Irritating, isn’t it?
You see everyone using drip campaigns to promote their businesses, products or services.
Post after post tries to convince you to use them too.
But when you sit down to create your drip sequence…
…you blank out.
In spite of all the research you did, you have no idea where to start. You don’t know what information to include and how to order it to deliver the best effect.
You’re stuck before you even began.
That’s why we decided to help.
We collected 5 drip campaigns blueprints on which you could base your very own email sequence.
Pretty cool, huh?
FREE DOWNLOAD: Click here to get a PDF version of all 5 blueprints
A Quick Word About This Guide
Before we get to the good stuff, let’s get something out of the way:
These blueprints are just that, sample structures on which you could use to base your campaign.
However, they’re far from being finished campaigns.
It would be impossible to template a drip sequence that would suit every business.
After all, every audience is different and has its own, specific requirements and expectations.
Therefore, use these blueprints as a foundation, a starting point if you like, to create your drip campaign, tailored to your audience.
And with that off the way…
5 Drip Campaign Blueprints to Help You Design the Perfect Email Sequence
Blueprint #1 – User Onboarding
Apparently 40-60% of users who sign up for a product or software app will use it only one and never come back.
And that’s for a number of reasons:
- They failed to understand how to use your app,
- They had a wrong idea about what your product could help them with,
- They didn’t receive enough help when starting to use the product,
- Or they failed to understand its value.
Enter User Onboarding Drip Campaign
The purpose of a user onboarding email sequence is to convert trial users into customers and then, get them to use the app beyond the first login.
The aim of your campaign is to:
- Welcome the user to the product,
- Explain the product and its most important features,
- Engage users so they complete the essential activation point,
- Overcome the negative impression of seeing an empty interface the first time they log in.
And here’s a drip campaign blueprint that could help you onboard new users:
Email #1 – Welcome
As the name suggests, the purpose of the welcome email is to welcome someone to your product, set the tone for your relationship, help them understand the value of your app but most importantly – move them to the next step in the onboarding journey – the activation point.
According to Sean Work, it’s “the first point in which you deliver the value you promised”.
Alex Schultz, the VP of Growth at Facebook defines it as the moment when your user thinks “Aha! So that’s what this product can do for me”.
The activation point is different for any business.
For Twitter, it’s following first users. After all, it’s the only way to see the social network’s value.
For Dropbox, it’s installing their desktop client.
Whatever your activation point is, the welcome email should include a strong call to action urging a user to move closer towards the activation point.
Grammarly’s welcoming email suggests the quickest way to open a document in the app.
Another email from the company recommends installing their Chrome extension.
And both emails are clearly designed to get users to see the value of the app in action.
Email #2 – Pump Up
You’ve welcomed a user to the app; now it’s time to pump them up a little about using it.
In the second email, show users that you understand their problem and demonstrate how your software could help them solve it.
You could also include links to resources you created on the topic, blog posts, videos or any other content to further confirm that you understand the problem and have the authority to solve it.
Email #3 – Barrier Breaker
By now, those users who followed your cadence and decided to try the app, have probably stumbled on some initial problems with using it.
And even if they didn’t, they may have been wondering about specific functionality or outcomes they could achieve.
All these form barriers for further use of the product. And you should use this email to overcome them.
Show your new users how to use specific features. Introduce options they may have missed.
Note: If you’re using software like Intercom to monitor your customers using the app, you could also tailor emails to a specific user behavior within the app. For example, if a person hasn’t used a specific option yet, include information about it and a call to action to push them to use it.
Survicate monitors your widget performance during the trial and sends emails with tips how to improve it.
Snappa sends emails highlighting specific options and overcoming specific problems with creating web images, such as, what colors to choose, etc.
Email #4 – Build Connection
In the previous emails, you’ve welcomed the user to the app, suggested what specific action they should complete to understand the full value, motivated them to start using it and overcame any barriers upon which they have stumbled.
It’s time you try to convert a trial user into a paying customer. Use their interaction with the app so far to reinforce the connection and remind them of their primary reason for using the product.
Email #5 – Follow Up
Not every person receiving your onboarding cadence will convert.
According to Softletter (reported via Sixventures), 66% of SaaS’ report trial to user conversion at 25% or less.
What’s more, according to the same report, 41% of SaaS report this conversion rate to be lower than 10%.
But this doesn’t mean that you should just ignore those users.
Even if you didn’t manage to convert them, they still offer an opportunity to learn a lot about your customers and processes.
At a minimum, send one more email to those users who haven’t converted after the free trial.
Include a personal note asking for reasons for not signing up and feedback on the app.
And to try to re-engage them, offer an option to trial the product again and spend more time with it to see if it’s good for them in the end.
Blueprint #2 – Lead Nurturing
The majority of your leads aren’t ready to buy.
Small businesses know it well: they can’t convert enough leads into sales to make them profitable.
Want the numbers? A study reported that between 30% to 50% of the leads that enter a pipeline represent future opportunities but, for whatever reason, are not yet ready to buy. MarketingSherpa reports the number to be at 73%.
As the company explains:
The above chart is the demonstration of why all leads cannot go directly to Sales. At the time of original lead conversion, an average of 27% of those leads will be qualified to the point where they are ready and willing to engage with Sales. The remaining 73% are not there yet. When these leads are prematurely sent over to Sales, they are not receiving the experience they desire and will look elsewhere for it.”
Lead Nurturing Drip Campaign
This campaign allows you to pump leads about your company or brand and get them ready to be handed over to sales or moved further in your sales process.
And the good news is that, for the most part, lead nurturing campaigns follow a similar structure – an email course or other educational content.
These emails aim to show your authority in the field while helping the person to overcome one of their most pressing pains in the business, work, life…
Full disclaimer: This is a structure suggested by Rob Walling, the CEO of the amazing Drip app and he gets the full credit for it.
Email #1 – Welcome Message
The very first email should introduce the person to the content you’re going to send and provide information about how the course works. The aim is to help the person to get the most out of the sequence you’re going to send.
Here’s how Brennan Dunn does it in his drip campaign:
Note how he visually divides the “housekeeping” stuff and the actual introduction to the course.
Email #2 – Practical Advice
This email aims to achieve two objectives:
- Give the person the knowledge you’ve promised, and
- Keep them engaged in your campaign.
And the best way to achieve it is by sharing highly actionable advice they could take away and start implementing right away.
The good news is that apart from the email introduction, which you may have to write specifically for this message, the rest of the post could be repurposed from other content.
I wrote a detailed guide on repurposing existing content into a lead nurturing drip campaign. You can check it here.
Email #3 – Theory
It’s only logical, isn’t it?
You’ve given your lead some actionable advice they can use right away.
Now they need some time to implement them.
But you also don’t want to take a too long break between emails to keep the momentum going.
Therefore, follow the practical advice with one that explains to your readers why they should implement your ideas and what are the benefits of them doing so.
Once again, if you have content that fits this purpose, you can reuse it for this email.
Email #4 – Final Practical Advice
You’ve given your lead some initial practical advice to implement.
You’ve explained why they should do it.
Now, top the campaign off with more advanced ideas that could help them overcome the problem.
Email #5 – Confirmation
Finally, close off the sequence with proof that the advice you’ve shared works.
Include a short case study, for example, illustrating how your approach has helped someone else overcome a similar problem.
You don’t have to write a lengthy case study. Even a couple of sentences or quotes from a client will do the trick in showing that whatever you taught in the course works.
Email #6 – Follow Up
Most lead nurturing campaigns conclude with the case study.
If a person doesn’t become ready to become a client, companies simply move them to their regular newsletter list or drop them altogether.
However, in doing so, they miss on a huge opportunity:
Most likely you had no contact with the person while they were going through your cadence. You don’t know if they had a chance to implement your ideas or if they worked for them at that.
Heck, you don’t even know whether they enjoyed your course or not.
And the only way to find out is by asking them.
Send one more email in your sequence to people who haven’t converted to find out if a person had a chance to put your ideas in action, ask for the results they got and about their impressions of your course.
Blueprint #3 – Sales Cadence
Isn’t it frustrating?
Only 2% of your sales outreach emails will convert into sales.
To win anything more, you’ll have to follow up at least 5-12 times…
But the good news is that you can automate the process by using a sales outreach drip campaign – sales cadence.
Sales cadence is a series of emails you sent automatically to prospects to ensure some response from them. Software like Growbots or Outreach.io, for example, allows creating custom sales cadences for each email outreach campaign you run.
Greg suggests 3 approaches to sales cadence drip campaign:
In this cadence you send 3 emails over the course of 3 weeks, basically sending an email a week.
Email #1 – Pitch
Start off with a pitch. However, instead of just firing up a long email about your company, take one of the two approaches:
Short Direct Pitch
Use the short pitch formula if you know that the person you’re reaching out is the decision-maker and that your solution is going to help them.
Start off with an intro aimed to catch a person’s attention, ask a question or state an intriguing fact.
Next, introduce the main benefit and the solution.
Follow it up with social proof to increase their trust in you.
And close the email off with a call to action to move the sale forward.
Long Direct Pitch
A longer pitch is suitable for situations where you’re not 100% sure if the person you’re emailing is de facto the decision-maker. Therefore, instead of getting down to the bottom of things, you need to use some storytelling to draw a reader into your story.
The structure of the long pitch isn’t much different from the short one. However, when writing it, you need to extend certain elements and add clever personalization.
Greg also recommends using the pain/dream/solution approach in which you first prove that you have identified the person’s problem (pain), then describe the scenario without it (dream) and finally, propose the solution to make it happen.
Pietruszynski suggests to follow the pitch with 2 follow ups:
One sent a week after the previous email. The perfect cadence the would consist of 3 emails sent over the course of 3 weeks (each message on the same day of the week).
Send 3 emails (pitch + 2 follow-ups) over the course of 2 weeks. First email on Week 1, 2nd email 2 days later, and the final email in week 2.
In this cadence, you’d send 3 emails within 1 week. First email in the morning, 2nd email in the evening of the same day, and final email 2 days later.
Blueprint #4 – Re-Engagement Drip Campaign
Convincing customers to sign up for your trial, purchase a product or even get on your email list is hard.
But keeping them engaged with your brand is even harder!
Subscribers stop reading your emails, users no longer log to the app, and some customers don’t visit the store to buy any more.
Luckily, this doesn’t mean that they’ll never do that again.
You just have to try to re-engage them with your brand.
Enter Re-Engaging Drip Campaigns
Re-engagement emails aim to reconnect you with former clients or subscribers and draw them back in to connect with you again.
Unlike other drip campaigns I talked about, though, re-engagement emails don’t follow a rigid sequence. Instead, they act according to a person’s activity and engagement with the campaign to send appropriate emails at the right time.
Pardot suggests the following blueprint for re-engagement drip campaign:
At the start of the campaign, send all former clients links to recent content or your most popular blog posts.
The purpose of this email is to re-engage them with your content, brand or store.
This goal is achieved if a person clicks on any of the links you sent. In this instance, your email program should automatically mark them as engaged and move them to the very last step in the sequence.
However, if a person didn’t click the link, send them another email a couple of days later.
The second email should offer them a lead magnet or another downloadable resource, relevant to their prior engagement with your brand.
Once again, your aim is to get them to click on the offer and re-engage with your content.
On success, the system should move the person to the final stage of the sequence.
However, on failure, it should send them one more email a couple of days later.
Once again, send stale clients and subscribers links to recent blog posts or other content.
Ideally, you should also write a short blurb for each post to entice your recipients to click them.
Finally, regardless of whether a person clicked any links in email #3, send them the final email containing promotion or an offer.
This is your last attempt to re-engage them by offering something of value, a discount, coupon or any other offer about your services or products.
If a person hasn’t engaged with you throughout this sequence, there’s very little chance they would.
Blueprint #5 – Welcoming Drip Campaign
The fact that someone has signed up to your list of a community doesn’t mean they already believe you or trust you.
It just means that they’re willing to do it.
And it’s your job to convince them of your worth.
As the name suggests, this drip campaign aims to start off on the right foot and build a connection with new subscribers to a newsletter, community members or customers.
And here’s a blueprint Wishpond believes might help you achieve it:
Email #1 – Welcome
Since the aim of this sequence is to welcome someone to your community, use the first email to thank them for joining you and give them basic info. Explain how the community (or whatever else they’ve signed up to) works, how to get in touch with you if they have any questions, and where else they could find more information about it.
Email #2 – Explanation
In the second email, explain what makes your community, blog, membership site, store or newsletter so special.
Provide proof that highlights how awesome it is and offer list of resources that could inspire or educate the person.
Email #3 – Personal Story
Remember; your goal isn’t just to welcome someone to the community. You also want to connect with them and build trust. So, in the third email, share a personal story to help readers learn more about you.
Share insights on how you’ve built your community, business, newsletter. Or, if your business had gone through a major transformation before it became so awesome, tell them that story.
Email #4 – Case Study
Next, offer proof that whatever idea you’re propagating in the community, blog, newsletter, etc. works.
Present case studies telling stories of others who have tried your approach and succeeded.
Email #5 – The Pitch
Finally, make your pitch. If you’re selling anything as part of the community, that’s the time to pitch it to your recipients.
Keep in mind though that being too pushy will break the trust you’ve built.
And now you have it…
The 5 blueprints to help you design a perfect email sequence to achieve your goals.FREE DOWNLOAD: Click here to get a PDF version of all 5 blueprints to use for your next campaign