Diving Deeper Into Drip Campaign Best Practices
In a previous post, we talked about drip campaigns and how they have been an essential part of a marketer’s “tool kit” for some time. We also touched on the ways in which they have been changing based on how customers are becoming more discerning while technology advances. Here, we address the specifics regarding the new “best practices” for drip campaigns, taking a closer look at Data-Driven Segmentation, Personalization, Predictive Send and Cross-Channel Nurturing.
Segmentation based on basic demographic data such as geo-location, industry and age is no longer enough. Marketers need a full “360-degree view” of their customers to provide messaging that meets individual needs. (we’ll cover the aspects of personalization in a moment). Building this full picture means collecting and integrating data across all channels and data sources. (i.e. webpages visited, assets downloaded, buying habits and preferences, etc.) To realize true data-driven segmentation, marketers need to make the most of all available prospect information.
At the heart of what we’re talking about is personalization. Today’s marketing interactions are best described by what Google refers to as “micro-moments”. These real-time, intent-driven interactions represent a critical opportunity for brands to shape consumers’ decisions and preferences. Being able to individualize and personalize each of these moments within the context of the customer’s engagement is crucial. Additionally, automation plays a key role in being able to adapt the experience – web, email or social platform – to make it more personal for the individual and align it to the spot or moment they are in at the time. This encompasses real-time personalization of websites, ads and other channels based on the prospect’s known behavior.
People want relevant emails. In fact, email is still an effective medium in online marketing, but only if the user sees the value. The content needs to be highly-targeted taking into consideration the customer’s preferences based on past behavior. And as with most things in life, timing is everything. The issue of timing must be acknowledged because it’s so vital. Automation platforms that use a predictive send feature – for example, one that uses previous engagement activity to predict the optimum delivery time for each individual email – allow marketers to deliver each email to the inbox when the customer is most likely to seek out information.
Drip campaigns must consider more than just email because today’s consumer engages across multiple channels and is perpetually connected. Marketers who rely on email alone to nurture potential customers are missing significant segments of engagement and are not optimizing their communications. Nurture campaigns need to span web assets, social media, mobile and email. Additionally, responsive dynamic content on a website contextualizes a visitor’s experience to further nurture their current interests. Furthermore, social media tools not only provide marketers another drip channel other than email, they also empower prospects to share, comment and promote a company’s message. Mobile provides opportunities for engaging prospects by location via SMS or voice messages based on location data, events or activity. It is important to reiterate that drip campaign content must be responsive and easily view-able on mobile devices.
As a marketer operating in today’s shifting landscape, thoroughly understanding drip campaign best practices will only make you stronger and smarter.