Before consumers buy from you, they must know, like, and trust you. Moving along that continuum takes time and patience. In today’s snug economic times, earning enough trust to get someone to crack open their wallet or company checkbook is no small feat.
That’s why we’re such big proponents of the drip marketing strategy. The logic behind the strategy is simple: Because you can’t know when someone is going to be ready to buy, you want to have a recurring presence in their world, so you’re always top of mind.
To sustain a drip strategy with the goal of moving someone along the know/like/trust continuum, you need to mindful of the following.
Drop marketing is not really a "by the seat of your pants" sort of tactic. You want your efforts to be a seamless flow of information, contact, and relationship building. That’s not something you want to make up as you go. Think of your drip marketing efforts as an elaborately choreographed dance. You need to know the steps before you get on the dance floor.
Know how to respond to "What's in it for me?"
No consumer is going to let you keep buzzing about if you don’t offer something of value. Today, everyone is asking, "What’s in it for me?" Your efforts need to be focused on consumers' needs, not on your features and benefits. If you talk about yourself too much, consumers will tune you out, unsubscribe, unlike you, or disconnect the line. Give consumers valuable content, and they’ll never ask you to leave.
Have 110% consistency
Your ultimate goal is that consumers trust you. You do what you say you’re going to do. You deliver the goods. Which is why your monthly newsletter needs to arrive every month. Why your webinars shouldn't get canceled at the last minute. Why your print ads should all tie together.
Remember that a little is a lot
The goal is to be a regular presence, so customers don’t forget you. Your goal is not to be their ever-present companion, so every time they turn around---there you are! The beautiful thing about a drip strategy is that a little goes a long way. If you consistently execute on three or four tactics, that’s plenty. You want to be memorable, not annoying.
Drip marketing is not a stage for you from which to shout out all your messages. Drip marketing is a way to stimulate conversation. Ask questions. Offer Q&A options. Be human. No one is going to trust a company or person if they don’t believe they have a relationship with them. While the system may be automated, the relationship can’t be.
Wondering what makes a good drip marketing tactic? Think about adding some of these into your mix.
- Newsletters (electronic or print)
- Facebook Fan Page updates
- A "lunch and learn" series
- LinkedIn Group (participating or moderating)
- Radio show (Internet or traditional)
- A book club focused on your area of expertise
- A smart phone app
- Direct mail series (3-D or flat pieces)
- Whitepapers or free reports
- A how-to video series
That’s just scratching the surface. Remember: A little goes a long way. Don’t bite off more than you can consistently deliver at a quality level you’ll be proud to produce. Do a few of the above activities well---and the results will quickly make the time and discipline to do it right worth the effort.