How to Plan and Execute Your Drip Marketing Campaign
You know you need a drip campaign in order to build the trust necessary to grow a business in today’s skeptical world.
But where to start? With a plan, of course.
The following addresses writing a drip campaign offering aid to distressed homeowners, but the same steps will work no matter what product or service you offer.
The only reason people buy a product or contact a professional is to solve a problem or a perceived problem. That may sound false at first glance, but it is true. The problem may be as trivial as wanting potato chips that crunch correctly, nail polish in exactly the right shade, or an all purpose TV remote, but to the person who wants them, being without is a problem.
Remember, people act on emotion and justify their decisions with logic. Your letters have to touch the emotions before your readers will care about the logic.
That said… Begin by thinking about your prospect’s problem. What is their greatest concern – related to the solutions you offer?
The thousands of homeowners who are (even now) upside down in mortgages or who can’t make payments for any reason have one of two concerns:
- How to keep their homes, or
- How to get out from under the mortgage burden with the least damage to their finances, their credit scores, and often – their pride.
First, acknowledge their problem.
You’re working on building trust, so your first message to these distressed homeowners should recognize their problem and outline the choices available to them – and suggest that your solution might be the most beneficial.
By introducing other solutions and giving a brief rundown of the pros and cons of each, you’ll begin to position yourself as an advisor. You won’t be someone who is merely trying to sell your own plan – you’ll become someone who wants to help them choose the best course of action for their own individual situation.
Your next messages should continue in that same vein. Remember, they don’t know you yet. So far they’ve just seen that you’re willing to tell them about other options. That alone will open that door to trust just a little bit – but you need to keep nudging it until that door is wide open.
Decide what kind of advice you can offer
You are well aware of the pitfalls that await homeowners with every solution – including the kind you offer.
- They can choose refinance or loan modification and end up being in foreclosure before the bank ever gets around to acting on their application.
- They can choose to list their home as a short sale and end up with a real estate agent who has no clue about how to conduct a short sale – and again, land in foreclosure.
- They can choose the wrong real estate agent and find that they owe a huge deficiency after their sale closes.
- They can opt to deal directly with an investor and choose one who “takes them to the cleaners.”
You have the expertise to offer advice on how to avoid those and other heartbreaking situations.
Start by making your own list of the pitfalls – and what can happen in each situation. You’re going to write a separate letter to address each pitfall, and in that letter you’ll offer your advice about how to avoid it.
Think about examples or hypothetical scenarios you can use to paint mental pictures for your readers.
Next make a list of the benefits associated with choosing your solution. You may choose to integrate these solutions into your “pitfall” messages, or to write separate letters showing why your solution is easier, faster, or less damaging to their bank account or their credit rating.
If you’re discussing disasters related to your own type of solution (when they choose the wrong person to help), you’ll want to show them how and why you won’t let that happen to them.
Once you have your lists, arrange the topics in a logical order and write all the letters at one time. This will enable you to stay with the flow of thought and give continuity to your messages. It also enables you to add a P.S. to each letter with a hint of what’s next to come.
If you simply can’t find enough time to do the entire project in one day, keep your list handy, to keep yourself on track. Then, before you begin your next writing session, go back and re-read the previous letters. That exercise will help you get back into the flow of thoughts you had going when you made the lists.
I can’t tell you how many drip marketing letters I get from real estate people who seem to think that any old message will do, as long as they keep reminding me that they exist. Some of those letters are, in a word, awful.
But strange as it seems, they may be right. Studies show that even poor contact is better than no contact.
But since you’re working on building a reputation as a knowledgeable and trustworthy advisor, I suggest that you make your letters the best that they can be.
If you have a lot to say on one subject, offer it in a free report rather than in your letter. Remember that long letters often get tossed away unread, so try to keep your drip messages at about one page.
Huge blocks of copy also discourage reading, so keep your paragraphs short and insert a blank line between them.
Your letters are the building blocks for trust… Every time you give good advice your status as “the expert” will grow, as will your status as “someone I can trust.”
As you continue sending these short messages, each will build upon the last, reinforcing your position as trusted advisor. If you have free reports or other “tools” to offer, do it by means of an autoresponder so you can catch the names of people interested enough to ask for them.
Tools might be anything from a mortgage rate calculator to a form showing the difference in the financial or credit impact of each solution. Whatever you can offer without obligation will take that trust up another notch. (We’ll talk more about autoresponders in a minute.)
Of course, you’ll want to end each letter with the call to action. But do make that call gently.
Give them time to appreciate and understand the benefits you’ve already provided with your free advice. Your call to action might include the offer of a free consultation or a free estimate – but be sure to stress that it comes with no obligation.
You can also invite them to call just to talk. Tell them you understand that they have questions about the process and offer to answer those questions.
Avoid this drip campaign pitfall…
Good intentions can go astray in the face of a busy life, so set up your campaign for success. Instead of thinking that you’ll send a few letters every day, create a plan that will make sure the messages go out.
I can’t tell you how many individuals have told me they got started on a drip campaign but didn’t follow through because they “got busy.” If you’re going to put your letters in the postal mail, print them all at once, put them in pre-addressed envelopes, and put the mailing date in the “stamp corner” of each envelope. This will not only save you time with looking up names and addresses to personalize your letters, it should ensure that the letters actually go in the mail on time and in order. All you have to do is check your mailing pile each morning, put stamps on that day’s letters, and drop them in the mail.
If you’re using e-mail it’s even easier, as long as you have permission to send the letters.
Often you can entice customers to give you that permission by offering a special report – and your first letter outlining the choices can be that report. Others may give you verbal permission.
Which brings me to a warning: Before you choose an autoresponder service, check to see if offers you the ability to enter names based on verbal permission. Some do, some don’t. Choose an autoresponder that allows you to mail a pre-set series of letters to individuals based on when their name was added, rather than sending the same letter to everyone at the same time. And be sure to set up the system to personalize each letter.
With the personalization features available from most autoresponders you can address each person by name, and even include their home address in the body of the letter if you like.
One caution here – once those customers have raised their hands to say they want and need you, do take their names out of your drip campaign. They’ll doubt your sincerity if you keep marketing to them after they’ve become your customer.
About the tone of your letters…
You know that some homeowners are feeling ashamed, embarrassed, and defeated because of the position they’re in. You may be entirely sympathetic, or you may not. But no matter what your own opinion is, take care to let them know you’re on their side. Avoid any hint of an attitude of superiority and let them know that you understand and sympathize with their plight. Tell them it’s not their fault. Give them hope and assurance that when this is over they’ll be able to pick up the pieces and get on with having a good life. And of course, show them that you and your solution are the quickest route to that better future.
One more thing…
When you’ve finished writing your letters, set them aside for a day or two. Then come back and edit them before you put them to use. If you can enlist someone else to read them, do it – and ask them to be on the lookout for typographical errors, mis-used words, and any spots that don’t flow well. It can be very difficult to catch your own errors.
Then ask them to tell you what your letter said, in just a few words. That will tell you if you’ve made your meaning clear. Remember that when you’re the one doing the writing, you know what you mean. That makes it easy to leave out something important.
And now for some shameless self-promotion…
If you want to use drip marketing, but don’t want to do the writing yourself, get in touch!
I can create a custom campaign outlining the special services you offer, or you can choose from a growing variety of pre-written letter sets that allow you to reach out to prospects even if your marketing budget is small. You’ll find the letter sets at: https://copybymarte.com/prospecting/
And… if your website isn’t bringing you the results you want, I can provide you with copy that will please both the search engines and your human visitors – and prompt those human visitors to take action.
While the information on web copy you’ll find at Copy by Marte is geared toward real estate sales people, the same principles apply whether you’re a REALTOR®, a mortgage lender or any other professional who offers a service.
Your site must show your visitors the reasons why you are their best choice.
Call on Copy by Marte any time you need the right words to help build your business. You can reach me by writing: firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 208-448-1479. So get in touch, and let’s discuss how I can help you stand out from the competition.