I love water. Seriously, has anyone ever invented a better, more refreshing drink? That’s why I can’t resist a fresh bowl of H2O, a handy drinking fountain, or heck, even a puddle! The mere sound of dripping water makes me thirsty.
But wait, that’s not really the type of “drip” I’m supposed to be talking about. I sometimes get distracted…
Do More with Less
I want to talk to you about drip marketing or “nurturing,” which is the process of automatically “dripping” relevant information, usually via email, to prospects over time. The content you send is based on what actions prospects take on your website, what information they engage with, or where they are in the buyers’ journey. In other words, these automated drip marketing campaigns allow you to send the right messages to sales leads or existing customers at the right moment in the sales cycle. And because it’s automated, it doesn’t monopolize the resources of your sales and marketing teams. Cool, right?
In fact, the ability to “do more with less” is the reason marketing automation platforms (MAPs) are being used by more companies than ever. Between 50-70% of companies are now using a MAP to save time, increase customer engagement, send out more timely communications and increase opportunities (Adestra Marketer). (For more marketing automation stats, read “Data Makes the Case for Marketing Automation.”)
And, effective drip marketing campaigns are the primary reason for these benefits.
What’s more, these campaigns can be customized for virtually any purpose. Use drip marketing to:
Stay in touch and educate prospects who have shown interest in your company/product or may be a good fit but aren’t “sales ready.” Drip marketing campaigns allow your sales reps to continue to build rapport with these folks and keep your company top-of-mind without the time-consuming task of sending one-to-one emails.
If a prospect clicks on the link in the email or visits your website, the sales rep can see this action and follow-up. Send content that is educational and/or research-based to establish your company as a trusted resource and explain the value of a product, without being promotional. White papers or case studies are effective at this stage in a campaign. Nurturing customers is especially effective for B2B companies that have lengthy, complicated sales processes.
Follow-Up on Events
So, you met some great people at the dog park (or, more likely, your last trade show) who seemed interested in your company – now what? Follow-up in a timely manner with relevant content, while alerting your sales team about interested leads with a drip marketing campaign. Save time by automating notifications and lead assignments. And, enable sales reps to respond promptly and create a seamless experience for prospects. Turn interested prospects into qualified leads with emails that provide follow-up invitations to webinars, white papers or blogs on topics of interest.
Build Industry-Specific Campaigns
Position your company as a valuable industry resource by building a drip marketing campaign that provides relevant information based on a prospect’s specific area of interest. You can also time the correspondence to a prospects’ engagement with material on your website. The more tailored and appropriate a campaign, the more effective it will be. MAPs allow easy segmentation and personalization with minimal effort.
Upsell to Existing Customers
Maximize revenue with existing customers through personalized drip marketing campaigns. While growth through new customers is important, research shows that it costs more to acquire new customers than to upsell to current clients. (“The Economics of the Upsell”). In most industries, existing customers also account for a larger proportion of new revenue. Capitalize on this untapped revenue with a drip marketing campaign that provides existing clients with information and incentives to expand the number of products they’re using.
What about those once promising leads that seem to have disappeared? Give them a nudge (or a polite sniff) with a reengagement drip campaign designed to reawaken inactive leads. These campaigns typically provide recent blogs and white papers, and are designed to keep your company top-of-mind. You may also offer incentives to encourage reengagement. (I find a good rawhide bone is a very effective incentive!) These campaigns can be especially useful for large purchases that require a long decision-making process.
Better marketing automation systems provide templates that make it easy to build drip campaigns and provide guidance on objectives, timing, content and other key elements. Whether you’re trying to turn leads into customers, guide prospects through the sales cycle or maintain your current customers, there’s a drip marketing campaign that can help you make it happen.
And, because your prospects are receiving content they want, these campaigns can be as refreshing as a long, slobbery drink of water!
Not sure where to start? You’re not alone – 63% of companies outsource all or part of their marketing automation implementation (Ascend2). As a certified Pardot Specialist, my friend Jeremy Sterling can help you create an automated drip campaign that gets results. Give him a call at 734-546-5434 or drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.