The Most Effective Kind of Marketing
Your business may employ a variety of means to find potential customers for your product or service. Once you have identified leads, your sales force works to close the deal and convert prospects into paying customers. But too often it takes valuable time, money and resources to find the right leads. And then you may not be doing everything — or anything — to persuade them to buy from your company.
That’s exactly where drip marketing is most effective.
What Is Drip Marketing?
Some leads convert instantly — your company is exactly what they’re looking for, your pricing is in line with what they want to spend, and they need your product or service now — but others require more effort. Maybe they are early in their own process or are balking at your price or aren’t ready to commit just yet. It’s these cold leads that drip marketing targets.
In this context, a drip refers to a connection, whether by personal visit, phone call or email. Drip marketing works like turning on a faucet. If you blast the water on, it’ll wash everything away. If you let it drip, a little at a time, it just makes you thirsty for more.
Drip marketing, then, is the process of contacting your leads over time. If you’re careful with your drips, they will lead your potential customers to a sale.
To the Rescue
Drip marketing uses a simple approach to solve this age-old problem of nurturing cold leads. A drip marketing campaign is a slow and deliberate process that puts your company’s name and offerings in front of your leads again and again over time, like the drip of a leaky faucet (but not nearly as annoying).
Most of your leads will find drip marketing a pleasant experience, because you are telling them what they want to hear: how you can solve their problems, why you have the best solutions, and how much money they’ll save in the long run. The drips are reminders of their initial contact with your company, that hopeful experience when they felt good enough to provide their contact information.
How Drip Marketing Works
A marketing campaign is a “specific, defined series of activities used to market a new or changed product or service,” according to Entrepreneur magazine. Marketing is vital to spread the word about what your company offers. Marketing often defines the difference between success and failure.
A drip marketing campaign is no different. Once you’ve identified leads, you (or your sales force) must follow up. Leads expect you to follow up, because often they are asking for more information — information they need to make a sound decision. But even if you provide an overwhelming case for purchasing your product or service, most leads still do not act. In fact, it often isn’t until your fifth contact (or even later) that most leads finally decide to purchase from your company.
Following up can boost your sales by 10 to 80 percent. That’s how important it is. That’s the value of a drip marketing campaign. That’s how drip marketing can grow your business: providing better customer service, improving your lead conversion rate and increasing your sales.
Managing a Drip Campaign
While this strategy seems fairly straightforward, implementing a drip marketing campaign can be in itself time-consuming and costly. If you have the time to follow up every lead with five, ten or more connections, then you may not have time to run your business.
If you don’t have time to do it yourself, you could hire a full-time person to manage your marketing campaigns, following up each of your leads at regular intervals over time. That’s an added expense, and you are taking on more risk — risk that the person you hired does it right, risk that they won’t turn off your leads, risk that you have to manage.
Instead, you could hire a consultant to do the work for you, but some of the caveats still exist, and the process is still expensive. The answer has to be easier to manage and affordable.
Drip Marketing Done Right
Since following up with your leads results in more sales and ultimately business growth, you need a way to do it efficiently and successfully. Face-to-face meetings aren’t efficient. Even follow-up telephone calls can be annoying, time-consuming and of questionable worth. Busy people — like your leads — want to think about your business when it suits them, not when you call.
The best way to stay in touch with your leads as you develop a relationship with them is through email. Email messages give you the space to deliver your information in a personal yet respectful way. Emails are there whenever your leads have time. Emails keep your business in front of their eyes and at the front of their thoughts. Emails are effective and successful ways to communicate.
Fortunately, there are automated systems like TickleTrain, to save you time and money. Automated systems put you in control while performing many of the steps automatically. An automated drip marketing campaign that uses email might look something like this:
- The first email is to reconnect. In it, you ask if the issue that caused them to seek out a solution still exists. You reiterate your competitive advantages and ask for questions.
- The second email, before you even get a response from them, delivers more information about your product or service. You can attach your brochure or product sheet.
- The third email follows up some time later, asking them if they’ve had a chance to review the material you sent. You can ask them again for questions, promote new deals, mention upcoming events, and on and on.
- By the fifth email, you have developed a helpful relationship, answered any questions and delivered your best price. A sale is imminent.
Each time you send an email, you are reinforcing your case and building a relationship. If the email messages are personal and timely, they often lead to successful sales. Using email reminders can do more than nurture your leads. Use them to notify your leads about training programs, abandoned shopping carts, overdue invoices, and so much more.
Drip marketing campaigns send timely reminders and quick communications to convert your leads from lookers into buyers. By using drip marketing, you’ll close more sales, boost your sales and your productivity and grow your business.