Using Email Drip Campaigns to Nurture Leads and Increase Sales
By playing the long game and providing valuable information when it’s needed most, you’re nurturing a potentially high-value relationship.
There’s no doubt about the enduring viability of email marketing, which delivers some of the highest ROI of all marketing tactics. Yet, many integrated marketers make the mistake of thinking that if they can get a prospect to open an email, they need to give them the entire sales pitch. While there may be a small portion of your audience who’ll respond, this is an expensive, impersonal process that ignores the fact that not all potential customers are at the same place in the funnel.
Email drip campaigns offer a more measured approach that lets you send targeted, personalized communications at regular intervals. Instead of cramming your pitch into a single email, you map out communications over several different touches or ‘drips.’ It’s a better way to groom qualified leads and stay top of mind with prospects who aren’t as deep into the funnel. You can tailor a campaign to every step of the journey, from enticing your audience to take a free trial, targeting those who abandon their shopping carts, and turning customers into repeat buyers. By playing the long game and providing valuable information when it’s needed most, you’re nurturing a potentially high-value relationship. These essentials will help you create a drip campaign that gets results.
It All Starts with Strategy
The first step is to identify your goals. What problems are you trying to solve, and what business need are you trying to address? Beyond growing sales, consider these goals:
- Introducing a new product
- Increasing brand awareness
- Encouraging more repeat business
- Event registration
- Driving engagement
The more specific you are, the more effective your content will be.
A big part of what makes drip campaigns so effective is that you’re talking to people at specific points of the customer journey. Having a well-segmented database can help you reach the right people at the right time and give your creatives deeper insight to inform their work.
When possible, segment your list not only based on obvious criteria such as geography, industry, and job function, but purchase behavior, stage in the sales cycle, topics of interest, and their behavior on your website.
There’s a tradeoff to getting so granular. You may need to create more different iterations of a campaign, but the extra details can help you produce more impactful emails.
Create Great Emails
When writing or designing your drips, focus on relationship-building instead of just making a sale. Consider your customers’ perspectives and needs and center on those. Think about:
- Your customers’ pain points
- What their goals are
- What actions you want them to take
You’ll need to figure out the best way to tell an engaging story across multiple touches. Consider the 6-drip sample outline below as a guide, but use as many drips as you need to court your audience and prepare them for your ask.
Drip #1: Introduction and education, putting customer needs and pain points at the center.
Drips #2 - #4: More education and information, still honing in on the customer experience.
Drip #5: Transition to what makes your company uniquely qualified to meet their needs.
Drip #6: Closing and ask. Even now, think about a ‘soft sell’ and invite the reader to take a free trial or set up a call, rather than asking them to purchase.
Schedule Your Drips
Most email drip campaigns include four to 11 emails spaced about anywhere from four days to 14 days apart. A good rule of thumb for B2B companies is to email once a week, at most. On the other hand, studies have shown that B2C customers like getting emails from brands at least once a week.