For all the attention that is being paid to social media nowadays, marketing experts know that email continues to be one of the most powerful online channels for branding, building leads and converting prospects. In recent years, online marketing specialists have been fine-tuning a strategy known as drip marketing, which consists of leveraging the power of email as it appeals to valuable prospects.
In essence, drip campaigns send out periodic messages that may feature content, information or call-to-action items that move to the rhythm of a sales cycle. The drip campaign process can be automated so that messages are sent out at certain time intervals or whenever certain actions are triggered by the prospects.
Drip campaigns tend to be more effective these days because people who have not given up email for social media or for mobile messaging apps such as WhatsApp. These prospects are more likely to be employed or to operate their own businesses; in fact, their jobs or business endeavors may be the reasons why they still use email.
Business owners who wish to craft a solid drip marketing campaign in 2017 should follow certain steps:
1 – Establish Clear Goals
Like with any other online marketing campaign, business owners should approach a drip strategy with good ideas about what they want to accomplish. Some suggestions to this effect include: general branding, customer loyalty, warm up leads, and conversion of prospects.
Aside from the end result, establishing a goal allows business owners and brand managers to make sense of the metrics they will glean from analytics. A drip campaign can also be used to reach objectives and milestones before the goal.
2 – Formulate the Content Strategy
Every message that is part of a drip marketing campaign should add value, which means choosing the right content that will appeal to the recipients. This is a very important aspect of the campaign; poor content may result in a brand being treated an an email spammer.
In general, the content of drip campaigns should not be too long. Ideally, the message will be presented in a manner that favors scanning of subtitles and short paragraphs.
3 – Cater to the Recipients
Company owners who are considering running their first drip campaign should shop around for email marketing agencies. The right agency will be the one that goes into the email distribution list and tries to determine the demographics and interests of the leads. A calgary dentist will have a different campaign strategy than a utah home builders campaign strategy. Naturally, this will be easier when warm leads are handled, but it is a vital step of the process.
A drip campaign that intends to sell a product needs to know what makes prospects interested in buying. If the list includes recipients who do not know anything about the product, they should be placed on an another list that will feature a different approach.
4 – Time Intervals
The scheduling of the drip campaign can be set once the goals are set and the emails have been crafted. When and how often the emails need to be sent will depend on the sales cycle.
A very general rule of thumb is to start off with a few emails in one week before pausing for two weeks and resuming with just two reminders. If the messages include promotions and discounts, Friday mornings are recommended. In the United States, lists of prospects who are in the military or who work for the federal government should be contacted on biweekly paydays.
5 – Evaluate Analytics
Here is another reason to use a professional marketing agency: most business owners will understand simple metrics that report the number of messages opened and the clicks gained, but professional marketers are able to dive into the analytics and take special actions to make the campaign more effective.
In the end, smart business owners should add drip campaigns to their online marketing arsenal in 2017. Putting all marketing eggs into a single social media basket is no longer conducive to success.
By: Kevin Faber