Drip marketing, also called continuity marketing, is simply the practice of keeping a steady flow of marketing materials going to the same people over and over.
You use it with postal mail when farming a geographic territory or when prospecting to a specific set of buyers or sellers.
You use it with email when you want to hang on to an Internet lead – whether it’s a buyer who inquired about a specific house or filled out a “how much can I afford” form, a seller who responded to an offer to learn the value of his/her home, or someone who opted in to receive a special report.
And of course, you use it with both postal mail and email to stay in touch with past clients and those in your sphere.
It’s a tried and true method to remain “top of mind” with someone who is likely to buy, sell, or refer someone to you in the future.
So how can you make it fail?
First, I’m going to assume that anyone who bothers to read about real estate does not belong to the 50-55% of agents who don’t bother to return a call or try to connect with people who fill out their online contact forms. That number astounds me, but several studies report that it is so.
The fastest way to make your marketing efforts fail is to send the wrong messages to your prospects.
Here are a few truths:
- Buyers aren’t interested in knowing how well you market homes.
- Sellers don’t want to know that you help buyers negotiate lower prices.
- First time buyers aren’t interested in downsizing.
- High end sellers don’t care about your skill in finding buyers for fixer properties.
- NONE of them care how wonderful you are.
- ALL of them are only concerned about that aspect of real estate that applies to them and their situation.
Step one is to separate your lists.
At the very least you need 3 lists: Buyers, Sellers, and Past Clients / Sphere.
If you’re marketing to a niche or two, or to separate geographic areas, give them each their own list, so you can send specialized materials to them. Most autoresponders let you add just as many lists as you like, so do it.
“To get the right message to the right person at the right time
you first need to get the right data to the right database
at the right time.”
Sending appropriate information to your prospecting lists is easy, because you can put them directly into the proper list as you enter them.
If they’re on the right lists, how can you send the wrong messages?
- By making it all about you instead of all about them.
- By making each message a blatant sales pitch.
- By failing to send useful information.
- By using too much industry jargon, making rude assumptions, or being condescending in any way.
- By forgetting to proofread, so your messages make you look bad.
Separating your Internet leads can be just as easy.
If you use web “capture” forms, you can set each form to add the contacts to the appropriate autoresponder list AND immediately send an appropriate response.
This sounds so simple – and it is – but I’ve sure seen it go wrong.
Every now and then I check out competitors’ sites for my copywriting clients, and the results can be interesting.
One time I filled out an agent contact form that had room for a personal message, so I asked a question.
Instead of a reply to my question, the fist day I got ten emails. Some were for buyers, some for sellers. This went on for several days, although the drip did go down to 4 per day. One of them asked “How’s Married Life?” The content of that one assumed I was a newlywed who needed a home.
I mistakenly assumed that this agent’s autoresponder (or his assistant or tech person) had malfunctioned. It didn’t occur to me that he had done this deliberately. So just to be nice, I wrote him.
I was wrong. It WAS on purpose and he did not appreciate my note. After that when I got something goofy I just said “It’s none of my business.”
One agent began sending me regular messages telling me to call him once I’ve found a house. He’ll write it up for me. Another just writes “Call me if you’re still looking for a house.” After I signed up to receive an ezine from one agent, I began getting regular messages saying there are no matches for my search. What did that mean? They were searching for the ezine and hadn’t found it yet?
These agents went wrong in a big way. Instead of making the reader think this might be the agent to choose, they did the opposite. The message they conveyed was “This person is someone to avoid.”
Now – even though I know what they say about assuming anything and even though I’ve already done it once, I’m going to do it again.
I’m going to assume that you would not deliberately do any of those things, but that there might be someone helping you who doesn’t know better. In addition, your autoresponder could be set up improperly.
So my advice is this: Double check everything that goes out under your name.
Your autoresponder should have a function that allows you to test your campaign.
Do that, and after you receive your messages, proofread them carefully even if you’ve done it before.
Sometimes things jump out when they come to you in a different medium.
QUOTES OF THE WEEK
“Make the customer the hero of your story.”
“Personalisation – it is not about first/last name.
It’s about relevant content.”
Not sure what to say to hang on to Internet buyer and seller leads?
If you’re not sure what to say or don’t want to write your letters yourself, come on over to my Real Estate Prospecting Letters page.
For Internet buyers you’ll find a Nurturing Internet Buyers letter set.
For future sellers you’ll find Seller Advice Letters.
Both sets offer good advice, while gently reminding those on your list that YOU are they agent they’ll want to choose when they’re ready to move forward.
If you’re farming or prospecting, you’ll find a variety of letters for different situations and different niches. If you don’t find what you need, let me know. I’m working on a new “by request” set right now and am always willing to add another to my to-do list.
The most recent “by request” set is for frustrated “income” property owners who have been advertising for tenants for a few weeks. If you love selling to investors, check it out.
What about past clients and your sphere?
Aside from the fact that they’ll probably enjoy reading your market reports, they need different messages entirely.
We’ll go into that next week…
Wishing you health, wealth, and JOY,
Images courtesy of Stuart Miles @ freedigitalphotos.net