We’ve set up some stage-based nurturing campaigns for clients, but actually use drip campaign logic very rarely. The sequential nature of a drip campaign can sometimes be tempting to over-engineer, and takes the natural choice away from the prospect.
Powerful marketing automation tools have led marketers to believe that they should be automating everything they do, but that’s quite misleading. (and a big “Thanks!” to Carrie in the Pardot Users LinkedIn Group for posting a question that inspired this answer.)
Rather than linear drip campaign structure, we set up “What next?” options and other “Choose your own adventure” style content that is presented to a prospect. The “What next?” content is primarily delivered via form thank-you content and auto-responder emails, and usually includes at least one content option for each of the three B2B decision stages we use (problem definition > solution evaluation > final decision).
The options are often also related in some way to the content the prospect just accessed–same vertical, same decision-making role, same need/pain, etc. Similarly, timed email campaigns (newsletters, etc.) include multiple content options that span different decision stages.
This does a few things:
- It gives prospects obvious content pathway choices at the moment they’re already engaging with your content. When else will they be more likely to click on a link you offer up? Most visitors to your site likely already consume content in spurts…take a look at your prospect histories to verify.
- It increases the likelihood that prospects, regardless of decision stage, will see something else that’s relevant to them.
- It gives you greater prospect-level insight into where they likely are in their buying decision, what issues they’re primarily trying to deal with, and what they’re NOT interested in.
So it’s not as fancy as drip logic, but it also doesn’t require you guess right when trying to diagram out the buying process and timeline. You just make it really easy for prospects to choose their pathway, or adventure, through your content at whatever pace they set for themselves.