How do you engage prospective families?
59% of marketers say their biggest challenge is having enough time to create engaging content and campaigns that successfully nurture leads. Ensuring every family receives consistent communication is time-consuming. Fortunately, drip campaigns help you automatically nurture parents throughout the entire enrollment journey. Plus, they deliver a personalized experience. You'll get higher response rates from families with less effort.
Read this ultimate guide to building marketing campaigns faster - improving your return on investment (ROI).
What Is A Drip Campaign?
Drip campaigns are powerful tools for re-engaging families who may be considered a ‘lost opportunity’. These behavior-based automations allow you to communicate with prospective families based on how they interact with the content you share.
Drip texts and emails are part of a single marketing campaign, so you can better monitor their effectiveness. See how families are responding to the messages you share. For example, you might send out an email to all prospective parents who haven’t yet scheduled a tour. Those who opened and clicked could then be given a task in your childcare experience platform - assigning staff to follow up with highly-engaged families by phone. The parent or guardian that didn't open the email can automatically receive a text within 3 days of the initial email. Essentially, drip campaigns help you convert high-quality leads quicker and nurture families that need more time.
Schedule a demo to see how drip campaigns automatically manage and engage your families with less work.
Drip campaign infographic
Why Would I Need A Drip Campaign?
More than 90% of consumers say they’re more likely to be loyal to companies that remember through personalization tactics. Drip campaigns are an efficient marketing tool for multi-center childcare organizations. They’re highly targeted texts or emails that provide families with a tailored experience.
Drip campaigns are a form of text or email marketing. With drip campaigns, families in your enrollment pipeline receive unique emails and text messages. If one parent clicked the blog link in your email, they may be considered engaged. Automate a follow-up text with information about your toddler class. The parent who opened the email but didn’t click could instead be sent additional articles (how to prep their toddler for the first day of daycare, and more) until they become likely to enroll.
Plus, use drip campaigns for non-responsive prospective families. If a parent or guardian hasn’t responded or opened your emails, send them a text. Add personalization keys like [First Name] [Last Name] to see if they're still interested. In fact, 60% of Millennials prefer to text businesses.
Statistics about Millennial parents
What Does A Drip Campaign Look Like?
According to Martech Zone, open rates for drip campaigns are about 80% higher than single-send emails. You want to increase family response rates to maximize enrollments. Let's take a look at the drip email example below.
Why this Works for Nurturing Parent Leads:
The email includes a captivating tour video and the link to schedule a tour in person.
It's personalized based on the parent or guardian's name.
The body text is brief.
There’s an enrollment offer with a deadline.
The CTA button is engaging and grabs your attention.
1) Identify Your Campaign Goal
Childcare software makes it easy to centrally build and manage drip campaigns for each of your locations. Is your goal to nurture new leads and get them to schedule a tour? Do you want to re-engage lost or stalled opportunities?
Whatever the case, you need a reason behind the campaign. Once your goal is established– the next step is to segment your audience. You want to ensure that the right parents are receiving the right communications. Create more meaningful experiences and improve open rates. Aptly communicating with parents is key to your success. Segment your prospective parents by...
Similar expected start date
Age groups & classrooms
Waitlist by reason
Lost opportunity by reason
Center event attendees
Stalled or lost opportunities
2) Choose the Number of Engagements and Level of Personalization
Choose when and how often the emails will be sent to parents. Drip campaigns with four to eleven emails see an open rate above 40%. You pick the email schedule and automation takes care of the rest. For example, if your goal is to get family leads to register after scheduling a tour - you'll want to build a brief campaign. Only send 3-5 drips because the parent or guardian has already expressed interest in your center. However, if you’re creating a campaign to regain a lost opportunity - they'll need additional nurturing. Create a longer drip series with 8-10 texts or emails sent over several months.
Then, deliver emails and text messages that are tailored to each parent's need. Highlight your unique benefits and features by age group. Or simply segment based on the specific interests of a group of families to ultimately move them to the next stage in your enrollment funnel.
Use a childcare experience platform - CRM (customer relationship management software), CMS (childcare management system), and Parent Engagement app combined - for one simple parent and staff experience. Easily store templates and automate personalization. Automatically segment families and use personalization keys like [Lead First Name] or [Location Name] with drip campaigns. Check out a few example content ideas to send to specific family segments...
Similar expected start date - "3 ways you should prepare your child before their first day"
Same age group or classroom - "What's going on this week in the Toddlers' Classroom"
Similar lost opportunities - "5 reasons early education is essential"
Example personalization keys
3) Know When to Remove Someone From Your Campaign
Almost 75% of all adults will unsubscribe from content that’s no longer relevant or useful to them. It’s important to send re-engagement emails in a drip campaign. Families may have changed their perspective about your center since you last spoke. However, it’s equally important to stop drips for parents that aren't interested in your re-engagement drips. Use drip campaigns to save time and resources for enrollment-ready leads.
Tip: If you need email drip campaign ideas, click here. Check out dozens of high-quality email campaigns to get inspiration. Or learn more about how to build email marketing campaigns that work.
Copy Best Practices for Drip Campaigns
Email subject lines are the first thing your prospective parents see. They need to be powerful. Your copy or text is crucial. Every word really counts in drip campaigns. See these best practices for crafting compelling emails that engage families.
1) Make the Subject Line Length 28-50 Characters
A study by Backlinkto found that slightly longer email titles may improve parent response rates. According to their recommendation, subject line lengths of 36 to 50 characters outperform shorter subject lines (15 character maximum) by more than 30%.
For example, this subject line example is 36 characters – well within the optimal range.
Example email template #2
2) Pre-header Text Length Should Stay Anywhere from 40-100 Characters
Preheader text directly follows the drip email subject line and previews the message content. Keep this brief, so it doesn’t conflict with your main email copy.
3) Email Copy Length Needs to Be 50-125 Words
125 words may seem short for a marketing message to prospective parents. However, email copy that’s 50-125 words sees parent response rates over 50%. Shorten ideas by using bullet points or linking out to relevant content.
4) Keep Email CTA Buttons Between 2-5 Words
The CTA should be the easiest to read out of all your drip campaign email elements. Make them short, sweet, and action-oriented. You can even use eye-catching fonts and colors that reflect your childcare brand. For instance, using the CTA button ‘I'll Be There’ in your emails tells parents what action to take next.
Example email #3
5) Include 1-3 Images
Avoid cluttered emails. Break up your email text with imagery. In addition, ensure your images are high-quality. Have the correct dimensions in both desktop and mobile formats. Experian states that your images should be between 100-500kb.
Example email #4
6) Add Branding to the Signature Line
Each piece of your email should align with your childcare brand. Use consistent logos, images, fonts, and colors. Ensure your email signature is no different. Steer clear of confusing prospective parents with a clear email signature. Include your childcare business's name, your name, your job role, and more. View additional email signature best practices below.
Always include a simple CTA.
Keep it clean and professional.
Make sure your signature design is responsive on all devices.
Include videos, animations, or gifs to capture attention.
How To Track Campaign Performance
Learn from your drip campaigns. Easily track all results to see which email templates, messaging, and campaign topics resonate with your prospective parents. See if parents are opening your emails and performing the action you want them to take.
1) Track Your Open Rate
An email open rate is the number of prospective parents who viewed and opened your email. Your average email open rate should be between 15-25%. It’s great to compare your open rates to the industry average, but you should also compare your own emails against one another. For example, see how last week’s email open rates contrast to this week’s. Then, test your subject lines, pre-header text, and the day or time your automated drips are scheduled for.
2) Review Your Click Rate
Click-to-open rates (also known as Click-Through-Rates or CTRs) tell you how many people clicked a link in your email after opening it. You want to keep this number above 1.5% but the higher, the better. This number signifies how many families are engaging with your messages. To improve your CTR, use stronger calls to action buttons in your email.
3) Monitor Your Bounce Rate
Bounce rates show you the total number of emails that you tried to send, but couldn’t be delivered. This is often due to a typo in an email address, a parent recently opting out of your emails, or messages ending up in spam. To reduce bounce rates, regularly monitor your email health. See how here. This KPI provides insight into the overall functioning and efficiency of your email system. Keep your bounce rate below 2% to ensure families receive your valuable emails.
4) Optimize Emails Based on Performance Data
Use the above KPIs to adjust emails or texts if they’re not performing well. Find what’s working and what's not with your prospective parents. Refocus the drip campaign topics that aren’t getting opened. Additionally, tighten up your CTA button text and automate campaigns with a childcare experience platform to reduce error.
Test Email Variations
Consider testing variations of your emails to see what resonates with your audience. Try out alternate messaging, email sender names, delivery times, and mediums. For example, are more parents responding to your emails with language that utilizes the ‘fear of missing out’? A test could be as simple as adjusting your email subject line by just a single word or two...
Email 1 Subject Line: Don’t Miss Out on This Special Offer (negative)
Email 2 Subject Line: Take Advantage of This Special Offer (positive)
For more best email practices, check out our guide Build Email Marketing Campaigns Like a Pro or watch the video below.
How to Get Started with Drip Campaigns
Drip campaigns increase the quality of your childcare marketing efforts. Deliver personalized experiences to potential families. Take advantage of behavior-based workflows to easily build lead nurture campaigns across all your locations.
Choose childcare experience software that automates drip campaigns for you. LineLeader by ChildcareCRM lets you store customized and branded email templates. Take advantage of LineLeader to encourage families to enroll. Build long-lasting relationships before they ever step foot in your center.
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For more information on how to use drip campaigns in LineLeader Enroll, click the step-by-step article here.
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