If you’ve gone to the trouble to build an email list or get a prospect to subscribe to your newsletter or service, make sure you are getting the as many customers as possible out of the effort. One of the ways you can do this effectively is with drip marketing. Drip marketing is getting to be very common – you have probably even experienced it yourself if you’ve signed up for a free trial lately. And the reason for that is that it works. It can help you increase the number of prospects who turn into customers over time by keeping your name and product in front of them.
What is drip marketing?
Drip marketing (also known as an autoresponder or marketing automation) is marketing done by email over time automatically. A drip marketing campaign can be very sophisticated or very simple and which kinds you can do will depend greatly on your software. The basic idea is that emails are set up in advance to go out automatically when a contact performs an action or actions (like subscribe, fill out a form on a site or navigate to page or set of pages on your site, etc.).
One place I’ve seen drip marketing campaigns used to very good effect is with free trials. If a company is offering a free trial on software service, they might set up a series of emails to go out after you sign up for the free trial which give the reader more information about the software and helpful tips about how to use it. In this way, they subtly remind the reader to take advantage of the free trial while it lasts. And they can teach the reader to use the software while promoting some of its features. When the time comes that the free trial is almost over, the company can send emails warning the customer that time is almost up and telling them how to sign up for the full version of the software. It can be very effective and can really be applied to any limited-time offer.
Drip marketing is also great to use in the case where you have used an advertisement or campaign specifically for the purpose of getting leads – like a campaign to download a whitepaper or eBook. In that case, after the prospect has provided contact information, drip marketing can be used to let the contact know about company offerings and hopefully warm them up to the making an eventual purchase.
How to use drip marketing
When someone subscribes on your Web site or contacts you (related article: Minimum Web Site Features for Internet Marketing), do more than add their information to your email list (related article: Email Marketing for Small Businesses). Often email software (like Get Response and Constant Contact) has the ability to set up drip marketing or autoresponder campaigns for people who subscribe. Your email software should have documentation on how to make use of this feature.
If you want to get really advanced, look for a marketing automation program like Marketo or Magento. There are tons of them on the market and they will let you do some really advanced drip marketing campaigns based not only on a subscription, but also on actions taken on a Web site, number of visits to a site, etc. And they will often score the prospects as they go through these hoops so your sales team knows when a prospect is really hot and ready for a call. Some of these programs can even use complex logic to take prospects down complex logic trees to determine which messages to send and when.
To really super-charge your marketing automation, add A/B testing to the mix (related article: When and How to Use A/B Testing).
Do you use an automatic responder or drip marketing campaign for your business? Did you even know such a thing was possible? Let us know in the comments below!