3 steps to build the foundation for killer drip campaigns

By Ashlea Cartee on January 21st, 2016

Now that you are up and running with marketing automation, it’s time to take the next step to transform the way you do business. Wouldn’t it be nice to automate the tedious process of nurturing leads while maximizing results too? Well drip campaigns, one of the most powerful and sought-after features, do all of that for your marketing and sales team – and much more!

Drip campaigns are used to nurture leads that may not be sales-ready, allowing messages to be sent to prospects on a specific list at intervals based on time or activities. These campaigns are a great way to create top-of-mind awareness and nurture relationships based on each prospect’s engagement and action, without jeopardizing the relationship from overly persistent follow-up.

Here are three main steps to take when creating a strategic and purposeful drip campaign.

1. Cover the basics first. Every drip campaign needs a purpose. Before setting up your program, outline your goals. Also, it is imperative to get to get to know your customers and prospects before crafting messages. What are they likely to respond to based on prior engagement and interaction? What did they download/fill out on your site? What search terms did they use to find your site?

Leads can be segmented by a variety of methods, like interests, geography and responsibility for example. Provide targeted content and offers they’ll care about based on what you’ve discovered through website activity (filling out forms, interacting with content, etc.). If you don’t take time to get to know your audience, you risk becoming an annoyance to prospects. A constant flow of messaging that’s not related to prospects interests will surely make them shut down their interest in your services.

2. Lead nurturing. 67% of B2B marketers say lead nurturing increases sales opportunities throughout the funnel by at least 10%, with 15% seeing opportunities increase by 30% or more. (DemandGen). So you’ve heard the term ‘lead nurturing,’ but what exactly is it? Once you’ve gotten a visitor to convert to an identified lead you can start nurturing these leads with content to move them from interest in the company to intent to buy. It’s time to nurture leads by delivering targeted and valuable content at each stage of the buying cycle.

  • The awareness stage stands at the top of the funnel, where educating your buyer is imperative to build a foundation. Deliver content that offers an understanding of your buyer’s problems, not promotional content about your services.
  • Next is the consideration stage. In this stage, it is key to know your buyer’s goals and provide them with brand-specific content like case studies that hit on ways to solve key problems.
  • The last stage is the decision stage, where your prospect is ready to make the purchase. Provide materials that outline the next steps in your partnership, like buyer’s guides.

3. Review and report. Once you’ve launched your first drip campaign, you’ll need to evaluate it to identify success and pitfalls to improve the next campaign. When reviewing, your marketing automation tool will allow you to assess how successful the campaign has been, giving you insight into how many prospects started the drip, how many completed the drip, email open rates, click-through rates, etc. Ask yourself a few questions. Why are the click-through rates higher in one email than the other? Where do people start engaging and where do people fall-off? Then adjust your strategy accordingly for more success in subsequent campaigns.

Hop on the train and you’ll be on your way to a successful drip campaign that aids in lead nurturing and increased sales.

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