So you’re doing Marketing at a B2B company. You have your website working as a lead generator, you do field marketing, spend a lot of money on events, gathering the data and from time to time get some more leads bought from a data-siphoning company. You also have a list of your clients with all the upsell opportunities and a lot of email addresses that are not being contacted. It is a huge database of potential prospects, with a lot of them not ready to be sold to at the moment. So what do you do after your sales guys called them and got the cold shoulder? Mark them down as “lost opportunities”? “Not interested”? “Call again in 6 months”? In reality a lot of companies actually use this “burned ground” tactics without realising that there might be a different way of handling those contacts.
Drip marketing, also called nurture programs, engagement programs, and many other depending on the Marketing Automation Software (MAS) provider, is especially applicable in long sales cycle. It allows you to stay in touch with your leads, feeding them pre-written messages, maintaining your relationship over long periods of time. After all, you spend so much time, energy and money to get someone’s email address, so now is the time to get as much out of it as possible.
A very basic drip marketing program can be as simple as having a set of emails that are being sent to a lead in a given period of time. Let’s assume you have one product, one region and a set of resources that you can send – whitepapers, videos, analyst papers and factsheets. Organise them in a way that would resemble your early, mid and late stage content and put them into your nurture stream. There is a number of MAS solutions out there that can provide this functionality in an automated way. If you are still to chose one for yourself, see some of the comparisons here and here.
Now, the simple example of your drip marketing program:
You got the data into your system via subscription forms, resource forms, list uploads of people you met at conferences, etc. Then you chose the order of the content you want to serve and how often/ on what day of the week you want to send your email and set your program. Assuming you would have 5 pieces of collateral, one email send weekly and 7 day iteration, you would have enough content to last you for 5 weeks before your sales person could try to establish a connection. Example order of those could be:
- Provider comparison white paper.
- Solution brief.
- Case Study.
- Solution video.
Of course the more content the better. Well at least in most cases – you want to be nurturing someone for quite a while, making sure they get to realise their problem, get to know your product, etc. That being said, if someone doesn’t interact with you for a few months time it means that either they are not interested or you need to look into your marketing efforts and no amount of same-ol’ content will change that. So while 5 pieces work in the example, explaining the concept, it is nowhere near what a drip marketing program is intended to do. The more the better, as you don’t want your programs to exhaust the content they have leaving your leads in limbo.
The next post about drip marketing will go over more advanced examples- companies utilizing demographic criteria while having multiple different products and selling on different continents. Finally, the last post will go over possibilities of dynamically basing you drip nurture based on both – the behavioral and demographical criteria.