Drip Campaigns – Rolling Out the Red Carpet for Contest Subscribers

If you’ve ever arrived at a party or business event only to realize that you don’t know a single person, you know it can be awkward.

Sure, you were invited, but were you properly received? Did someone greet you at the door? Did they pop a nametag on you and direct you toward the bar?

As the host or hostess, it’s your job to make people feel welcome, and the same is true with your marketing efforts.

First Impressions Happen Only Once!

Let’s say you’re planning to run a fantabulous contest or sweepstakes (just like these successful companies) to drum up new business and get more email subscribers. Yes—we all want more subscribers!

But are you ready to welcome those subscribers with open arms? To reassure them that this party is exactly where they want to be?

Don’t forget—you only have one chance to make a first impression.

With a little planning, you can roll out the red carpet for your contest and sweepstakes subscribers.

The solution is a drip campaign.

It is a series of autoresponder emails to help your new subscribers get to know you better and learn what they can expect from your email newsletters and promotions.

This is how MamaRed Knight does their drip campaign.


This is how MamaRed Knight does their drip campaign.

The best is if your drip campaign is ready by the launch of your contest. Here is how to start.

#1. Decide Whom You Hope to Reach with Your Contest or Promotion

In order to plan an effective email campaign, spend some time thinking about your target audience. Ask yourself whether you’re targeting your standard demographic or going after a new one.

If this is a new demographic for you, what do you know about them?

Once you have a good sense of your target audience, you can create a gorgeous, strategic drip campaign especially for this crew.

#2. Consider What You Want Your New Subscribers to Learn, Feel, or Do

So you’re running a contest or a sweepstakes to get new leads. To what end? Do you want them to buy something specific from you? To follow you on social media? To tell their friends about your amazing product or service?

To plan an awesome drip campaign, take the time to write down what you want your new subscribers to learn, feel, or do.

  • I want my new subscribers to learn _____ (X, Y, and Z about your business and its products/services/mission).
  • I want my new subscribers to feel _____ (inspired, welcomed, curious, happy, motivated, etc.).
  • I want my new subscribers to _____ (RSVP for a webinar, visit a product page, watch a video, etc.).

Next, decide how many autoresponder emails it will take to achieve these goals. Most people create drip campaigns comprised of two or three emails, but it totally depends on your goals.

Keep in mind that a good marketing email has one primary call-to-action.

#3. Write and Design Your Drip Campaign

You know what you want your readers to learn, feel, or do, but how can you accomplish that? Here are some of the top tips from Mad Mimi’s blog for creating amazing marketing emails:

  1. Write a winning subject line
  2. Consider welcoming the reader by name
  3. Lead with a compelling lede
  4. Get to the point quickly
  5. Consider going multimedia (like including a welcome video)
  6. Try to make your readers’ day better in some way
  7. Provide value to the reader
  8. Place your primary call-to-action (and link) near the top
  9. Use a very important link more than once
  10. Make it clear where your links will take people (and why!)
  11. Keep your design clean and simple
  12. Use dark text on a light background (hint: we love charcoal on white)
  13. Tell your readers what valuable information they can expect from you in your next email (and when they can expect it)

After you’ve created your drip campaign, step back to consider whether you’ve accomplished your goal.

Will your new subscribers feel like you’ve rolled out the red carpet for them? Will they open each email in the series to hear more? Are they likely to learn, feel, and do the awesome things you hope?

At this stage, you may be the worst person to answer these questions (you’re too close). So get a second or third opinion and see if you can make it even better. Email marketing iteration can be powerful.

#4. Strategize the Timing and Launch Your Contest or Sweepstakes

Once you’ve created your series of emails, strategize the timing.

  • Will the new subscriber receive your first email right away after entering your contest? (This is actually feasible with the smart live synchronization of email addresses within Antavo.)
  • Or only after your contest has ended?
  • How long after that will he or she receive the second email?

You want to build interest and momentum with your readers without seeming like you’re trying to take over their inbox.

Experimenting Is The Key

This is very strategic, and you may need to experiment and switch up your approach (which is something that all good email marketers, do, by the way).

Now for the fun—launch that contest and watch your email list grow!

Finally, it’s time to assess whether your drip campaign is reaching its goals. That’s where email analytics come in. Track how many people open your emails, click the links, and take other desired actions like making purchases and watching videos.

Bringing new subscribers on board is much more than extending an invitation—it’s throwing a fabulous party where each person feels like a VIP.

Over To You

How do you get onboard contest subscribers? Do you use emails? Have you tried retargeting your subscribers with ads? Let us know in the comments!

(This is a guest post from Dean Levitt from Mad Mimi, a newsletter tool that deeply integrates with Antavo. Thanks Dean!)

Drip Campaigns - Rolling Out the Red Carpet for Contest Subscribers by
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Dean is the Chief Of Culture at Mad Mimi, a powerful email marketing service with more than 180K customers. Since Mad Mimi's inception, Dean has nurtured its culture, changing customers into fans for organic, viral growth. Dean lives in Honolulu, Hawaii.
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  • http://antoniocalero.com/ Antonio Calero

    Dripping campaigns are great, but if don’t organised correctly could also become annoying for users receiving content over and over… I always recommend to have some rules in place, for example: don’t send e-mail 2 if the users has not clicked on e-mail 1, etc…

    • http://www.antavo.com/ Zsuzsa Szabo

      really? why? if email 1 was not opened I would definitely send another one 😀 They can still unsubscribe any time.

      • http://antoniocalero.com/ Antonio Calero

        Well… you have just created another rule, see? That’s what I mean…Rules are good. What I’m referring to is, some companies simply keep sending e-mails over and over without a logic. For example, in some cases I have received e-mails asking me to download or subscribe to something that I had already done… even weeks after I did the (supposedly) triggering action.

  • RestHaar

    hello zszui, this article is great. however, have you got any experiences about unsubscribe rates?

    • http://www.antavo.com/ Zsuzsa Szabo

      Hi RestHaar, all unsubscribe rates depend on how relevant your list is – how well you managed the find the fitting grand prize and target your ads. I don’t have exact information about unsubscribe rates, but I will ask some of our customers. What’s your experience?