Drip Marketing Campaigns

Drip Marketing Campaigns

It is a farmer’s delight to see the seeds he has sown bear fruit. But ask a farmer, it’s not that straightforward. While too much water may spoil the crops, too little would cause them to wither. The farmer has to ensure that the crops get an adequate amount of water at the right time. And water isn’t the only factor here – fertilizers, sunlight – everything should be just the right amount for the crops to thrive. And this is for just one type of crop. What if there are many more, just like the leads you generate?

Each lead is unique – they are individuals, with opinions, preferences, likes and dislikes. You cannot ignore that when you communicate with them.

That is exactly what an appropriately targeted, thoughtfully drafted drip marketing campaign would help you avoid.

Much like a farmer who caters to the exact needs of his crops, a perfect drip campaign would help you give your leads exactly what they need. No wonder, drip marketing owes its name to the farming practice, Drip Irrigation.

What is Drip Marketing?

Drip marketing is personalized communication sent out based on user action (buying a book, completing a purchase, signing up for a product free trial, subscribing to blog etc.) or inaction (not completing the purchase, not clicking an email, not using the app for a month etc.). The simplest ones can be just time-bound as well. These user actions/inactions are called triggers.

Why is Drip Marketing important?

They are used to send your audience exactly what they need, when they need it. This can help you achieve many objectives, in terms of prospect and customer engagement, but they all fall broadly under 3 categories:

  • Leading a prospect towards conversion (helping them buy), without being a major pain ?
  • Making your customers feel happy about their decision of buying from you (improving customer experience)
  • Increasing brand recall (making a good impression, so that they remember you when they need to buy what you sell).

Here are a few examples for more clarity

Those reminders you get to buy that book from Amazon (if you abandon your cart without buying) – that’s drip marketing. So are the recommendations you get based on your last purchase.

And, the review request emails after you have received your order – that’s a kind of drip marketing campaign as well.

Plum review email - Drip marketing

If you have ever subscribed for a course on Coursera, you’d have received emails for lessons, quizzes, deadlines etc. in a series distributed over the duration of your course. That’s drip too – a sophisticated one at that. Check the email below – they know that “some” deadlines were missed. ?

Drip marketing - Coursera

Now that we have that clear, let’s see what different campaign types are there, and how can you use them.

Different types of drip marketing campaigns

I knew what drip marketing was before I started writing this post, and I was also aware of the different ways in which we at LeadSquared use it. However, only when I started researching for this article, and dug down deep into my inbox, did I realize how effectively businesses are actually using it. That’s the purpose of this post – to make you aware of how it can be used differently. After all, only when you become consciously aware of something, do you start noticing it all around you.

The mark of a good drip email campaign is the prospect not even realizing that it’s a pre-written, automated email. We have had instances of customers responding to our post-webinar drips, because they thought it was a personal email. ?

The more personal you make it, the more chances of them reacting positively to it. Below are nine different ways you can become digital farmer and nurture your leads.

1. Educational drips 

Regis Mckenna once said, “the best marketing is education.”

People will not forget you if you provide them real value. They might even go a step ahead and become your brand advocates by sharing that value with others. At LeadSquared, we do this by sending out relevant e-books, webinars and blog posts to new leads based on their industry and job function.

On an average, our webinars attract a few hundred leads per session and our eBooks get amazing responses as well. The next logical thing for us to do is send them more relevant content to engage them. If we don’t, they’ll just sit in the system idle.

The following email gets sent to people who download our e-book “How to be a smarter real estate marketer.” It’s a recording of an old webinar on real estate marketing that was a huge hit. It makes sense because they have already downloaded an e-book relevant to real estate.

Drip Marketing- Real Estate Webinar

And, this is the first email in a set of educational drips for these real estate audience. The industry specific content ensures that they hold value for the recipients. Here’s the report for this drip marketing series:

Drip marketing report for real estate emails

2. Offer drips

These drips send out promotional offers or discounts to your leads based on their recent activities to give them an extra push to buy. Most of the festival and holiday offers you would receive in your inbox are email campaigns, but the most effective ones are drips.

Look at the example below and you’ll know what I mean.

I’m a frequent shopper (albeit a window-shopper) at Jabong, and I receive a lot of promotional emails from them. Just a while back, I was browsing through their winter wear collection, as it is getting a little chilly out there. And barely an hour later, I got this email. That’s an offer done right, because it was based on my activity.

The timing here counts. The need for warmer clothes, given the weather told them that I just needed a little push to make the purchase. The push came in the form of an offer that is really difficult to refuse!

Drip Marketing- Logo
Drip Marketing- Jabong

3. Action completion drips

Sending offers like Jabong is one way to push sales, but there are other ways to do this too. You can make it easier for them to buy.

Look at how well The Souled Store has done this! They not only sent me an email reminding me I had an abandoned cart, they also gave me an easy link to get to the cart quickly and complete my purchase. Since this was whimsical purchase, this push made me actually go ahead and complete the transaction. A definite win!

Drip Marketing- Souled store

4. Customer retention drips

These drips get triggered when a customer does an activity that you can term ‘negative’. This could be an unsubscribe, uninstall or an unfollow. See, all ‘un’-desirable things. ?

In the example below, Rapido is trying find out what went wrong when I uninstalled their app. As soon as the Rapido app was uninstalled, a drip was initiated and a mail asking for reasons was sent out. Clear and simple: Give us feedback so we can serve you better.

So if I ever need their service again, I would re-install the app.

Drip Marketing- Rapido

5. Cross-selling/Upselling drips

Traditionally a marketer’s job is done when the lead converts into a customer, but not really. You can always continue to add value to them. Give them a reason and motive to purchase more from you, and they will.

I had recently purchased a protective case for my phone from Amazon and they gave me suggestions for similar products. They know I own the phone and I’m looking to protect it from damage, therefore a protective screen would make sense!

Drip Marketing - Amazon

(Tip: Send suggestions that are relevant to their recent purchase, to increase the chances of getting clicked)

6. Customer re-activation drips

Remember all those “we miss you” emails that land in your inbox. That’s what I am talking about. These drips aim at re-engaging the customer by including a human emotion. The trigger here, unlike the previous ones, would be inactivity.

Look at this simple, yet pretty neat one from Zivame. It conveys a simple message, said in a consistent way and attempts to appeal to the emotional side of me, using words like ‘give us another chance’ and ‘let me know what I can do’.

Drip Marketing- Zivame

7. Onboarding drips

Everything from our product on-boarding emails, to when you get a welcome email from Amazon/Dropbox etc. falls under this category. While welcoming may be just a single mail, on-boarding might involve sending out a series of mails depending on what the user is trying to do with the product.

For example, when you sign up for a free trial with LeadSquared, you get a welcome mail thanking you for signing up.

Drip marketing- welcome

After you have welcomed the customer, the next logical step would be to help the customer get on-board. This would involve finding out how the user is going to be using your product, or helping him navigate any difficulty he might face while using your product.

Drip Marketing- Onboarding

Notice how the drip warns the user of the number of emails they’d be getting and also how it offers them the option to do it on their own? These drips allow the user to know that he can reach out for help anytime, should the need arise.

8. Upgradation drips

When you sign up for a free trial of a product, and near the end of your trial period, then automated messages are sent to you asking you to upgrade your trial to the premium version. Though this would be part of an onboarding drip more often than not, but they require a special mention, because of how effective they are. At LeadSquared, we get a lot of personal responses to this particular message of the drip campaign.

Zapier did that once my free trial with them got over. An email reminding me that my trial was up. They also offered to extend my trial if I wanted. This will help close a deal with a customer who is on the fence about the purchase.

Drip Marketing- Zapier

9. Feedback drips

This one is a no-brainer! Unlike the Rapido example where the feedback was asked due to a trigger, these surveys are generally sent out to prospects asking for their opinions and to make them feel appreciated. After a specified period of using their product, this drip would be triggered and ask the user for their opinion.

Like Uber.

Not only do they flatter my ego by calling me valuable, they go on to say how this would improve my Uber experience. Adding a freebie would only make me take the survey to try my luck. A win-win for both.

Drip Marketing- Uber

Let me end this by reiterating that these 9 types of drip emails might overlap with each other, because as we discussed earlier, the objectives are always 3:

  • Leading a prospect towards conversion (helping them buy), without being a major pain ?
  • Making your customers feel happy about their decision of buying from you (improving customer experience)
  • Increasing brand recall (making a good impression, so that they remember you when they need to buy what you sell).

Hopefully, now you are more aware of the different kinds of drip marketing campaigns around us, and would start noticing them more, finding ways to use a particular kind for your own business. Have you noticed an interesting drip campaign that I might have missed out? Let me know in the comments below!

(Plug: Do try out LeadSquared’s Drip Marketing tool. You can sign up for a demo)

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