Drip Marketing: Powerful For Every Business.
September 26, 2011 2 Comments
Drip marketing programs are powerful strategic marketing solutions for every type of business. However drip marketing programs are ideal for organizations that have products and services that are seasonal or require a “right time” to buy such as RRSP’s, real-estate, automobiles or events.
Somewhere between 50% to 75% of businesses change suppliers because they feel their current supplier doesn’t care about their business anymore. Why? Because the supplier has not stayed in touch. That means that most of the time clients do not move because of price, quality or product selection.
Think About It On A Personal Level.
If you have a friend who doesn’t phone anymore, you assume the relationship is over.
Is it possible you have past clients who think that if you valued
their business that you would have stayed in touch?
Have you ever found out that a current client bought from another supplier because ‘they were there and top-of-mind’? What does this all mean? It means that maintaining contact demonstrates commitment and caring.
The Problem For All Of Us
For many businesses it’s hard to stay in touch with clients, especially if the purchase cycle for the product / service is measured in years such as a house (real-estate broker), or a car (automotive dealership). Two most common problems are:
1.The supplier does not know what to say.
2.The supplier may lack the discipline to stay in touch over a few years.
If your objective is to generate more sales then establishing a drip marketing program will be effective tool to help you keep current clients and generate new referrals. Drip marketing is the commercial equivalent of saying hello, I’m thinking of you and I care.
Drip marketing is an effective way to stay in touch with customers or prospects in a non-evasive manner. It should never seem like a sales pitch. And, because the process can often be automated, it saves both time and money while delivering a consistent message that respects your brand.
Because the process is highly automated drip marketing program keeps sales people and other executives focused on important initiatives and not on hundreds of phone calls or letters. The types of messages that can be included are:
- News, Tips or Articles of Interest
- New Product / Service Features
- Introduction of new staff
- Special Reports
- Charity Involvement in the community, and
- Invitations to events.
They can also include more personal customer interactions like:
- Birthday wishes
- Anniversary acknowledgements (of their purchase), or
- Other important dates (their mortgage renewal dates).
The important thing is to not make a hard sell.
Your objective is to stay top-of-mind for future references / sales. You do not want to be pushy and annoy them. And, if they ask you to stop sending communication, respect their request.
You want to be friendly and personal. Whenever possible, individualize your approach by signing your communication. Perhaps write a personal message “Hi Brad, I saw this article and thought you might be interested”.
Clients who receive your drip marketing messages might not get back to you. Don’t get discouraged.
How To Get Started
1. Start with a plan. Preparing is half the battle so to succeed you want to set a schedule so that staying in touch becomes easy and therefore more likely to happen. I recommend developing a schedule that will cover 1.5 years. Perhaps start with a Thank You and then at about 60-day intervals, engage your schedule. For example:
- Day 1: Thank you
- Day 60: Customer Satisfaction Inquiry
- Day 120: New Service Opinion/Preview
- Day 180: Referral offer to help
- Day 240: Introduction of new staff
- Day 300: Top Ten Tips
- Day 360: In the Community
This schedule can be extended almost indefinitely when you include customer anniversary dates, thank you letters for referral business (if you are able to identify them), articles of interest and special holiday messages.
2. Create the components in advance. Your objective is to make it easy to implement so your brand is consistent and your messages are crisp and clean,
With the increase in junk email, drip marketing campaigns do face hurdles. You need your message to be perceived as valuable so, they can not look or sound like SPAM. Remember, you are trying to nurture your current and potential clients for future business.
To do this effectively you have to think like your clients – not like yourself
3. Create a database. You need to have all of the relevant client information at your fingertips. True knowledge management means knowing what matters to clients most and true client intimacy means creating WOWs at every point of contact. Most businesses are using some form of client relationship management systems, so, creating a database is easier than ever, but you may have to begin gathering information you didn’t in the past.
Use the best tools you can – invest in your efforts. It will pay off in spades.
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