Whether you call it drip marketing, lead nurturing, or simply stay-in-touch marketing, having a systematic way to stay in touch with prospects and customers is an essential component of a professional service firm's marketing system.
One of the marketing challenges that CPAs, attorneys, architects, and other professional service providers face is our customers (yes, I think "customers" is more correct than "client", but that's a different post) often don't have a constant need for our services – months or even years may pass between engagements.
They do, however, often have a need for our services several times of the life of our relationship. Our customers will also periodically run into other people that they can refer us. Our customers and referral sources are busy people, so it will be easy for them to forget about us if we don't stay in touch with them. Here are a few ways that drip marketing campaigns can help you stay fresh in your prospects’ and customers’ minds.
Gaining "top of mind" status – After meeting you (in person or virtually) people often need several contacts or reminders about who and how you help before you will achieve "top-of-mind" status with them. In order to achieve this status, you will want to contact them with a higher frequency (more messages in a shorter time frame) than you will once you achieve top of mind status. A drip marketing campaign that reaches out with useful information on a weekly basis, for 4 or 5 weeks after the initial encounter can help you solidify your top of mind status.
Staying top of mind – once we have obtained top of mind status, we need to maintain that status through periodic communications with our contacts. A drip campaign that reaches out once or twice a month (or a different interval that makes sense for your business) can help you maintain that status. By continuing to reach out and provide useful information via drip marketing campaigns, you can stay fresh in your contacts minds so that when a need does arise, they will remember and call you.
Educating current customers about other service offerings – Have you ever been frustrated to learn that one of your regular customers recently purchased a service that you provide from someone else? More time than not, when I see this happen, it is because the customer didn't know the service was available from their current provider.
Be aware of what is going on in your customers business. When you solve one of their basic problems, do they typically have new, more interesting issues to address? A properly constructed and timed drip marketing campaign can help lay the groundwork for selling follow up services.
These are just a few of the ways you can use drip marketing to grow your practice. I'll cover some other uses of drip marketing in upcoming posts. In the meantime, please leave a comment and share you experience and\or questions about drip marketing.
Bill Brelsford Small Business Marketing Consultant