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We talk a lot on our show about drip campaigns– but to be fair, that’s a very marketing-specific term.
If you’re on the outside of digital marketing and looking in, what exactly are these ‘drip campaigns’ of lore? More importantly, why are they so vital for manufacturers?
1. WHAT’S A DRIP CAMPAIGN?
You might know about the idea of drip campaigns, but just not by name. They’re a common strategy within email marketing.
Drip campaigns are a slower, long-term email campaign comprised of bite-sized messages that are released every so often.
Common newsletters talk about what your company has been up to, but drips are usually a tad more specific. Each email gives a little bit of information about a specific topic, or a service of yours.
Let’s say, for example, your lead signed up for an eBook, which was centered around a product that you make for the aerospace industry. You might then have a drip campaign of five emails scheduled to go out to anyone who downloaded that content offer.
Every few weeks, that lead will receive a new email from you about that product; or about new developments in the aerospace industry; or other relevant information.
2. WHY USE THEM?
In this age of cynicism and instant information, selling is a bit like dating.
If you go up to a complete stranger and propose marriage to them within an hour…they’ll probably walk away, if not run.
The idea of drip campaigns is to take your time, and let your prospects take their time. That’s especially important for unqualified leads, and industries with long buying cycles.
Go on a few ‘dates’ first. Build the relationship slowly.
You’re providing valuable information that’s walking your leads through stages of the funnel, but it’s bit by bit. This way, you stay top of mind; and when they have questions, you may already have preemptively answered some of them.
Over time, your education will help your audience naturally evolve from MQLs (Marketing-Qualified Leads) into SQLs (Sales-Qualified Leads).
Your industry’s particular buying cycle could be years long. Then again, it could be mere days long. Use your experience to determine how often your emails should drop in. And, if possible, automate the process.
People can get busy, so automated drip campaigns can be a huge help to busy salespeople.
The last thing your sales teams want to do is make 20, 50, or 100 phone calls, only to learn that 95% of those leads aren’t near ready to buy. Some may want more information in one month; in five months; in a year.
And if one of your leads isn’t ready to buy, do they get forgotten?
If you have an automated drip campaign that will send a touch to followers regularly, and will free up time for a lot of your sales reps. That way, your team can focus on helping sales-qualified leads who may actually be ready to buy.
3. WHERE CAN I USE THEM?
Drip campaigns are fantastic to prepare for release following content offers, trade shows , and other events.
Think of all the places and ways that someone new expresses mild interest in your product or services, enough to give you their email address.
Have content offers ready: like an eBook or a quick guide. Do you release regular blogs or videos on your site? Do you have presentations you could film and turn into webinars?
The more content you have ready, the more specific your campaigns can get.
For example, if you know you have a major trade show coming up where you’ll launch a new product, prepare a drip campaign! Have emails ready to send before and during the show, telling people about your booth! Afterwards, send a recap email about the show; and send new leads further information about future events, or about that new product.
Just remember to make each drip relevant to different stages of your sales funnel. Here’s a really basic outline of a three-email drip campaign.
- Top-of-Funnel: Offer up regular blogs, an eBook, or a quick guide for newcomers. This is a very surface-level introduction. Prospects won’t give you much of their attention yet, so keep it short.
- Middle-of-Funnel: Now that you’ve earned a second ‘date,’ tell a story. Do you have a case study, or a video of one of your clients explaining how your product helped them?
- Bottom-of-Funnel: This is where things get more specific. Keep providing materials– even articles by other organizations– that might be relevant to your prospect’s industry. Found a great blog by someone else? Share it. A buyer’s guide comparing multiple products they might be searching for? Throw it in.
Remember that survey and subsequent report that we released about Sales & Marketing Trends for Manufacturers in 2019? Well, if you download that, you’ll be entered into a drip campaign from IndustrialSage. We send regular emails that dig deeper into statistics uncovered by the report; as well as practical applications and tips relevant to each one.
Just use slow and steady email messages to nurture your leads with small bites of a conversation.
No fire hosing. No pushy sales. Easy marketing, and easy education of prospects.
For manufacturers with long buying cycles, drip campaigns are an absolute must.
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