7 Tips to Create Effective Automated Email Drip Campaigns to Nurture Leads

by | Mar 15, 2018 | Account-Based Marketing, Email Marketing, Marketing Automation

Today, there’s no lack of excellent, cost-effective marketing platforms available for you to generate and nurture your prospects and leads.

But there’s also a reality that comes with so many advanced and easy-to-use technologies at your disposal. That reality is email.

Like it or not, email continues to be one of your most effective and productive online marketing options for B2B marketing – especially when you need to nurture your leads. Email has a median ROI of 122% – over four times higher than other marketing formats including social media.

Like all other things in life, the basics work best. This is especially true as you focus on nurturing your targeted leads as you drive their conversion over time. Using email drip campaigns as part of your marketing automation strategy gives your brand a chance to introduce itself to your audience properly, tell a story, and set the tone for engaging calls to action.

What is a Drip Campaign?

An email drip campaign is an automated set of emails that you send to specific targets based on certain triggers. These triggers can be based on your prospect’s behavior, a supply-side timeline, both, or one of many other metrics.

The drip campaign allows you to scale your outreach efforts without needing to drastically expand or constrain your existing resources. Successful drip campaigns will allow you to widen the opening of your sales funnel without a loss of quality of leads. You can also retain a connection with new prospects much more effectively through the drip.

Drip campaigns are considered direct marketing, but sophisticated iterations of an email drip include many indirect marketing concepts that can increase your campaign’s overall effectiveness.

Is There a Compelling ROI to Try a Drip Campaign?

Your ROI of an effective email drip campaign should be high. A significant component of your marketing automation platform. Using your prewritten content and scheduling your outreach through an automated calendar, you save time, money, and people resources on your campaign while retaining optimal levels of personalized outreach.

Research has found that the targeted emails of drip campaigns generally produce 18X the revenue of broadcast email campaigns. The click-through rate in drip emails has a 119% increase when compared to traditional emails.

How Can a Drip Campaign Nurture Leads?

An effective drip campaign follows a steady pattern of engagement and re-engagement that results in a predictable percentage of conversions. By strategizing highly defined programs that focus personalized content on your targeted prospects, you should yield more highly vetted prospects that continue to engage because of the relevant content presented to them through your campaign.

Do I Need Marketing Automation to Run a Drip Campaign?

While not required, it will be difficult. You will realize a higher ROI on your campaign by using a marketing automation platform. This is how you save the majority of time, money, and people resources associated with managing your drip campaign.

If you aren’t using marketing automation for your campaign, it’s important that you create group audience segments into extremely precise buyer profiles, especially if you don’t have the tools to personalize every single email. You can also use popular tools such as Drip, Klaviyo, Mail Chimp, and Constant Contact to help you automate your drip campaign efficiently.

That said, the most effective drip campaigns do use marketing automation platforms. Did you know that 63% of companies outsource all or part of the marketing automation strategy? We’d be happy to talk more with you about the options available to you that you can start using almost immediately.

Now that you know some of the background and reasons to include email drip campaigns in your overall marketing strategy, let’s review some tips to help you get started with your first campaign.

7 Tips for Creating an Effective Email Drip Campaign

1. Plan the Purpose of Your Campaign

You need to take the time to strategize and plan how to execute your drip campaign. Is the purpose of your campaign customer acquisition, customer engagement, or some other purpose tied to a measurable metric? The key performance metrics that you choose will determine how your drip content is produced, triggered, and deployed. If you are looking to nurture leads, make sure that your entire team, especially your sales team, is on board with this goal.

2. Determine the Target of Your Campaign

Creating segmented buyer profiles can help you create personalized content that can be easily automated within an email drip campaign. If you want to group your prospects together, however, you really need to know them. Precisely identify the target of your campaign before you begin creating emails and schedules.

3. Map Out the Plan for Your Content Strategy

After you segment your buyer profiles, you must organize a plan your content strategy – if you ignore this tip, your campaign will fail. This is where you will set the triggers for content deployment, point certain types of content at different segments of your audience, and determine the frequency of your drip. Keep in mind that you do have the option to vary the turn of the spigot as well. This is often a very effective tactic to use if you want to experiment with different iterations of your campaign.

4. Start Building Your Relationships

Now that you have your outreach planned, you can begin to engage with the prospects who find your content to be of value and interest. Be sure to continuously provide value as you build and nurture your relationships with your prospects with each drip along your campaign. These are your potential customers who will follow your content drip down the sales funnel, hopefully turning into conversions at the end of the process.

5. Create a Strong Call to Action (CTA)

To ensure that you get the optimal number of conversions, your CTA must be strong. Keep in mind that you should be asking for the sale consistently, not just at the end of every email. People expect calls to action at this point, and content that appears as expected often gets ignored. Do not be afraid to surprise your audience every now and then. Be sure to keep your CTA short and use action words and phrases to drive a sense of urgency to respond.

6. Manage Your Metrics and Adjust Accordingly

You can only manage what you measure. No campaign is perfect in its first iteration, no matter how much you prepare. Remember that your market is changing in real-time, and your prospects are changing with it. The purpose of preparing your email drip is to get as close to the current position of your prospects as possible.

Engaging communication with your prospects will then inform you of their exact position and the perspective from which you can satisfy their needs. Once communication begins, you can more easily adjust your metrics and change your campaign to fit exactly what your prospects need from you.

7. Get Inspiration from Other Successful Campaigns

There is no better teacher than case studies of successful email drip campaigns. Studying the successful campaigns of the past can keep you from tripping over common potholes. Look back at your own experiences – what worked, what didn’t. You can also search for best practices examples to inspire you.

Looking at other successful campaigns, even if outside of your industry can provide you with nuanced techniques that you will only be able to implement once you have a full-scale campaign in place. The details will be what separates your campaign from the campaigns of your competition.

Get Started Now

Pick a few of the tips we’ve shared with you and try them out today. Whether you’re thinking about the need to plan your first email drip campaign or you’re a seasoned marketing veteran who’s been using any number of email nurturing techniques, there’s always room to improve.

Every day your competitors are going after your prospects with marketing techniques like drip campaigns. Don’t wait for them to convert those prospects into their customers, first.

Do you need help to make sure that you’re staying not just a step, but a full leap ahead of your competition when it comes to your overall digital marketing strategy? We would love to help you out. Contact us today for an audit of your current nurturing campaigns.


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