page allowing those prospects to view the webinar on demand.
- Videos: At Dubb, we are admittedly biased toward videos. However, videos can be an extremely effective way to connect with prospects. Videos give you the flexibility to release demos, testimonials, and introductions of you and your team.
- Comparison Guides: These are informative, educational assets that show how your product or service stacks up against your closest competitors. Clearly, you want this to be a fair comparison. However, you also want to showcase why your product or service outshines your competitors.
- Blog Posts: Primarily, this is how your prospects will find you. Blog posts are similar to ebooks. That said, producing consistent, high-quality blog posts will increase your organization’s SEO. Several years ago, Google discovered that people were gaming its algorithm by stuffing and overleveraging keywords on their landing pages. Now, Google favors more high-value, educational content (which you can deliver in blog posts). Ultimately, you should determine your top 100 keywords and then build high-value 2,000 to 3,000-word blog posts on those keywords.
- Web Pages: This includes both websites and landing pages. Landing pages are simple pages that have very specific purposes, like a tailored message and obvious call-to-action. It is a simplistic version of a website that you need to keep clear and concise. As for your website, don’t forget to keep iterating and updating, depending on how users interact with your site. Also, remember that visitors on your mobile site will have a much different experience, so make your mobile webpage as concise and as streamlined as possible.
4. Don’t Forget Distribution: Without distribution, your prospects and leads won’t be able to consume your awesome content. There are four particular strategies that you can leverage in your email drip sequences.
- Fans: The first drip sequence is to your fans. Perhaps they follow you on social channels or insert their email address to subscribe to your newsletter.
- Customers: Once an individual becomes a paying customer, they receive a specific drip sequence.
- Evangelists: These are people who may or may not be paying for your product or service. Regardless, they want to help you promote your brand. They could be some of your affiliates, referrers, or simply people saying great things about your company at conferences.
- Lost Customers: These are individuals who were in your funnel and converted, but have since churned and are not currently working with you.
To create an email drip sequence, you will want to first have an inclusion list. This inclusion list is a way for individuals to enter your funnel. For instance, it can be a completed form or some sort of manual designation.
From there, you want to build out a consistent drip sequence. Draft and release a series of emails that have some type of delay (between one and seven days) between emails. Ultimately, this is an opportunity to provide high-value content that is automatically distributed to a lead’s inbox. The emphasis is on high-value because if you don’t provide high-value content, it becomes extremely easy for leads to leave your funnel.
Email is a great channel for a number of reasons, including the fact that you can build automated workflows. Beyond email, however, you may want to leverage other distribution channels. You can post videos on YouTube or LinkedIn, and post content on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. You can also take advantage of both organic content marketing and paid advertisements, depending on your specific needs.
For example, YouTube can be a phenomenal distribution platform. Every time someone subscribes to your channel, he or she will receive notifications for additional videos that you post. Along with this, the YouTube algorithm, noticing that a lead is watching your videos, will continue to recommend content from your channel.
As with everything, however, ensure that you are releasing high-value content that is on the longer side (five to ten-minute videos or even more, depending on your preference). There is even talk of YouTube tweaking its algorithm to prefer long-term, recurring, and satisfied viewership, so keep that in mind. The future of YouTube isn’t one-off videos, but rather episodic narrative videos that draw people in and keeps them watching.
Finally, when building your email drip sequences, determine what people are doing (and not doing) to trigger certain drip sequences. For example, you can target individuals who visited a web page but didn’t watch your video. You want to figure out the best ways to move your leads down your funnel, so don’t forget to monitor your users’ behavior.
5. Track Your Data: This is related to the point above. Data tracking is vitally important to this entire ecosystem. It allows you to see what is working and what isn’t working. Because of this, review your analytics and tweak your strategy, depending on what you learn.
Get Started Today
Email drip sequences can be an extremely effective tool to find new business. By implementing the recommendations above, you will increase your odds of creating effective drip sequences. In our next video in this series, we are going to teach you how to build an email drip sequence. Stay tuned!
SPECIAL OFFER: To access over a dozen free eBooks on how to effectively use video for all aspects of your business, visit Dubb Resources.
Originally published at https://dubb.com on June 3, 2019.