Customer acquisition is traditionally a lengthy process that requires long-term dedication to finding, educating and convincing individuals who will purchase your products or services. Two common techniques in this category are drip marketing and lead nurturing. Both are long-term techniques that must unfold over time, and both require numerous contacts with potential customers. However, there are also significant differences that will affect which one you use for your customer acquisition efforts.
Critical Differences Between Drip Marketing and Lead Nurturing
Your customers will come to you through a relatively consistent three-step process. First, they will become aware of your company, products and services. With awareness, the potential customer will be able to consider and evaluate your offerings. When potential customers have favorably considered your products and services, the last step is closing, which “seals the deal” and convinces them to make their actual purchase.
With this three-stage process in mind, drip marketing and lead nurturing provide differing approaches that vary in applicability and appropriateness.
- Type of contact: In drip marketing, each contact, or touch, is relatively broad-based and without a specific focus. The marketing messages are designed to appeal to a wide range of potential customers. In lead nurturing, the messages are tightly focused and customized to address a well-defined niche or group of potential customers. The messages are written and timed to coincide with the appropriate stages of the customer acquisition process.
- Intent of contact: Drip marketing is particularly useful at building knowledge and awareness. Lead nurturing moves customers along to the next stage of the process and helps convince them to buy. Through its customized and personalized content, lead nurturing appeals directly to the potential customers’ needs and interests.
- Stage of customer acquisition process: Drip marketing techniques can be useful later in the acquisition process if customers need a refresher about your products or a reminder of the need to act. In contrast, lead nurturing is relevant at any stage of the process because it helps build trust and a personal relationship between you and your customers.
Is drip marketing or lead nurturing the best approach for your next long-term customer acquisition campaign?
Image via Shutterstock.com