What are Drip Marketing Campaigns?
In the age of automation and noise, drip email campaigns may be the source of profitability for growing businesses that want to mitigate uncertainty with solid processes and agility.
The term itself comes from the world of agriculture and the term ‘‘drip irrigation’’ where small amounts of water timely distributed can feed plants over an extended period of time.
A drip marketing campaign is a communication strategy that sends or in other words ‘‘drips’’, ready-made, pre-written sequences of messages to existing customers or potential prospects during a certain period of time.
There are many similar terms for concepts such as drip marketing campaigns: automated email campaign, lifecycle emails, marketing automation, autoresponders, yet the end result is the same: the set of marketing messages and emails will be sent out automatically and according to the schedule.
Such an agile concept of drip marketing campaigns is very beneficial for the teams. It enables people working on their brands and products to get more free time to optimizing their messages, analyzing the data and providing value for customer segments.
As a result, most of the mundane work related to sequencing and sending emails can become automatic, whereas teams can receive more space for creative thinking, strategizing and execution.
When a product team starts doing drip marketing campaigns, the most important strategy and advice for them should be that they address user’s needs in their marketing endeavors, that they keep beings focused on the user at all times and that they find a way to solve users’ problems consistently and adequately.
How can businesses benefit from drip marketing campaigns?
At VMC we believe that we should start with an end-goal in our mind and reverse engineer the process of how to get there.
In other words, we first need to identify the pain points that our business tries to solve: Do we need to bring back to our website some visitors who got stuck at some point of the sales cycle? Do we notice that people leave empty shopping carts in our e-commerce section, so we need higher conversion at checkouts? Do we want to increase the engagement of our existing subscribers and can we provide extra value for frequent buyers?
We are all the creatures of habits and it is obvious that drip marketing campaigns capture certain aspects of habitual behavior. The actions of these campaigns will happen automatically based on pre-defined target groups, user segments and triggers or actions the person has taken before.
Some of these actions can be ‘‘signing up for a newsletter’’, ‘‘purchasing a product’’, ‘‘updating subscription preferences’’, etc.
Let’s say we notice inside our analytics that some users are disengaged. Thanks to drip marketing campaigns we have the leverage to stimulate those users, to evoke their interests again and to turn them slowly but surely into customers.
Or we want to welcome new readers with excellent content wherein a newsletter we send them top 5 articles that were most read in the last week. Likewise, if a person is in two minds whether to upgrade their premium plan for the next year, a drip marketing campaign with helpful content may serve as a nudge to them and persuade them to upgrade.
We may classify drip marketing campaigns into three types: the ones that are related to email, direct mail, and social media. Series of updates can be sent out by following the timetable and strategic goals of the product team. Also, not only is the content sent out automatically, but it can be reused.
Your brand should be actively present during your users’ ‘‘moments that matter’’ and you can track their behavior throughout those sequences.
For example, campaigns can be aimed at educating users; following up with the best customers and rewarding the loyal ones; helping customers who are at a certain part of their customer journey; moving customers to the new sections of the website and informing them about new products, upgrades or services that are in their best interests.
The beauty of drip email marketing is that you can segment your list based on members’ demographics, purchase history, previously opened emails, and identify the window of the opportunity when people are ready to buy.
Here are the main situations and ‘‘moments that matter’’ when drip marketing campaigns are a game-changer:
Thank people for joining the e-mail list and welcome them
If you prepare emails in a balanced way, you will be able to reach customers timely, you may teach people how to use the product properly after they bought it and you may occasionally remind people to engage with your brand.
According to Experian’s white paper, if autoresponders are set up, such emails will typically get a 58.7% open rate, whereas the standards for email open rate is around 14.6%. Even more important piece of information is that when such a welcome email is sent immediately after the user signs up, the open rate skyrockets to 88.3%.
Nurture leads and engages with them
In our journey with new leads, we should never sell to them upfront. Instead, we should build a connection, establish trust, provide value, educate leads about what we do and help them do better because we solve problems for them.
We will notice that our leads need more time to onboard, ask questions that are already answered or need help to get back on the track and finish their purchase even though they might have abandoned shopping carts with their B2B purchases.
One of the main goals of lead nurturing is to do so in such a professional way so that we can turn them into paying customers. Also, when we stumble upon inactive users, we should help them get active immediately.
Sometimes we will need to be extra emotional to get our message across. There will be emails with a tailor-made message such as ‘‘Where are you? We miss you!’’ Or there will be other ways to evoke guilty pleasures in the minds of consumers so that they start interacting with the brand again.
When it comes to email campaigns for abandoned shopping carts, such emails bring $5.64 of extra revenue per email, whereas such emails have an average 46.1% open rate and 13.3% click rate.
Renewals bring extra revenue and hope into our work
Autoresponders are the best and most elegant ways to get automatic renewals to the customers that their account will be charged. If the user misses the first opportunity for renewal, the second call to action in a drip campaign should prompt users to re-engage with your brand and service.
Unsubscribing may be another opportunity for the interaction
If the users clicked on the unsubscribe button, you need to let them go. Still, there is a way to communicate via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or another social media channel.
Before they leave, you may ask them in a question or two how they will prefer to continue the interaction with your brand.