For B2B organizations, online lead generation serves as the backbone for both sales and marketing initiatives across the board. There are lots of ways to capture online leads – banner ads, email marketing campaigns, website registration and more. However, lead capture is merely the tip of the iceberg. It’s what you do next that determines whether a lead fizzles or converts, and this is where B2B drip campaigns come into the picture.
Successful B2B marketing hinges on relationship development with key prospects, and building this affinity starts with cultivating the prospect. When a prospect has registered and opted in, it’s up to you to deliver the value required to spur conversion – it’s about providing the right communication at precisely the right time – and this is where the beauty of marketing automation shines through.
Marketing automation distills lead cultivation down to a science, and B2B drip campaigns take email trigger programs to the next level. B2B drip campaigns are constructed with lead cultivation and conversion in mind. They encapsulate both time-based and behavioral-based triggers sequenced to usher prospects through the conversion funnel delivered at precisely the right time to maximize effectiveness.
How does this work in the context of a B2B marketing campaign? Let’s say that you’re running a 30 day free trial offer and you’re promoting the program with banner ads and an email marketing campaign. What do you do once a prospect has signed up for the free trial to convince them to convert and purchase a subscription?
You start by setting up a touch point plan which essentially maps out a series of automated trigger emails to prospects who have reached specific milestones within the free trial or who have demonstrated pre-defined behaviors.
For instance, the sequence of your drip campaign could begin with a triggered email that welcomes the subscriber to the free trial program. Based on the start date of the free trial, you can set up a time-based drip campaign that would send out triggered emails issued when a subscriber has reached specific milestones such as the half-way mark, the 3 days until expiration mark, the last chance 24 hour mark, and final confirmation that the free trial has in fact elapsed.
To complement these time-based dripped triggers, you can include behavior-based triggers that encourage trial subscribers to try the product, explore its features, and understand the full potential of what it has to offer. If, for example, a free trial subscriber has not used the product within five days of registration, you can set up an automated trigger to remind them that they have signed up and how to activate the subscription. Or, if a free trial subscriber is exploring a full range of features and benefits, you can set up a trigger to send them an offer for free training within the free trial period.
The key takeaway here is that B2B email drip campaigns automate lead cultivation and both build affinity and boost conversion. Once you have planned your email drip campaign, you essentially set it and forget it – automation takes care of the rest.