Case Study: Increase Revenue with Drip Email Marketing
SocialWOD, a workout tracking SaaS app built in-house by our team.
We wanted to grow our paying customer base.
We had seen several examples of giving away free educational content over several weeks, finishing with a soft close asking the recipient to check out the product. We decided to experiment to see how this would improve our bottom line.
I implemented a marketing campaign comprised of two elements:
- In exchange for joining our email list, we gave away a free e-book that was desirable to customer prospects
- Every list member was automatically sent an "email course" on growing their business. The course was comprised of 6 emails sent out automatically over three weeks.
How it Unfolded
An email course is a powerful sales tool that can make you a lot of money.
The course is simply a set of emails that are automatically "dripped" - or sent several days apart - to your email list members over the course of several days or weeks. The goal of the course is to educate your prospects on why the benefits of your product are useful, and to help them understand why your product is the best to solve their problem.
- describes a benefit that your product offers
- explains why it's important to you and/or your business, and
- suggests taking a look at the product
Why a course works
A course is a fantastic sales and marketing tool. It frames selling your product as education, letting you teach your prospect why your product's benefits are important, subtly addressing pre-sales objections, making an ROI case, and helping your prospect envision how much better life would be with your product.
Giving away tons of useful information for free also takes advantage of the Reciprocity Principle, which dictates that the recipients will feel a small sense of obligation to you because you helped them out (this is the same reason why charities send you personalized address labels when asking for a donation.)
Dripped email courses work especially well for products that don't have a short sales cycle (i.e. B2B, or B2C purchases with non-trivial pre-sales signup friction). Educating prospects about how your product or service improves their lives often takes time and effort. And since everything in your inbox gets some attention, pushing your sales message to a prospect's inbox has a higher chance of being read and absorbed.
Additionally, one of the beautiful things about an e-course is that you write it and set it up once (and tweak it whenever you like), but thanks to the wonderful world of software, every list member receives every email without you doing anything beyond that.
Another way to think about an e-course is that you write your materials once, and get to share them with every prospect who joins your list.
How we used an email course at SocialWOD
At SocialWOD, we followed the same approach outlined above. When someone joins our email list (to get a quality e-book that we market online where our prospects hang out), we send recipients 6 emails over the course of three weeks. Here are the subjects of each email we send (SocialWOD is a service to help gym owners grow their business):
- Building your gym's community will build your business
- Recognizing your athletes when they hit personal bests will keep them coming back
- Call your athletes when they don't show up to keep churn low
- Using Facebook for word-of-mouth marketing is a powerful way to grow
- Help your athletes set and reach their fitness goals and they'll love you
- More resources for your gym + close
In each email, we explain why the specific benefit is important to the prospect. Then we zoom in and illustrate how you can get that benefit faster, better, or with less pain with SocialWOD than if a recipient did it him or herself.
For example, email #4 shares the benefits of using Facebook to attract new members, and techniques to do so. We close the email with two things. First, we include a description of how SocialWOD automatically posts workout scores to Facebook - all a SocialWOD customer has to do is set it up once, and the software does the rest. And second, we provide a link for the prospect to learn more about both this specific feature, and the other features of the product.
Here's what the open and click rates look like for each email in the SocialWOD e-course:
|Email #||Open rate||Click rate|
(of all recipients)
Notice how click-throughs skyrocket as we build credibility and give away value for free. 25% of people who opened our last email visited our site.
While click-throughs are nice, revenue is nicer. Our e-course is directly responsible for tens of thousands of dollars in new annual revenue, and that's in a tiny market of 4000 potential customers.
Imagine how lucrative a drip campaign could be in a much larger market.
Why you should use drip email marketing
If you have a B2B app, an e-course could increase your revenue by non-trivial amounts.
With an e-course, you:
- Get to build a permission marketing relationship with a prospect
- Demonstrate credibility and expertise
- Teach your prospect about the benefits of your product in general, and why they're valuable
- Get to pitch prospects on why they should buy from you
- Actually make money when they do
- Do this with every prospect while writing the course just once
For many businesses, drip email marketing is a great investment to increase revenue.