The Robots Are Coming: Drip Marketing at it's Worst

The Robots Are Coming: Drip Marketing at it's Worst

I say automation, you think robotic, right?

No wonder. Experienced marketers and consumers alike receive corporate-heavy copy in their messages nowadays. Dry, humorless, stiff, computerized. Or the pendulum swings the other way with over-the-top witticisms and personality that tries too hard. Canned humor gets nowhere.

To strike a balance between robotic and over-friendly in your drip marketing campaigns is difficult, especially trying to let your usual brand voice have a weigh in, too. It isn’t impossible, though.

There are a few strategies that will help you craft conversational, concise copy that doesn’t sound like it came from a machine.

#1: Sparking a Conversation

In a previous post, I talked about different approaches to messages for the various audiences your drip campaigns will go to: cold leads, prospects, and customers. For the most part, I’ve seen success when I’ve erred on the side of keeping copy short.

That’s because a marketer’s job isn’t to throw information at their readers, but to start conversations with them.You can blast a group of people over and over again with information you would like them to care about. Or you can send them tidbits of helpful information that intrigue or inspire them, the end goal of which is for them to hit reply on one of the drip emails and talk to you.Drip marketing frustrates some marketers because their perspective is to use the channel as a way to send a deluge of people messages about their products and services. But these messages usually sound like advertorials in magazines - long and informational and barely eye-catching.

By keeping emails short, you create an opportunity for the recipient to respond - to ask questions or make comments. It’s sparking a real conversation with a real person, which is the true goal of drip marketing.

#2 Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery

We’re all familiar enough with marketing automation that we can tell when we receive an automated email. Sign up for an email newsletter, get an automated confirmation message. Watch a quick demo video on a website, receive a followup email from the sales team. Download a new app, receive timed emails about using it.

Ask yourself which of these you liked the best or responded to the most. What exact phrases and sentences did the copywriter use that engaged you? They might apply to the messages you’re trying to write or the tone you’re trying to strike.

Another strategy when writing drip marketing copy is to ask colleagues what has worked for them. Maybe your subject line is as simple as the title of the blog post you’re promoting “Five Simple Ways to do X.” Or maybe it’s a succinct, super-witty reference to an inside joke your industry would understand.

There’s no harm in imitating the copy that resonates with you. Please do not plagiarize, but do be inspired by others.

Also, test what works for your industry and company. A few times, I’ve gone back and changed the subject line and copy of a few emails in drip campaigns because the metrics told me they were falling flat. I’ve flipped from short, punny subject line to simply using the title of the blog post I was promoting. My open rate showed me that was the way to go.

#3 It’s Okay Not to Be Funny

There’s so much noise in the content marketing world today. It’s hard to stand out. But a way marketers have stood out is through using humor in their writing.

Giving readers a chuckle is definitely a way to make your drip marketing campaigns less robotic. There’s no doubt with the right context and the right message and the right brand, humor works.

But that’s the catch: It has to meet all of those criteria or it doesn’t work at all. For example, consider UrbanDaddy, a website dedicated to bringing you the best deals on the best stuff. Its emails - hilarious. Its copy - right on target. Its brand - positive and appealing. Even in a drip marketing context, its dry humor would be appropriate for the context, the message, and the brand.

However, even though I’m a fan of its writing style, the Urban Daddy brand of copywriting just wouldn’t fly for my campaigns at Orderly. We’re a sharp brand with plenty of character, but we’re not the colorful, edgy Urban Daddy and its copy wouldn’t do anything for our drip marketing.

If you’re funny, great. Include that in your drip marketing messages. If you’re not funny, great. Embrace it. Every brand has a unique voice and it doesn’t necessarily have to be the voice of humor. 

Lock it Down!

When you’ve found messaging and copy that works for your brand - getting a good response from your audience - then lock it down into a template for your company to use over and over again. Add it to your company’s marketing playbook so whoever joins your marketing team knows what copy to use in your drip marketing. Say goodbye to robot voice forever!