Drip marketing is a powerful lead nurturing tool for companies who have longer term sales cycles. Often these involve higher value purchases with multiple people involved in the decision-making process. This can be true for B2C companies with big ticket products or B2B companies who provide products or services.
The marketer sends (drips) regular marketing communications, often through multiple channels, with strategic precision designed to move a prospect through the sales funnel over time. It can utilize a combination of direct mail, email, mobile marketing, newsletters, or other content. Sales engagement occurs at the appropriate stage.
Let’s take the example of selling a motorcycle.
- Bob goes to the manufacturer’s website and begins research on a new bike. He decides to “create his own bike” by choosing the model, color, and options.
- Creating the bike triggers a thank-you email that provides Bob with the name and address of his closest motorcycle dealership where he can take “his” bike out for a test ride.
- If Bob does not schedule a test ride within a specific time frame, he receives a personalized letter from a salesperson outlining reasons why now is the time to buy.
- When Bob does not come in for a test drive, he receives an email nudging him to do so.
- If Bob comes in for the test ride but does not buy the motorcycle, within 48 hours, he receives a postcard in the mail with more details about the bike and an incentive to purchase.
- Various touches occur over the coming months. Calls to action are designed to correspond with typical action items in the customers’ journey.
- Some systems assign scores to various behaviors, which can change the types of touches they receive and trigger sales intervention.
- Once Bob makes a purchase, he receives an onboarding package from the dealership, which includes a welcome, thank you and relevant cross selling touches.
- Later, he is moved into the customer retention funnel.
Each touch is appropriate based on previous behavior and known preferences and characteristics. The goal is to move the prospect further down the sales funnel until they make a buying decision. For example, if a customer is just starting to research your company and offerings, they should see marketing with your value proposition that speaks to their interest or need. If they are further down the funnel, you might want to offer items that would engage them, i.e. a test drive or receiving a quote.
Especially during uncertain times where people are more hesitant to make larger purchases, drip marketing keeps your products and services top of mind until that person is ready to buy. Drip marketing campaigns can extend over the course of several weeks or months to ensure your campaign extends through your average buying cycle.