How to Run a Drip Email Campaign for Your Next Promo

Promos are a tried and tested part of e-commerce. Nothing moves inventory faster and gets your business on the minds and lips of customers like a special offer.

Just consider just how much money consumers spend on deal days like Black Friday.

Source: SaleCycle

Of course, you have to make people aware that you’re running a promotion. The best way to do this is in the online space is through email marketing and PPC campaigns. In this article, I will show you how to run drip email campaigns for your promos.

Let’s dive right in.

How to set up a drip email campaign

Drip emails are simply a sequence of pre-scheduled automated messages that are sent out to clients. For example, a drip email campaign could consist of a series of five automated emails sent to your email list over consecutive days.

With modern email marketing solutions, you can add rules that control how your emails are delivered based on the behavior of your respondents. For example, you can create email sequences with different paths based on if a person opened an email or not.

Drip email campaigns are used across various stages of the customer journey. A couple of ways you will find drip email sequences used include:

  • Welcome email campaigns
  • Cart abandonment sequences
  • Customer re-engagement sequences
  • Product launches or special offers

This guide will focus on how to create an effective drip email campaign for a product launch or online promotion. We’ll cover the steps to go through to create an email campaign that drives sales for your next promo.

How to define your promo objectives

To run an effective promo online promotion, you need to determine the scope of your campaign. Are you going to run a sitewide special offer with multiple products, or are you only offering a discount on certain products?

These two types of campaigns require a different approach.

How to run a promo for a single product

If you are running a special offer for a single product, you should create a dedicated sales page for the offer using a landing page builder. I recommend you also place your product in a sales funnel.

A sales funnel, with logical upsells, will help you maximize revenue per customer. For example, you could run a special offer on a hairdryer. Then as your upsell, you might offer an expensive hamper of hair care products.

Your sales funnel could, of course, be a lot longer.

As you create your sales funnel, spend time building a customer persona, and picking apart the reasons that a person would be interested in buying the product on offer.

This process is important because it will determine the copy you use on the sales page and in your emails. Just as importantly, it will impact the way you segment your email list. More on that later.

How to run a sitewide promo

Running a sitewide promo requires a different approach to a promotion for a single product. Your call to action is that everything on your site is cheaper than it used to be. This is a great opportunity for generating more sales, but the trade-off is your offer lacks a clear focus.

The way you segment your audience is significant for a sitewide promotion. The better you segment your audience, the more your message will resonate with their interests.

Buying history, what customers viewed, and what links they clicked on in the past, are two of the most important factors to consider. To maximize your sales, you will then need to create email swipes, highlighting different product offers, to different email segments.

Common ways to segment your list

In the previous section, I discussed the importance of segmenting your email list for your promo. 

Regardless of if you choose to promote a single product, or run a sitewide promo, there are a couple of common ways to segment your list. Four of the most common methods are:

  • Customer buying history
  • What products they have viewed in the past / showed interest in
  • How long a person has been on your list
  • What was the entry point onto your list

You might chop your list into different segments using a combination of these methods. Alternatively, you may omit many of these options. Ultimately, the better you segment your email list, the more sales you are likely to make.

How to decide how many emails to send

Once you have determined your marketing goals and segmented your list, you need to decide how long your promotion will last. There is, rather obviously, a correlation between the length of your campaign and the number of emails you send.

Ideally, your campaign should last between 3-7 days. You want the promotion to be just long enough to maintain that Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO). Don’t make the mistake of thinking that the longer you run a promotion, the more money you make.

“I’ve made over $3 million in sales running online promotions over the last five years. The majority of the sales happen on the first and last day of your promotion. If you want to maximize your ROI, you need to push your promotion hard to your email list.”

Bertrand, Founder of Youzign

Below is an overview of what a drip email campaign might look like for a three-day promo:

  • Email 1 – Day before launch
  • Email 2 – Launch date
  • Email 3 – Evening of the launch
  • Email 4 – Day two
  • Email 5 – Day three, seven hours before close
  • Email 6 – Day four, three hours before close

You can see how most of the emails are stacked at the beginning and end of the promotion.

Six emails over three days is a lot. You are going to annoy people by flooding their inboxes with messages. Even if it generates more sales, people will unsubscribe from your list.

It’s important to get this balance right for your business.

How to craft your email copy

After deciding how many emails to send, you need to spend time considering why people would be interested in your offer. This is important because you can’t send six emails with identical sales messages to your list. You need to unpack why people would be interested in making a purchase and then focus on these different drivers across your campaign.

Generally, people decide to make a purchase based on a mixture of emotions and logic. Every email in your drip campaign should have a clear customer focus.

A good place to get inspiration for your email drop campaign for a promo is a site called Muncheye. The site is a product launch calendar that lists short term promotions.

Marketers have paid to place the listings on the right. If you click through to one of those listings, you’ll come across swipe files that they give to affiliates. These are email templates designed to be used for a campaign. You can get inspiration from the copy used in these emails for your campaign.

Here are some hacks you can use for creating your email sequence:

  • Create an engaging sales email subject line
  • Use the Awareness Interest Desire Action (AIDA) formula in your copy
  • Have multiple Calls to Action (CTA) within the email copy. Three is a good number
  • Use an email countdown timer to help create FOMO in the closing stages of the campaign
  • Use a Post Script (P.S.) to make a final point

For more information, you can find a great guide on writing and designing sales emails in this blog post.

Measure the results of your marketing campaign

The final step of any marketing campaign is to assess your success. Running an email drip campaign for your promo is no different. Don’t just assume that because a batch of emails is sent out, everything is fine.

It’s important to measure the success of your campaign. There are three important metrics you should measure both while a campaign is running, and at its end.

Here are a few things to consider:

  • Low open rate means your subject line needs work
  • High open and low CTR means your email copy should be improved
  • High CTR and low conversion means you need to work on your sales copy

By measuring these metrics, and taking appropriate action when you identify a problem, you can increase the gross revenue from your drip email campaign. And ultimately, revenue is the metric that matters most.

Wrapping things up

Email drip campaigns are an essential marketing tool for an online business. You will use email drip campaigns to familiarize new people on your email list, send cart abandonment emails, and more. In this article, I outlined how to create an email drip campaign for your online promotion.

The article discussed some of the basic principles associated with using an email drip campaign to run a promotion. This included how to set your goals, why sending multiple emails increases total sales, and some copywriting principles to keep in mind when writing your copy.

Adapt the above-listed points to your needs and design a drip email campaign to create a buzz around your next promotion. Bookmark this article and refer to it later as you implement the outlined ideas. If you have any questions, drop a comment below.

Author bio

Owen Baker is a content marketer for Voila Norbert, an online email verification tool. He’s spent over a decade in online marketing. He enjoys sharing his knowledge of content marketing across a range of websites.

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