B2B Email Marketing Tips: Building Your First Drip Campaign
Today, your marketing team stands with a wealth of assets; from social media accounts to e-books there are many things to manage. Regardless of new fads and trends, one single platform has remained one of the most valuable pieces and for good reason, your email list.
Although the email marketing realm has become tougher over the years, it still converts. Therefore, you should always be working to grow and nurture your email list. The best way to do this by building your first drip campaign, here are the tips you need to succeed.
B2B Email Marketing Tip #1: Your Email List is Your Most Valuable Asset
Before we discuss the what, how, or why of email drip campaigns it is important to reference the value of your email list. Your email list is arguably your most valuable asset because it’s yours. Despite its size, Facebook could disappear tomorrow, Snapchat could go the way of Vine, and Yelp could simply cease to exist.
If any of those platforms go under, you can’t retrieve your follower list or reviews, you’ve just lost years of work. In the case of your email list, it’s your property and you have full control over it. Once you’ve built it, it’s yours to keep so why not do something with it!
B2B Email Marketing Tip #2: Email Marketing is a Physical Sales Funnel Turned Digital
We’ve established the strength and value of your email list but what do you do with it? The answer is tried and true, it’s being used by marketers around the world daily, it’s the drip campaign. A drip campaign is fairly simple in concept and extremely similar to traditional sales funnel but in the physical setting. The similarities are quite striking if you set them side-by-side, have a look:
Traditional Sales Step 1: Set up an initial meeting with a prospect
Drip Campaign Step 1: Add a prospect to your email list
Traditional Sales Step 2: Nurture the prospect over the course of multiple weeks through varying mediums
Drip Campaign Step 2: Nurture the prospect over the course of multiple weeks through emails with resources
Traditional Sales Step 3: After knowledge and trust are established, create a nice offer that converts the prospect to a customer
Drip Campaign Step 3: After knowledge and trust are established, create a nice offer that converts the prospect to a customer
Traditional sales funnels are much more detailed and, for that matter, so are drip campaigns. Regardless, at their core functions both serve to introduce, provide value and establish credibility and finally convert prospects to paying customers.
Composing a drip campaign is fairly simple, here’s an example of a 6 email B2B drip campaign:
- Did you know?
- Here's a blog
- Here's a crazy fact!
- Here's another blog post
- Let's talk/ Hard sell
As you can see from this campaign there’s only one single email that’s sales related, the rest are all simply educating, adding value, and building credibility for your business. A good rule of thumb is to always link from these educational emails to resources on your website and, most commonly, your blog.
B2B Email Marketing Tip #3: Be Smart, Be Strategic, Be Human
Now that you understand the purpose of a drip campaign and the value it offers, where should you start? To begin, you should always consider your physical sales cycle when you’re creating your drip campaign. If you typically convert leads to customers in 4 weeks, your drip campaign should be shorter, between 3 – 5 emails, if it takes you longer say 12 weeks, consider 9 – 14 emails.
Next, you want to be strategic in setting up your campaign so you don’t force yourself to spend hours sending emails all day. To help automate this process, we recommend using Mailchimp’s free automation, which lets your campaign work for you, automatically sending itself to anyone who was added to a specific email list.
- Step 1: Create a List
- Step 2: Create Automation
- Step 3: Create Emails
- Step 4: Hit Go
Finally, you want to be human with the way you create and handle your drip campaigns. We like to use this headline analyzer tool to ensure our email headlines have emotional ties that people can relate to. Creating emails that don’t seem robotic and are relatable help to improve the overall receptivity of people receiving them.
Once you’ve finally hit go on your emails, don’t forget to monitor your inbox and blog posts for responses. Even though this is an automated campaign, there are humans on the other end receiving it and it’s common for them to reply to emails and comment on resources that your emails link to. Don’t be warded off by a jerk, there’s always one who will send all caps replies.
B2B Email Marketing Tip #4: Find What Works, Run it Again
After you’ve worked through the process of building and monitoring your email drip campaign you should always evaluate your end results. How did people respond to emails? Did they open them? Did they click through them? Did you get any leads or new business from the campaign? Spend some serious time evaluating your results and act on those.
No two B2B email marketing campaigns are the same, you need to find what’s working for you and run with it. After you’ve established some successful tactics, don’t be afraid to reuse those and build on the success you’ve already obtained.
In the long run, drip campaigns are one of many tools you can use to build business online but sometimes they work better when paired with other individual tactics than as one standalone one. To learn how a drip campaign fits into generating leads online, download our free e-book, “Online Lead Generation, The Three-Part Process”