**This post has been updated as of December 2018** Drip campaigns can do incredible things for your business. Email newsletters certainly don’t hurt, but you can use B2B drip campaigns to build careful relationships with your recipients over time. With loyal subscribers, you’re more likely to benefit financially. Plus, retaining customers is easier (and cheaper) than acquiring new ones. Many B2B marketers that leverage the power of drip campaigns are reaping the benefits. Just how successful are they? Conversion rates of over 50 percent. And even though that’s the success rate, you can get there, too. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
What is an email drip campaign?
A drip campaign consists of a series of strategically timed emails that are delivered to your subscribers to help guide them down the road to further engagement with your brand. Certain triggers—or specific responses—will automatically generate next steps that are relevant to each subscriber’s actions. Just as with anything else, a drip campaign is only as effective as the work you put into it. Of course, the software platform and vendor partner you’re working with have a lot to do with it too. But the bottom line is this: Your team—the people familiar with your brand and customers—need to invest the time and resources to make B2B drip campaigns truly remarkable if you want great results. You’ll need a few guidelines to get you going on creating a drip campaign that will attract an army of new, loyal customers. Take a look at our 12 tips on creating or revamping your email drip campaign, the essential component of your email marketing.
1) Bring key members of your team together
This is not a solo operation, and here’s why: A drip campaign is a pretty big deal when it comes to boosting your company’s revenue. Bring key members of your team together to brainstorm your marketing strategy. Think beyond your sales and marketing staff. Instead, invite the employees who are working with customers on a day-to-day basis. They can bring fresh insights about how your company is connecting with them. Make these sessions fun and engaging, and be sure to provide everyone with a clear overview of what you’re trying to accomplish (along with plenty of caffeine).
2) Know your audience
Here’s another big one. Sometimes we get so focused on making more sales and increasing revenue that we lose sight of who our clients really are. Pull out those reliable personas. If it’s been awhile since you’ve dusted off your personas, it may be time to revamp them. Check out this example from Referral Saasquatch: You can easily create a detailed persona like the one above by taking a close look at the people engaging with you, your site, and even your competitors. Better yet, talk to a few of your clients. If you’re in the B2B industry, for example, poll clients on their pain points and why they came to you in the first place. Find out how your services and products are addressing their needs, but be open to criticisms, too. Always keep your targeted personas in mind as real people. It will help you develop an engaging experience for your B2B drip campaigns.
3) Clearly define your goals
What are you trying to accomplish exactly? Sounds like a simple question, but you really need to think hard about your endgame, and here’s why: In most cases, you’re looking for a purchase, subscription, or (in the case of a nonprofit) a donation. There should be goals outlined to get that sale, such as: establishing a credible brand, boosting customer loyalty, or making the world a better place. Always keep these destinations in mind when developing your drip campaign.
4) Identify the steps for your overarching goal
What’s next? In a nutshell, you want new subscribers and you want those subscribers to eventually buy into your product, service, or cause. But what are the incentives for them? Write those out, too. These steps could include using email marketing to drive growth, funding or sponsoring an event to attract customers or clients, or integrating your marketing channels for a holistic marketing effort.
5) Outline your crumbs
You should never try to push your subscribers to go from A to Z after two or three emails or e-newsletters. That would be sort of pushy. And no one wants to purchase from a person (or brand) that feels pushy. While your B2B drip campaigns may be able to win over some subscribers in the initial phase, others may take some old-fashioned courting. Take the time to develop a series of “crumb” material that will entice your subscribers to keep opening those emails and clicking through your messages. You might describe attractive features of a product, educate the consumer about the usefulness of your platform, or share a feel-good story about how your nonprofit changed the life of an individual. You might even share details about how your organization began. Think outside the typical push, and consider ways to break down the steps leading to the overall picture of your business or nonprofit.
6) Write the components of your drip campaign
Bring in the creatives to nail this part of your drip campaign, since this is definitely not the time to drop the ball. It’s also not the time to be safe (aka unoriginal and boring) in your message copy. Here’s how to break out of the content funk: Make messages snappy, warm, conversational, and clever. We created an infographic a while back that shows what makes a solid email. Remember, you’re trying to get your subscriber’s attention in the tsunami of emails flooding their inboxes. Make sure they’re cohesive and flow naturally from one to another. Keep in mind that a drip campaign is designed to help consumers go from one step to the next. So, make sure the messages work together seamlessly. Another freebie tip? Don’t overthink it. Trust your creative writers and designers to develop remarkable content. Notes and revisions are valuable, but overediting can be detrimental to the spark of the original message. And if the message doesn’t resonate with subscribers, it’s back to the drawing board.
7) Make a visual of how each email message/component will trigger another
What happens if someone shows interest in a product by clicking through various CTAs? Map out the appropriate responses and non-responses. Here’s an example drip we were working on for those who requested our ESP ebook. This is pretty simple, but they can get complicated. Don’t get overwhelmed, though. Mapping will help you work out any kinks, and you can also use your ESP to streamline the process. This isn’t really a sprint, but more of a marathon. So, take your time in determining the “drips” in your campaign, because the payout can be great.
8) Don’t neglect your CTAs
Each email in your B2B drip campaigns should give a clear indicator of what you want the subscriber to do next: “Test our product with this free demo.” “Save with our 20% discount.” “Read more about Sarah’s new job.” These are generic examples, but even a generic CTA is better than none at all. Convince your recipients to take action. Five Four Club perfectly guides customers what to do in this email example: Make calls to action that are unique to your business or organization. CTAs are a small but critical part of your marketing campaign.
9) Think about your industry
If you’re in the ecommerce industry, many of your emails may center around discounts, product updates, or beautiful imagery of what you’re selling. Those in the B2B industry will likely find themselves steadily educating subscribers on how to solve a problem using their software or service. This could include invitations to read or view white papers or video tutorials and webinars.
10) Use the data
In a perfect world, all emails would be completely relevant and suited to individual interests and needs. Not a single email would remain unopened. But unfortunately, that’s not the world we’re living in. But that doesn’t mean you can’t work toward that goal. By using the data you’re gathering through your marketing automation platform, you can personalize emails with engaging content. Your subscribers will love you for taking the extra effort to create a campaign that takes note of the specific products and services that they find most engaging. It’s possible using dynamic content and automation. Just make the most of the tools you already have.
11) Upgrade your tools
Wait a minute. Maybe you don’t have the best tools when it comes to marketing automation software platforms. Your company is different from others, and your email marketing tools might be, too. If you’re not able to create a comprehensive drip marketing campaign that works like a dream, it may be time for an upgrade with your email marketing provider. While your efforts are key to creating a remarkable drip campaign, it’s also essential that you’re working with the right tools.
12) Explore your options
One of the most beautiful things about digital marketing and using marketing automation tools is that you can adjust, adjust, and adjust again. Does it seem that your message is not resonating with your subscribers? Not getting a lot of opens or click-throughs? The reports generated from your software can help you identify the weak spots in your drip campaigns so that you can tweak them or give them a complete overhaul. There’s no need to stay stuck in the mud. Revamp your strategy if things aren’t working. And if you’re in the market for a new tool, Delivra knows a thing or two about drip campaigns. (Actually, we know more than that, but we don’t like to brag.)
13) Start your campaign
Once you have the plan and the tools you need, it’s time to begin your email drip campaign. It may be tempting to procrastinate, especially if you’re a perfectionist. Don’t do it. The only way to truly learn about a successful email drip campaign is through experimentation. Only then can you begin perfecting your strategy. Use automation to streamline your process. This way, you can continue to be in touch with your subscribers without a substantial amount of additional work.
If the emails to your subscribers are looking a bit dull, consider spicing things up with an email drip campaign. Not only will this encourage loyalty from your subscribers, but it’s also a great way to encourage business and spending. Contact us to find out how we’re helping our clients get great results with remarkable B2B drip campaigns. We’d love to do the same for you.