Posted to Erik Wagner's blog on June 28th, 2013

Drip Marketing Campaigns vs Lead Nurturing Campaigns

The purpose of inbound marketing is to build a relationship of trust and authority with a company's prospects through engagement. The result of this process is an increase in the number and quality of leads, as well as sales generated by a company's marketing efforts.

Until marketing automation technology was possible, this process was mostly a manual one. Enter marketing automation-- now, a business is able to exponentially increase their brand reach and trust through the use of marketing automation campaigns.

There are two primary types of marketing automation campaigns: drip marketing and lead nurturing. Both campaigns are effective methods of building that relationship, and both should be used when building a company's digital marketing strategy.

What Are Drip Marketing Campaigns?

Wikipedia defines drip marketing as "a communication strategy that sends, or "drips," a pre-written set of messages to customers or prospects over time." With Automatr marketing automation, you're able to create a drip marketing campaign to schedule dynamic email messages to be sent at a specific time(s).

In addition to being able to send email messages at specific dates and times, a marketer is able to set lead scoring rules for how a prospect interacts with your emails. 


When To Use Drip Marketing Campaigns?

Drip marketing campaigns are most effective when a marketer is sending out a set number of emails within a fixed period of time. Volacci uses drip marketing campaigns to support our marketing collateral. In the example above, when someone downloads our whitepaper on conversion rate optimization, they receive a series of emails over several days. We have default lead scoring rules that give five points for every email opened and five points for every click within the email. We also have ongoing drip marketing campaigns that power our weekly newsletter and other one-off emails that Volacci's marketing team sends. 

If you need more flexibility about lead scoring rules and campaign actions, then use a lead nurturing campaign.

What Are Lead Nurturing Campaigns?

Lead nurturing is the process of building a relationship by using targeted email messages and triggered actions that depend on actions and other information gathered about a prospect by an MA platform. With a lead nurturing campaign, a marketer can treat prospects different based on how they interact with the email, website, and marketing collateral. Additionally, lead nurturing campaigns have the capability of sending different messages based on a prospect's demographic information (or any other information) the marketer has been able to capture. For instance, a Vice President from IBM can be given a higher lead score and receive a different message then a Marketing Assistant from a startup. The Vice President from IBM may be a better lead for you and have different priorities, so treating that lead the same way would be inappropriate.

With an Automatr lead nurturing campaign, a marketer is able to set conditions (if/then) and trigger actions. For instance, in this simple example campaign from Volacci's marketing for SXSW, we sent a specific email to SXSW attendees. If they did not open the intial email, we waited two days and then sent them a reminder email. What you cannot see is if the reminder email was opened, a lead score was applied and they were synced in Volacci's installation of 

The campaign actions available for a lead nurturing campaign in Automatr are as follows:

  • Send Email
  • Sync with SalesForce
  • Send Notification
  • Modify List Membership
  • Assign Lead Owner
  • Adjust Lead Score
  • Set Field Value
  • Register for GoToWebinar
  • Set Lead Stage

The following conditions are available for Automatr lead nurturing campaigns:

  1. Campaign Activity
    1. Did/Did Not Qualify 
    2. Email Activity (Opened, Received, Bounced, Unsubscribed, Clicked or Visited)
  2. Contact Attributes (Email address, First Name, Title, Company Name, State, etc.)
  3. Conversations (Opened, Received, Bounced, Unsubscribed, Clicked or Visited)
  4. Webinars (Registered, Attended)
  5. Landing Pages & Forms (Complete, Visit)
  6. List Membership
  7. Lead Score Overlays (Total Score, Contact Score, Activity Score, Engagement Score)
  8. Subscriptions
  9. Traffic Source (Search Engine, Search Phrase, Referrer, Direct Access, Adsense)
  10. Website Visit Activity (Visit Duration, Specfic Page Viewed, Number of Page Views, Number of Visits, Last Visit)
  11. Web Form Mappings

When To Use Lead Nurturing Campaigns?

As you may have noticed, drip marketing campaigns are a more limited form of email marketing then you will find with a lead nurturing campaign. Drip marketing campaigns are linear; Action A leads to Action B, which leads to Action C. Lead nurturing campaign are nonlinear; using conditions, actions can be triggered in a variety of ways.

Lead nurturing campaigns should be used when you need to treat leads differently based on certain criteria or how they interact with your brand.

Perpetual or One Time Campaign?

One-time campaigns are good for just that - sending an email or a series of emails once. If you have a campaign supporting an ongoing marketing effort, such as distributing an eBook and then nurturing the leads who download the eBook, then a perpetual campaign is for you. 

Interested in Learning More?

Contact us to setup a demo!