What You Need to Know to Start Drip Email Campaigns

BLOG POST BY LINDSEY IMPERATORE, DIRECTOR OF MARKETING AT THE NEWS FUNNEL

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A drip campaign has nothing to do with advocating for a new office coffee maker. New content marketers or real estate professionals may not know what a drip campaign is or how to design an effective strategy.  Even experienced pros need brushing up on this highly productive method of converting leads and keeping customers. This guide will help real estate marketers the essentials of drip marketing campaigns and how to apply to real estate.

What are drip campaigns?

Drip campaigns are part of an email marketing strategy. Other descriptors used in the business include automated email or autoresponders. Email subscribers receive a series of pre-programmed marketing emails based on a schedule or on certain behavior triggers, like purchasing a product.

Advantages to drip campaigns

Once set up, drip campaigns save real estate professionals and marketers serious time. They eliminate the need to track client actions and manually write emails each time an action is taken. Automatic emails can be personalized with the recipient's contact name and information, improving click through rates by 14%. Programmed campaigns can pinpoint user groups and segment the emails based on those predefined groups. By doing this, the campaigns match the subscriber's behavior patterns and are more likely to produce results. Drip campaigns have the added advantage of reusing quality content generated by existing marketing efforts.

How to use drip campaigns in real estate

Drip campaigns work well in the real estate industry.  Say a new website visitor signs up for property update alerts. The action triggers an automatic response thanking them for subscribing, letting them know what they can expect, and encouraging them to contact you. When a new listing comes on board that matches their criteria, a match alert email is automatically triggered and sent to their inbox. The same subscriber could be added to a monthly newsletter covering the latest commercial properties that have come on the market. All three of these actions can be automated.

What else can you do in real estate to nurture leads and generate three times more clicks with drip campaigns?  Use automatic email to send users your great content, product offers, upcoming events, and news.  Action triggers help welcome new subscribers, send additional related content links when someone downloads an ebook or white paper, or remind visitors that their shopping cart is incomplete. Another behavior trigger can send an email following up with more property options when a visitor has searched for properties on your website. Pre-schedule automated onboarding content for new users, such as tips and tricks for using your service, product updates, feedback requests, and renewal reminders.

Setting up drip campaigns

Numerous service providers in the real estate industry are capable setting up and managing your drip campaigns.  No matter who you use, start the process by identifying the target audiences. Segment subscriber lists into sections and pick which triggers matter for the campaigns. Decide what actions require an email response, or if a demographic receives regularly scheduled content.

Plan the drip campaign and the email order in advance. Design the message to match the segments. Remember to use email marketing best practices to encourage the reader to open and click through. The email copy must be actionable to work.

Track the metrics for your drip campaigns and make adjustments as necessary.  As with all email, it's a wise idea to A/B test to optimize your campaigns. Try different subject lines, call to actions, layouts, and copy. For certain campaigns, like pre-scheduled newsletters, try varying the time of day you send them to test when subscribers are most likely to open.

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Drip campaign caution

Be careful not to overdo drip campaigns. Too many automated emails risk the user unsubscribing. Set up email segments intelligently and craft the content to match. Email works best when you are constantly delivering value to your audience.

Don't let the initial effort setting up a drip campaign deter you from applying the strategy. In the long run, drip email campaigns can elevate your returns on email marketing.