By Emmanuel Lao
Drip campaigns work by accretion – a slow and steady stream of info and suggestion leading to a final sales pitch. Each email in the sequence primes your prospect for the final sale. By the time you’re ready to make your play for their business, they’re already invested in the relationship and interested in what you’re selling.
Nurture drip campaigns work a little differently. The key difference between a conventional drip campaign and a nurture campaign is the sales pitch. An email drip campaign is designed to nudge a lead along their purchase journey. It’s not one size fits all, but it starts as soon as you capture an email address. A nurture campaign is designed to supplement your prospect’s behavior, targeting them for specific information and sales options based on their activity.
So, how do you design a successful nurture campaign?
Take It Easy
Pacing is key. With that in mind, initial emails should achieve two basic goals. First, tag your email to a specific behavior, like a recent purchase or visit. Then, offer a specific helpful suggestion in response. For example, if a prospect has downloaded an e-book, showcase materials on similar topics. Use the initial emails to foreground dynamic customer service and foster a sense of welcome.
Brevity Is the Soul of Drip
Prospects are scanning quickly, and you need to do everything you can to avoid tedium and density. You can combine concise wording and clear visuals with hyperlinks. Whenever you offer a recommendation or targeted promotion, link back to content on your website.
Stick to the Schedule
This might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many email marketing campaigns succeed or don't because of scheduling. This is especially important with drip campaigns, which multiply the number of emails you send to any given prospect. With nurture campaigns, you have to work hard to ensure that your emails are timely, since you want to create the impression of a quick response. A compressed schedule also piggybacks on the expectation of transactional emails, making prospects more likely to open and read emails marked with your company’s address.
One classic format for nurture emails is the supplementary recommendation. Whenever a prospect views a page or purchases a product, you show them something similar. You can make these appeals more concise and captivating by combining them with images. If you’re suggesting a product, make sure they can see a clear picture. If you’re linking to a webpage, couple the link with a graphic.
A key element of a successful nurture campaign is subtlety. One effective way to motivate your prospects is to show them how your products and services can help them. You can do this by creating tutorials to demonstrate product versatility and quality. Infographics can be re-used for a variety of other marketing campaigns, and video links will lead prospects back to your website where embedded video content will capture interest for several minutes. Remember to use the same “suggestion” format to promote related content on your site. A customer who views one video might be glad to learn about several more.
Nurture campaigns are responsive, but that doesn’t mean they’re reactive. Every successful marketing strategy is defined by leadership, as you help your audience to see the value in what you offer. With that in mind, it’s important to define that value in broad terms. When you’re designing a nurture campaign, brainstorm potential links between different products and materials. Your customers will be grateful for the information and you’ll benefit. Supplement this strategy with clear, informative captions for all site content.
Remember, every customer is a prospective return customer. Now that you’ve laid the groundwork, take advantage of the rapport by continuing to send targeted updates and suggestions after they buy. That way, your customers will have you in mind as they consider a subsequent purchase. They’ll also be more likely to spread the word about your company, referring friends and family.
Nurture campaigns are based on building a connection over time, preparing each prospective customer for the next stage in their purchase journey. As long as you keep that goal in mind, tailoring your communication to prospect behavior and interests, you’ll be well on your way to converting prospects into satisfied customers!
This post was contributed by Square 1 Group, a web design company specializing in web solutions for real estate agencies.