Here’s why your business needs drip marketing

This post was written before I build Exceptionly for revolutionizing the software talent industry through hands-on objective testing.

So much has been discussed about email marketing… Just like any other online software product out there, email products have also moved to the cloud. SaaS email providers have done a great job making email marketing affordable and accessible for anyone in the world. In this post, I’m going to unveil Crossover’s unique use case of Outreach for drip marketing and performance data. For those who don’t know; Outreach is a sales engagement platform with rich automation features.

© Photo by Moshik Brin for Netafim

Drip irrigation -invented by the Chinese in the first century, modernized by Germans in the 18th century- changed agriculture forever by making over 90% improvement in productivity possible. What drip marketing can do for your business is not less than that.

What is drip marketing?

Wikipedia says “Drip marketing is a communication strategy that sends, or “drips,” a pre-written set of messages to customers or prospects over time. These messages often take the form of email marketing, although other media can also be used.”

Since you’re not creating a one-off email marketing campaign, you should give yourself some time to plan and build out your strategy.

Our unique use-case: drip marketing for reputation management

My former company (Crossover) has about 3500 full-time/remote professionals from over 130 countries. Drip campaigns are usually performed for sales; in our case, we’re using drip campaigns for reputation management and employee engagement. More specifically, we built a drip campaign requesting active Crossover partners to share their experiences with Crossover on Glassdoor. Therefore, our use-case is unique, even for the team from Outreach.

The industry standard for email marketing in the Human Resources domain. Source: Mailchimp

How did we achieve a 332% improvement for email open rate and a 1064% improvement in click rate? Let’s do a quick deep-dive and look at 5 key-points.

  1. Context — why are you sending this message? Is there any “human element” or value in it?
  2. Timing — where are your prospects from (and what timezones)? What work hours and holidays do they observe?
  3. Data structure — what type of “human” value can you create out of your data?
  4. Reminders — are you sending bulk reminders or personalized reminders following an individual timeline?
  5. Call to action — Is it clear and secondary to your “human” value proposition? In other words, are you adding meaningful value to your audience, and giving them a clear request?

Personalization and Context — beyond Hi {{first_name}}

“Cold” emails don’t have to be ice cold. The first thing you need to do before planning a drip campaign is to review your data structure and see what’s available to you.

In our case, we have the following information available for all active Crossover partners:

Name | Surname | Email | Job Title | Assignment Start Date | Country | Company Name | Team Name

We could just start the campaign with the typical “Hi {{first_name}}” for the sake of simplicity, but we went the extra mile with our data structure and turned our messages into celebrations with the help of a little SQL magic in order to make our messages more relevant to our audience.

Finding partners’ active days working for Crossover:
Assignment Date — Current Date = Active Days

Our simple drip campaign

Cohort 1: Celebrating first 30 days
Active Days >= 30 and <= 44

Cohort 2: Celebrating first 60 days
Active Days >= 60 and <= 74

Cohort 3: Celebrating first 90 days
Active Days >= 90 and <= 104

Cohort 4: Celebrating first year
Active Days >= 365 and <= 379

Cohort 5: Celebrating second year
Active Days >= 730 and <= 744

Cohort 6: Celebrating third year
Active Days >= 1095 and <= 1109

Goal

With this data structure, instead of sending 3500 emails, creating irritation, and sacrificing performance, we automated the reputation management process and improved our conversion metrics. After failing to activate our happy talent for so long and suffering from negative reviews only from people leaving our organization or failing the testing process, we finally started getting good reviews. As a company adding $120M to the emerging markets and having 3500 full-time partners, we knew we could do better so we took action.

Glassdoor average rating per month - Data from ReviewTrackers

Although our particular goal was to have our active partners share their Crossover experience with the world on Glassdoor, you should apply this strategy to any of your business goals. It leads to significant automation but also personalizes your outreach. It’s a win-win for your business and your audience…

You should also note that we’ve used a very small set of features Outreach has to offer. You can enrich your sales process using their Calls, Meetings, Opportunities, Accounts features. If you know what you’re looking for and have a decent process for finding prospects and leads for your business to feed your drip campaign, Outreach can get most of the job done for you.

Special thanks to my Client Engagement Manager from the Outreach team, Mark Lutz for always being available and his hands-on support during the on-boarding process.

About the writer: Founder of Exceptionly, revolutionizing the software talent industry by leveraging his unique big dataset of over 2M hands-on tested software engineers around the world.

Founder at Exceptionly. Software talent problem solver https://exceptionly.com