Drip campaigns are one of the single most useful conversion tools an automated marketing team has in their toolbox. A drip campaign is usually designed to help guide a new lead down the path toward conversion by offering them a custom beginning-to-end email sequence, delivered just periodically enough to keep them engaged.
Drip-campaigns maintain connection with a lead who is deliberating and help to keep leads engaged when they are yet-unable to make a decision. This makes them perfect for B2B marketing, though most examples you will find of drip-campaigns (like most marketing tools) focus primarily on consumers. If you are a B2B business looking to solve that all-important question of how to engage leads on a longer conversion path, then a drip campaign is a great way to do this. Drip campaigns are uniquely suited to sending periodically useful and interesting messages while neither pestering nor pushing if that is not your goal.
Today, we’re here to highlight how to form a drip campaign for B2B marketing along with a few examples that will help you form your own B2B drip campaign.
Determine Your B2B Drip Campaign Goal
The first step to any drip campaign is to determine your goal. Why are you engaging the lead? What exactly would you like the drip emails to accomplish? You may be looking to convince a lead that is on the fence about a decision, win business from a lead who is clearly considering other options, or just keep a lead interested while they wait for news from up the chain.
B2B conversions are unique compared to the often fast-action decisions of consumers. Many have a long decision-making process by necessity or tradition and knowing the process of your clients is essential to crafting the right drip campaign to both meet your goals and make your leads happy in the process. Ideally, a drip campaign will build a relationship and pitch the value as the decision is made.
Now let’s take a look at a few of the most common B2B drip campaign goals and how to approach them.
1) Maintain Engagement While Waiting for a Decision-Making Process
One of the most common situations for a B2B sales team is to have contact with someone who does the research, makes the recommendation, then waits for their boss, boss’ boss, and so on to give the OK on a purchase. Even if you are the only brand in the running, even if your contact is completely gung-ho about buying, you still need to wait. And that means maintaining engagement.
So the purpose of this drip campaign is to keep your lead enthusiastic, engaged, and maybe even forwarding cool email content to their colleagues and higher-ups while their company goes through the decision-making process. If possible, you also want to build a relationship with your business-business through your primary contact.
These emails, therefore, should be more interesting than persuasive. Each progressive drip email might highlight a different beneficial feature or service of your product, or an interesting lead-relevant use case.
2) Show Off Value-Adding to Win a Reluctant B2B Lead
Perhaps you know that your B2B lead is considering other options or isn’t sure they need your product at all. It’s only natural for businesses to constantly weigh their options and look for the best cost-benefit ratio available. Your goal, therefore, is to prove to your lead through a respectful drip-campaign that your business offers the highest possible value for your price-range, whatever that value and price-range might be.
For these emails, you want to highlight the many ways that your business adds value to the service, making your offering not just what it appears on the surface, but increasingly beneficial to your B2B customers. Let your product and services speak for you by sending infographics or use cases that demonstrate what your lead has to gain from choosing you as it’s new business partner, supplier, or service provider.
3) Lead B2B Customers Through a Series of Persuasive Demos
Your B2B lead may be on the fence about buying because it takes in-depth understanding of the product to grasp it’s full useful value. This is very common for business software platforms, for example, that are designed to handle a wide variety of industry-specific tasks. It can be difficult to quickly and persuasively explain what all your product and combined services has to offer in one infographic, conversation, or email. Even if the business lead objectively knows that your product would benefit them based on the advice and testimonials of others in their industry.
For these leads, your drip campaign can become an onboarding guide of quick, bite-sized demo experiences. Use a combination of easily sharable infographics (top of funnel), short engaging videos (mid-funnel) and in-depth interactive demos (end of funnel) to guide leads into full understanding and enthusiasm about your product. We suggest throwing in infographics often, though they are a great top-of-funnel asset, because they are easily sharable and can be used to quickly pitch your product to colleagues once you have a single contact convinced.
4) Tempting Samples of the Courses or Expert Insight You Offer
Let’s say you’re courting a business lead who might be interested in your training or business advisory services. They know that they can maintain the status quo without you, but they don’t really know how much they can achieve with your help. This can be a tough sell for clients that aren’t already pre-sold or have an internal mandate to implement something. So your challenge is a drip campaign that convinces the lead what you have to offer without giving away all your advice for free.
For these leads, share temptingly useful tidbits that they can implement and see the results immediately. You might, for example, share a few quick guides or infographics on how to reduce in-office overhead; the equivalent of a controlled experiment your lead might conduct to see just how useful your advice really is. A series of actionable tips and tempting previews of what is to come if they hire you to train employees can reveal just how valuable your team and lessons will be to your business lead.
Drip campaigns have the remarkable quality of engaging your B2B leads without pestering them or even being overtly promotional. Designed correctly, they are interesting, persuasive, and provide your primary contact with the fuel they need to make a business-wide decision happen more quickly. Sometimes, you will be building a relationship and pre-onboarding a client before they officially agree to buy. Sometimes, you will be politely pitching how your business ranks a head-and-shoulders above the competition with value-adding. But the best part is that you can automate the whole thing once your campaign is written, based on the types of B2B clients your business typically interacts with.
For more B2B marketing insights or to consult on the unique B2B drip campaign strategy your business should adopt, contact us today!