Once a radio station commits to email marketing as part of the listener engagement strategy, take advantage of the capabilities of this powerful tool. Email is one of the most cost-effective and efficient methods to drive tune in, enhance a marketing position and deliver traffic to a website. And, if set up properly, it doesn’t have to be a gigantic drain on resources. In fact, you can send automated email campaigns targeted directly to the audience’s personal interest.
In this article, I’ll share how to increase listener communication and engagement with automated email campaigns. Including:
- How to set up Drip Email campaigns.
- Planning and sending an automated campaign via Drip.
- A downloadable Drip Campaign Checklist.
Step By Step Guide to Automate Email
Managing email campaigns takes time and attention. It’s a grind. Many stations quickly lose interest in the weekly newsletter. This causes weaker email marketing metrics and higher unsubscribes rates.
But it’s possible to set up automated email services to remove of the repetitive tasks. This can keep a station in touch with the audience without taxing the promotions team.
Automated Email: Drip Campaigns
Setting up automated email is easy with most software systems. A timed, targeted campaign is often referred to as a Drip email marketing campaign. Drip email automatically sends pre-populated emails at regular intervals. It’s “dripping” content over a period of time.
A Drip campaign starts when a user takes part in an event that triggers the campaign. For example, a station could have a campaign that starts when listeners sign up for a newsletter.
As soon as that name lands in the list, they start getting emails. The first usually goes out immediately to thank them for signing up and invite them to interact on social media or the website. Ideally, there would be useful information (from a listener perspective) that connects to station benefits.
It’s even better if the information is tailored to their preferences (see below).
Then another email follows in a day or two. And another a few days or week after that.
Then, a couple of weeks later, another email goes out, perhaps asking for feedback on the station or encouraging participation in a survey.
Feature the very best content in the Drip. It’s a great way to extract more value from the most popular evergreen material.
For example, if there’s a funny episode of a great on-air feature, direct the user to hear it online. This promotes the feature and encourages tune-in, and makes a great first impression.
Planning An Automated Campaign
There are several factors to consider when planning automated email.
The more time invested in the preparation process, the more effective the emails will be.
Here are some things to consider:
The Trigger: What event starts the campaign? In other words, what action starts the email flow to the listener? It could be signing up for a newsletter, entering a contest or any number of actions.
Interval: How long after the trigger event does the email send? Map the time between each email in the Drip campaign. Schedule it frequently enough to be remembered but not so often it becomes spammy.
The Target: To whom does the email go? Should it be sent to everyone who signs up, or just those who fit a certain criteria? For example, some stations send a different email to respondents based on individual music preferences.
Topic: What is the campaign about? What is the goal for the email series?
Call to Action: Every email send should lead the user to take a specific action.
The Landing Page: Where does the link lead them? Is the landing page current? Is it interesting?
For best results, set up a simple form for each campaign to track results.
Here’s a useful Drip Checklist to keep your campaigns track.
Drip Campaign Content
Most stations have classic content that is largely ignored. That’s a mistake. Use it in the Drip campaign to welcome new email newsletter subscribers.
How about including an email highlighting the morning show’s best phone scams of all time, with an invitation to listen at specific times for new episodes.
Then a month after that, follow it up with an email of highlights from a classic interview with a core artist.
Just be sure to freshen the campaign regularly. Set a calendar reminder to review each email in the campaign each quarter. It’s embarrassing to send an email about a great feature that’s no longer on the air. Or link to a page that no longer exists!
Once in place, test it before activating it. Sign up for the campaign and see how everything looks in your own email box.
Once the campaign has run for a few days, it’s safe to make available to the public. The Drip emails will always arrive in your email box a few days before any new sign ups receive it, so there’s plenty of time to edit as needed.
An effective automated email Drip campaign is a little complex to set up at first. But once in place, it’ll be highly effective in communicating with the audience more frequently and effectively.
And what a great way to use great content already created.