Have you ever seen the impact a leaky faucet can make on a bar of soap? After a while, the small drops of water can leave a significant dent in the soap bar. That same effect can be seen when marketing to prospective clients through a slow but steady flow of email communications, phone calls, articles, events and other promotional efforts.
It's likely you have quite a few prospects in your sales pipeline, some of which are close to becoming clients and a few who may need to be worked on for the next one, two or three years. Establishing yourself as someone's trusted financial advisor involves a more complicated, infrequent cycle than other sales initiatives. Because of this, seasonal marketing campaigns or those that are automated and impersonal will not net the same results that can be seen in a personalized, ongoing marketing push.
Rebecca Gill explains some of the intricacies of running an effective drip campaign - which she defines as having regular contact with prospects who are not quite ready to buy - in a piece for Sys-Con Media. How do you keep your name at the top of their minds in the months and years before they are ready to make a decision? What are the means for establishing trust and proving your reliability when you haven't had the chance to demonstrate your skills by providing service?
One of the best ways to stay in contact and drip on your pipeline is by sending out periodic emails or newsletters that feature interesting information, showing prospects the value of your knowledge. But a blanket email will not be effective.
Segmenting your target markets and identifying what motivates each kind of ideal client will allow you to market to specific characteristics, Gill says. Delegating this task to technology may also free you up to spend more time thinking about the content of the email than worrying about when you have to send them out, she notes.
"I believe drip marketing should be a multifaceted approach," Gill says. "With the advent of social media, drip marketing can refer to virtually any digital marketing and includes blogging, emails, newsletters, tweets and posts."
Writing a blog, sharing quick tips on websites such as Twitter, and establishing relationships with local publications and radio stations are more great ways to spread awareness of your business.
Norm Trainor also discusses the segmentation concept and slowly building your credibility in The 8 Best Practices of High-Performing Salespeople. Promote yourself by writing high-quality articles for newspapers and invite your ideal clients to seminars or events geared toward their values and concerns. A combination of digital content and real-world promotional events will gradually establish your brand.