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How to Convert Prospects into Leads using Drip Marketing

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The name Drip Marketing has it’s root coming from drip irrigation where little amounts of water is released over time to nourish the plants.

Drip marketing is similar but instead of water, we drip small units of marketing messages at the right time intervals. Drip marketing is an important function which is used by several companies to perform multiple functions including lead nurturing, on-boarding, customer success and customer support. They can differ in types like daily reminders, weekly specials, monthly updates or yearly renewal notices. Drip marketing is proven to reduce the sales cycle, sales costs and customer support costs.

Lead Nurturing With Drip Marketing

Leads are prospective customers, people who you think just might buy your product in the near future. Website visitors now-a-days might need a bit of hand-holding, or nurturing in the way of providing relevant information with them until they’re ready to purchase your product. Lead Nurturing can be done in many ways, like educating users on your product and service, giving access to certain features, or offering them free trials.

Drip marketing for lead nurturing works very well because prospective customers will not come with an intent to buy directly nor scan through bulk of information as soon as they come in contact with a company’s products and services. They will not have the time nor the patience to do so, drip marketing helps to overcome that problem. Today’s potential buyers don’t become customers overnight, they require proper attention and relevant information to self-educate and build trust with a company. Lead nurturing helps marketers communicate constantly with buyers throughout the different sales cycle.

“50% of leads are qualified but not ready to buy.” – Gleanster Research

To make an informed buying decision, they need more information. They may need several days to make a buying decision and this thought process is continuous. They will buy when they have enough information to understand if the product can solve their problems.

“Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales ready leads at 33% lower cost per lead” – Forrester Research

Therefore, to fill the gap between the relevant information and the final sales, drip marketing is done. A visitor on a website becomes lead when he shows intent to buy which can be done in different ways such as:

  • Fill a form with name, email ID and/or phone number
  • Register for a free trial, product demo or a webinar
  • Send an email enquiry about your offer
  • Call your business phone number or

When the prospects are carefully categorised as leads then they are sent drips of emails at a predetermined interval and time with respect to their buying stage. Drip email marketing is the most common form of drip marketing that is in use today. It is to be noted that sending emails doesn’t necessarily mean sending  plain text, the main focus should be kept around engaging leads with videos, e-books, guides, offers and other types of media over mail about the products and services offered by the company. Drip marketing works both for B2B and B2C categories of businesses.

Drip-marketing-process

Steps for Lead Conversion

Step 1# Segment the Audience

•  Prospects interested in paper management solutions

•  Prospects interested in hybrid management solutions

Step2# Outline a Basic Buying Cycle

•  Problem Recognition

•  Education

•  Brand Evaluation

•  Objections

•  Decision

Step 3# Match Content to Buying Cycle

•  Pulled up content from existing pool to aid potential buyers for each stage of buying cycle

•  Articles, case studies, tool kits, white papers

•  5 landing pages and content groups targeted to each stage in buying cycle

Step 4# Create Emails for Each Stage

•  1 email against each stage of buying cycle

•  Used a consistent design for emails

•  Each email sent in a gap of 10 days

•  Each email brought potential buyers to corresponding landing page

Step 5# Lead Scoring and Sales Hand off

•  Track 3 parameters across 5 emails

– Clicking a link in the email

– Downloading a piece of content from landing page

– Spending more than 15 seconds on the landing page

•  Sales takes up leads based on lead score

Advantages:

1. High Reach and CTR

Drip Marketing aims at proving a large cover of reach among prospects and perfectly timed emails may get a good response on Click Through Rate eventually leading to final sale.

2. Low Cost-

High costs are generally related with huge audience to target, segregating and reaching out but drip email marketing comes with a benefit of low cost per mail.

3. Conversion Oriented-

The final purpose of setting up various stages of emails is to get conversions from leads. The final goal will always be selling company’s product or services.

4. Automated-

A little or no man power is required to send already framed mails at different time intervals with respect to the buying cycles of prospects.

Disadvantages:

1. Common Content

Some customers may require special attention and a need to send customised emails which cannot be done as it is mostly automated.

2. Complicated Process

Starting from identifying leads to final sales require a lot of different stages of process which has to be perfectly timed for maximum efficiency. This can be complicated for some marketeers.

3. No Thumb Rule

Drip Marketing is not a kind of strategy which is applied under set guidelines to achieve desired results every single time. Sometimes it requires some tweaking dependent on the business model and industry it has been applied.

4. Time Consuming

Drip Email Marketing can be a time consuming process and needs to be calmly and carefully applied to yield the desired results.

Drip Email Software & Services

There are several services through which one can setup drip email campaigns. There are also softwares that can be uploaded in your own server to run drip campaigns. Non-hosted subscription based email services (mentioned below) have a higher rate of deliverability.

These are  the following services for setting up simple drip mail campaigns:

  • Aweber.com
  • MailChimp.com
  • Madmimi.com
  • GetResponse.com

I hope this article gave you a good insight about drip campaigns. Once you implement it and see the results, you will get the desired edge over competitors in no time.

I would love to hear from you. Leave a comment below.

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