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Email Drip Campaigns Vs. Lead Nurture Campaigns

Email marketing is a proven, versatile channel that any business can reliably use to grow revenue, reach new customers, and increase sales.

But sometimes, brands miss out on all the channel offers because they don't take advantage of their entire marketing toolkit, or understand how to best fit the pieces together. To get the most from your email marketing efforts, you need to use a blend of approaches. 

The email marketing continuum

From the 'welcome' email drip campaign sent out when a customer first engages and opts in, to the highly personalized and responsive lead nurturing campaigns that guide and shape the customer journey, email marketing can deliver consistent results at each point. When used strategically, email marketing can grow your business quickly, besides providing an excellent source of learning about what moves your customers to action. 

Drip campaigns vs. lead nurturing 

Email drip and lead nurture campaigns are both important tools in your marketing toolkit, but although the terms are at times used interchangeably, there are important differences. For maximum impact, the two approaches can be thought of as complementary rather than interchangeable. Although they can often apply to the same scenario, deciding where and when to apply each requires a customer-focused, goal-driven approach.  

This blog post will explain each of both approaches, their goals, how they're different, and examples of how to leverage them in an email marketing strategy successfully. 

Email drip campaign

Email drip campaigns are a series of emails sent on at a regular cadence or schedule. They are great for automating the most common touch points and for a more general audience. It can be very effective for immediate follow-up with new customers and leads in the first moments of interest when engagement is most impactful.

Email drip campaigns are typically top of the funnel, with some leads falling off and others moving into a more personalized lead nurturing campaign. One benefit of email drip campaigns is that they are less expensive and can be done by junior staff. Once put in place, they can run with little effort, and can be paused and restarted easily. They are fundamental to a sound email marketing strategy by allowing you to simplify and automate the most basic communications and experiences. 

Lead nurture campaigns

In contrast to a cadence or schedule, lead nurture campaigns are triggered by customer behavior or other determiners, and allows for segmentation and personalization. As customers move down the funnel into the buyer's and customer's journey, nurture campaigns support and resource their experience. The campaigns can be built based on their segment or behavior, and allow for much more targeted messaging, leading to better outcomes. A tailored experience can be built for each piece of the customer journey, providing the right resources at the right time.

Lead nurture campaigns are designed for qualified leads and can help businesses gain the maximum return from the leads they generate. These campaigns are more complicated and expensive to set up and design, so businesses should locate them strategically along the segment's touch points where they can generate the most value. 

A mixture of approaches for success 

Drip email campaigns help marketers and businesses save resources and automate top-of-the-funnel touch points, saving resources for more sophisticated lead nurturing campaigns as prospects move down the funnel. 

Email drip campaigns are the foundation of smart email marketing and sales strategies. Putting these campaigns in place allows businesses to focus their resources on nurturing high-value leads and prospects with a more specialized approach. Lead nurturing campaigns allow greater personalization and targeting, and for companies to narrow in on more carefully defined metrics and goals.

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