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The Pros and Cons of Using Drip Campaigns

February 02, 2018 By Barry Bright

The Pros and Cons of Using Drip Campaigns

It has become somewhat of a marketing buzzword in recent years: the drip campaign. Even though the idea of this potentially innovative form of marketing is not new, many small businesses and large corporations are rediscovering the power long-term marketing exposure can have when converting potential customers. Just like any other form of marketing, however, drip campaigns are not without their disadvantages as well.

If you are unfamiliar with this form of advertising or simply are trying to decide if it is right for your marketing needs, now is the time to learn some of the pros and cons of a drip campaign. Knowing these advantages and disadvantages will help you get a better sense of where a drip campaign is most effective and how it may be able to help your marketing efforts if possible. You can use this information to decide between different types of marketing campaigns or to create a drip campaign that will hopefully avoid some of the inherent pitfalls. 

The Pros of a Drip Campaign 

The idea of a drip campaign is rather simple on paper: convert potential customers through gradual, long-term marketing efforts. Most often, this takes the form of repeated advertising messages through social media posts, emails, direct mail, visual aids, radio ads and other common forms of advertising. A drip campaign likes to start off easy with its target audience, usually through subtle, informative advertisements with more persuasive messages reserved for later use.

Drip campaigns don't overwhelm your audience

The biggest advantage of this type of marketing campaign is the process itself. Through gradual exposure, the target audience is less likely to be overwhelmed in the initial phase of the marketing campaign. Sometimes, traditional advertising messages present too much information at once. If the target audience has to struggle to determine what information is most important or persuasive, they are more likely to ignore the ad altogether and fail to convert. A drip campaign, on the other hand, breaks up this process into several stages.


Control strategy and exposure of your content

This brings up the second advantage of a drip campaign: customizability . In addition to controlling the content of the campaign, a drip campaign gives you control over the strategy and exposure of that content as well. You can determine when the best time and point of exposure may be. This also gives you the ability to make changes when necessary if your existing marketing efforts failed to produce the desired results.

You will stay on your audience's mind

Finally, a drip campaign can be somewhat novel in its own right. When a marketing campaign is unique in its very format, being something that most target audiences haven't experienced before, they are more likely to pay attention to the advertising content in the first place. Since novelty often sells in the world of advertising, a drip campaign may be beneficial if the specific target audience is new to the particulars of a drip campaign.

The Disadvantages of Drip Campaigns 

A drip campaign is neither better nor worse than any other form of advertising right off the bat. Even though it offers many benefits over traditional forms of advertising, there are also several pitfalls you should know. Understanding these drawbacks will allow you to better assess whether a drip campaign is the best choice for your marketing efforts and how you can create a campaign with the best chance of success.

Requires time and commitment

Like many marketing campaigns , the biggest disadvantage to a drip campaign is the time commitment it requires for success. Repeated exposure is key. Since you have to use multiple advertising messages, spacing can become a critical issue when developing a strategy for the drip campaign. If ads show up too close together, target audiences may become overwhelmed with information overload or simply reject the advertising as spam. If the messages are spaced too far apart, however, the audience is likely to forget about the previous messages and your business.

Trial and error of the timeline

If you are starting from scratch with little to no experience with drip campaigns, you may find yourself making a few mistakes initially. This shouldn't be reason enough to dismiss a drip campaign outright. All marketing requires some form of trial and error, especially for novices. Even if more experimentation is required with the drip campaign, you may just find the potential long-term benefits to outweigh the steeper learning curve.

Conduct a Cost-Benefit Analysis

Running a small business or advertising campaign is a matter of balancing the good with the bad. A drip campaign is no different. Knowing some of these advantages and disadvantages, you are in a better position to determine what types of rewards and risks you are comfortable with in the future.

Look at your existing marketing campaigns

When assessing whether a drip campaign is right for your business, think about how effective your previous marketing efforts have been in the past. If you have a successful campaign going on, there's probably very little reason to change things up unless you are looking for something new to try out. Poor performing marketing campaigns, however, are great candidates for seeing new life as a drip campaign.

Decide on your goals for the drip campaign

Weigh the potential rewards and risks before making any major commitments. It is important to have a good sense of what you were trying to achieve with the drip campaign and whether it is potentially going to be helpful for your business or not.

Decide if you have the time to learn something new

Finally, think about your own willingness to learn something new. More than just trial and error, creating a drip campaign for the first time means you need learn new concepts and strategies for advertising to the same target audience. Creating a drip campaign can be a wonderful learning experience that will benefit you as the primary advertiser well past the end of a simple campaign.

Make the Choice Based on What Works for Your Business

In the end, the choice is yours to make. Conduct a mental cost/benefit analysis to see whether you think a drip campaign is worth your time, money and effort.

Do so with the realization that you can't completely predict the future. In other words, certain things may change or your assumptions may be incorrect. The real key to success is adaptability when it comes to changing the campaign enough to fix what doesn't work. If you believe the drip campaign is worth the uncertainty and risk, you can move forward knowing you are making a good decision for your business in the future.

Jim Rulison serves as the CEO for Media Loop LLC (formerly the National Center for Pain Inc). Jim oversees the day to day operations for all lead generation accounts, with a concentration in the healthcare industry. Before joining Media Loop, Jim was the CEO of PME Home Health and was the founder of one of the nation's first virtual call centers. He lives in Rochester New York area where he and his late wife raised their two children. Jim spends his free time with his family and enjoying cooking and his two dogs.

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