Don’t you wish you had a way to send out a whole bunch of emails to consumers to guide them through the sales cycle? And wouldn’t it be even better if those pesky emails were personalized and automated, and you never had to worry about manually writing or sending them yourself? I’m going to just dive right in and give you a quick overview of how drip marketing can help you achieve all of the above, and why SharpSpring is the partner you need to make it happen.
If you’re reading this, the chances are pretty good that you have already run across the term ‘drip campaign’ or ‘drip marketing,’ even if you aren’t too familiar with the practice. But, just in case that second cup of coffee hasn’t really kicked in yet, yep, that’s what I’m talking about: drip marketing campaigns and how they can help your organization smooth out the kinks in the sales funnel.
What Is a Drip Campaign?
A drip campaign gets its name from its similarity to the techniques modern farmers use to irrigate their crops drip by drip, thus giving each plant exactly what it needs when it needs it, so as to bring the crop to perfect ripeness and harvest it at the perfect moment. I don’t think I need to bang you over the head with how this can be a metaphor for creating the perfect relationship between you and your consumers. Instead, I’m just going to go ahead and make my case.
Drip campaigns work because they allow you to ping potential customers with emails containing pertinent sales information based on time intervals or user actions on your website. For example, when a user signs up for an account, a welcome drip email could be sent out automatically to thank him or her, thus reinforcing that initial interaction. Alternatively, a long-time user who has not visited the sales platform, whether web-based or brick-and-mortar, might receive a drip email urging them to upgrade. See the resemblance here between marketing and farming?
In each case, it’s about giving the customer an individualized response that doesn’t require extra work at your end. And perhaps that’s the best part. With marketing automation in general and drip marketing in particular, you never need to abandon the more important tasks on your plate or waste valuable marketing or sales resources. And that helps the bottom line. Okay, I take it back. Here’s what is actually the best part: It’s all on your terms. You define the settings of when and why each drip email gets sent out and what exactly it says. It’s all up to you.
If you are running one or more drip campaigns, you’re practicing drip marketing.
The pros for using drip marketing are numerous. Relevancy is a big one – you want your consumers to see the right information at just the right time, and drip marketing lets you do just that. What they ought to see is dependent upon exactly where any given consumer is in the sales cycle.
Setting up drip campaigns allows you to build meaningful relationships with customers with relatively little effort and at a low cost. And of course, as I mentioned, with drip campaigns you get to cut out what is likely the most boring part of your day: sending out copious numbers of monotonous emails.
Who Needs Drip Marketing?
You do. But really anyone and everyone who’s got a digital presence in 2017 needs it. More specifically though, drip marketing is particularly useful to B2B and B2C companies. And here, size really doesn’t matter. Big or small, whether you’re a local event planner or a global insurance company, if your business wants to keep engaging its customers, then you need drip marketing.
Types of Drip Campaigns
Drip campaigns are totally customizable to your requirements. There are literally hundreds of ways to use them in your marketing. Here are a few examples:
- Lead Nurturing Drips: Engaging messaging to keep leads warm and move them toward being sales-ready.
- Educational Drips: Update prospects with new information on your product/service that may lead them to reconsider.
- Re-engagement Drips: Rekindle the enthusiasm of a consumer who looked at your product/service once but never took it further.
- Competitive Drips: Steal the attention of your competitor’s audience by pointing out the benefits of switching over to your product.
- Post-Sale Drips: These include onboarding drips, engagement drips, renewals drips, drips to enable brand champions, etc.
The possibilities really are endless.
But Do They Really Work…?
Does all this sound too good to be true? It’s not. And I’m here to tell you (with evidence) that drip campaigns really do work.
“Lead nurturing emails get 4-10 times the response rate compared to standalone email blasts.”
Convinced yet? There’s more.
According to Forrester Research, companies that nurture leads make 50% more sales at a 33% lower cost than companies that don’t nurture leads. And of course that’s the bottom line: Marketers at top companies use drip marketing because it works. It generates more revenue.
When to Use Drip Emails
So now you’re probably wondering what a drip campaign email looks like. Here are a few examples of drip emails that could turn prospects into customers:
First in a series of three emails to someone who just opted in for communications:
Dear [Name of Consumer],
Here at We-Flex-You Yoga Studio, we noticed that you recently signed up for our newsletter, and we’re excited to meet you! Here are some more things to check out from us that we think you’re going to love:
Check out our [link] Course Schedules
Browse our [link] Yoga Shop
Book a private [link] One-On-One Yoga Session
We look forward to flexing with you.
-The We-Flex-You Team
Drip emails like this encourage potential consumers to actively consider purchasing your product. If you don’t get a response, you can have two more emails lined up to go in this stage.
For your second nurturing email, highlight more about your product offering that differentiates you. In this example, you might ask: “Did you know we offer free daycare while you’re in class? And if you work, we offer a complete night schedule.”
For the third nurturing email, sweeten the opportunity to try out your offering. Perhaps it’s a free trial introductory class or a special rate available only to new customers. Most importantly, remain upbeat as they’re getting to know you, and remove any obstacles that might cause your prospect to disengage.
First in a series of three emails to someone who signed up for a free/trial offer:
Hi [Name of Consumer],
Welcome! You are now officially a member of our close-knit group.
At We-Flex-You, we understand that your schedule may not be as flexible as your yoga poses. For this very reason, we offer a wide range of options – from our early-bird classes to our nightly yoga flows.
Check out our [link] Course Schedule here.
Looking forward to seeing you on your mat.
-The We-Flex-You Team
At the welcoming email stage, the consumer has probably signed up for a trial of your product. They still don’t know just how awesome your product is, so at this stage you want to put your product or service right in front of them. At this point it’s all about great customer service and guiding them to utilize your product or services (and converting them into paying customers).
The second and third follow-up emails might connect them with someone who can help them take advantage of the offer when it’s convenient or give them some other helpful tip like where the best place is to park. They’ve already taken a small risk by letting you know they are open to your product in this string of communication, so make them feel great about it! Data published by Experian shows welcome emails typically see a 58.7% open rate, while regular old emails see just 14.6%. Pretty neat, huh?
First in a series of three emails encouraging membership/subscription renewal:
Dear [Name of Consumer],
Just a friendly reminder that your yearly subscription to We-Flex-You Yoga is almost up, and we certainly don’t want to lose you! Click here [link] to renew your subscription. We’ve enjoyed flexing with you and hope to see you again soon.
-The We-Flex-You Team
Renewal drip emails are great for consumers who may be at the tail end of their subscription. If they don’t respond, the second and third emails can remind them about the great benefits they’ve received through your services. You could even advertise a special offer for returning customers.
Don’t Overdo It!
As with anything else in life, there’s a point where too much can be detrimental to your cause. Receiving too many emails can annoy consumers, so you’ve got to strike the perfect balance. Using drip campaigns at precisely the right time in the sales cycle keeps customers thinking about you and your product without bugging them. And of course, consumers are more likely to mark your emails as spam if they don’t understand why they’re getting them. Again, relevancy is crucial!
Setting It All Up
Now that you’ve decided to give drip campaigning a shot, you’ve got to learn how to set it up. The first step is to identify your target audiences and segment them into the right lists. Remember when I mentioned that you get to define the settings for when each type of email is sent out? Well, this is where that happens.
You’ll need to plan your entire campaign for each prospective consumer, i.e. what the series of emails will look like from the nurturing phase through the sale itself and on to the renewal afterwards. You’ll need to decide how many emails you want to send to each consumer, and make sure that each email matches where they are in the sales funnel.
When it comes to actually formulating your email, you need something that will grab the consumer’s attention and make them want to stick with your services, so make sure your message is loud and clear but also concise!
But that’s not all. Once the process is up and running, you’ll need to regularly evaluate it to make sure everything’s going smoothly. If you aren’t getting the results you want, you can try revising your schedule or adjusting your emails to better suit a particular demographic.
This sounds like a lot of work, but once it’s all set up, you’ll reap the benefits of hands-free marketing, freeing you up to handle tasks that require your individual attention and creativity.
Ready to Get Started?
Of course you are! I really think you’re going to like the results that come with drip campaigns, and SharpSpring can help you get there. There’s a reason our slogan is ’Powerful. Affordable. For Everyone.’ SharpSpring guides you all the way through setting up your drip campaigns and making sure they are firing off as you intend. Using drip campaigns with SharpSpring will help you form strong connections with consumers and increase sales. It’s as simple as that.