Drip Marketing – a New Spin on a Time Proven Method
Drip marketing is a relatively recent term to describe a marketing approach that has been employed for years by effective marketing companies.
You may ask, what are the benefits of drip marketing? Consider:
- Increased sales conversions
- Improved lead nurturing and qualifying
- Better long term customer retention
- Increased reselling and cross selling opportunities
- More opportunity for customer / prospect feedback
And the rapid evolution of technology has made sophisticated drip marketing campaigns more accessible to the smallest of companies. Not to mention the introduction of new communication methods – now we have an array of social media and other channels to communicate with our prospects. So how do we take advantage of this to better communicate our message / product / service and generate more revenue?
Drip Marketing Defined
First, let’s define drip marketing. I consider drip marketing to be a defined set of marketing and sales actions that are triggered by a series of target-based and time-based events. Essentially you are defining, integrating and to a degree, automating your sales and marketing processes.
If that’s not so clear, here’s how Wikipedia defines drip marketing.
The Drip Marketing Toolbox
SalesForce.com can Automate Drip Marketing Campaigns
So let’s presume you wouldn’t read this far if you didn’t believe in the value of a drip marketing program. You want to know what tools are required to launch your own drip marketing campaign.
Here’s what should be in your toolbox:
- A CRM system capable of marketing automation – I have had good success with SalesForce.com
- A mass email service if you have sufficient leads in your database
- A diligent person who understands the value in effective sales and marketing process
- The ability to mail information if appropriate for your business
- Social media if appropriate for your business
Connecting the Marketing Campaign Pieces
If you use or are considering SalesForce as your CRM, consider a version, such as Enterprise, that permits workflow automation – it will take your drip marketing efforts to a new level. Here is a related article on SalesForce marketing.
By using workflow automation you can automatically: schedule tasks for sales people to execute, send out email communications, trigger direct mail events, initiate social media updates and more.
Consider the following marketing process:
- New lead comes in through your company’s website – an auto-response email goes out immediately
- Collateral (hard copy) marketing material is scheduled to mail to the new prospect (or emailed in electronic format)
- The new lead is automatically assigned to a regional (or product/interest based) sales representative
- A follow up call is assigned to that sales person
- Management has access to dashboard reports showing how many leads are followed up by each salesperson
- Another email / phone call / mailing is scheduled based on the customer actions of the above steps.
- This process continues in more sophisticated methods and your marketing and sales operations become more efficient
- And it’s all tracked to determine ROI if done correctly
Closing the Loop – Drip Marketing and Drip Customer Service
These principles can be applied after the sale as well as before (and during). Consider sending out a customer satisfaction survey as part of your drip marketing efforts. Simply schedule an online survey email a certain time period after the sale has completed. With the recent developments in technology, you are practically only limited by your imagination when it comes to effective drip marketing.
Drip Marketing Campaigns Work
That’s why effective marketing companies have been using them for years.
Drip marketing techniques can be applied to almost any business model but if your business model involves online lead generation and a relatively long sales process, drip marketing may be a very effective solution to improve sales conversions and your bottom line.
Send me a message about your drip marketing campaign success stories! I’ll use it in a future drip marketing and SalessForce post.