What is a drip campaign? You may know it best as drip marketing, autoresponders, marketing automation, an automated email campaign… There are a lot of names for it!
What it basically boils down to is that if you have an active marketing campaign and somebody signs up to your mailing list partway through, they don’t miss out on all of the juicy content that was sent out earlier.
In this guide, we’re going to look deeper at what exactly a drip campaign is, how you can use them to full effect, and what tools you can use to make the whole process easier (…spoiler alert, it’s a CRM!)
Never late to the party
A drip campaign works by scheduling content for a customer to receive from the day that they sign up to your mailing list.
So how might this work?
A new customer has found your website, they’ve seen your content, and believe you are smart and trustworthy. They see that you have a valuable newsletter that will help with their problem so they enter their email and click ‘sign-up’.
Now, from that first click, a timeline is created. You have scheduled each of the emails in your newsletter series to be sent out at intervals. The first email will be a simple welcome to say a little bit more about yourself, and your company, and to explain what they can expect to receive from you over the coming months.
Three days later, your customer receives their first newsletter, and the second four days after that (or whatever time period you have established) , and it continues as per the schedule you have set out.
It is all about giving your customers the right information, at the right time.
But a drip email can offer even more than just scheduling emails once a user has decided to engage with your content.
What if they haven’t decided yet but are spending a lot of time on your page?
Well, you can target them specifically with a special offer specifically related to that page they were looking at.
Drip campaign applications
The concept of drip content or drip marketing relates to a whole host of strategies all aimed at keeping users engaged with your product or service.
Let’s break this down into nine applications:
These are your prospects whom you hope will turn into purchasing customers at some point soon. They are people who are generally already interested in your product or service and just require a little guidance to inform them about the right decision for their problem (aka what you offer).
Newsletters can provide the perfect platform for nurturing leads and taking your prospects on a journey of discovery. While it is maybe a hard concept to grapple with, you do not need to always be selling something, and a newsletter can keep leads informed of what your company is doing/wants to, as well as provide education and elevate your position to one of trust and confidence.
This is your opportunity to make a great first impression. Depending on how your customer has signed up and therefore is receiving this message, you can tailor the content to their journey.
So if they are signing up for a free trial, you could direct them to your informative blog content that will instruct them on how to use the software or a glittering case study. If they are signing up to the mailing list, maybe throw in links to your highest-ranked blog content or even a sample of your social media content.
Users are open to receiving welcome emails, actually, they expect it! For that reason, they tend to be among the highest engaging opportunities you’ll have so be sure to use it wisely.
Some businesses may want to onboard their clients as a process of welcoming them. It is a prime opportunity to begin building a strong relationship, bring the clients up to speed, address any queries they may have regarding your business, and outline your strategy moving forward.
Confirming an action made by a user is hugely important. It could be for completing an order, updating account information, or signing up to receive content. It honestly doesn’t matter what the purpose is, because it instills trust in your service.
If we’re being totally honest, most of these emails will be deleted before opening but that doesn’t make them any less important. The key is consistency and time sensitivity. Once your customer or prospect performs an action that triggers the confirmation email, it needs to be delivered immediately.
One of the main things you want to achieve with a successful drip marketing campaign is keeping your audience engaged and wanting more. You want them to be constantly refreshing their email eagerly awaiting the next piece of content.
A great method of doing this is by creating content that pulls your audience along. Don’t push, nobody likes to be pushed.
Lead engagement is crucial in converting prospects into customers who are loyal to your business.
If your users have a subscription to one of your services and it is about to expire, how would you usually communicate this? Well most likely, you will schedule a template message to be delivered a few days before the end of their subscription using your CRM system.
But think of it from their side. That seems like quite a bit of pressure, right? And what happens if they miss the email (highly possible), and then their subscription is automatically renewed without their confirmation. From experience, that can lead to a really unhappy customer.
So why would you leave it until the last minute? A better approach would be to schedule a series of messages to be delivered that circle closer and closer in on the end date of their subscription.
Within this messaging, you could highlight some of the benefits they have already received from your service along with some ways in which they could further benefit. Or maybe you want to make them a special offer for their loyalty? There are countless opportunities here for recurring revenue and all it takes are a few well-placed nudges.
Drip campaigns can be applied to online courses as a way of staggering the learning process for your students. It can also ensure that the entire course has been followed from start to finish, with learners only gaining access to subsequent stages having completed one prior.
There are opportunities here to provide parts of a course for free and later stages as paid, improving your content delivery model by increasing revenue and at the same time keeping your learners engaged.
It is particularly beneficial for a long course or those that are more complex and require your learners to take time and improve by repetition.
I know, this is the one none of us like to think about, but it is a reality.
You don’t need to think of this as the end though. In your unsubscribe confirmation messaging, you could suggest keeping in touch with your brand by another method, such as following it on social media. Might as well, no?
Level-up your marketing
Drip campaigns provide you with complete control over the user journey. Be it a newsletter series, product renewal, online course, or just an unsubscribe notification, it empowers you to have significantly more control over the customer journey and experience of your business.
By staggering content and messaging over larger periods of time, you gain more opportunities for touchpoints that nurture leads in a more personal way than most other marketing campaigns.
A drip campaign will get you in and from there, you have an endless number of ways that you can maneuver, earn trust, and generate recurring revenue, as long as you tread carefully!
Don’t forget, that an unsubscribe can happen with a single click.
Did somebody say CRM?
The key to a successful drip campaign is effective management of a customer’s information and their stage in the user journey. This is where the benefits of an effective CRM platform really come into play.
A CRM system provides a complete platform for creating content, scheduling it, and assigning specific actions to different stages of a customer journey that will allow them to move through your sales funnel efficiently and effectively.
Marketing automation takes all of the hard work out of keeping track so you can rest assured that no action will go unnoticed, while analytical data offers invaluable feedback for campaign and content success so you know exactly what is working and what isn’t.
If you are eager to implement drip campaigns in your small business, our CRM solution and expert advice are all you need to get started. Why not sign up for a 14-day free trial of AllClients today to see how we can help boost your business with recurring revenue from a loyal customer base.