This week we find ourselves diving deeper into the Drip marketing service and exploring how to connect it to our WordPress websites.
Last week I eluded to the idea that a lot of marketing tools and tactics fall victim to becoming fads. Unfortunately, many of the tools and web marketing strategies of today are perceived as quick fixes that can be mastered in short time, with little focus.
Not the case. Lucky for you, this article, along with a series of follow-up posts, will break that barrier and give you a taste of marketing automation mastery.
Getting started with Drip for WordPress
Drip could be considered a lot more than this, especially as you become more aware of it’s feature-set, but these are the 3 key areas of opportunity for us and our clients:
Defining what Drip is:
- A platform to create drip campaigns and broadcast e-mails.
- A tool to automate, tag, and segment your subscribers.
- Software that should be leveraged with a specific marketing or transaction goal in mind.
What it isn’t:
- Free. Plans start at $49 a month.
- A competitor to free Mailchimp — it’s not for average newsletters.
- A GUI WYSIWYG e-mail template builder.
- It’s not a plugin, it’s a software-as-a-service.
- Just not that easy.
It’s important to understand that marketing automation tools just aren’t that easy. It’s the nature of the beast, that when you’re building powerful software, there’s going to be a learning curve to master their controls. That said, it is the easiest software I’ve found to achieve really powerful marketing automation results.
Use cases for Drip (or any other platform)
There’s a slew of use cases for marketing automation and dripping out content to subscribers, here are some of my favorite:
- E-mail based course
- Product or service onboarding
- Pre-sales discovery
- Opt-in giveaways
- Post-sale client communication or follow-up
Many, if not all, of these scenarios could do your business justice by implementing them. Especially if you’re selling a digital product: following up after the sale, asking for feedback and referrals could be huge for your bottom line if you have everything automated. Literally making money while you sleep — it’s what we’ve all wanted!
Starting your Drip campaign
I’m a sucker for good onboarding paths and the folks over at Drip do not disappoint. Especially if you’re new to web marketing in general, they have a nice “what do you want to do first?” or as I call it, a contextual guidance system.
Quite simply starting you off by asking if you’re planning on sending marketing e-mails or customer e-mails.
I mentioned having goals are important and Drip takes this very seriously. Without your proper goals in place, you can’t measure the success of a campaign which makes it harder to justify your monthly spend which could hurt Drip’s business.
Not only is it a smart business move on their part, it helps get you headed in the right direction. Everyone wins.
Connecting Drip to WordPress
Drip isn’t a plugin, but they do provide a plugin to connect it to their service.
Download E-mail marketing by Drip.
As of this post, there’s not much to say about the connector plugin. Inherently it doesn’t do much other than sync up your individual secret key for your account. Thanks it it’s simplicity, it doesn’t have many reviews positive or negative — it just quietly does it’s thing.
There also aren’t any support requests filed on WordPress.org so I’d imagine that any support requests that do happen, happen via their hosted support channels.
At the end of the day, I’d feel 100% confident recommending their plugin to connect to your site versus a 3rd party plugin you might come across.
Install it, activate it, give it your code — you’re done.
Campaign vs. Broadcast
One thing that might be confusing out of the gate are Campaigns versus Broadcasts.
Campaigns are the core of the automated product. When you’re capturing leads from your site, more than likely, you’re moving them into an automated campaign series.
One awesome feature of the service are the blueprints they provide to get you going.
These are a collection of template series of subject lines AND e-mail body scripts that really fast track you to get your first campaign launched. One of the biggest hurdles for me when I started out over a year ago, was sitting down to write the content. Blueprints alleviates that and sets the stage for a handful of scenarios:
- 5-Day mini course
- 4-week mini course
- Follow-up (post demo)
- Follow-up (sample report)
- Follow-up (trial)
I’m sure you could bend these to your particular needs and spend a little time tweaking the intro and closing of the e-mails. Great for writers block and just darn handy.
Defining your lead capture
Here’s where things get a little underwhelming with Drip. There’s just not that many attractive offerings for lead capture:
- Pop-up widget (that slides in or pops-up on exit)
- An HTML embed form
- A Drip hosted link
This isn’t a huge deterrent but something that might leave a bit of a sour taste in your client’s mouth if they aren’t accustomed to the buddy-buddy startup feeling.
Don’t get me wrong, these settings won’t leave you scratching your head trying to piece them together, but they certainly lend themselves to being too stark. As Drip aims to be the user-friendly sheep amongst the wolves, you’re also without any type of A/B split testing as well.
Want to run a different headline? Too bad. You’re stuck with a manual entry of headlines per campaign. Don’t fret, all is not lost as I’ll explain another viable solution in a moment.
One last bit of frustration is the fact that you have to leave the ‘Powered by Drip’ slogan on your widgets. Again, as I write this post (admittedly) raving about the product, forcing me to promote the product as a paying customer is a little — ehh.
In fact, you can’t remove the branding until you up your game until the $149 monthly plan. This isn’t a huge deterrent but something that might leave a bit of a sour taste in your client’s mouth if they aren’t accustomed to the buddy-buddy startup feeling.
How to Make lead capture better with Drip
I haven’t formally reviewed OptinMonster, but it’s the most thorough and well-thought out pop-up lead capture I’ve used for WordPress.
Like Drip, it’s a SaaS and not a plugin. Hook it up to your site and you’ll be happily A/B testing your lead captures as pop-ups, sidebar widgets, after-post widgets, and now even mobile supported lead captures.
While I feel even their designs are getting a little long in the tooth, they are certainly leaps and bounds over over stock Drip widgets and you don’t have to brand them. As this series progresses, I’ll cover the setup and config of this service as well.
Setting up your e-mail series
I mentioned earlier that you can sprint to the “finish line” by using pre-made templates from the Drip team and if this is your first rodeo, I’d recommend at least giving it a shot.Otherwise, you’re faced with the blank canvas to create your masterpiece drip series for your new campaign.
In the image above, I’m showing you the 9-part course we promote at slocumthemes.com. A user opts in to learn how to build the perfect WordPress website over a 9-day span. In the campaign settings, you can see I have it set to trigger every 1 day after the user signs up.
You have the option of getting much more granular per e-mail drilling down to the minute that you want to send. This is amazing for auto-responders, especially when they are at the start of the sales funnel. You could, for example, have a follow-up e-mail go out in 32 minutes after someone joins your list. Not just the next day — 32 minutes after!
This automation series is almost looking human!
Writing your e-mails
One last thing to be underwhelmed by: the wysiwyg editor.
Arguably the WordPress editor isn’t much better, so who am I kidding? That said, you won’t find a nice graphical drag-and-drop like over at Mailchimp, instead a utilitarian approach on getting your most important deliverable across — the content of your e-mail.
No frills, no fancy objects, just plain cold text, images, and links. I’m cool with that though. In a sense it’s forcing you not to get caught up in all the fancy stuff that doesn’t drive always get you results. Besides, it’s a pain in the ass to format fancy e-mails for mobile.
Further, this is especially nice if you have to teach clients to import their content or setup a new campaign. There’s not much they could break for compatibility purposes. The flip side of that evil coin is, they might be expecting it to work like the rest of the internet — Microsoft Word style.
Wrapping it up
There’s only one screen left with some boring settings you need to put in for each campaign: name, sender name, postal address, blah blah blah…
You marketers will be most interested in when the e-mails send (and when not to) and where does the confirmation page redirect you.
Why is that important you ask? Great question.
Depending on your audience, you might not want to send e-mails on a weekend. You could have promotional offers or actionable advice that folks might not be acting on because they are out of the office.
Finally, directing someone to a confirmation thank you page could introduce them to a new offer or promotion that you’re attempting to load in the funnel. Both are very important areas that are not overlooked in the software and are a breeze to configure.
I’m working on finalizing another post that will explore the more advanced areas of the Drip platform.
- Tagging automation
- Integration with Easy Digital Downloads
- Trigger links
This is where the rubber hits the pavement and you can begin to craft some really powerful campaigns. If you’re interested in Drip or using it now, I’d love to hear what you’re doing with it below. If you made it this far and you like this kind of material, consider signing up for the newsletter here.