Drip campaigns and predictive marketing, the perfect pair

Improve your email marketing strategy with automated campaigns with data-driven personalisation.

Are you finding that your email subscriber list is unengaged and uninterested in the content you’ve been sending out?

You’re probably scratching your head, wondering what you’re doing wrong. Email marketing is supposed to be one of the best ways to reach your customers — right?

Well, the good news is, yes, email marketing is still one of the best ways to reach your customers. In fact, 76% of subscribers will make a purchase from an email marketing message. If your email marketing efforts aren’t performing well or you want to increase your metrics, it’s time to consider a new tactic.

Email marketing is still one of the most effective ways to reach your customers and increase eCommerce sales. Since email offers a direct link to products, it creates an easy avenue to click through and make a purchase. Image courtesy of Social Media Today.

We’re talking about drip campaigns. When you can automate email marketing campaigns to target customers at various stages of the customer journey, you can improve click-through rates and boost sales. Add in predictive marketing and you’ll see those stats climb even higher.

In this article, we’ll discuss how implementing drip campaigns and predictive marketing can help you make the most out of your subscriber list. Here’s a look at what we’ll discuss in more detail:

  • What drip campaigns are and examples of how they can be used
  • How predictive marketing and help improve drip campaigns
  • Ways you can understand your customers better to provide personalised drip campaigns
  • How predictive product recommendations can improve your sales

The drip campaign

If you’ve never heard of a drip campaign before, it’s essentially an automated email campaign that consists of multiple interactions with customers over a specific timeframe. Once you’ve put in the time to create all the content for a drip campaign, it can be turned on and will automatically send emails to your specific subscribers.

With the help of your marketing automation system building drip campaigns is easier than you think. In most cases, you can use a workflow process to identify what content you want to send, when it should be set, and what should happen next based on the user’s interactions.

Use the image below as an example. If a user clicks any link within the emails they receive, they will move on to the next step. In this case, that would be either assigned to a representative or added to a nurturing list.

On the other hand, if that user does not click on a link within the email, they are served another email a week later. In the end, the subscriber will either be contacted by a representative, added to a 30 or 90-day nurturing list, or identified as a cold lead.

Drip campaigns can be designed for a number of different reasons. This example is showing how you can use it to identify customers who need to be nurtured or those who have become cold. Image courtesy of Salesforce.

The great thing about drip campaigns is that they can have many legs. They can be set for short term communication, such as a welcome campaign, or they can be highly sophisticated, spanning months at a time. It is all dependent on your goals.

Here are a few different examples of how you may see drip campaigns used:

  • Welcome campaigns for new subscribers to learn more about the company and persuade them to make a purchase
  • Reward campaigns for encouraging loyal customers to purchase again
  • Retention campaigns to try and reduce churn rates and bring back potentially cold subscribers
  • Behavioural campaigns that are triggered based on a customer’s previous shopping or browsing behaviour
  • Segmentation campaigns which focus on a specific attribute, such as demographic details or purchasing history to encourage a sale.

In reality, the possibilities are nearly endless for the focus of your campaigns. On top of that, each type of campaign you create can have a different target, or they can all work together to help move your subscribers through the sales funnel.

But do they really work? Consider the following stats around drip campaigns to understand the true power of these types of campaigns.

  • Open rates for drip campaigns are around 80% higher than single sent emails and perform 3 times higher when looking at average click-through rates
  • 79% of leads will never convert if they are not nurtured through a drip campaign
  • Excelling at drip campaigns can help companies generate 80% more sales at 33% lower costs
When done right, drip campaigns promise impressive stats. With the ability to increase open rates, convert more leads, and lower costs, drip campaigns are worth it. Image courtesy of Martech Zone.

The most important thing about drip campaigns is that you have the ability to reach the right customers, with the right content, at the right time. With the help of predictive analytics, you can take drip campaigns to an entirely new level.

Using predictive marketing in drip campaigns

Predictive marketing can help you identify new opportunities to engage your subscriber base and provide them with more of the content that they want. By understanding subscriber details such as shopping behaviours, future spending, lifecycle stages, and likelihood to purchase you can increase your drip campaign results.

When talking about predictive analytics, it’s become more and more important in the marketing function. Many feel it is a critical part of marketing in today’s competitive world. Image courtesy of Forbes.

Using advanced machine learning algorithms can help you to identify, understand, and predict the most relevant data-driven personalised products and content to influence a customer to make a purchase. Let’s take a look at a few different ways that predictive analytics can help improve your drip campaigns.

Better understand your customers

List segmentation and understanding your customers is one of the most important steps in email marketing. Sending the wrong content to the wrong customers can be a big mistake and may deter customers from opening your emails in the future.

That’s why you most likely already have your lists segmented based on a few key factors such as location, recent purchase, frequent products, and interests. But what if we told you predictive analytics could help you understand and segment your subscriber list even further?

With the help of automated campaigns, such as a drip campaign, you can expect to see an increase in open rates, conversion rates, and revenue per email sent. Image courtesy of Listrak.

You can harness your historical customer data to predict the future behaviours of your customers. Then, you can use that information to serve them relevant content based on these findings. The best part about it is that artificial intelligence and machine learning programs can do all the work for you.

Here are a few things you can expect to learn about your customers from predictive analytics:

  • Future spending habits
  • Potential lifecycle stage changes
  • Likelihood to make a purchase
  • People who are likely to unsubscribe
  • Discount and coupon affinity

Once you have a deeper understanding of what your customers may do next, you can build drip campaigns to help lead them in that direction.

For example, by understanding the browsing behaviour of your customers, you can identify opportunities for product-focused drip campaigns. If you have a group of subscribers who are frequently visiting certain pages on your site but haven’t made a purchase yet, you can build a campaign to help move them along the purchasing process.

Create a drip campaign that promotes these frequently visited products or services. Include this like related products, ratings, reviews, and coupons to help encourage them to complete the purchase.

Once you’ve mastered the process of promoting products you know customers are shopping for, you can take it a step further. Using the data-driven analytics you have at your fingertips with predictive marketing will let you start providing customers with product recommendations they won’t be able to pass up.

Predictive product recommendations

At this point, you have all of the historical data of your customers, including their likelihood to open your emails, if they wait for a coupon to make a purchase, and what their browsing and purchasing behaviours look like.

Product recommendations drive revenue. With the help of predictive product recommendations, you can set yourself up for improved order and revenue metrics. Image courtesy of Salesforce.

Now, it’s time to take it a step further and start predicting the products they are going to want in the near future. Predictive product recommendations use an advanced machine learning algorithm to identify like customers who would be interested in specific products and trends.

You can then use that information to create a new customer segment based on purchasing behaviour. This segment can be based on historical purchasing but will be focused on promoting new products subscribers may not have even realised they would be interested in.

The beautify of predictive product recommendations is that these products are selected for customers based on data. This means that since they aren’t randomly selected out of a hat, they are much more likely to convert.

Using drip campaigns and predictive marketing

The world of email marketing is always changing. You now have the ability to understand and personalise content for your customers in ways we could never have imagined just a few years ago. If you haven’t already started using drip campaigns and predictive marketing tactics, now’s the time to get started.

Separately they can both improve your campaign metrics, but together they can change your email marketing strategy forever.

We may be able to create something else based on this information…I don’t think most of it is super relevant but the marketing & sales one is…could tweak the caption if we want to keep the entire chart

Photograph by Pexels