Email Drip Campaigns and the Customer Journey
Whenever our marketing team suggests email drip campaigns for clients, even the most seasoned business owners will pause and ask, “what’s that?” Within the email marketing ecosystem, the drip campaign is something everyone is intimately familiar with…they just don’t know it by name.
A drip campaign is a series of automated emails designed to engage your target audience and move them steadily along the proverbial sales funnel toward a conversion (to sale). This movement along the sales funnel is commonly referred to as the customer journey.
At one time or another, we’ve all pursued a brand, signed up to receive a newsletter, a coupon, or a downloadable piece of information. The emails that arrived in our inboxes over the following weeks and months were part of a drip campaign or in some instances also known as a nurture campaign.
These types of serial emails garner 80% more opens than single emails and result in click-through rates as much as 300% higher than their single-send counterparts. It takes 8 to 10 points of contact with a brand before a lead feels comfortable enough to commit to the next step with your brand, whether that’s a consultation, a phone call, or a purchase.
Let’s explore the types, benefits, and features of effective drip campaigns, and examine the ways in which CRMs such as HubSpot help ag businesses to generate successful drip campaigns.
Email Drip Campaigns and the Customer Journey
Customers can never be rushed to the end of the sales funnel, they arrive in their own time, so we call it a customer journey. This follows the logic that “The customer is always right. They’ll be ready when they’re ready.” The trick is to consistently engage your leads until they are ready to act. This way, your brand will be “top of mind” over your competitors when the lead is prepared to commit.
Drip email campaigns deliver messages to your prospects at pre-scheduled times through an automation sequence. Emails “drip” slowly over time into their inbox, establishing your brand as a go-to expert and trusted advisor in the Ag industry.
How do you swallow an elephant? One bite at a time. Drip campaigns are a great medium for delivering sales messaging in bite-sized pieces. Think of each email in the sequence as a new opportunity to:
- Accentuate the benefits prospects can expect from your product or service
- Call out the reader’s pain points and how your brand can solve them
- Overcome the psychological barriers all buyers have in committing to a sale
- Educate your prospects about the differentiators that make your brand unique
- Create calls to action or promotions that foster conversion
From your prospects unique vantage point, these campaign emails are packed with helpful information and therefore something to look forward to. Additionally, because they opted in to receive your emails, their perception is positive because it established a permission-based relationship. Each time an email arrives, readers are greeted with a highly customized message tailored to their needs and interests.
Email marketing drip campaigns are an important subset of an overarching inbound marketing strategy, one in which goals and metrics and testing the effectiveness of your messaging is key to the success of the campaign. CRMs like HubSpot allow you to test a myriad of metrics including open rate, click through rate, bounce rate, and conversion.
When you can clearly see whether your emails are resulting in conversions, you can test, measure and improve your campaigns in ways that have a quantifiable impact on your overall revenue.
Successful drip campaigns are designed to initiate movement and advance users to the next step along the customer journey. Using the methodology of inbound marketing we encounter the 3 pillars of “attract, engage, and delight.” Drip campaigns are calculated to move prospects from the “engage” to the “delight” phase where customers become advocates of your brand.
For Ag businesses, this means going above and beyond basic messaging. Rather than sending a single generic welcome email, businesses can create a series of engaging emails, thanking customers for choosing your brand, storytelling, offering valuable resources, creating compelling calls to action, and impressing them with excellent content.
Create additional engagement by leveraging messages that direct customers to your social media, landing pages, and blog posts.
Segmented Drip Campaigns with Targeted Messaging
Email drip campaigns are often segmented into categories based on the lead’s level of interest and present location in the sales funnel. As your leads advance through the funnel, they transform from interested leads, to qualified prospects, and finally, loyal customers. This alchemy happens through targeted, engaging content.
The following demonstrates the basic anatomy of the sales funnel:
- Top of funnel: Leads and browsers
- Middle of funnel: Marketing qualified leads, sales accepted leads and potential customers who are still in the consideration/evaluation stage
- Bottom of funnel: Leads that have converted to customers, brand advocates
Segmented campaigns feature messaging that is tailored to the audience at the top, middle, or bottom of the funnel. For example, prospects at the top of the funnel should receive introductory email content, middle of the funnel, more advanced messaging, and bottom of the funnel should receive content with greater urgency and calls to action.
Once a prospect moves to the bottom of your funnel and converts to a customer, they can be added back to the top of another funnel (and campaign) for another product or service.
Standard Drip Campaign Types:
- Onboarding email campaigns for new customers
- Retargeting campaigns for visitors who haven’t yet engaged with your brand
- Lead nurturing campaigns for prospects that need more information to make an educated decision about your brand
- Post-event campaigns to continue the conversation with event attendees.
- Cross-sell campaigns that introduce people to new solutions that meet their needs.
- Abandoned shopping cart campaigns for people that never finished the transaction
HubSpot for Marketing
Creating targeted, segmented campaigns is easier than ever with the evolution of robust CRM tools like HubSpot; a premiere platform supporting drip marketing automation and email campaigns.
HubSpot is also the #1 CRM for scaling a business. Its customizable email marketing tools are among the most user-friendly in the Saas category, allowing users to easily track essential metrics. HubSpot can help you design and schedule your marketing campaigns, and then deliver your emails and leads to your sales and marketing team. It can also seamlessly integrate your marketing processes and deliver friendly messages that keep customers happy and engaged.
HubSpot is perfect for ag businesses because it allows you to personalize your messages according to your contacts’ past actions. This level of control ensures that you’re engaging your contacts with the right message. Plus, HubSpot also collects valuable data and tracks information that can help you make smart marketing decisions. With HubSpot, you can track new customers, delight existing customers, expand profit margins, and see how it all impacts your company’s bottom line.
Email Drip Campaign Examples
Remember to keep the customers’ needs in mind when creating a drip campaign. Here’s an example of a campaign sequence.
- Email 1: A thank you email that provides additional information.
- Email 2: A follow-up email with a video message about your brand
- Email 3: An email featuring customer testimonials
- Email 4: Incentives with a call to action such as a free consultation
For more email drip campaign examples and best practices, check out HubSpot. As a HubSpot Platinum Solutions Partner, Gate 39 Media has extensive experience with email drip campaigns for businesses in the Ag value chain.
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