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How to Use Flight Plans for Sales Email Drip Campaigns

How to Use Flight Plans for Sales Email Drip Campaigns

Maddy Osman

By Maddy Osman on Sep 15, 2020

Company News

Mass email sends can quickly become impersonal — especially if you’re using the same cookie-cutter email templates. However, sending individual, personalized emails is extremely time-consuming.

According to the third-edition of Salesforce’s State of Sales report, managing emails is the number one task sales reps say they spend too much time on. However, that same report found that 72% of business buyers expect personalized engagement from vendors.

So, where’s the happy medium between sending mass emails and individual personalization?

The answer: email drip campaigns.

Great email drip campaign software allows sales teams to automate email touchpoints while keeping things personal through targeted lists.

While there are plenty of email marketing tools to choose from for email drip campaigns, there’s only one built with salespeople in mind: Flight Plans by Cirrus Insight.

To help you understand how to use Flight Plans for your email drip campaigns, we’ll dive into:

  • What Cirrus Insight’s Flight Plans software is
  • How admins can create a Flight Plan
  • How users can start a Flight Plan
  • How to analyze the effectiveness of your Flight Plans
  • Passenger: A passenger is anyone who can be added to a specific Flight Plan, such as a lead, prospect, or customer.
  • Flight Plan: A Flight Plan — or drip campaign — is a series of emails sent in a sequence that act as a personal campaign for a variety of passengers.
  • Flight: A single passenger’s unique journey through the Flight Plan. There can be multiple flights in one Flight Plan.
  • Email automation of sequences to put time back on your schedule
  • Semi-automatic tasks like prompting a phone call follow up at a specific point in the Flight Plan
  • Adding calendar availability through Cirrus Insight’s Enterprise Scheduling functionality to book meetings
  • Analytics to measure positive and negative outcomes, open rates, and click-through rates

Let’s start with a definition of email drip campaigns.

What is an Email Drip Campaign?

In sales, email drip campaigns are a sequence of pre-written, automated emails sent to a targeted lead or contact list based on a timed schedule. It’s an effective marketing automation strategy.

The ploy is to prospect smarter by connecting people of interest with specific messaging at the right time in the sales cycle — without doing the work each time manually.

To keep prospects engaged and push them through the sales funnel, the campaigns slowly “drip” email newsletters with valuable information into email subscribers’ inboxes. Thus, “drip campaigns.”

If email drip campaigns aren’t currently part of your sales approach — they should be, and here’s why.

A 2015 study by Act-On and Gleanster Research found top-performing B2B companies are 20% more likely to be using marketing automation tools. Additionally, DMA’s 2015 National Client Email Report revealed that 58% of all revenue is generated by segmented and targeted emails.

These statistics describe drip campaigns in a data nutshell.

However, there is a method to the email drip campaign madness.

More specifically, this is where Flight Plans by Cirrus Insight proves invaluable for salespeople.

What are Flight Plans?

In short, Flight Plans are an email drip campaign tool built with salespeople in mind as the end-user.

Before diving into the basic features of Flight Plans, there are a few key terms specific to Cirrus Insight that you’ll want to get familiar with:

Like other Cirrus Insight products, it integrates with Gmail and Salesforce, so you never have to leave your inbox.

Not a technological person?

Here’s the good news:

Flight Plans requires no technical experience to create high-quality email drip campaigns in just a few clicks.

The software is user-friendly, and setup is relatively painless since you don’t have to rely on a complex admin process — compared to other software tools like SalesLoft or Outreach.

By combining email sequences with personalized features, Flight Plans offers the best of both worlds for your multi-faceted sales strategy.

Automation allows you to trigger a set of emails to send to a specific Salesforce lead or contact list to reduce time on administrative tasks while nurturing prospects.

Additionally, merge tags let you personalize pre-existing or custom email templates with tags that include distinctions like the passenger’s first name, company, and custom fields from Salesforce or a CSV file.

How to Use Flight Plans for Sales Email Drip Campaigns - CSV upload

Flight Plans even lets you monitor your drip campaigns to see how well they are performing.

The best part?

The conversations you’re having through specific Flight Plans avoid spam filters because you’re directly communicating with your contacts.

A few additional benefits of using Flight Plans include:

For the purposes of this particular guide, we’re focusing on the basics of using Flight Plans to help you better understand the software.

A Beginner’s Guide to Using Flight Plans for Email Drip Campaigns

To get a feel for how to use Flight Plans in your sales strategy for lead nurturing, let’s cover the basics for administrators and users.

How to Create a Flight Plan: For Administrators

To create a Flight Plan — or email drip campaign — from scratch, there are a few quick steps you’ll have to take:

1. Login to your Gmail account that’s integrated with Salesforce and Cirrus Insight’s Flight Plans.

2. Select the Flight Plans tab in the Cirrus Insight navigation bar from within your Gmail.

How to Use Flight Plans for Sales Email Drip Campaigns - Flight Plans tab

3. Click on the Flights button from the pop-up screen.

How to Use Flight Plans for Sales Email Drip Campaigns - Flights button

4. Select the Manage button on the right side of the Flight Plans sub-navigation.

How to Use Flight Plans for Sales Email Drip Campaigns - manage button

5. On the far right of the Flight Plans sub-navigation menu, click on New Flight Plan.

How to Use Flight Plans for Sales Email Drip Campaigns - new Flight Plan button

6. Type in a concise yet descriptive name for the Flight Plan.

How to Use Flight Plans for Sales Email Drip Campaigns - Flight Plan description

7. Add description details to the Flight Plan to make it easy for your sales team to sort through various email campaigns.

How to Use Flight Plans for Sales Email Drip Campaigns - Flight Plan description

8. Once complete, select an existing folder to save the Flight Plan from the drop-down menu.

You can also save the Flight Plan to a new folder by clicking on the + sign.

How to Use Flight Plans for Sales Email Drip Campaigns - Flight Plan new folder

9. Define the steps within the Flight Plan by adding a brief description.

How to Use Flight Plans for Sales Email Drip Campaigns - Flight Plan step description

10. By default, Flight Plans are manually triggered. To automate the workflow, click on the box next to send email automatically.

To send a Flight outside of regular business hours, click on the box to allow delivery after work.

How to Use Flight Plans for Sales Email Drip Campaigns - allow delivery after work

11. Create your content from existing email templates when you click on Email Content.

How to Use Flight Plans for Sales Email Drip Campaigns - email content

You can also make use of other organization templates by clicking on the drop-down menu.

How to Use Flight Plans for Sales Email Drip Campaigns - organization templates

12. After you’ve created the actions and templates for each step, your Flight Plan is ready for passengers to board the email drip.

How to Start a Flight Plan: For Users

There are three ways to start a Flight Plan from within your inbox, but we’ll focus on the most popular method.

Here’s how to set up a triggered Flight Plan by adding multiple users:

1. Log into your Gmail account that’s integrated with Salesforce and Cirrus Insight’s Flight Plans.

2. Select the Flight Plans tab in the Cirrus Insight navigation bar from within your Gmail.

How to Use Flight Plans for Sales Email Drip Campaigns - Flight Plans for users

3. Click the Flights button on the left side of the Flight Plans sub-navigation.

How to Use Flight Plans for Sales Email Drip Campaigns - Flights

4. Click Start A Flight on the right side of the Flight Plans sub-navigation.

How to Use Flight Plans for Sales Email Drip Campaigns - start a Flight

5. From the pop-up, select the groups of passengers you want to receive the Flight Plan by clicking on Leads or Contacts.

In the same pop-up, you can also choose between previously created Salesforce reports or lists.

6. If you select Build a Report from the drop-down menu, use the Report Search function to find the desired report.

If you select Build a List from the drop-down menu, use the Report Search function to find the desired list.

How to Use Flight Plans for Sales Email Drip Campaigns - Report Search

7. Once the data from the list or report shows on the screen, check the box for each passenger you’d like to place on this specific Flight Plan.

You can also check the box next to Lead Owner to bulk add everyone in the list (up to 100 contacts per Flight Plan).

How to Use Flight Plans for Sales Email Drip Campaigns - Recipients

8. Select Continue and choose the desired Flight Plan where you’d like the specific passengers to be placed.

How to Use Flight Plans for Sales Email Drip Campaigns - passengers

9. When the Flight summary window pops up, review the steps, and click on Start Flights. The first email will be sent shortly after pressing the button.

If you want to schedule a Flight sequence in advance, use the date and time fields before clicking on Start Flights.

How to Use Flight Plans for Sales Email Drip Campaigns - Start Flights

How to Monitor Flight Plan Activity

Like any good salesperson, you’ll want to keep an eye on how your Flight Plans perform to adjust where necessary.

Here are the basics for how to monitor your Flight Plan’s activity:

1. Log into your Gmail account that’s integrated with Salesforce and Cirrus Insight’s Flight Plans.

2. Select the Flight Plans tab in the Cirrus Insight navigation bar from within your Gmail.

How to Use Flight Plans for Sales Email Drip Campaigns - Flight Plans for users

3. Click the Flights button on the left side of the Flight Plans sub-navigation.

How to Use Flight Plans for Sales Email Drip Campaigns - Flights

4. The dashboard will show all of your Flight activity for the last three months.

For a more granular comparison, you can select the last 30, 14, or seven days.

How to Use Flight Plans for Sales Email Drip Campaigns - Flight Plan activity

5. Scroll down to see the complete list of your Flight Plans.

Click on a specific Flight Plan to view individualized campaign performance. This will take you to the Outbound view to monitor total activities, positive outcomes, negative outcomes, or what’s currently in-flight.

Final Thoughts: How to Use Flight Plans for Email Drip Campaigns

There’s a constant battle between finding ways to save time while not sacrificing personal touches. With email drip campaigns, you can combine the power of marketing automation with personalization features — such as merge tags.

With Flight Plans by Cirrus Insight, missing follow-ups are a thing of the past. Streamlined workflows and increased sales productivity are in your future.

Create Flight Plans, run email drip campaigns, and monitor activity without ever leaving your inbox.

Interested in learning about Flight Plans’ advanced features, or simply want to dip your toes in the water when it comes to using drip campaigns? Start a Free 14 Day Trial.

Are you a Salesforce user?

Ever wish you could do all this without leaving your inbox? With Cirrus Insight, you can.

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