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5 Ways To Mess Up your Drip Campaign & Lose Prospects Forever!

conversions leads marketing sales Jul 01, 2021

Drip campaigns are an effective way to educate new leads in an automated and consistent manner. Sending a series of emails or direct mailings can provide them with the information they need to make the right purchase decision. Drip campaigns don't replace skilled sales people… they complement them. They can be designed to actually "prequalify" the ideal client.

With current lead volumes, this can be a huge advantage, since it's often impossible for sales people to provide detailed follow-up with each new lead. Now they can focus on those leads who responded favorably to the drip campaign. As a result, more leads turn into opportunities, and sales productivity increases dramatically. However, there are many things that can go wrong with drip campaigns.

Here are the top 5 things to avoid:

1. Drip Too Fast

Many marketers overestimate how many emails their recipients can handle, so they send too many messages too fast. In certain situations you may want to send emails daily or every other day, but in most campaigns you'd be better off with one message per week at most. This reduces the number of recipients who get annoyed with your messages and it reduces the amount of original content you need to create. Consider the situation of your ideal prospect to determine the frequency.

For example, if you own a daycare, most prospects would have an immediate need for daycare services. Chances are they just moved into the area and will be starting work soon. They will be making a quick decision (probably with 7 to 10 days), so a daily email would be appropriate. Same thing for a moving company. Movers NEVER start shopping for a mover until the last minute, so a rapid fire drip campaign will work best.

But for the vast majority of businesses, prospects are shopping around and are often not hurried to make a final decision. You aren't under the gun so to speak to purchase a new home, a new car or a swimming pool. Weekly mailings would be much more appropriate.

2. Be Too Promotional

With every email you send, you must and should offer an option to opt out: it is both a legal requirement as well as a useful way to filter out unqualified or uninterested prospects who will often unsubscribe themselves. But you want to avoid that qualified prospects unsubscribe simply because they're annoyed with your messages (emotional unsubscribes). Getting too many promotional messages is the #1 annoyance, so that's something to avoid. Never forget that people love to buy… but they hate to be sold.

The key is to provide value in almost every message you send. Send at least 3 educational messages for every promotional message. You can't force people to buy, so educate them as to the value and benefits you offer them, and highlight the things that separate you from all of your competitors.

3. Enter People in the Same Drip Campaign Twice

One reason why drip campaigns are so effective is that they're tailored to the prospect's needs. Some prospects may even feel that the messages were hand-selected for them, which is exactly the effect you want to accomplish. However, this will immediately backfire if you accidentally add prospects to the same drip campaign for a second time. The best marketing automation solutions avoid this situation by making it impossible to add someone to the same campaign more than once.

4. Don't Monitor Lead Activity

Drip campaigns are a means to an end: ultimately, you want to deliver more qualified leads to your sales force. To do so, you need to measure the responses to the drip campaign so you can forward the most active prospects to the sales team for further qualification. Lead scoring is an effective tool for this. You can assign a numeric score based on email opens, email clicks, web page visits and form submissions. Once this score reaches a certain threshold, you notify sales about this promising lead.

5. Forget to Plan for After the Drip Campaign

Of course, you'll let your drip campaign run long enough for most prospects to get sales-ready. However, we're dealing with averages here: some people will be sales-ready long before your drip campaign is done, and others will need more time. For the latter category you need to continue with some kind of nurturing campaign until they're ready to move forward. For them you should design a stay-in-touch campaign that continues when the drip campaign has finished. This campaign may not be as personalized as the drip campaign, but at least you don't lose touch with prospects who just need a little bit more time.


Research shows that only 4% of all prospects are ready to buy "right now." The remaining 96% need to be nurtured, especially if they find you online. When they first make contact, they don't know you, like you or trust you. You have to prove to them that you and your product or service will actually do what you claim, and that takes time and education to accomplish.

Your primary goal is to create a compelling message and offer when they make first contact so they will at least feel comfortable enough to provide you with their contact information. They are, in essence, saying to you to "show me what you got."

That gives you the opportunity to begin educating them on what you do… how you do it and why you're the best. Always remember the first cardinal rule for selling… human beings always want the best deal… ALWAYS! Fortunately, that doesn't mean the lowest price. It does mean they want the most VALUE for the price they do pay.

Your job is to establish that value in your first encounter with them, and then employ your drip campaign to further emphasize, continually define and really hammer home that you are indeed the "best deal." Do so, and your sales and profits will skyrocket.

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