Drip marketing (aka. drip emails, or lead nurturing) is often used by modern marketers to nurture their leads through the sales funnel.
As others have mentioned the idea is to gain brand awareness and influence buyers through a regular series of targeted and relevant content or offers.
Typically for top of the funnel activities you might offer something like a general whitepaper or something which describes the overall business problems that your prospects might be feeling. From there you can use a marketing automation tool to send through additional material or reminders periodically depending on how your prospects engage with you.
The idea at the end of the day is to reduce that amount of direct time that a sales rep spends closing any deal by ensuring that leads have shown sufficient buying signals and are ready to purchase.
The fundamental difference is that the purpose of "drip marketing" is to build a relationship rather than to secure a transaction. It is about cultivation of a prospect through the sales cycle, with the ultimate goal being not only repeat sales but advocacy (i.e. turning your customers into your sales team).
You need to be careful with getting too aggressive with it: there is a fine line between dripping and spamming. The key is to segment your list, define the specific needs/interests of the segments and then provide them with targeting communications that are focused on cultivating a relationship (not pushing a promotion).
I wrote up a case study on how we used drip email marketing at SocialWOD to convert prospects on our email list into paying customers. This technique is responsible for tens of thousands of dollars in new business, and that's in a tiny market of 4000 potential paying customers.
Here's the case study:
Happy to chat more if you like.
Other covered the basics pretty well, but as a Conversion Optimizer that specializes in Drip Marketing, I thought I'd add a few things.
Let's start with a concrete example: imagine you have a project management software and your goal is to get people to sign up for your free trial. From that free trial, your goal is, of course, to convert trial users into paid customers.
So it seems logical that your conversion goal is to get as many people as possible to sign up for the free trial. I mean, many SaaS companies will have a "Sign Up For A Trial" call-to-action button all over their website, and then they test and optimize to increase signups.
But in the majority of cases, that's a flawed approach, and that's why drip marketing is so important.
2 main problems with that "focus on the trial" approach:
1. Many people sign up for the trial simply to see what the software is capable of. They want to see if it's right for them and if they want to stick with it. In this case, churn usually goes up as most trial users never come back.
This happens all the time, and the biggest sign of this happening is when you start noticing your churn going up and conversions to paid accounts go down, even though trial conversions might stay the same or even increase.
That scenario is often due to unqualified visitors signing up, an unclear value proposition that forces people to sign up to figure out what you're about - and tons of other smaller things.
2. New users aren't being onboarded properly. Now let's say your site's unique value proposition (UVP) is clear, your sign up flow is optimized, and qualified visitors are signing up to your trial at a good rate. It's still possible that your churn increases.
Here, the root cause in almost all cases is due to a poor onboarding process: people signup, and then they're thrown into your software without being sure where to start. Even if they're your perfect customer, they might end up leaving and never coming back due to confusion or due to unwillingness to take the time to figure out how it works to use it efficiently.
So why am I telling you this? Because these are the top 2 problems Drip Marketing solves.
You see, the goal of a drip marketing strategy is to capture leads, and then nurture these leads through a series of emails.
This way, you're able to build a relationship with prospects, clearly define for them the problem you’re solving, your solution, and each of the buying stages, employing persuasion and trust to generate loyal, paying users.
When it comes to onboarding, the same concept applies. One thing you can do is send 1 email a day for X days or weeks that show them how to get started quickly.
By having a relationship and gaining trust with prospects, they will be much more likely to stick with you and become paid users.
A study even found that companies using drip marketing to nurture visitors saw on average a 451% increase in qualified leads. It says a lot.
Finally, just like you, I was looking for good drip marketing case studies not too long ago. Unable to find any, I wrote my own where I show how a SaaS company increased revenue by 30%, how a blogger made over $200,000 in two weeks, and how other companies are making millions in monthly revenue, automatically, with an efficient drip marketing system.
You can find them in my "Essential and Complete Guide to Drip Marketing": http://raphaelpaulindaigle.com/blog/drip-marketing-complete-guide/
Hope this was helpful, and don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions :)
"Drip marketing" is a term used online a lot, it refers to what agencies or more traditional marketing strategists would refer to as "customer life cycle management".
The big idea here is to consistently deliver value to your list of leads or customers. The obvious impacts are:
1) you get a message in front of your users regularly (ie... you stay top of mind)
2) if they are engaged by what you have to share with them and they value the content, they view you as a go-to expert on your area of specialty (ie... they know you, like you and trust you)
The long-term impacts of "drip marketing" or "customer life cycle management" are even more pervasive and impactful than this.
Sadly, far too many business view providing a quality product or service as the primary source of customer retention... it isn't.
Bottom line: consistently being viewed as a respected source of VALUE isn't just an effective way to retain users & customers - it's really THE ONLY WAY.
Simon is on point here. Drip marketing is essentially what companies like Salesforce and Infusionsoft offer. Is part of CRM offerings, realistically speaking there is no guarantee that you will close (whatever your goal is) each click through your website or landing page or phone number... drip marketing is used so that once you have secured contact information, typically emails, you can nurture them.
After a few emails, assuming they haven't unsubscribed, you would benefit from moving that group who hasn't acted or clicked on your email links (mailchimp.com provides the feature of seeing reader's actions) onto a 'nurture phase' which is just you deciding how long to delay their next emails to.. could be emailing once a week, once a month now or once a year. It works because on average a leisure consumer requires about 18 interactions with your brand before being comfortable enough to jump on your offerings. Even if you email once a month, the next time they have an immediate need for what you offer you should be the first thing that comes to their mind. Is called drip by some because it helps you trickle in new customers lol.
If you want to learn other things related to a new product or business, join me at one mnth http://mbsy.co/onemonth/18573440