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What Are Drip Campaigns? Six Steps to Automate the Prospect Life-Cycle

Drip campaigns are a system of emails that allow your company to automatically usher prospects through certain stages of the sales cycle. The concept is simple, you should be able to anticipate the next step in the marketing/sales cycle based on the actions that a prospect or customer takes inside an email. Once that action is completed, that contact is moved to another list with an auto-generated email sent to the customer. The goal is to react naturally and accordingly to customer engagement.

Let's look at the steps built into an effective drip campaign:

The Welcome:

This email is a brief message welcoming them to your company. It is the first email sent after a prospect's contact information is collected.  Here is where things get interesting: A trigger is set to see if they open the email, if they do, the contact is taken off the main list and added to a stage two list. Opens are not the only trigger that can be built into an email. You can also include links or other call to actions to test the user's engagement. Ultimately, the goal of the welcome email is to segment customers into different levels of interest.

Content Offers:

Once a drip campaign begins, you have many options for the next stages. A good option is to offer content the prospect might be interested in. This could be a white paper, discussing one of the most common problems in the industry with a proposed solution (your services). It could also be an overview video about a specific part of your company. You might also include a brochure about a popular product. In any case, triggers are built into these emails with an offering depending on how they act.

The Non-Open:

Drip campaigns are not just dependent on people taking an action with your emails, they can also work for prospects that did not open your email. There are also opportunities for testing lack of engagement. If a prospect didn't open your email, their contact information could be moved to a list that will resend the email in a few days as a reminder.  Try some A/B testing with subject lines or subject matter. A non-open is just another chance to try another avenue. You may need to move someone down the ladder to keep them engaged. Your company could also start sending more relevant info.The theory is that you just need to send the right content to inspire the connection.

The Scheduler:

The goal with any drip campaign is to move a prospect to the finish line. Many times, in the industrial sector, your sales team will need to actually engage with the customer at some point before the close. Why not set your drip campaign to automatically schedule appointments for your sales team? If you have a user that seems particularly active, it may be a good idea to have a scheduler list. This list would send out an email to attempt to set an appointment by providing links to schedule. If the prospect doesn't engage, their contact information is placed into a nurture campaign.

The Unsubscribe:

We have all been there, you are getting email after email--a company is filling your email inbox. They are offering a great product, but you are not enjoying five emails a week from the same company. You might buy their product if they were not so, you choose to hit unsubscribe. An automatic email is sent, notifying the ex-subscriber that they are removed from your email list. The trick would then be to offer other ways to stay informed. Let them know that your company understands, but there are other channels to stay current, such as following them on social media. You may lose the automated factor of this prospect, but you may also save the sale.

The Slide:

It is important to note, not all contacts will engage the same way with your content. They may need to slide down the ladder to re-engage with your content. When a prospect doesn't interact with your content, you should have a wide variety of verticals. This may be an earlier stage in the process, but it is not the end all be all. Remember, you are trying to get them to connect, so don't give up on them. If all else fails, put them on a nurture list and leave them there for a while. Ultimately, all other options should be exhausted before this stage. Drip campaigns are an immensely powerful tool for companies with large email lists or those that collect a lot leads and want a way to naturally move these prospects through the discovery pipeline. When done correctly, drip campaigns will help to automate your sales pipeline and streamline your sales cycle. They can also free up your sales team to focus on closing sales, rather than getting them primed.

If you are interested in having a drip campaign designed for you, contact Nesbit Marketing:

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