Stay in touch with leads using SharpSpring’s automated emails.

You have a big email campaign in the works, but you want to spread it out over multiple emails. How do you plan and execute an effective email drip campaign to convert as many of your subscribers as possible?

Good question. Drip emails are an important part of any marketer’s toolset. The allow us to build up interest before a big event, or keep a lead warm for weeks after their first point of contact. Done well, and they can be a positive experience for business and client alike. Executed poorly, and they can quickly turn a potential customer away.

Sound like a strategy you want to try? Here’s how we plan your drip email marketing campaigns for our clients and schedule them in SharpSpring.

1. Plan your campaign and choose your mailing list.

What are you trying to accomplish with your drip campaign? Do you have a new product coming out and want to solicit early feedback from a select group of trusted customers? Or are you trying to stay in touch with new contacts that you just met at a networking event?

You can schedule the pacing of your drip campaign to build anticipation for an event, or slowly peter out after the initial contact passes. But whichever way you chose to use it, you will need to plan the number of emails to send, as well as who you will to send them to.

This is where personas become a key part of any marketing strategy. You can decide to send your campaign to a specific persona, or segment a group into a smaller list. Maybe you want to focus on a subset of a persona—such as contacts within an industry, or those who have only joined in the last year. The better you define your email group, the more directly you can speak to that audience.

2. Write your email content.

Let’s say you’re planning a series of emails: three building up to a major sale, one announcing the sale event, and two reminding subscribers to buy while the sale lasts. That’s six emails, all of which need to be written, designed, proofed, and tested before they go out.

The most important aspect of your email campaign will be the writing. A fantastic design with gorgeous imagery and irresistible CTAs will help in many cases, but email started off as plain text, and there are some applications where your email will only be seen in plain text, no matter how much design work goes into it.

We recommend writing the emails as a group, so you can review each one and make sure they flow together well. They should progress one from the next in an order that will guide your recipients along the buyer’s journey from awareness to closing action. Writing them together helps us ensure they have a unified feel.

3. Decide on the design.

SharpSpring has a set of design tools that you can use within their email editor. To start your email, go to the Content navigation menu, select Emails, and then hit the “Create New Email” button. Alternatively, you can click on the “New” drop down menu and select “Email” off the list.

Creating an email in SharpSpring showing the drop down menus.

From there, you can select a template and edit it with your own content. However, while these tools work well for simple emails, they can be hard to work with for complex designs.

For this reason, we work with BEE, a separate email design application that gives us much more control over the final appearance of our email content. Once we have the design just right, we can export it to SharpSpring and use their automation tools.

4. Test and proofread your email content.

At this point, your content creating process is almost complete. However, after putting this much effort into your emails, you need to put them through a thorough proofreading and testing process to make sure they are mistake-free. When you proofread your emails, be sure to check:

  • SharpSpring email testingContent. This is the most obvious place to start, but it’s easy to gloss through. Slow yourself down and read each sentence, word for word.
  • Subject line and headlines. It’s a cruel irony that the most prominent words on a page are sometimes the easiest to overlook. Subject lines in particular are easy to forget about.
  • Headers and footers. Your customers probably won’t look too closely at this section of your email. However, since most of us copy/paste this information from one email to the next, it’s especially easy for one error to carry through for dozens of emails.
  • Links and social icons. Every single link your email needs testing, including the ones that are in your header and footer. And don’t forget: a link may work, but the page it’s linking to may still be broken.
  • CTAs. This is a subset of links, but they come with a couple extra things to check. If you have a CTA asking recipients to email you, test the email. If the CTA links to a page that requires the user to sign in, make sure that sign-in doesn’t redirect users away from the page you wanted them to visit.

Testing and proofing can sometimes take a couple back-and-forths, but be diligent. After all, if you have to make a correction, it means you’ve done your job.

5. Schedule your emails.

When you’re ready to schedule your emails, go ahead and click the “send” button. Don’t worry: it won’t send until you’re ready. Instead, it will bring up this screen, which includes several sending options:

SharpSpring scheduler

You’ll notice that the scheduling options let you choose “As soon as possible,” or a specific time and date. If you’re planning this drip campaign based on a time-sensitive event, you can have all your emails ready to go well in advance.

Read our post: Timing is Everything: How Automated Email Marketing Closes Sales

However, you can also plan a more dynamic email campaign by setting up an automated workflow. In this case, your emails don’t go out on a hard date, but on a trigger-based schedule. That’s a little different to set up, so we’ll be covering it in our next post.

A drip campaign can improve your conversion rate by providing more opportunities to connect.

Drip email marketing campaigns work well for users by not bombarding them with information all at once, and by providing timely reminders for things they may be interested in. And it’s helpful for businesses, because it lengthens the amount of time you can keep your brand in front of clients and customers.

And this is made all the more possible through SharpSpring, because their automated software allows you to set everything up ahead of time, then kick back and take a vacation. That’s a win for everyone.

Published 07/05/19 by Laura Lynch