What are the key drip campaign best practices? To help you best conduct your drip campaigns effectively, we asked marketing professionals and business leaders this question for their best advice.
From segmenting your target audience to sending emails that add value to the recipient, there are several pieces of advice that should serve as your best practices for conducting successful drip campaigns that bring in more leads.
Drip campaign best practices
Here are 14 drip campaign best practices these leaders follow to increase leads:
- Segment your target audience
- Personalize your message and include a clear call to action (CTA)
- Make use of the yes ladder
- Send birthday and anniversary emails
- Keep drip emails short and to the point
- Test different lengths of time for each message
- Use an appropriate drip software according to your needs
- Resend emails to non-openers with a new subject line
- Determine triggers accurately
- Stay consistent
- Time your emails right and make them engaging
- Know your audience and speak to their experience
- Write each email short and concise with a clear message
- Send emails that add value to the recipient
Segment your target audience
You want to personalize your email marketing as much as possible. The best way to do this is in the intake form on your website or a landing page. Ask two or three qualifying questions that will help segment your list.
Don’t ask more than three questions.
Keep it simple. For instance, a business that sells online parenting classes offers a free webinar. In their intake form, they ask how many kids they have and their ages. Obviously, parenting classes for kids under 9 will be different from those for tweens and teens.
Therefore, you can market the right class to a parent and have a better chance of getting a positive response. So, think about your target audiences and how you can segment your list so it makes sense to them. Then you can walk them through their buying journey with an effective drip campaign.
Giselle Aguiar, AZ Social Media Wiz
Personalize your message and include a clear CTA
One of the most important drip campaign best practices is to make sure your campaign has a clear call to action. If people aren’t sure what you want them to do after opening your email, they are likely to not do anything.
This can really hurt the effectiveness of your campaign, so you want to avoid this at all costs. You also want to make sure your drip campaigns are personalized as much as possible. This means using the recipient’s first name and making sure the content is targeted specifically for them.
This will increase opens and click-through rates, which will help improve the overall effectiveness of your campaign.
Curran Van Waarde, CallScaler
Make use of the yes ladder
When using drip campaigns to get a user to take actions like booking a demo, making a purchase, or converting from free to paid, one tactic that can help improve conversions is to make use of the “yes ladder.”
What you’re looking to do is to get your prospect to say “yes” to your end goal/big ask by getting them to say “yes” to much smaller, trivial asks that you’re confident your prospect will say “yes” to. With each “yes” your prospect responds with, the more likely they are to say “yes” when it comes to the big ask.
Essentially, you need to identify your end goal – this is the top of your ladder (and subsequently the last email in your drip sequence).
You then want to work backwards, with each email in your drip campaign having the purpose of building the rungs to your ladder. This is done by making sure there’s some type of ask that will get your prospect to say “yes” to. Because forward inertia is key, it’s critical that you get your first “yes” in your initial drip email.
Josh Brown, Helpjuice
Send birthday and anniversary emails
I found anniversary and birthday emails are some of the best ways when it comes to drip campaign best practices. As they let buyers know that we care for them. Also as per the statistics, birthday emails have a 481% higher transaction rate and 179% higher unique click rates than promotional emails.
I always recommend adding an extra field on your sign-up forms as it helps you acquire this information. Sending birthday or anniversary emails with appealing texts along with a small discount as a present/gift for the next purchase always leaves clients happy and suffice.
Hima Pujara, BugRaptors
Keep drip emails short and to the point
This might be an unpopular viewpoint, but my drip campaign emails are very short. And the emails look as if they are coming from my personal account.
I treat every email as if I’m writing to a friend (often I am) and I tell them what I’m sending, why I think they will appreciate it and provide a link.
I’ve been following this format for the last year and have seen an increase in click rates from as low as 1% to as high as 5%.
Ivana Taylor, DIYMarketers
Test different lengths of time for each message
One of the more strategic drip campaign best practices is to test different lengths of time for each message. You might find that your subscribers respond better to messages that are sent more frequently, or that they prefer a longer gap between each message.
When you’re testing, be sure to include a control group – a group of subscribers who receive the same number of emails as your test groups, but at regular intervals.
When you’re testing your drip campaign, don’t forget that there are many factors that could affect the results. For example, if your product has been featured in the media recently, it may get more clicks than usual. If one particular person in your company is more active on social media than others, they may be included in every test group and skew the results towards one outcome or another. Make sure you account for these factors when analyzing your results!
Benjamin Basic, Fast Food Menu Prices
Use an appropriate drip software according to your needs
Welcome aboard if you’ve chosen the drip campaign tool you’re going to use if you’re reading this. However, if you are weighing your alternatives, you should choose the one that has all the characteristics you require for your campaigns.
A good email automation tool should offer a number of essential capabilities so that you can build up your email sequence properly. While email customization tools enable you to adjust your emails in accordance with various data, list segmentation makes it simpler to target various demographic groups within your target audience. Setting up a drip campaign involves many different steps, including determining the best time to send emails based on the campaign plan.
Michael Garrico, Total Shape
Resend emails to non-openers with a new subject line
For most drip campaigns, less than half of your recipients open your emails, meaning the majority of your target audience never sees the content in the email itself. Consider re-sending emails to people who didn’t open the first time with a new subject line.
Not only does this increase the overall number of people who see your email content, you’ll also learn what types of subject lines are more likely to result in opens.
Peter Zawistowicz, Pace
Determine triggers accurately
Determining triggers accurately can help implement a successful drip campaign. Triggers serve as a signal for automated emails to start. For instance, ecommerce businesses, like home appliance online stores, utilize abandoned cart emails.
Sending automated abandoned cart emails is triggered when a potential customer adds items to the shopping cart and leaves the website without checking out. This best practice helps reduce abandoned cart rates and boost sales.
Robert Johnson, Coast Appliances
Staying consistent while not being overbearing is the key to converting customers with a drip campaign. A good practice to implement with a drip campaign is having an automatic email to be sent within 24 hours.
Having a follow up email reminding customers of their abandoned cart within the first day will make sure it stays fresh on their mind.
If the customer isn’t converted with the follow up email, having a third email sent by the end of week with a discount offer could do the trick. Making sure to stay consistent will ensure you are able to have an effective campaign.
Charles Tichenor IV, Disrupter School
Time your emails right and make them engaging
Decide first how often and at what intervals you want to send emails. Depending on the campaign kind, this will happen. With fresh leads, you need to follow up right away, however, with subscribers, newsletters can be delivered weekly or monthly.
Your email’s content must be pertinent, interesting, and succinct.
Per the email, stick to one subject and avoid overusing links, attachments, and CTAs. Add a few well-selected images to the emails to make them bright and engaging. Not sending too many emails to your list is one of the most important drip campaign best practices to keep in mind.
Generally speaking, it’s preferable to space out for a few days. You must also take into account the best days and times to send, which may depend on the schedules and time zones of your recipients.
Richard Harless, AZ Flat Fee
Know your audience and speak to their experience
Consumers are becoming more and more savvy and know when they are being marketed to. My advice is to incorporate personalisation techniques into your strategy to engage the attention of the reader.
For example, speak to the consumer’s personal experiences with your company, such as past purchases. Educate yourself as to why your customer bought your product. Perhaps it was for a gift? If so, they may be likely to buy your product again at the same time of year in the future.
To do this, segment your email list with this criteria. Then set up a drip campaign addressing them directly and speaking to their past purchase. Schedule the campaign to send at the same time the following year to encourage another purchase.
From my experience, consumers are likely to respond positively to your drip campaign when it is addressing them directly, and speaking to their personal experiences with your company.
Taleisha Barker, Flowers Across Brisbane
Make each email short and concise with a clear message
A drip campaign’s beauty is that you naturally don’t need to cram a lot of information into each email. You may distribute information throughout the email series using the built-in formatting.
Profit from that.
The likelihood that your audience will interact with your content is increased by concise paragraphs, a brief email overall, and a clear message. Your email receivers will lose interest in your message if it has lengthy paragraphs and rambling tales that don’t get to the point.
Amit Biwaal, Amit Biwaal
Send emails that add value to the recipient
When it comes to drip campaigns, one best practice is ensuring that each email in the campaign adds value to the recipient. This could mean providing helpful information, offering a discount or special offer, or simply reminding the recipient of your product or service.
Start with the subject line. It is the first thing that a recipient will see, so it’s important to make it count. Keep it short and to the point, and make sure it’s relevant to the rest of the email. Personalize your message as much as possible. Include the recipient’s name in the subject line and throughout the email.
Providing educational content leads to customer satisfaction. If you can solve a problem that your recipient is facing, they will be more likely to remember your product or service the next time they need it. Whatever the case, each email should provide some value to the reader to encourage them to continue reading and engaging with your brand.
Erik Emanuelli, ErikEmanuelli.com
Closing thoughts on drip campaign best practices
With their relative ease to launch and high return on investment, drip campaigns are fast becoming a must-have for any online venture. But it’s important to avoid firing off messages willy nilly. Hopefully, our list of drip campaign best practices can help you get the most from this powerful strategy.
Let the Urgency of Your Customers’ Needs Guide Your Sales Strategy
When companies are creating profiles of possible target customers, there is a dimension they often overlook: the urgency of the need for the offering. This article provides a process for segmenting prospective customers in this fashion and creating a sales strategy.
Many business leaders believe that they fully understand their best target customers. They’ve developed clear profiles (a.k.a. personas) that are richly detailed with well-researched parameters, such as standard characteristics (e.g., age, education level, years at the company, role) or firmographic (e.g., annual revenues, number of employees, industry, geography, years in business). While such characteristics are important, they ignore another crucial characteristic: urgency of need.
A company that offers a software-as-a-service billing solution for small and mid-sized private dental practices may focus on classic demographics, such as the size of the practice (number of employees or number of dentists), the age of the practice (since older practices may more likely have outdated systems), or the amount of insurance billing the practice does each year.
These variables are useful in helping to produce a list of prospects, but they don’t determine which of these dental practices the sales team should call on first. If, however, the company added data that reflects which of these practices’ needs is most urgent — say, those that have advertised for billing and claims administration help more than twice in the past year (suggesting that they are struggling to keep up with billing) — salespeople would be able to prioritize their attention on these prospects.
The Four Segments
This needs-based approach entails segmenting potential customers into four segments:
- Urgent. The customer recognizes that it has an immediate need. (We just had another billing person quit!)
- Non-urgent. The customer recognizes the need, but it isn’t a high priority at this time. (We realize that our billing needs are changing and our current system will need to be revamped. We plan to start looking into this in the next year.)
- Currently met. The customer believes it already has an adequate solution to address the need at this time but recognizes it may not be a long-term solution. (We have an older billing system in place that still does the trick for now.)
- None. The customer simply has no need nor expects such need anytime soon. (Our small practice has a limited number of patients who pay out of pocket. Since all payments are made at the time of service, we simply don’t need a complex new billing system.)
This focus on the urgency of target customers’ needs may sound like common sense, but we have found in our work with B2B companies — from mid-sized firms to Fortune 50 giants in an array of industries such as financial services, enterprise information technology, utilities, industrial solutions, and health care technology — that they often fail to consider this dimension. Here is a process a firm can employ to apply this approach.
Identify new customers.
To identify prospects outside of your existing customer base, you can use available information. One is a source we mentioned: help-wanted ads that reflect a particular need.
But there are plenty of others. For instance, if a company sells inventory management solutions, a source of valuable data might be manufacturing industry merger-and-acquisition data, which could reveal companies with an urgent need to change or merge systems such as those for managing inventories. If a company sells quality-management solutions, a source of valuable data could be companies that are getting hammered for poor quality on social media.
Gather the necessary information.
Identifying your customers’ true urgency of needs requires looking beyond your typical demographic and firmographic profiling. This starts with an outreach initiative to talk to customers and prospects. The purpose is to ask questions to identify new target customer parameters that may be impacting the customer’s urgency of needs:
- Frustrations. How urgent is the need to resolve these frustrations? Which frustration would best accelerate success if resolved?
- Goals. Are your goals clear, consistent, reasonable, and measurable? Have your goals shifted recently?
- Roadblocks. What keeps you from reaching your goals? (i.e., What keeps you up at night?) What is the magnitude of the impact of these roadblocks?
- Environmental and situational factors. Are you experiencing any industry consolidation, organizational or executive management changes or instability, competitive changes, regulatory changes, and so on? What is the magnitude of the impact of these factors?
- Technology factors. Are there new or changing technologies that will impact your ability to achieve your goals? Are you at risk due to technology end-of-life issues or incompatibility?
Assess your firm’s ability to serve lower-level segments.
Once a company has performed its needs-based segmentation effort, it should seek to answer the following questions about each of the four levels. The findings will dictate the sales and marketing strategy, level of investment and resource allocations.
Level 1. Urgent need
How quickly can we meet their need? How can we best serve them? Is the market opportunity large enough to focus only on these prospective customers? Given the customer’s urgency, how do we price our products to optimize margins without damaging relationships by appearing exploitive?
Level 2. Non-urgent need
Can we convince them that their need is more urgent than they currently believe? How do we effectively stay in touch with them so we remain top of mind when they perceive that their need has become urgent?
Level 3. Need currently met
Should we walk away from these prospects? If so, when and how do we touch base with them to see if their needs have changed? Or is there an opportunity to continue to work to convince them that their need is either more significant than they realize or could be much better addressed? If so, what’s the best approach to get them to reconsider their current situation and recognize their true need and its urgency?
Level 4. No need
Should we completely remove these contacts as any potential prospect? Is there some other need we may be able to address for them — perhaps with another product? Should we be in contact on a planned basis to see if their situation has changed? How do we best do that?
The ideal customers are those who clearly understand and recognize they have an urgent need for your offering. However, if that opportunity is not enough to meet the company’s sales volume target, it may be necessary to extend efforts beyond Level 1. Gaining the attention of these additional target customers, challenging their perceptions of their needs, and educating them on how your offering could benefit them will require resources. Consequently, a critical assessment is required to determine whether the opportunity outweighs the investment necessary to address customers in these other levels.
Test your new targets.
Before committing to a complete revamp of how your salespeople are prioritizing opportunities, select one or two experienced salespeople to help you test your new target customer parameters. Identify a few prospects that align to your revamped target profiles, and see how the selected salespeople are able to penetrate them.
Revamp your sales messaging and training.
Include prospective customers’ level of need in your sales messaging — the language that the sales team uses in its interactions with customers. Revamp your sales tools (materials such as brochures, technical papers, and customer testimonials used in the selling process) to include the urgency of need. And teach salespeople how to read and react to the prospective customer’s level of need and adapt their language appropriately.
By adding urgency of need to target customers’ profiles, companies can do more than differentiate their offerings more effectively. They can also identify new growth opportunities and successfully pivot away from slowing or tightening markets. They can accelerate the sales of new products. Last but not least, they can turn underachieving sales teams into strong performers.
11 Ways Tech Adoption Impacts your Small Biz Growth
Small businesses rely heavily on technology to drive development and innovation. Adopting the correct technological solutions can help to streamline processes, increase efficiency, improve client experiences, and create a competitive advantage in the market.
In this post, we will look at how technology contributes to the growth and success of small enterprises.
1. Streamlining Operations
Implementing small business technology solutions can automate and streamline various aspects of small business operations. This includes using project management software, customer relationship management (CRM) systems, inventory management tools, and accounting software. Streamlining operations not only saves time and reduces manual errors but also allows small businesses to allocate resources more efficiently.
Tip: Regularly assess your business processes and identify areas that can be automated or improved with technology. This continuous evaluation ensures that your technology solutions remain aligned with your evolving business needs.
2. Enhancing Customer Engagement
Technology enables small businesses to engage and connect with their customers more effectively. Social media platforms, email marketing software, and customer service tools allow businesses to communicate and build relationships with their target audience. Customer relationship management systems help businesses track customer interactions and preferences, providing insights to deliver personalized experiences and improve customer satisfaction.
Tip: Leverage data from customer interactions to create targeted marketing campaigns and personalized offers. Use automation tools to send timely and relevant messages to your customers, enhancing their engagement and loyalty.
3. Expanding Market Reach
The internet and digital marketing platforms provide small businesses with the opportunity to reach a broader audience beyond their local market. Creating a professional website, utilizing search engine optimization (SEO), and leveraging online advertising channels allow small businesses to attract and engage customers from different regions or even globally. E-commerce platforms enable businesses to sell products or services online, further expanding their market reach.
Tip: Continuously monitor and optimize your online presence to ensure your website is discoverable and user-friendly. Leverage analytics tools to track website traffic, visitor behavior, and conversion rates to make data-driven improvements.
4. Improving Decision-Making with Data
Technology provides small businesses with access to valuable data and analytics, enabling informed decision-making. Through data analysis, businesses can gain insights into customer behavior, market trends, and operational performance. This data-driven approach allows small businesses to make strategic decisions, optimize processes, and identify growth opportunities more effectively.
Tip: Invest in data analytics tools and dashboards that can consolidate and visualize your business data. Regularly review and analyze the data to uncover patterns, identify bottlenecks, and make data-backed decisions to drive growth.
5. Facilitating Remote Work and Collaboration
Advancements in technology have made remote work and collaboration more feasible for small businesses. Cloud-based tools, project management software, and communication platforms enable teams to work together efficiently, regardless of geographical location. This flexibility opens up opportunities to access talent from anywhere, increase productivity, and reduce overhead costs.
Tip: Establish clear communication protocols and project management workflows to ensure effective collaboration among remote teams. Use video conferencing tools for virtual meetings and foster a culture of transparency and accountability to maintain productivity and engagement.
6. Embracing Emerging Technologies
Small businesses should stay informed about emerging technologies that have the potential to transform their industries. Technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain, and the Internet of Things can offer new opportunities for growth and innovation. Being open to adopting and integrating these technologies into your business strategy can give you a competitive advantage.
7. Data Security and Privacy
Data security and privacy are critical considerations when using technology in small businesses. Implement robust cybersecurity measures, such as firewalls, encryption, and secure data storage, to protect sensitive customer information and intellectual property. Regularly update software and educate employees on best practices for data security to minimize the risk of data breaches.
8. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Systems
A dedicated CRM system can help small businesses manage customer relationships more efficiently. It allows businesses to track customer interactions, store contact information, and monitor sales pipelines. Utilize CRM software to streamline sales and marketing processes, personalize customer interactions, and nurture long-term customer loyalty.
9. Continuous Learning and Skill Development
Encourage continuous learning and skill development among employees to keep up with technological advancements. Provide access to online courses, training resources, and workshops to enhance digital literacy and proficiency. Embrace a culture of learning and innovation to ensure your small business remains adaptable and competitive in the digital age.
10. Scalable and Flexible Technology Solutions
Choose technology solutions that are scalable and flexible to accommodate your growing business needs. Consider cloud-based software and platforms that allow you to easily scale up or down as your business evolves. This scalability enables small businesses to adapt to changing demands and seize new opportunities without significant disruptions.
11. Regular Technology Assessments
Regularly assess your technology infrastructure to ensure it aligns with your business goals and remains up to date. Conduct technology audits to identify areas for improvement, eliminate outdated systems, and explore new technologies that can drive growth. Stay proactive in evaluating and optimizing your technology stack to maximize its impact on your small business.
Technology serves as a catalyst for small business growth. By leveraging technology effectively and staying agile in an ever-evolving digital landscape, small businesses can unlock their full potential, adapt to changing customer expectations, and drive sustainable growth.
Nine Reasons Why Turning Down a Client Is the Best Option for Your Business
While your business may not be right for every client, every client may not be right for your business. To that end, what’s one sign you should turn down a client, and why?
These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year, and have created tens of thousands of jobs. Learn more at yec.co.
1. The Client Has Unrealistic Expectations
Sometimes you’ll meet clients with unrealistic expectations — even when those expectations are incompatible with your products and services. They might demand services that you may not be able to deliver. Trying to keep such clients can often damage your relationship with them, encourage them to spread bad word-of-mouth, and hamper your reputation. Identifying such clients in time can prevent that.
s2. They’re Unresponsive
The number one way to tell if a client isn’t right for your business is if they are unresponsive. For client-business relationships to work, mutual understanding, communication, and respect are essential. If a client keeps pushing you aside when you need to clarify something for a project you’re working on for them, it may be time to move on at the end of the assignment.
3. They Complain During Every Step
An obvious sign that a client isn’t a good fit for your business is when they complain about your work every step of the way. I’ve encountered clients who complain because they think they will get a better price or free work. If they are truly unhappy, try to correct the mistake once or twice, and if that doesn’t work, give them a refund. Catering to toxic clients will not help you grow or succeed.
4. You’re Unable to Meet Their Needs
One should turn down a client whose expectations are hard to meet. They may not be in the wrong in the situation, and they have the right to expect certain things since they will be paying for the solutions offered. However, you should assess whether it will be possible for you to keep up with those expectations considering your current scale of operations or resources available.
5. They Exhibit a ‘Blame-Oriented’ Mindset
Watch for a “blame-oriented mindset” in your prospecting and sales conversations. Ask a question like, “What solutions or service providers have you tried before to solve this problem, and why didn’t they work?” Observe if the prospect takes any ownership for past failures or solely blames previous providers. Such an attitude is a clear sign of a lack of accountability and collaboration. Turn down such prospects!
6. They Constantly Dismiss Your Advice
Picture this: a client who insists on guiding you through uncharted territory while you hold the compass of expertise. When faced with a client who consistently dismisses your professional advice and insists on going against best practices, it’s time to question the compatibility of your collaboration. Remember: You’re the expert for a reason, and your recommendations should be valued.
7. They Aren’t Engaging in the Project
When a client consistently fails to provide the necessary resources, feedback or engagement required for a successful partnership, it’s time to hit pause. A one-sided relationship will leave you feeling like a solo artist in a duet. Seek clients who actively participate, collaborate and invest in the success of the projects you undertake together.
8. There Is Value or Goal Misalignment
Turn down clients if their values or goals are not aligned with your business. This can lead to conflicts and dissatisfaction and even damage your reputation. Focus on clients who share similar values and goals to maintain your brand’s integrity and benefit from the work you do for them.
9. They’re Always Adding ‘One More Thing’
You can tell a client is not right for your business, especially if you’re a freelancer, if they keep adding “one more thing” to the project. For instance, if you’re a writer and a client asks you to edit some of their other work “as a friend,” it may be time to end the partnership. This situation will lead to you doing tons of work and extra assignments for free, which was not the arrangement.
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