How to create drip campaigns in Mailchimp

Drip campaigns have become essential part of e-mail marketing efforts. Here are the learnings we had from using drip campaigns with Son of a Tailor, one of the startups we're growing.

Why drip campaigns?

Drip campaigns can be great for lead nurturing. I’ve also used drip campaigns to ‘replace’ writing a newsletter every week; by preparing a set journey for 3 months you can bulk the creation of content and take a more holistic approach to which ‘journey’ you want to take your customers through.

For example, you might want to warm up talking about the following subjects in a given order…

  1. Introduce the product’s main feature
  2. Provide social proof
  3. Introuce subfeatures and provide some use-cases
  4. Hit the prospect with a CTA to buy now with a discount/free trial

With some basic segmenting of your users in MailChimp you can create different ‘buckets’ your users can move through.

In this way you can plan your communication in a way that is not possible with a newsletter.

A very basic way to bucket users could be the following:

  • Leads – subscribers who have not yet bought your product
  • Customers – subscribers who have already bought your product

If the lead does not convert, do X,Y,Z…. You get the picture.

While MailChimp is not the preferred solution to doing advanced e-mail automation it can still be decent to create simple drip campaigns, even with some segmenting. Many companies already use MailChimp, and more advanced solutions can be quite pricey. 

How-to

1) Start by planning out your drip campaign. Open up a spreadsheet and make 4 columns: Trigger, type, headline, open rate & CTR (last two for measuring performance after).

2) Start filling out the document with the e-mails you want to send. Be aware that you are not writing too many selly e-mails. You need to warm your leads up and make them identify with your product. Write content that you honestly think your subscribers will like, and don’t be afraid to write about topics that only relate to your product indirectly.

Just reminding potential customers that you exist once in a while is great – when they are prepared to buy you are hopefully top-of-mind.

A few tips:

  1. You can use a mix of HTML and ‘personal’ plain text e-mails. I usually send out a personal mail from the CEO after offering a discount asking why the customer was not interested.
  2. You can add e-mails to the workflow after it is live, but not change the order of e-mails.
  3. How often you should e-mail leads depend on many factors. A good guideline is once a week.

3) When you have your finished drip campaign, start preparing the content. I suggest writing out everything before you start importing into MailChimp.

4) In MailChimp go to automation and click “Create Automation Workflow”. From here go through the steps. Remember to use Google Analytics tracking (UTM codes) so you can measure the traffic you get. If you want to segment your users the best way to do it is through MailChimp list segments. Ask your developer to set these up for you – and be aware that MailChimp’s interface is not great for SaaS products. Their native eCommerce360 solution is, as the name implies, mainly useful to segment customers of webshops.

5) Launch your workflow and remember to test it out. Start collecting e-mails and watch the magic happen!

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