Welcome to the third (and final) part of our feature series on architecting, building, and optimizing email drip sequences. Whether you work for a small or large organization, we hope that you have realized that email drip sequences can be a vital tool to accomplish your business goals.
To this point, we have discussed several important topics related to email drip sequences. In part one of this series, we discussed architecture, which is one critical part of all email drip sequences. Specifically, we touched on five steps that you should follow when designing your own email drip sequences:
- Determining your target segments
- Having a deep understanding of your clients’ goals
- Creating high-quality, compelling content
- Paying close attention to the distribution
- Measuring performance and tracking your data
From there, we proceeded to the second part of this series, where we discussed a typical email sequence. In a typical email sequence, you often start with a welcome email, followed by custom emails depending on your product or service, use case emails, testimonials, and then an email focusing on your offer or promotion. We also shared how you can use Dubb to build your own email drip sequence.
In the final part of this series, we are going to discuss how you can optimize your email marketing automation workflow. In other words, this means looking at your data and figuring out ways to improve.
Data Points to Analyze
When optimizing your email drip sequences, you will want to pay attention to the data that you are receiving. Data provides an objective look at how your email drip sequences are performing. By following the data, you will increase the odds that you will increase your conversions and accomplish your email drip sequence goals.
Therefore, there are some key metrics that you should analyze in order to optimize your drip sequences.
First, you will want to look at your open rates. This metric tracks the number of people who open your message. Your open rates are often contingent on the from the email address, from the name, and the subject line. It always helps to add human personalization. For instance, you can include someone’s name at your organization as the from email. At Dubb, we use either “email@example.com” or “firstname.lastname@example.org.” You will probably want to do something similar when sending your own emails.
Also, in the subject line, we encourage you to add the asset you are providing in brackets or parenthesis. For example, [Video: ], [Ebook: ], [Webinar: ] are all ways to manage your recipients’ expectations. It sends an immediate signal that your recipient is going to obtain something of value, which will likely improve your open rates.
Personalization in the subject line (through the use of personalization tokens) is helpful as well. By including the recipient’s first name, for example, he or she will be more likely to open your email.
Finally, there is the question of emojis. Some people like them and others don’t, so you will want to test this to see whether your audience is more receptive to emojis in your emails.
Second, you’ll need to track your email click rates. This tells you how successfully delivered emails received at least one click. Ultimately, they are based on the content in your email.
The typical format for an email is a header, an image (perhaps an animated gif), a body description, and then a call-to-action (“CTA”). By having all of these assets in your email, you will see a boost in your click rates.
If you want to create an email that looks even more personal, consider avoiding HTML. By using pure text, it looks like someone actually wrote the email. However, when using pure text, you absolutely cannot forget to include an unsubscribe link. You want to avoid creating an automated drip sequence where recipients cannot opt out of future emails. If you ignore this advice, you will be launching an automated drip sequence that will frustrate your audience. It will be bad for your business, so don’t forget this step.
Next, you will want to track your conversion rate. This simply means the number of people that clicked on your email and moved down your funnel. This distinction is important. A conversion doesn’t necessarily mean that you made a sale. Rather, it means that they took some positive step that could lead to a future sale. For instance, a conversion can mean that an audience member completed a form, downloaded an ebook, registered for a webinar, or, yes, made a purchase. You definitely need some ability to track your conversions—for instance, determining which one of the emails in your sequence is the highest (and lowest) converting.
This discussion also leads to another important point.
Not every single email is designed for conversion. Instead of trying to make a sale, for instance, some emails in your drip sequence will be designed to educate and nurture. Don’t forget that as you move down your drip sequence, you are moving your audience down a funnel. Your conversions are often occurring lower in your funnel, while education is occurring at the top of your funnel. At the bottom of your funnel, your audience has already seen use cases, have seen social proof (most often from testimonials), and are ready to purchase.
If you are going to include a discount somewhere in your email drip sequence, we also recommend that you track the discount code. Make your discount code unique for every drip sequence. Doing this, you can attribute which email with which code drove the most (or least) conversions.
Making Improvements to an Existing Email Drip Sequence
While we have spent some time discussing how to optimize your workflow from the start, it is also useful to understand how to go back and make improvements to an existing email drip sequence or workflow.
First, a word on email open rates. A high email open rate for a particular email does not necessarily mean that email is the best. Generally speaking, you will find that the emails at the beginning of a drip sequence will have higher open rates compared to those at the bottom of your funnel. The average open rate at the beginning of an email drip sequence is about 20 percent, so try to outpace that. If your initial email is below 20 percent, analyze your subject line and try to make it more tantalizing.
As far as to click rates, there can be many different types of click rates. This depends on how many links that are in your email. Try to limit the number of things that are clickable within each email, so you can better determine which things you can actually change. If, for instance, you have five clickable links in your email, your email system may not be able to track each of those links. If it can, however, you can track as many as you like. Therefore, understand what you can and cannot track before inserting a large number of links in one email.
Finally, let’s talk about conversion rates. Improving your conversion rates will be a matter of your email type. First, understand what your conversion objective is for each step of your email drip sequence. For the setup, for example, your goal may be for the recipient to set up a call with your organization. Whatever the conversion objective is, locate the emails with the lowest conversion rates and determine what aspect of that email you can improve. Some improvements can include better copy, a higher quality image, or a more enticing CTA. Ultimately, find out where your weak points are and take some time to improve them. On the flip side, if you have a high converting email, determine what component of that email is driving the conversion and try to leverage it in your lesser converting emails.
Finally, don’t forget to consider your replies. At Dubb, we often see that replies are often an afterthought when setting up email drip sequences. You absolutely must pay attention to replies to any of your emails. If, for instance, you’re getting negative feedback on an email, you must go back and address that negative feedback. On the flip side, getting positive feedback signals that the email has great content and that you are providing value to your audience.
In sum, your replies are extremely valuable data points that can help you optimize your emails. Negative replies signal that your email drip sequence needs more work, while positive replies reveal that you are on the right path.
If you need help designing or optimizing your email drip sequences, we recommend that you leverage the Dubb automatic drip sequence generator. You can check it out on our website.
Many thanks for checking out our series on email drip sequences! Whether you are at the architecture, building, or optimization stage, we hope that you will see a drastic improvement in your email drip sequences. If you have any questions about email drip sequences, video marketing, or anything else, don’t hesitate to contact us.