Marketing automation in practice, part 3: Drip campaigns – step by step towards a goal
A chain of automated messages, also known as drip campaign, is a series of timely messages that are triggered by an event or moment in time. This event can, for example, be a hotel booking, registration as a loyal customer, webstore purchase or any customer contact. All the same, the automation chain can be based on time and be activated six months after a certain event, like a purchase from a webstore.
Drip campaign's target group can be, depending on the company, leads, current customers, fans, employees, partners, readers or new webstore customers, for example. Automation chains don't have to consist of emails alone, but SMS can be included, as well as social media channels. Common for all drip campaigns are careful targeting and mapping out the customer's behavior into a chain of automated messages. The better the different stages are mapped out, the better the result. You can also build alternate versions of the chain that move the customer forward in different ways based on the behavior of the customer.
Direct towards a purchase
The most traditional way to take advantage of drip campaigns is to direct the customer towards a purchase step by step. Example of a message chain that is activated by newsletter subscription:
- Thank you for subscribing – introduction of the company's services
- Download the latest whitepaper on marketing automation – would you like to book an appointment for a consultation?
- Hopefully you have enjoyed yourself with our newsletter – let us introduce our newest product?
- Invitation to a trade fair – meet our sales staff
People learn the best when they gradually get information and that's why drip campaigns are especially useful for training purposes. A new customer can be taught how to get the best advantage out of a system they've acquired by telling more about the features of the system once a month. Example of a message chain that is activated by a purhchase:
- Welcome as a user – here are five steps to get you started
- Hopefully you're enjoying our product – download a quick guide that helps you get more out of the product
- Have you encountered problems? Here are frequently asked questions and solutions (P.S. You know you can also buy additional training?)
- Our customers tell: case examples of using the system
Re-engaging the customer
Drip campaigns are often used to wake up passive customers – and maybe to say farewell. Example of a campaign that is activated when the customer hasn't purchased anything for a year:
- It's unfortunate we haven't heard from you in a while – come and shop with a 50% discount
- One more day to use your discount coupon
- Repeat steps 1-2 during the next campaign
- It's unfortunate you haven't purchased anything from us for a while. However, we won't disturb you with this anymore! You are now removed from our newsletter mailing list but you can resubscribe anytime
When a customer has purchased something, e.g. a night in a hotel, other services related to this purchase can be offered with a message chain. Example of a message chain from an accomodation service provider:
- Thank you for your reservation – would you like to upgrade your room?
- It's almost time for your holiday – here are some tips on what to do in your destination
- One more week to go – have you made reservations to the hotel restaurant and day spa?
- Welcome tomorrow! Would you like to order something to wait for you in the room?
- Thank you for your stay – book the next night straight from the hotel with a 20% discount and save money
The previously mentioned are just some examples of message chains – drip campaigns can basically be used for any purpose when it's beneficial to remind a customer or to advance in stages. Smart message chains, at their best, spare resources, keep your company on the customer's mind and make the sales team's job easier.
Other examples of good drip campaigns:
- Discount campaigns (pre-marketing, offers during a campaign, last minute reminders, advertising for the next sale campaign)
- Welcome campaigns for new customers
- Keeping the company on customer's minds – frequent event invitations, product introductions etc.
- Event marketing: from save the date pre-marketing to event marketing and feedback surveys
- Reminders – contract renewal date or an upcoming date to make an order for a frequently ordered product
Automation chains don't always have to be complicated because even very simple chains help to keep the company and its services on the target group's mind. The chains don't have to be ready at once, but can be tuned and edited according to gained experience and feedback. It is important to choose an automation tool that is agile and can be used to create new automation chains, as well as edit old ones.
Did you get interested in creating drip campaigns? Contact our experts to further investigate using message chains in your business. LianaCEM is an agile tool for marketing automation that can be used both for single automated messages as well as drip-campaigns.