Successful drip marketing relies on list segmentation

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Valerie Vallancourt, marketing director for North America, Emailvision
Valerie Vallancourt, marketing director for North America, Emailvision

Do you want to make your email marketing to the next level? Email is not going away, but your prospects and customers may if you do not target them appropriately. In order to build a successful drip marketing campaign, you need to first analyze your data. Determine who your responders and non-responders are, flush out prospects in your database who have not been contacted during a set time period and segment your lists by title or product interest.

Once you have developed your lists, create a contact schedule for each audience. Effective drip campaigns will contact each lead once a month with email messaging that continually provides useful information and brand awareness. Highlight at least one call-to-action.

Drip campaigns can go on indefinitely until the prospect raises their hand, unsubscribes or fails to open a set number of emails in a row. The only exception to this rule is after you have had an initial contact with a lead it may be worthwhile to follow this three-step rule: send emails to the leads immediately, and then contact them again 2-3 days later and then again a week later.

Establish which messages you want each group to receive ahead of time. Your emails should be short on copy, educational and relevant to the target audience. Provide valuable content such as customer testimonials, links to useful articles, hot industry topics or white papers. Providing useful and compelling information builds trust in your brand among prospects and customers.

List segmentation is an ongoing process. Over time your prospects may become customers, move forward in a sales cycle or take on different responsibilities within an organization. Your drip program will need to address those changes. Likewise some prospects will unsubscribe, and others will be removed due to lack of response. Automating your drip emails will also make it easier to manage your message and segmentation.

Anyone who sends emails must ensure that they follow the laws enacted by the federal government. With the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003, marketing emails must include an unsubscribe option, as well as a legitimate physical business address in the email and accurate “from” lines.

Once a lead has become a customer, don't stop nurturing him. In order to maintain customer success and gain referrals, you must keep your clients satisfied. Sending customers a monthly or quarterly email is an important and inexpensive way to keep top of mind.

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