Do Drip Campaigns Still Work?

January 31, 2012 2:31 pm

Drip Campaigns Still Work, but Only if You Follow These 8 Golden Rules

I’ve always hated the expression drip campaign. For me, it generates negative imagery, like a leaky faucet or a runny nose. As a result, it devalues what I consider an extremely powerful form of targeted email marketing and an essential instrument in any successful sales team’s tool kit. So, instead of a drip campaign, let’s call it a touch program. Because that’s what it really is. When used effectively, each e-mail deployment represents an opportunity to meaningfully touch the recipient with a useful and positive experience from your brand. It’s a way of maximizing each sales person’s reach, and it creates opportunities for prospects to come to you for a change.

Maximize the effectiveness of your email touch campaign by following these eight rules:

  1. Short and sweet. The days of reading long-form email newsletters are over. Try three to five powerful sentences with the opportunity to “read more” or take some form of action. That’s it.
  2. Engaging, relevant subject line. Email is won or lost in the subject line. As we blaze through our inbox each morning, we decide in seconds what to keep and what to toss. If the subject line doesn’t wow, it’s gone. Period.
  3. Keep images to a minimum. There are some who believe that email marketing should consist of no images, no matter what. I disagree. There’s a balance to be struck. Some products and services require image to support an idea, create emphasis, or literally “show the goods.” I would suggest this: don’t go overboard. Much like keeping copy content short and sweet, keep image content in check also.
  4. Call to Action. If your email is not creating the opportunity for the recipient to respond, then what’s the point? Ask a leading question, invite them to learn more, fill out a form, download a white paper, sign up for something. Create a means for the recipient to take action and do this on each and every deployment.
  5. Be sensible about frequency. I’ve watched online retailers – time and again – destroy customer relationships through too frequent emailing. Just because I’ve purchased something from you once, doesn’t mean I want to hear from you every day! What’s really sad is that they all have great email analytics; they know my precise buying history. Why put my relationship at risk by over-emailing, every day? For B2B brands, if you really think your recipients want to hear from you every week, think again. Plan on a monthly deployment at most, unless some big breaking news merits additional communications to your email list.
  6. Keep it Relevant. Segment your list by audience type and interest. Don’t take a one-size-fits-all approach. The more tailored your message is for to the audience, the more successful your touch program will be. And please, do not use “canned” content. It’s obvious and actually has the reverse effect, implying to recipients that you really don’t care about them.
  7. No Stupid Emails. If you feel compelled to pass along the latest joke, or a stupid pet trick video, go for it; but don’t use it as the basis for your touch program. Some people love to do the “joke e-mail thing” and consider it a function of their marketing effort; it’s not. It’s fine once in a while, but not every week.
  8. Recipient Focused. Make the content all about them – the recipients – offering news information and resources that your audience would genuinely appreciate receiving. Too much of a hard sell in email can be a major turn-off.

Delia Associates develops and deploys email touch campaigns for a number of business-to-business and business-to-consumer clients. We’ve found that a lot of business – usually 20-50% – is “left on the table” simply from communicating too infrequently with customers. Why leave that up for grabs, or for a competitor to come in and take market share? Effective touch campaigns keep you top of mind, in the leadership position, and maximize the value of each relationship. If you need some help, come see how we can help you.

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About The Author

We specialize in b2b, supporting the clients who are the "The Brands Behind the Brands." These are the supply chain partners of brands, either in Tier 1 or Tier 2 positions, who drive value through the delivery of goods, services and technologies. We enjoy blogging about all things related to Branding, Marketing, Inbound, Tradeshows, etc... And we're always happy to talk about any ideas you may have that might Get You To Your NEXT!