7 Tips To Stay In Touch Long After A Sale Has Been Completed
Updated: Oct 10
Drip marketing is a specific system designed to send relevant and interactive content that informs your contacts based on where they are in the sales process for your product or services. This provides a way for you to stay on your contacts’ radar, and for them to stay on yours until such time as they, or someone they know, need your services.
Spending some time in the planning process for a drip campaign pays off a lot more than relying on the ‘spray and pray’ method for what your company sends to your customers, or marketing yourself here and there in an ad hoc kind of way.
Below are 7 key elements of an effective drip marketing plan that will get you the best results. Some examples provided are based on the mortgage industry, however, the principles provided here apply to any industry or profession.
1. Frequency – What you are comfortable with in terms of frequency?
The trick here is a balance between under- and over-‘watering’ your contacts with your drip system. One of the most common questions I hear is, ‘How often should I be sending out communications?’
There is no perfect formula, because every person you are communicating with is going to need different services, depending where they are in the sales cycle. Think of it this way: how many times should someone get a communication from you before they decide to work with you?
We know the number is somewhere between more than once and less than their lifetime. Having a well-constructed drip marketing system helps in your effort to build credibility and trust with every customer based specifically on where they may be in the buying process, which supports a buying decision going your way versus going to your competitors.
For example, if you think you should be sending out something once a week, only do that if you like having your vendors or business contacts sending you some type of drip stay-in-touch every week. A once-monthly communication is a good conservative frequency to start. If you are sending out too many communications, even if the reader likes you and some of your content, they may still opt out. Most people have a lot of communications coming at them daily, so you want to maintain a presence without being an annoyance. There are some very flexible drip marketing systems that allow you to modify frequency as you start to get feedback from your customers.
2. Term – How long should you send out drip marketing to former and current customers?
The term of your drip campaign has a direct impact on how well you remain unforgettable to your customers over time. Have you ever worked with someone who did a fantastic job for you, and that you were sure you would call again for repeat business? Perhaps it was a plumber, a landscaper, a Realtor, a house painter. Yet as some time has gone by, you can’t for the life of you remember their name or their company and how to get hold of them? Even if you had something that they left you like a refrigerator magnet, a flier, or a pen with their contact info, those items tend to get lost before we actually need them again. This can be frustrating because we all like to use the services of someone we trust and have used in the past, and it is also a loss of business for that vendor.
I am not surprised to hear from my customers who utilize a drip marketing approach that they get a call ‘out of the blue’ from a customer that they haven't heard from in months (or years even) that leads to more business. How long should you send out drip marketing to former and current customers? The answer is simple: their lifetime and/or your career length – whichever is longer (unless they opt out).
3. Media – A mixed-media approach to marketing
A mixed-media approach to marketing helps to keep things interesting for your customers. Mixing up email with some special printed mail and perhaps even some text is a good idea. Emails should still be the crux of your marketing plan, considering the technological age we live in – but mix it up a bit. Some sleek and tech savvy HTML emails peppered with some plain text keeps a little variety in your repertoire. Ironically plain text emails are often eye-catching because they feel more personalized than the designer HTML emails that someone can readily tell are ‘mass produced’. Mix video links in your emails from a source you are authorized to use, or videos you create yourself. These should be less than 3 minutes long and give some type of insight or tip to your customers.
In terms of ‘printed mail’ such as brochures, mailed newsletters and the like, this media will eventually become basically nonexistent; hard mail will be associated only with grocery store ads, government communications, birthday cards and personal notes. Warm and fuzzy items like birthday cards and personal notes will still mean a lot in terms of bonding with your customers.
The X/Y Gen has become completely reliant on texting/Facebook/Twitter/social media for their day-to-day communications, and this trend has led to marketing through social media as well. There are database solutions that allow you to send texts/Facebook/LinkedIn/Twitter posts directly from your contact database. You can even set up social media posts to multiple social media sites on an automated drip campaign schedule.
Using text for marketing can feel a bit invasive, but this is where knowing your customer can be key. Asking yourself just a few questions can help to determine whether this approach is the right one for certain customers.
How long have they been a customer of your services, and how well do you know them?
Does the content of this text matter to this specific client?
A good example of a text where a majority of the answers to those questions might be yes is a text template announcing important new FHA guidelines that a mortgage professional can text to all his/her Realtors at once.
4. Content – Finding a beneficial balance in your messages
Knowledge vs. Sales vs. You is the formula to consider.
Where are you in your content? There are a lot of good content providers available today with beautiful email templates and timely content that you can subscribe to. If you subscribe to a service that provides your content, take some time to review the content being sent out on your behalf.
If you are using a service provider that provides generic content for you, ask yourself these questions:
Does it sound at least a little like you or things you may say?
Are these templates being sent to the right customers?
Do they express your personality and/or your goal with certain clients?
I work with many loan officers who like to mix in their own brand of content with pre-built touches for a more personalized approach. We all are annoyed by the pushy sales person who only sends you information about what they are selling. This is why your content should be a mix of educational as well as sales-related information. Become the go-to person in the eyes of the customer by educating them with insights that you have as an industry expert.
Pick and choose content that reflects you and your personality, and the content that’s important to your clients and real estate agents. This will build a trust between the client and yourself that will foster a repeat business relationship.
5. Database integrity – How reliable is the data in your database?
How reliable is the data in your database?
Are all your contacts up to date with phone numbers, addresses, and email addresses?
There are some services out there that will marry contact names with physical addresses, but these can be costly. You can also search the internet with simply the names of your contacts and find them yourself through Google, LinkedIn, Facebook, and other social media sites, but that is extremely time consuming.
Mobile phone numbers don't change that often, but email and physical addresses may. If you know your database is out of date, hire a college student and provide them with a script to call contacts for current email information, or try using something like Fivver.com to hire someone to search the internet for current contact information.
Don't get left behind – stay current with their contact information.
6. Implementation – Automation versus Manual
Do your customer and referral partners reply to your emails because they are informative and helpful in their everyday lives?
The method in which you implement a drip campaign is important in making sure you staying on top of marketing without losing time for your customers and partners. There are many choices for how to actually execute your drip marketing campaigns. You can do it completely manually i.e. when it comes to mind, but consistency is lost this way and so are clients. You may have a recurring calendar reminder to ‘send out marketing'; but even with the best intentions these type of alarms usually get snoozed.
If you plan to do your marketing yourself, realize that anything that distracts you from normal business activities like taking or making calls, making sales, staying on top of current transactions, and scheduling strategy meetings with your business partners takes you off course and ends up being more of a nuisance than a help, especially since consistency is lost anyway.
I strongly recommend automating. The ROI is huge now compared to years ago because solutions are much less expensive. If you want to level the playing field with your competitors, it is a must-do rather than a nice-to-do. Automated drip campaigns are a significantly reduced effort for maintaining and growing your business compared to manual methods. Consider this: Do you fish with a pole or a net? The price difference between a pole and a net is minimal compared to your payoff in catching 190 fish in an hour with a net, versus 5 a day with a pole.
7. Measurement – Have a plan for reviewing responses
Have a plan for reviewing responses, and non-responses, to your drip campaigns. Many email drip campaign solutions include access to click reports so you can measure open rates. This is important to make sure you are not just sending fluff that no one really wants to open. If you seldom have anyone open or respond to your emails, review what you are sending – is it unique and interesting enough?
If you are not measuring results, you are being more hopeful than confident about the actual increase in business your marketing can provide. With certain solutions, you can tweak the content a bit as you see fit to increase open and read rates. With a thoughtful automated drip marketing campaign solution in place, every day you come to work you know that regardless of how busy you are, there is a silent drip marketing assistant in the background working to keep your contacts nurtured and aware of your existence and expertise.
Contact us today for help in implementing or improving your CRM and marketing:
760 434 3431