Hey, you down to Netflix and Chill?👀

This phrase first appeared in 2014 and has since earned its place in the vocabularies of millions of people around the world. The truth is, if you ever used this saucy phrase (no matter in what context, no judgement here), you are giving Netflix free promotion. Going viral and constantly receiving the fruits of word-of-mouth marketing is every business’ dream!

However, promiscuous teens are not the only source of Netflix’s brand awareness. Turns out, the streaming giant is also a god of email marketing and drip marketing in particular. They send 1.76 emails/week and somehow… it works amazingly? If you want to know how the heck they’re doing it and how you can do it, read on!

What is drip marketing?

Drip marketing is a marketing strategy consisting of breaking down any sort of marketing communication (emails, phone calls, social media posts, brochures or printed leaflets, etc.) into a series of ‘drips’ spread across a certain period of time.

It goes by a lot of different names — drip marketing, automated email campaign, lifecycle emails, autoresponders and marketing automation. Regardless of the term used, the concept remains the same. Drip marketing focuses on fostering continuity of communication and, subsequently, gently prodding prospects in the direction of making a purchase instead of insisting on selling point-blank. To give you some context, here’s a little example of how drip marketing works.

Harry Potter was extremely excited to start his 5th year at Hogwarts and needed to buy some textbooks for the upcoming OWLs at Flourish and Blotts. He got Hermione and Ron to accompany him. At the entrance to the store, there was a magic book of visitors where you could write down your name to receive letters about Flourish and Blotts sales, and even get a chance to win 100 Galleons! Of course, all three of them put their names on the list.

Just as Harry was going to spend a handful of shiny Galleons on a new set of Advanced Potion Making, he suddenly felt horrific striking pain in his temples and saw a glimpse of Voldemort’s repulsive face in his vision. Potter fell flat on the floor. The crowd started suspensefully murmuring ‘Is it Harry Potter?’, so the trio had to leave without making a purchase abruptly.

However, the three of them definitely were interested in passing their exams and needed the books they’d forgotten to get. Fortunately, Flourish and Blotts had their names down and sent them a follow-up owl with a ‘You forgot to finish your purchase!’ letter. Harry, Ron and Hermione were happy to be reminded about the books and promptly purchased. After that, month after month, they were getting owls from the store, and ordering new novels without fail, too!

Although none of us is nearly as unfortunate as Harry with his Dark Lord visions, we, too, get distracted when completing a purchase. A successful drip campaign can prevent that from happening and score a business a loyal customer.

Fun fact: The name of drip marketing comes from agriculture. It’s attributed to the concept of “drip irrigation”, where crops are sustained by steady, consistent, and balanced watering in small amounts. This allows the plants to thrive and get precisely the amount of moisture they need without drying up or overwatering.

The key elements of a drip marketing campaign

Now that you know what a drip marketing campaign is, it’s time to talk more about the parts it can be broken down to.

1 - Triggers

Triggers are the events that set your drip marketing campaign in motion by either causing entry of a new lead to your pipeline or propelling it further down the funnel. Depending on the peculiarities of your particular business, the range and number of triggers may vary. Here are some of the most common drip marketing triggers:

  • a new blog subscriber;
  • creation of a lead;
  • a potential customer leaving the site without purchasing their shopping cart;
  • someone creating an account in your online store.

2 - Conditions

Triggers set the campaign off and get the gears going. However, for the engagement actions to commence, a set of pre-defined conditions must be met first. Just like triggers, drip marketing campaign conditions are determined by the marketing manager planning out the campaign; hence they’re only limited by the aforementioned manager’s imagination. But if you don’t have any sort of idea as to where to start and are looking for some examples, we got your back:

  • sending an email once a lead has clicked on a particular link;
  • waiting for two days before sending out the first email of the sequence.

3 - Actions

In drip marketing, actions refer to the actual engagement elements that establish a connection between the business and its customers. Depending on the type of drip marketing in question, these actions can take the form of emails, SMS messages, social media direct messages or push notifications, etc.

Why use drip marketing?

If you excel at drip marketing, you can enjoy an array of remarkable benefits!

Some figures for starters:

  • Open rates for drip campaigns are roughly 80% higher than single send emails, with three times the average click-through rates. (Source: Pinpointe)
  • Drip campaigns generate 50% more sales-ready leads. (Source: Pinpointe)
  • Companies that successfully employ marketing automation generate 80% more sales at 33% less cost. (Source: Pinpointe)
  • Nurtured leads tend to purchase 43% more than non-nurtured leads. (Source: Pinpointe)
  • Triggered email click rates are 141.6% higher than Business-As-Usual emails. (Source: Pinpointe)

But where do all those fantastic stats come from and how can drip marketing cause such marvellous results? Here’s an explanation of the exact effects of employing a drip marketing campaign for your business.

  • It improves engagement. It’s a proven fact that emails triggered by user actions are more likely to be opened than mass-send email marketing campaigns. Not only can you provide a personalised well-crafted email to promote your business and relevant products, but also get a response from your customers.
  • It propels leads down the funnel automatically. Drip marketing enhances your productivity as it saves a fair amount of time and, therefore, money for your business. With marketing automation, you can push your leads towards conversion automatically, without an employee getting involved.
  • It eliminates prospects' irritation. Cold-calling or cold-emailing can be useful, but it inevitably means interrupting your prospects day. This can cause irritation and draw negative associations. With triggered emails, however, it isn’t the case! Take Russel from the Pixar film ‘UP’ as an example: the boy scout hit up the right prospect but did so at a wrong moment. Eventually, he did get what he wanted but, not gonna lie, it could’ve been done much easier had he used some drip marketing there!
  • It enables cross-selling and up-selling. By extending your drip campaign beyond conversion, you can score yourself a loyal customer that would make repeat purchases. Hence, more sales!
  • It increases brand awareness. Last but not least, if you pop up in your leads’ inbox regularly, you put a reminder about yourself into their heads and stay there for longer. Profit!

Regardless of your goals, you can successfully incorporate drip marketing into your strategy. Some of the tasks drip marketing campaigns have proven to be particularly effective for:

  • Lead nurturing
  • Welcoming
  • On-boarding
  • Abandoned Shopping Carts

How to run a drip marketing campaign

One of the best things about drip marketing campaigns is that they are easy to conduct. Just like a regular email marketing campaign, these can be broken down into several key steps, successful completion of each will result in a smashing campaign!

1 - Identify your target audience

First of all, you need to get the gist of your target audience: it’s essential you identify who they are, what they want (including what they don’t realise they want) and how they behave. This step is mandatory for any sort of marketing campaign but is especially important for drip marketing as it enables a personalised approach to each individual member of the target audience. Performing market segmentation helps you to get a better understanding of the groups that comprise your target audience and what their triggers are.

Drip marketing is based on two types of trigger-based segmentation. You can either segment the target audience by action-triggers or by demographic-triggers.

  • Action-trigger based segmentation implies you structure your drip campaign by grouping people into segments based on how they interact with your business. For example, you send them a welcoming email when they first register, send a receipt with shipping details and a couple of up-selling options once they make a purchase.
  • Demographic-trigger based segmentation involves tracking your customer behaviour and nudging your leads towards conversion. It’s majorly focused on such details as past purchases, cart abandonment and prolonged inactivity upon registration.

Besides, analysing the market and matching the results of your analysis with the audience you want to target helps you to set clear SMART objectives. By doing so, you will also be able to outline the goals of your drip marketing campaign. Do you want to focus on nurturing leads? Do you want to improve conversion and convince your prospects to purchase your goods or services? Do you want to establish a strong connection with your customers? Or, perhaps, you’re interested in all of the above? One way or another, settling down the initial goals of your campaign allows you to set the framework of actions you need to take to achieve them.

2 - Construct your message

Once you’ve identified who you want to target in your drip campaign, you can start thinking about the message you want to deliver to them. Drip marketing puts emphasis on providing ‘the right information at the right time’, so you need to ensure your content is of the highest quality and appropriate for the cause. It’s essential your message provides value to prospects and is overall appealing to them.

At this point, you need to start crafting your first drafts. Based on the goals of your campaign, you should be able to answer the question of what you want the recipients of your emails to do. Do you want them to spend more time on your website, or do you want them to learn about the new cool product you’ve recently launched? Depending on the answer, you need to write an actionable, attractive and clear copy of the letters you will be sending out later.

If you need inspiration, there are some excellent email templates here!

3 - Map out your campaign

At this point, you should have your messages ready and waiting to be sent. The task now is to make sure they all flow together and don’t contradict each other. The main point of drip marketing is to ensure continuity of communication over time. Therefore, when you’re planning out your campaign, you have to stretch out your emails in such a way that they keep coming and stay relevant!

Here’s a checklist of questions to answer when planning out your drip marketing campaign:

  • How many emails will I send in the course of the campaign?
  • When will I be sending each of these emails?
  • In what order will I be sending them?
  • Do all my emails line up well with the identified triggers?
  • How will I measure the results of my campaign?

4 - Launch the campaign

When everything else is hot and ready, you may set off the campaign and start sending out your emails.

A little pro tip here: to get the best results possible and significantly boost your productivity, launch your campaign with the help of CRM software. Since we’re talking email drip marketing, the best option is, of course, an email CRM system such as NetHunt CRM. It’s fully integrated with Gmail, the most popular email service in the world, and has a lot of cool features that allow you to automate processes. For instance, you can simplify the process of bulk emailing, schedule your emails and segment recipients, all inside your inbox!

5 - Assess first results and calibrate the campaign accordingly

Last but not least, assess the first results. Even if you are a drip marketing professional and are using a CRM system to automate the campaign for you, it doesn’t mean you can just sit back and relax. If you want to stay on top of your game, you need to be constantly monitoring the effectiveness of your campaign and adjusting it to get the best results possible!

Fortunately, NetHunt CRM allows you to view clickthrough and open rates for the emails you send and promptly rearrange segmentation groups so that you could focus on tailoring new messages and rewriting them if they’re not bringing the desired results.

Get that drip now!

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