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The Drip Campaign Metrics That Indicate Success

The Drip Campaign Metrics That Indicate Success

Drip water into a glass long enough and you’ll see it change from empty to full. It may take a while, but it’s pretty easy to assess your progress along the way. CMOs may occasionally wish it were the same for drip campaigns, which theoretically should lead to a CRM full of leads for the sales

Drip water into a glass long enough and you’ll see it change from empty to full. It may take a while, but it’s pretty easy to assess your progress along the way.

CMOs may occasionally wish it were the same for drip campaigns, which theoretically should lead to a CRM full of leads for the sales team. In practice, it doesn’t always happen.

Part of the problem is that drip campaigns, by their very nature, are not supposed to achieve overnight results.

They are a way for marketers to nurture relationships with potential customers slowly but surely. It’s not an all-out campaign bombarding the audience with content (and potentially scaring them off).

Instead, a drip campaign could roll out over weeks or even months. One email at a time. One video at a time. One eBook or white paper at a time.

Ideally, a good drip campaign should make your target customers more accustomed to hearing from you. When it comes time to say something really important — like the launch of a new product or service, for example — they will hopefully be ready to give it the attention and engagement you want as a brand.

As with anything else in marketing, though, you’re only successful with drip campaigns if you pay close attention to how they perform.

The only reason this sometimes doesn’t happen is because drip campaigns become more like a day-to-day or ongoing activity, versus a special announcement or an event. It becomes a routine. Something that the team does almost as a reflex, rather than as a strategic initiative.

Marketing automation has made drip campaigns far easier to run, but it also provides data you can use to make measurement more straightforward, too.

There are lots of metrics to consider, but keep these near the top of your list:

1. Lead capture

This is the basic but most critical outcome of any drip campaign.

Let’s say you repurpose the most popular content from your blog into a series of email newsletters that you periodically send to your target market. At the end of each one you include a link to a landing page with a form to find out more about the solutions related to that post.

The more leads that get collected through that process, the more you’ll know the drip campaign is a kinder, gentler way to attract interest in your offerings.

2. Customer conversion rate

Many of the people you target with a drip campaign might be tire kickers. They’re the people who have visited your website, or perhaps watched one of your webinars, and they’ve opted in to receive your marketing content.

If all they ever do is consume content, however, it might be time to turn off the tap.

Don’t just look at the volume of those who turn into leads for the sales team, but what proportion of those leads actually turn into closed deals.

This requires working in lockstep with reps who get leads passed onto them, and keeping all data updated in the CRM. You’ll be glad you did, because it will help inform the next metric, which is:

3. Customer acquisition cost

Think about what you need to do to win a new customer without a drip campaign.

It might start with a sales rep making a long list of cold calls, followed by a series of meetings that may or may not move a deal forward.

Within marketing, meanwhile, you might have to allocate a lot more of your budget towards advertising, and perhaps hosting expensive events where the sales team can chat up prospects. Depending on the number of leads captured and the conversion rate, though, you’ll know if there is a portion of your addressable market that is cheaper to attract with a steady drip of relevant content instead.

Remember that if you’re using a channel like email, it should become clear over time where you can segment your list to the kinds of customers that are most likely to convert. This could lower your customer acquisition cost even further.

4. Customer engagement rate

It’s not always easy to determine the return on investment for content creation in marketing. What’s a blog post really worth to a company, or a social media post? If you shut down your email newsletter, would anyone really care from a business perspective?

Drip campaigns are helpful here because they let you look at your overall engagement rate based on a variety of other metrics. These can include open rates on emails, click-throughs back to your website, form fills and of course social shares.

It’s particularly good to assess this periodically, because you might not actually be ready to sell anything to those targeted by your drip campaign. You’re simply trying to build rapport, and engagement is another way of looking at that.

Conversely, if you not only see low engagement but a significant number of unsubscribes or opt-outs, it’s probably time to change the content you’re producing. This could mean everything from new messaging to new formats, the cadence at which you’re publishing and sending things out or the target audience.

In that sense, although it’s not normally thought of as a metric, a drip campaign can be a way of evaluating the health of your database. If it has somehow become filled with the wrong types of contacts, campaign success will remain elusive.

Final thoughts

You might not be ready to study all of these metrics at once. Instead, think about what you know about the overall state of sales activity and where marketing is expected to move the needle.

Then, start with one of these metrics on a single drip campaign and see what kind of action it inspires your team to take. If those efforts lead to better results, you can begin weaving in more of the metrics.

This doesn’t just make for a happier sales team — all the customers and prospects you’re feeding with your drip campaigns will feel more satisfied, too.

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