For any business, timing can be the difference between its success and failure. While developing an email marketing campaign, companies will dedicate a great amount of resources into perfecting the timing of their plans.
Be overzealous and send a marketing message too early? Prospective clients may be unwilling and unprepared to commit to a certain product, making the company’s efforts futile. Wait around and send the message too late? Your company may lose business to your competitors. Fortunately, businesses can now rely on drip marketing campaigns to assist in the timelines, consistency and effectiveness of their marketing strategies.
Drip marketing is an automated set of messages sent to sales leads based on specific timelines or user actions. With the goal of guiding the consumer along the sales cycle, drip campaigns allow companies to consistently reach out and remain engaged with carefully targeted groups. Although drip campaigns can include social media, direct mail, and teleprospecting, in this article, we will focus our attention on email marketing since it is both efficient and cost-effective.
Email newsletters are a basic tool for businesses to stay in contact with their customers. However, there is one glaring issue found among many of these campaigns: the most recent subscribers only receive the latest emails and never get the chance to see any of the earlier messages sent by the company. By employing a drip marketing strategy, all marketing messages will be scheduled and sent out automatically. For example, customers may receive the first email from a company as soon as they sign up, another a few days later, and one more the following week.
Aside from a standard schedule, behavioral emails can also be utilized in drip marketing. These messages are delivered based on triggers set off by a user’s actions like signing up for a service or making a purchase on a company’s website. Drip marketing allows your brand to have continual engagement with consumers, providing them with relevant information regarding sales, promotions and product information.
Like all marketing strategies, drip campaigns are evaluated on metrics based on not only the number of people reached but also the click-through and conversion rates of those reached. According to research collected by email-marketing organization Emma, people who read your drip emails are far more likely to click the links in them, with a 119% increase in click rate from drip emails. This increased click rate translates directly into revenue as Emma also uncovered that targeted emails produce 18-times more revenue than globally-broadcasted ones. Reports organized by DemandGen have found that B2B marketers, who have successfully implemented lead nurturing programs (a popular type of drip campaign), average a 20 percent increase in sales opportunities from nurtured leads versus non-nurtured leads. Considering that companies can reuse content and send out automated email marketing messages to stay fresh in the consumer’s mind, it is important to recognize the relevance of these statistics.
According to MailChimp, one aspect of email marketing that can have an “overwhelmingly positive impact on the engagement of your subscribers” is market segmentation. There are many ways to segment email lists, but as Sendloop points out on their blog, the most popular segmentation techniques are by demographics (specifically geographic location), purchase history, open/click rate history, and browsing history. Segmenting groups by subscriber activity can help identify and send messages to loyal users as well as pinpoint disengaged users who have not opened many, if any, previously sent messages. Whereas companies would send active users traditional drip marketing messages, they may send follow-up campaigns to inactive users in an attempt to convert them into profitable clients.
Although drip marketing is a term used to cover several marketing strategies, it's mission of sustaining engagement between consumers and companies always remains the same. Here are a few cases in which setting up a drip campaign has the power to help businesses get relevant information to targeted readers, and in turn covert them into customers:
Leads are prospective clients who may need a bit of guidance during the buying process. Offering free trials, providing product assistance and informing users of your services are all forms of lead nurturing. According to Drip, a marketing automation app, organizations that use lead nurturing properly can generate 50% more sale-ready leads for 33% less in cost.
For users that recently subscribed to your company’s newsletter, a welcome drip can provide them with some of your site’s top content. Experian’s “Welcome Email Report” shows that consumers embrace the initial communication of welcome messages due to their average open rate of 57.8 % compared to the 14.6% open rate of other promotional mailings.
Based on knowledge from purchase history and browsing habits, companies can better predict what a particular consumer may or may not like. In a 2013 interview, David Selinger, CEO of RichRelevance stated that his company’s recommendation services provided a 3-15 percent increase in revenue for its clients.
Drip marketing borrowed its name from drip irrigation, a method used by farmers to manage the application and distribution of water among plants. Like the farmer’s irrigation system, digital marketing agencies must carefully balance the delicate line between consistency and overkill. Just as overwatering will damage the soil and roots of the plant, hounding customers with too many drip emails will create disdain and annoyance from clients. However, a well-thought-out drip marketing strategy will engage current and prospective clients with product and service information in a timely manner.
Learn more about email marketing.