How Many Emails is Too Many? Content Strategy and the Email Drip Campaign

New leads. For a growing business, they’re promising, sexy, and lucrative. Especially when you know your product or service will make their lives easier by tenfold. The problem is, whether you’re selling to consumers, corporate enterprise businesses, or somewhere in between, you may not yet be a speck on their radar.

So how do you get new leads to see your value—and move from courted prospects to active customers or clients? The methods are many—but there’s one we’ll talk about today.

Be a Drip: Targeting Leads By Nurturing Slowly

The drip campaign is a tried and true B2B content marketing tactic. Its objective is to target leads through email on an automated schedule, coaxing them along a continuum from lead, to prospect, to client. For example, you might introduce yourself to a cold lead on day one, and follow up based on their action (or lack thereof) on days four, seven, twelve, and so on.

The approach of a drip campaign is to nurture, gradually. As in any slowly budding relationship, step one is to say hi, and make yourself quietly appealing. Step two, perform a backflip…er, showcase value. Step three, soothe—by heading off possible objections. You get the idea! Once you’ve caught their attention, you can shift your email campaign towards sealing the deal—then managing your relationship into the future.

If the concept seems straightforward, the execution is not. Successful email drip campaigns are driven by careful strategy and quality B2B content. I’ve recently written a handful of drip campaigns designed to move our clients’ leads forward. As in website copywriting, the goal for every email is to hook your reader, prove your value, and make it as easy for them as possible to stay engaged and get in touch.

But how many emails are too many? Is there a point where drip campaigns become naggy and desperate?

Let Content Strategy Drive Your Campaign

In a drip campaign, each email is an opportunity approach your reader from a new angle—and elicit a distinct emotional response. This will help build trust in your brand without overstating, repeating, or annoying. By the time (or preferably before) you’ve hit on your value from all possible angles, the way is paved for your lead to a) note who you are, b) check out your offerings, and/or c) move merrily to the buy.

Our campaigns have varied from four to 11 emails: just enough to get your value across, without stalker overkill. Space them out–ideally, you want to send them on (say) days 1, 4, 7—three days apart each—then (say) 14, 21, and 30. If you’re writing more, you could send one a month.

If you’re in the United States, be sure to learn about how to comply with the CAN-SPAM Act here—and note your Email Service Provider’s (ESP’s) guidelines for opting in.

Include useful information, personal touches, and clear value, your content strategy will dictate that for you. And take a tip from us: shoot for around 80 words for each email, made vivid with compelling subject lines, relevant openers, momentum-driven body copy, and a popping image.

Alison is an editor and blogger of all trades. She began her career by writing restaurant reviews and recipes as well as opinion pieces on college student life. After months exploring her wanderlust as a digital editorial and production intern at an award-winning travel journalism site, her creative mind and precise editing skills led her to become a master of short, snappy copy. She’s all about tone, and her honest and witty writing style can infuse personality into the dullest of topics.

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