I used to teach at a school that created individual curriculum for each student. I had one English student who we’ll call Janice. Janice was 10 years old and sharp as a tack. She was technically in the 5th grade, but her vocabulary and reasoning skills rivaled a lot of adults I know. She loved reading and storytelling, but hated actually writing. Like super hated it.
For this story, I want you to think of Janice as your dream prospect. The one who will love what you’re selling, but who is not ready to make that leap.
I needed to get this girl to write, but I couldn’t just shove paper in her face and tell her to do it or else. So how did I persuade her?
I nurtured her over time. Gave her appropriate information and tasks to do one step after another. I made it as easy as possible for her to fall into it.
I’m not going to say it all happened at once. But by the end of the school year, she was writing on her own and sharing her ideas.
Prospects are not going to be ready to do exactly what you want them to do unless you treat them with a gentle hand.
So your email campaigns aren’t performing as well as you’d like. You have solid emails, prospects in your funnel, but they’re not converting like you expect them to. What are you doing wrong?
The problem isn’t necessarily anything to do with your product or business, or even your marketing know-how. You’re probably just not timing the actions of your drip campaign like you ought to in order to nurture your prospects in the best way.
Wait, Drip What?
If you already know what a drip campaign is, skip ahead. If you need a refresher, here it is:
A drip campaign is simply a series of pre-written emails generated based on a lead’s actions. They might sign up for something on your site and get automatically added to a campaign. They may be added manually after a purchase, conference, or some other action.
You can personalize campaigns, and tailor the content in a way that gives them the right information at the right time. Say you’ve noticed prospects hanging around a certain page of your site, but they haven’t yet clicked the “sign me up!” button. Their actions can trigger a new drip campaign that encourages them to finally take action.
Why should you put the time into creating a drip campaign marketing strategy?
Drip open rates are 80% higher than single sends, and their click through rates are 3x higher. Turns out people like to read stuff they want to read—stuff that seems like it’s designed just for them!
But 79% of qualified leads never convert. Why? Because they aren’t nurtured using drip campaigns.
You could create some automated email marketing campaigns and just let them loose on the world. You’re not going to get the results you want, though.
It took a while to get Janice to write. I had to spend a lot of time developing strategies that worked for her (and students like her). And I’m not saying it was easy. It took months. But by the end, I’d developed a strategy that I could modify later for other students.
And that’s how your drip email marketing strategy should work. Thoughtful planning, meticulous attention to detail, and the willingness to change course if need be.
I love this infographic from Email Monks. It goes into detail on how a great drip campaign workflow looks, and even the best practices of drip marketing. Not trying to mix metaphors here, but they do a wonderful job of illustrating a winning strategy using the drip irrigation process. It’s beautiful and informative.
Take a look: