Founder of Drip Rob Walling Shows You
(Step-by-Step) How to Create a Great Email Drip Campaign
Hi, I’m Rob Walling. I’m the host of the popular startup podcast called Startups For The Rest Of Us. I host MicroConf each year in the US and in Europe. I also, and probably most importantly relating to this course, I own a software as a service app called Drip – and it’s all based around email marketing.
I’ve been successful email marketing for about 8 years to promote my software products and SaaS products. The reason that Joanna has invited me here is because I have quite a bit of experience in putting together email mini-courses (or email drip campaigns).
Today, by the end of the lesson the goal is that you have a 5 day email drip campaign outlined – but tomorrow you’re going to spend the time to actually write it.
Email mini-courses have actually a pretty strong impact on conversion rates for my products over the years. Want to take a look at one, one product I own is a SaaS product called HitTail. It’s an SEO keyword tool. What we’ve done is add a little opt inbox down here powered by Drip. We get a nice chuck of visitors to subscribe to that course, between 6 and 8% of all new visitors who’ve visited the site subscribe with the course. Then over time we feed them actionable information and we get a nice, high single digit percentage of those people to eventually convert to try us.
That’s a big win for us because each trial is worth let’s just say tens of dollars. For every person that we can get through that funnel, it’s obviously a big win.
We’ve increased our conversion rates from visitors to trials by a double digit percentage and the goal of this course of course is to do the same for your app.
To start with, I wanted to take a quick look at the overview of our course. You can see here we have a 7 day course. We’re going to be looking at an easier approach doing a 5 day course but you can get an idea that our first email starts with an overview and then we step through some actionable tips. We do have a little bit of theory in here and then we step back and we round out with a case study. And each one we have a specific call to action, you can see our click through right here.
As I said this has had great results for us so now I’m going to take a step back.
You’ve kind of gotten an idea of what of these mini-courses might look like.
Here’s the first email. You can get an idea of the length of the emails and if you are interested in reading the course I would actually encourage you to come here and enter your email because then you can see the course over that 7 days.
Now, I want to dive into some nuts and bolts of what you want to put in each of your emails and give you a general template you can use to outline your mini-course. As I said, now we’re going to dive deep into the knots and bolts of actually plotting out your email mini-course.
(I’m Rob Walling, you can reach me at @robwalling on Twitter should you have any questions.)
The goal of this course, the next 5, 10, 8 minutes is going to be to teach you how to plot your first 5 emails. Basically, it’s your 5 day email mini-course. And that’s for new leads that you’re trying to bring in to your sales, trying to bring either to have a trial or to actually purchase your software.
One thing we’re going to talk about, with every emails not only content of it but to seriously consider the call to action for each of your emails.
Lastly, I know that you will learn to write your emails tomorrow, today it’s all about outlining and plotting the plan of attack.
Let’s talk about the goals of your email mini-course and what you’re trying to do with it. Your first five emails we’re trying to build credibility with your prospect to try to show them that you’re an expert in the field. You try to educate them, you actually want to provide them the actionable information so that if they have a ton of time and they don’t really value that time as much as they value money then they can go off and do it themselves because there are plenty of people who would much rather pay you or buy your software and not have to spend that time.
To be honest, you actually kind of want to give away the farm.
The best email in the course is I see work to actually show you how to do everything that your software does but it just doesn’t do it for you and so the person then has to trade 10 – 20 hours of their time perhaps on a recurring basis to accomplish that. But if you show them every step of the way how to do it then at the end you sa,y “By the way, our software does this for you and it’s only $40 a month,” it’s a no brainer for anyone who values their time to any degree.
The first question that you want to ask is, Why? Why are we trying to do any of this? Why we’re trying to build that credibility?
The reason is because the more someone trust that you’re an expert in your field the more likely they are to buy your product. That’s the bottom line and you’re trying to build credibility, set yourself up as an expert, set your company up as the leader in this field. That’s the whole goal of frankly most email marketing is, to educate your consumer but also to build that trust.
So let’s talk through the 5 day course.
The first day is Day 0 and this email is sent immediately after they sign up. You want it to be sent within the first 5 minutes after they provide you with their email address. So sent immediately. The content, the general idea of this email is to one, welcome them. Two, to provide an overview of what the course is going to contain. Then at the end a pretty easy call to action and you kind of want to ramp up this calls to action over the course of the 5 days so that early on it really just a casual thing. Something like “If you’re in a hurry feel free to learn more about myApp here” and you can link them over. You’re not trying to sell them, you’re just saying “If you want to learn more” you can do that, you’re not saying “Come try our free trial” or anything like that.
Day 1, which happens 24 hours later approximately, has this content: this is where you start diving into actionable information and ideally you have chosen a topic that relates directly to your niche. My keyword tool SEO keyword tool called HitTail, we did a long tail keyword tool course. If you we’re into time tracking maybe you would be looking at how to make your team more efficient or how keeping better track of your time, actually increases productivity something like that. This day would be actionable information about how they can increase that productivity, how they can do that long tail. Very specific things that they can literally take away and do themselves manually. This is not a sales email, it’s an educational email. And I love the call to action of “But if you’re interested in solving problem X, which is of course what your software solves and of course what you’re pitching to solve using your email course, “You don’t have to wait for the rest of this course to get started; check out our free trial.” This is the first time you’re kind of starting to ease into it, still very casual but you are mentioning it.
Day 2, which is our third email, sent a day later and the content can now either go into more theory or tell a story. And the reason is because if it’s all actionable tips it feels a little dry after a while. It feels like something someone could read out of a dictionary, encyclopedia, just find online, at the top 10 ways to do apps. But if you start getting into the theory you show A, that you have some mastery of the subject and B people remember stories a lot better than they do actionable tips. This is where I typically scale back a little bit on the actionable tips and go with that more theory or story email. With the call to action that could be a P.S. So you don’t even mention your product the whole time and then below your signature in a “P.S. Sound interesting? myApp helps solve this problem and more. Learn more about it here.” Again we’re saying a little bit more about it, it’s a casual thing.
The fourth email (Day 3), hitting basically the climax of the course sent a day later. This content is batch of the actionable tips because you really want people to stick around. You really want to be giving them action that they can go back and do right away. You can go either way with this call to action I tend to tone it down because I have a really hard hitting one in the final fifth email. I don’t want to bombard them and make them feel like I’m trying to sell them. I might even leave out a call to action altogether and really just put a link in the footer below my name, link back to my website. That’s not a bad way to do it.
And then the fifth and final email (sent essentially 5 days after they signed up). This content – I’d like to do a case study here that kind of illustrates everything that you’ve indicated in the past 5 days. Not only that we get to see that that’s put in to practice but to get to see that you actually know someone who do this work before. You could do multiple case studies but really having one hard hitting case study is a great way to do it. Case studies don’t have to be as long or as complex as you might think. You can get on Skype with someone for just a handful of minutes, have that transcribed and then try to tighten it up. Or you can even do a quick four question email interview with someone and turn that into a case study. It can take an hour or two at most to put this email together. Having real numbers and being able to put that to your mini-course can be very, very powerful. The call to action in this one really is at this point your final call to action and that’s when you come to tell them and say “Look, you can do this on your own by myApp will save you tons of time. Try it free here.” That’s the final thing to leave them with.
I also like to add, this is something I’d like to add in the end: “In the coming weeks we are always pushing the boundaries. We’re always learning new things about this topic and so I’d love to stay in touch with you on this topic. But if you prefer not to, feel free to unsubscribe below.” What that does is it leaves the door open for you to then update them on weekly or monthly basis with periodic updates which of course furthers your engagement and furthers your expertise.
Now I wanted to take one quick look back at our 7 day email mini-course and show you how we put this in practice.
Day 1 for us is just an overview of the course. Days 2 and 3 are actionable tips, these are hard core step by step actions. Day 4 is much more about theory, that’s where you back off to that theory or story. Then we come into more actionable tips for 5 and 6, and Day 7 is a case study of a customer of ours who has used this technique to make it work.
So, that’s how I put it into action.
What I want to leave you with are two things. One is a set of blue prints within Drip, the email marketing app that I have. We have blue prints for entire course – it’s 5 day email mini-courses so if you were to sign up for Drip of course you have access to this but I’m going to package this up into text files and this should be available for download somewhere on this page I am at. This gives you a start, you can see there’s a lot to add but it gives you the general template that I recommend for a 5 day email mini-course.
Then what we do is we have a concierge service, but we will actually create your 5 day email mini-course.
If you have some existing content on your blog or an ebook or white paper, at no charge we will take that; we’ll put it into our templates; and we’ll get you all set up and sendingsso that you have your emails in there – really with no effort on your part. Then of course we track analytics, we track conversions to trial, we track all kinds of things, and you can see the number of subscriptions per day, the subscription rate and the conversion rate that we’ve been seeing with our HitTail course.
Of course we have things like broadcast emails if you need them and split test as well so that’s Drip.
If you’re interested it’s at getdrip.com. Drip is $50 a month for up to 500 new subscribers that you collect, and we have a free 21 day trial.
So, I hope you enjoyed this course. Certainly if you have questions feel free to ping me on Twitter @robwalling. Good luck.