There’s no doubt that email is one of the most effective marketing strategies available today. Once your prospects have entered your sales funnel, the next step is lead nurturing.
And the best way to nurture your leads is to automatically drop them into drip campaigns.
Key Concepts Covered in This Blog:
- What is an email drip campaign?
- How do you create an email drip campaign?
- Types of drip campaigns and when to use them
What Is an Email Drip Campaign?
Drip campaigns are highly effective in terms of efficiently nurturing your prospects. A B2B email drip campaign is an automated set of emails that are sent out based on specific timelines or user actions (Source).
Since these emails are triggered by a specific action a lead takes, they’re incredibly effective in moving prospects along the buyer’s journey as well as strengthening relationships with existing customers (Source). Not to mention the fact that these emails drive up to 18 times more revenue than the typical broadcast emails.
How To Craft a B2B Email Drip Campaign
When it comes to email marketing, we live in a time of rapid change. This is because of how quickly technology is evolving and how people are communicating nowadays.
Before you start crafting your next B2B email drip campaign, you need to know the best practices and what not to do if you want to get the most out of it.
Establish Your Audience
Who are you emailing? Why are you emailing them? What’s their buyer persona? Create a segment or list of prospects to enroll in your email drip campaign based on the different buyer personas the prospect falls into. If you’re struggling to develop your buyer personas, try this step-by-step framework.
Determine the Goal of the Drip Campaign
Ask yourself what you hope to gain from your email drip campaign. Are you nurturing inbound leads from the top of the funnel with educational resources? Are you trying to get them to convert into a meeting? Are you looking to revive an old opportunity or a lead who no-showed a meeting? Once you answer these questions, you can devise a plan and start building the foundation of your email cadence and strategy.
It’s impossible to create an effective drip campaign unless you know precisely what you’re hoping to achieve. It’s also important to take into consideration your different buyer personas when determining the goal for each of your drip campaigns.
Don’t underestimate the power of segmenting your audience.
Using buyer personas to drive your email drip campaigns has been proven to improve open rates by 2x and click-through rates by 5x.
Create an Outline
Outline the steps of the drip campaign to organize your content in a cadence that closely aligns with your sales funnel. Start at the top of your funnel and work your way down the conversion path. Keep in mind that most B2B drip campaigns include around five emails per month and should be sent out four, seven, or fourteen days apart (Source).
Craft Your Content
Be clear and concise in your messaging. Make sure you’re catering your drip campaign email content based on the resource your prospect initially converted on. And don’t be afraid to sprinkle in some razzle-dazzle. Feel free to experiment to learn what content and offers perform best in different drip campaigns for each of your buyer personas.
Optimize Your Email Drip
Is your email drip campaign meeting your goals? Are prospects converting, clicking, and opening your emails? If your campaign doesn’t create the impact you wanted, review your results and pivot your strategy. Use both qualitative and quantitative data to find holes that need to be addressed. If you’re not sure where exactly to start, check out this eBook on testing, iteration, and optimization for your email campaigns.
Types of B2B Email Drip Campaigns
We all know by now that email marketing is a very successful method of communication. However, it’s important to personalize your messaging based on where your prospects are in the funnel.
This is where content mapping comes into play. Content mapping is the process of creating content that addresses buyers at different stages of the customer lifecycle. Each piece within a content map is designed to meet the needs of the buyer at a certain point in their journey, with the ultimate goal of driving them toward a purchase decision (Source).
Through content mapping as well as categorizing your emails according to the five types of drip campaigns, you’ll be well on your way to effectively nurturing your leads with content that’s relevant and valuable to them.
Let’s dive further into a few of the different types of drip campaigns and where they fall in the buyer’s journey.
Welcome Email Drip Campaign
A welcome email drip campaign is geared towards introducing your company to the prospect who has just opted in. If someone subscribes to your email newsletter, then a series of introductory emails should be triggered at different time intervals.
Since they’re in the awareness stage of the buyer’s journey, it’s the perfect time to welcome them and thank them for their time.
These emails also need to highlight what the prospect can expect from your newsletter (or other correspondence) and the benefits that come with being a subscriber. Consider sending them top-funnel marketing collateral pieces that have performed well in the past to convey your value to them (Source).
Retargeting Drip Campaign
A retargeting drip campaign is for people who’ve engaged with your brand in the past but did not follow through with the next steps in your funnel (Source). For example, if a prospect downloads a guidebook on how to find qualified leads, then your drip campaign can follow up with resources about writing content that will lead to conversions. By providing relevant resources, you’re warming these prospects up to you, which will increase the odds that they’re going to do business with you.
The whole idea behind a retargeting drip campaign is to turn your leads into buyers by presenting the next logical step based on their previous engagements.
Re-engagement Drip Campaign
These types of drip campaigns are specifically designed with inactive prospects in mind. If your engagement with a prospect has come to a halt, then you need to drop them into a re-engagement drip campaign that encourages them to open, read, and engage with your emails again (Source). These emails should include your best-performing content along with the benefits of working with you.
It’s worth noting that prospects who haven’t clicked on an email in the last 60 days should be removed from your list—it’s safe to assume they have no interest in or need for your product or service (Source).
Unfortunately, some leads will need to be left behind, and these inactive prospects need to be removed from your database before they raise your costs and hurt your metrics. You can also use these inactive prospects as an opportunity to dive into where exactly they dropped off in their journey in order to pinpoint where in your funnel you need to focus your attention.
Did you know that it costs six times more to attract a new customer than it does to retain a current one? Drip campaigns are the perfect way to build customer loyalty for your organization and encourage people to continue doing business with you (Source).
Post-purchase drip campaigns show your customers that you appreciate their business, which helps create a feeling of loyalty. And in today’s increasingly competitive marketplace, that’s an absolute must. These post-purchase drip campaigns can include offers for your other products or services as well as useful tips that’ll help them get the most out of their partnership with you (Source).
Drip campaigns play a pivotal role in a marketing strategy and, when used correctly, allow you more time to focus on other business priorities. It’s all about sending the right message, at the right time, to the right audience.
It’s important to note that drip campaigns are not a one-size-fits-all solution—you need to take into consideration your leads’ prior engagements with your brand and where they are in the buyer’s journey.
At Sapper Consulting, we’ve perfected the process of outbound lead generation. If you have enough on your plate already, learn more about how we can help you build your sales funnel and grow your business.