Creating a “drip marketing campaign” in which a constant flow of material is sent to customers over a period of time can help turn leads into clients.
“Marketing depends on frequency,” says Sandra Bekhor, president of Bekhor Management in Toronto. “When you start to hit [prospects] over and over and over, they start to trust you.”
Drip marketing is a very slow way for people to get to know you, learn about what you do and how you can help them, says Sara Gilbert, founder of Strategist Business Development in Montreal.
There are two kinds of leads in a drip marketing campaign: The first is a lead who you have never met before, but to whom you are marketing through an advertising campaign or by contributing to a publication or blog, says Gilbert. The second is a person you have met either at a networking event, seminar or through social media who has signed up for your newsletter. Both types of leads are interested in your business, but not quite ready to become a client.
Follow this advice to craft your own drip marketing campaign and turn leery prospects into clients:
> Find a reason to reach out
Make your marketing materials stand out by showing potential clients you have a reason for contacting them.
Link your drip marketing materials to events or seasonal financial deadlines, says Bekhor. For example, you could reach out during RRSP season or send out a newsletter to promote a seminar.
Keep in mind that most people forget what they have read or heard after 30 days, says Gilbert. So, it’s a good idea to send something to prospects at least once a month.
> Stick to your strengths
Think about what you excel at when deciding what to do as part of a drip marketing campaign.
For example, if you are a good public speaker do seminars, says Bekhor. If you prefer to write, try blogging or creating a newsletter.
> Keep your look consistent
Regardless of how you market to leads, have a consistent brand.
“You want to build recognition,” says Gilbert. The look and feel of your marketing materials should be the same as the colours you use to your logo and tagline.
> Arrange a meeting
Remember to ask for a meeting after a lead has been a part of your drip marketing strategy for some time.
If you have met with a lead before you can ask for a meeting after three months, says Gilbert. If you have never met a prospect before it can take five to seven months before they begin to recognize and trust you.
Always ask for a small time commitment, she says. For example, invite the prospect to meet you over coffee for 30 minutes. Do not invite them to an all day seminar.
> Question their commitment
If you suspect a lead is just not interested, ask them about it, says Bekhor. Simply ask whether or not they wish to continue receiving information from you.
“You don’t have to waste your time banging on doors when people don’t want to answer,” she says.