As every statistics-scouring marketer knows, email is alive and thriving in 2017. Offering an average ROI of $38 for every dollar spent and seen as the most effective channel for revenue generation by 59% of B2B marketers, email marketing is one component of a modern marketing strategy you just can’t go without.
Not only is there more than one kind of email marketing campaign, but choosing the right campaign for your company can make or break your success from the start. Today, we’ll be taking a closer look at two major kinds of email campaigns - the drip campaign and the nurture campaign - to help you determine which one fits your company’s needs best.
This blog post is part of Your Definitive Guide to Lead Nurturing blog series.
What is a Drip Campaign?
Drip marketing is a type of automated campaign focused on email, which allows you to send out a series of scheduled and customized emails to segments of your contacts base. Generating open rates that are around 80% higher and click-through rates that are three times higher than those of single send emails, drip emails are a worthy investment over blast emails. Whether the goal is nurturing new leads, retaining customers, or increasing company awareness, a drip campaign will help you get there.
Some examples of types of campaigns include:
- Top-of-mind drips, which engage with not quite sales-ready leads over a longer period of time through consistent touch points
- Welcome drips, which introduce new prospects to your company at a comfortable pace
- Competitive drips, which focus on differentiating your product/service from that of your competitors
- Re-engagement drips, which are targeted toward inactive leads to encourage them to reenter the sales process
- Onboarding drips, which provide resources for a client to get started with your company after a close
Drip Campaign Implementation
Creating a drip marketing model begins with personalized email content, which in turn begins with your contacts list. Your contact list should be segmented by demographic and/or behavioral criteria, which can be based on existing buyer personas, or new categories of contacts created for a specific campaign. Then the content itself is fleshed out through a combination of best practice guidelines that apply to general email marketing and more specific ones that apply to your segmented contacts.
Drip emails are based in automation, and there is luckily no shortage of automating tools on the market with features that fit various industries and company types. With the right technology and a strong analytics strategy, your drip campaign can be efficiently tweaked to provide maximum value to both your company and your recipients; metrics like open and click-through rates, unsubscribes, bounces, and conversion rates are highly useful and fairly simple to track.
What is an email Nurture Campaign?
An email nurture campaign is a series of emails that are sent on the basis of a lead’s behavior, which deliver timely, targeted information that helps guide the lead through the buying process. As your prospect receives emails, they are presented with information to help them choose your product.
While drip campaigns are more focused on determining clients’ needs, nurture campaigns, as their name suggests, are designed to nurture relationships with leads.
Specific behavioral data matters in nurture campaigns; for example, how many times a lead visited your website, which articles or guides they’ve read, and what seminar they registered for. The goal is to deliver educational value to the lead while encouraging engagement with your resources, and unlike drip marketing, the nurture campaign is triggered by every such engaging action, creating an even more personalized sending schedule.
Nurture Campaign Implementation
As with drip campaigns, lead nurture campaigns require list segmentation, tailored content, and unique calls to action. Automation software and features like templates, A/B testing, and scheduling are also all applicable to nurturing emails. The difference is in the understanding of buyer interests through behavior more specifically related to your products and services, allowing you to market more directly.
For example, a typical drip campaign may include a bi-weekly plan for a new product arrival email, a holiday coupon email, and an abandoned cart reminder email. The nurture campaign, on the other hand, may include a plan for an email sent when a lead fills out an info form to receive an ebook, followed by an email for a webinar the next time they visit your website, followed by an email offer to sign up for a free consultation sent upon their attendance of the webinar. The nurture campaign revolves more closely around your company’s sales strategy, which involves steps such as:
Acquisition of a lead
Nurturing through provision of additional information as needed
Closing of the sale
Repetition of the process to retain clients
How to Know Which Is Right for Your Business
Choosing between drip and nurture campaigns depends on several factors, including your company’s strategy, goals, and resources. Keep in mind that drip marketing is designed to educate customers and guide them down the sales funnel towards conversion, while lead nurturing identifies interested leads and shows them relevant offers when they are ready to take them. In a way, drip marketing is like a subsection of the lead nurturing process!
Drip campaigns present an advantage to younger companies and less experienced marketers because they are easier to set up, requiring fewer analytics and less investment of resources in general. Nurture campaigns, with more complex automation procedures, keep longer-term goals in their line of sight, and thus tend to require greater planning. However, the potential payoff of nurturing-- successfully nurtured relationships with leads-turned-clients-- can be well worth it.
Lastly, it’s important to keep in mind that there doesn’t have to be a pick-and-choose situation. Resources allowing, it would actually be recommendable to incorporate both drip and nurture campaigns into your automated email marketing strategy. The two can pack an even more powerful punch by covering the short term and the long term of your lead nurturing process.
Now, email is only one component of a killer lead nurturing strategy.
Looking for more help to get started? Download your free guide How to Create a Lead Nurturing Campaign and get on your way to nurturing leads like a pro!