Lead nurturing is important in the long scheme of building relationships between an organization’s marketing and sales teams and its leads.
It can be done in a variety of ways, from top notch, targeted content marketing to following up with prospects.
One of the most common tactics is by executing a drip campaign.
What Is a Drip Campaign?
Drip campaigns are a marketing technique to bring in customers through lead nurture programs.
They work by sending marketing content to prospects in increments over a period of time, nurturing brand awareness and sales-prospect relationships.
In the grand scheme of your overall marketing strategy, it’s continually validating your business in small doses and keeping your company at top-of-mind to meet prospects’ needs.
The Benefits of Drip Campaigns
Drip campaigns support your marketing efforts in a variety of ways if implemented correctly. Strategizing is incredibly important, but there are plenty of advantages to the method.
Promote Valuable Content
Marketing teams create content to be consumed. It can be incredibly frustrating and disheartening when you're putting out high value content and no one even sees it.
Getting eyes on it is a top priority.
Whether you just published a new ebook or you've got an epic new blog series coming out, a drip campaign is a great way to promote new content that you know would interest your audience.
Boost Brand Awareness and Engagement
Brand awareness is a key element of establishing yourself in your market, and engagement is how you keep that position.
Drip campaigns keep your prospects and customers regularly involved with your brand. When they're regularly exposed to your content, promotions, products, and values, they begin associating your business with the need you aim to satisfy.
Re-Engage Unengaged Leads
Every business has at least one or two leads who haven't unsubscribed from your email lists or made the decision to pass on your business yet, but they have somewhat gone dark.
A targeted drip campaign is a great way to bring unengaged leads back into the fold. You can reintroduce your value and rebuild trust, rather than writing off potential customers.
The Types of Drip Campaigns
The great thing about drip campaigns is that there’s a diverse variety to choose from. Here are some of the most popular types of drip marketing techniques that are used to nurture leads.
Welcome Drip Campaigns
A welcome campaign is meant to be the first onboarding step after a lead subscribes to your mailing list. Typically, they're meant to introduce your business, explain what you offer, and highlight popular content.
Top-of-Mind Drip Campaigns
Meant for leads who aren't quite sales-ready yet, this campaign keeps receivers frequently engaged with your brand so that you're not forgotten as a resource.
Educational Drip Campaigns
These drips focus on highlighting either your business' offers or what makes your business stand out form your competitors. You'll be able to provide prospects with educational content that boosts your positioning in the market.
Abandoned Cart Drip Campaigns
Cart abandonment is a pretty common occurrence, but not every instance is a lost cause. Drip campaigns are useful for reminding a visitor of their purchase intent and can bring them back around to the sale.
Promotional Drip Campaigns
Releasing well timed promotional emails can give prospects in the decision stage just the right push to commit to a purchase. For example, special discount offers or extra features can help them pull the trigger.
Re-Engagement Drip Campaigns
Bringing leads back on to the wagon is important, since every potential sale counts. Leveraging campaigns that are designed solely to re-engage leads can help you cover a lot more ground.
Unsubscribe Drip Campaigns
When someone unsubscribes from your email list, you still have a shot at keeping them in your orbit. These types of drip campaigns push for the lead to follow you on social media and can even bring in valuable data through surveys asking why they've unsubscribed.
What Makes a Drip Campaign Successful?
Drips work because they can be used to address specific pain points, like low engagement or difficult onboarding processes.
With a well built, automated drip campaign, you can revitalize your email lists and get a head start on new campaigns.
By reintroducing your brand to your email lists routinely, you’re differentiating yourself from the rest of the market as well. You’re implementing constant reminders that you can meet customer needs and that they’re at the top of your priority list.
5 Steps for Creating and Implementing a Successful Drip Campaign
Making sure that your drip campaign is functional and complete is crucial to the success of your marketing efforts. If they’re not built with purpose and intentionality, then they’re not going to yield any results.
Here are five steps to help you make sure that you’re on the right path to effectively nurturing leads:
1. Define Goals and Objectives.
In order for your drip emails to not feel random or spammy, you should identify a specific goal that you’re looking to achieve with the campaign.
Are you hoping to re-engage old prospects that are stagnant in your pipeline? Are you promoting a new product launch?
By defining clear objectives, you’ll be able to provide direction to your content.
2. Create Lead Criteria for Campaign Participation.
It's pretty convenient that you can establish specific rules for different campaigns.
By establishing lead criteria, you can dictate what behaviors, past interactions, and even which elements the lead's information qualify them for a specific campaign.
By doing this, the campaigns become even more targeted and useful. For every drip campaign you develop, establish its criteria so that it can begin filtering through your email list.
3. Decide on the Scale of the Campaign.
Frequency is important in a successful campaign, but finding that sweet spot of just enough touches can be tricky.
Too few over too long a time and you risk being easy to forget. Too many too often, and then you're borderline a nuisance.
Depending on the type of drip and your goals for the campaign, you'll want to keep the count between four and 11 emails released over the course of seven and 14 days apart.
4. Create Personalized Content.
If you know who your target audience is and you know what you're trying to achieve, then creating relevant, personalized content should be easier than going in dark.
Drip campaigns shouldn't be dry, generalized emails sent in mass. In order to achieve your goals, you'll need to be intentional and targeted.
Send additional content that will meet each segmented list's interests, like blog posts or videos, and make them feel like your business truly understands them and their needs.
5. Establish Rules for Removal.
Have you ever been asked to do a task, you do it, and then you're asked to do it again immediately after, even though it's completed?
It's frustrating, right? Unfortunately, if you frustrate a customer, that can turn into losing their business in the future.
When a customer performs the desired action of a campaign, make sure that there are rules in place to automatically unenroll them from the email list after a thank you or follow up email.
If they keep receiving emails asking them to follow through with a task after the fact, not only will they unsubscribe, they'll probably walk away from your business.
Drip Campaign Examples
There are some pretty cool drip campaigns out there that have been successfully nurturing leads for all sorts of businesses. Here are some great ideas that you can steal for your own:
Leah Kalamakis' Freelancing to Freedom
Leah Kalamakis, a freelance web designer, founded a project school meant to offer subscribers the secrets to her success. Her email marketing does a great job of feeling personalized and intimate, like the example above.
By presenting herself as open and relatable, her audience places more trust in her – and spend more for her online course.
Holstee Tackles Cart Abandonment
Holstee has a great cart abandonment campaign that hits all the right notes: a warm and personalized greeting, a reminder of what was in the cart, and a direct link to finish the purchase.
The customer service invite at the end of the email is a wonderful touch, building trust and comfort in knowing that Helen's got your back.
RyanAir's Launch Rules Rock
These email screenshots are a great example of a promotional drip campaign with established lead criteria and we love it.
The first thing to note is how the emails are sent in a timely fashion. It's not a daily plug. Recipients are brought into the know when the sale starts, when it's extended, and on its final weekend. Any more frequently and the promotion would likely turn into just noise.
It's also pretty cool how it's not the same graphic sent repeatedly. There are likely criteria rules in place that trigger which announcement is sent based off of who opened the one before it, so the messaging is different each time. Clever, right?
Drip Campaign Templates
Having email templates on hand can help save you time in nurturing your leads. These drip email templates will help get your campaigns headed in the right direction toward success.
Of course, customize and personalize these as needed for your business.
Welcome Drip Template
Educational Drip Template
Re-Engagement Drip Template
Unsubscribe Drip Template
Start Nurturing Leads the Right Way
Conducting drip campaigns are a great way to keep leads engaged and interested in your business. If you're not using them for their true value, then you're probably working a lot harder without seeing any real results.
Give drip campaigns a try and watch your lead nurturing efforts grow into full bloom.