Mar 13, 2014

What is Drip Email Marketing & How to Use it for Nurturing Dead Leads

Drip email marketing can be defined as an automation of pushing pre-designed emails in a sequence for staying in conversation with prospects to persuade them towards sales. Few people call it spamming, but in my words spamming is too-much and too-often of any activity, which drip email marketing is definitely not.

It is very helpful for products and services that are a matter of rare or one time purchase such as high end software, real estate, vehicles, b2b services etc. It works for e-commerce sites as well, but requires lots of analytic skills in back-end, because of huge traffic & sign-ups on the website.

Following is very simple structure of drip campaign:

drip email marketing campaign structure

What to do with Highly Interested List

The next step for people who are reading all your mails is to start another drip campaign with more personalized emails and providing options to either contact back or get contacted by a sales executive. Most of the prospects in this list can be converted into a sale, just a strategic plan for communication is required and strategies will depend upon targeted audience. For example, if the target audience is business class people then communication will be more formal, but when the target audience is youngsters then communication will be more catchy & colorful.

How to Go About Dead Leads

Dead leads are the ones that are not even opening your mails. First of all, start counting on very basic reasons for this:

1. Your message is landing spam folders: This happens due to mail service provider’s server settings. They are equipped to filter spam-kind of messages. Such as use of term free, sale, exclamation mark and repetitive words in subject line; use of heavy image files rather than text; too much text than a normal email; same subject line used multiple times etc. Many mail servers filter bulk email messages coming from same IP towards different email ids.

Solution: Avoid forcing promotions in subject line and keep it simple. Use balanced image: text ratio in mail body. Use unique subject line every time and hire credible emailing tool to push bulk mails, as they can handle the mail and IP duplication issues very well.

2. Junk email addresses: People provide junk email address, mostly for downloading free stuff residing behind a lead form.

Solution: Use proper validation on email field of your form. If you receive junk lead even after validated form field, then provide that free material directly on given email address only. This way people will provide valid email address.

3. Sending mails on wrong time: If you are not experimenting with appropriate time to send your mails, then your efforts are equivalent to chasing a target in dark.

Solution: Every time you push an email, schedule it for a time different than previous one and keep a track of response on those timings. Most appropriate time varies according to the nature of products and services offered. If you offer baby products, then night hours are fine as mothers prefer to surf internet after the kid is slept for good.

4. You are shooting emails on your prospects: Many people want to use email marketing aggressively as it has delivered results in past, but as I said earlier too-much and too-often of anything comes under spamming and people can recognize your mailing pattern very easily and start avoiding it after some time.

Solution: Think yourself as a prospect and ask questions to yourself like how many mails you read in a day, which kind of mails you would like to open, how often would you like a company to send mails, what type of subject lines make you open a mail etc. Once you start thinking like a prospect you can plan better strategy to use drip email marketing.

5. Knocking on wrong door: People, who rent email list from third party vendors, face this issue very often. They end-up sending mails to non-interested people.

Solution: Sow and cultivate your own list. Add contact/lead form on your website; provide newsletter or blog subscription through email; keep database of FAQ and inquiry emails; offer free stuff for email ids and discover more creative ways to collect email id of interested prospects. Also keep checking the replies on your mail and anyone who is not interested in receiving your email, remove them from your mailing list. Provide unsubscribe or mailing preference option on every email to give total control to prospects.

If your dead leads are not from any of the above list and avoiding your emails intentionally, then you can try the 30-60-90 format of drip campaign just one last time. Keep all the mails in this mailing campaign very interactive and to the person. Make use of free stuffs, videos, discounts, questionnaire, contests or anything interesting available in your company to engage these dead lead.

Any dead lead that remains dead till the end, add it to a ghost list and touch it once in every three months with latest offers and new products. Never leave any lead unattended for more than 6 months, unless they have opted-out for emails.

Drip Formats

30-60-90: The most common form of drip marketing is 30-60-90, which means follow-up on every month for three continuous months after a lead was captured but didn't qualify as a sale. These kinds of follow-ups are intended for prospects that are not ready for a purchase on that specific time but may change their minds in coming months. People usually receive these mails for B2C products & services such as bike, car, insurance, finance, property etc.

Weekly: E-commerce sites use this tenure of email campaign due to variety in products and costs they can offer to their prospects. Whenever a cart is abandoned or a sale happens, the lead goes to its perspective list and gets attached to a pre-designed email campaign meant for that list. Usually, emails in these campaigns contain relevant products and offers for the person who purchased or didn't purchase a product or service from a website.

Dependent: Drip mails can be pushed on the basis of an action taken by user on a previous mail. For example a jewelry store sent all their clients an offer mail with a link to an offer page. Now there can be three actions that can happen on this email – email opened, link clicked, email not opened. Now different drip streams can be built behind these actions for example those who didn't open the mail can be touched again with same mail after 5-6 days and those who clicked on a link can be touched again with similar products and offers on regular intervals; those who opened the mail but didn't click anywhere can be touched again with more aggressive offers.

Reminder: This kind of campaigns can be seen for high value product or service that requires lots of discussion and time before final sale takes place. Usually the gap between each mail increases so the prospect stays reminded about the products and services, but doesn't feel bugged at the same time. For example – Introduction mail>> 7 day reminder mail>> 30 day reminder mail>> 60 day reminder mail>> 120 day reminder mail.

Some of the popular drip emails marketing service providers are mentioned below:

Other Useful Resources:

If you've never tried email marketing before, then mail us at to discuss those splendid opportunities waiting for you.

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