If you are reading this, you have a serious interest in building a solid list of prospects to help move the sales needle for your contracting company. You have secured a provider (Constant Contact, MailChimp and AWeber are all solid choices), build your opt-in form, and placed it on your site.
Now you can lay in the tall weeds waiting for your unsuspecting prey to casually fill out your opt-in form so you can pounce with an overly-salesy newsletter that turns them off completely, or you can do it the right way. The right way I speak of is by not offering anything at all for the first few messages.
Welcome to drip marketing, wait, what the hell is drip marketing?
Drip Marketing is a communication strategy that sends, or “drips,” a pre-written set of messages to customers or prospects over time. These messages often take the form of email marketing, although other media can also be used. Drip marketing is unique from other database marketing in two ways: (1) the timing of the messages follow a pre-determined course; (2) the messages are dripped in a series applicable to a specific behavior or status of the recipient.
That’s the definition. What it does in the real world is raise the trust factor required to then gain the right to make an offer. So, if you are getting into the newsletter game, here is what I want your 1st month to look like when corresponding with your list.
- Your 1st message should be a thank you sent immediately after someone adds themselves to your list. Make this short and sweet, and make them aware of what to expect next from you.
- The next message can contain links to videos you have uploaded on YouTube or to specific content on your site that would be of interest to your reader. Not a link to your homepage and nothing too salesy. Send this one a day or so after your thank you.
- Your first real “Newsletter” mailing should be sent 5-7 days after your links message. It should contain information specific to your industry, tips or suggestions or DIY info to help the reader decide what they need to do, and the links to your site to show them how you do it.
- This is now the fourth mailing they have received from you. And now is when it is OK to be a bit more sales specific, hoping by now the reader has done their homework and is starting to narrow the field. At this point, you want to throw your hat into the ring by making a specific call to action in your newsletter and asking them to contact you or a salesperson at your company. This drop should go out another 5-7 days after the first newsletter went out.
And that’s your first month of email marketing to a new subscriber!
Obviously, if someone has subscribed to your newsletter in shopping mode, allow them to shop. When that same consumer fills out your contact form or calls you directly, move them closer to the narrow end of the sales funnel, but don’t forget to reset their newsletter subscription or they will get messages from you that take them backwards, so put them on a more traditional newsletter drip-feed as opposed to a sales funnel newsletter by having two lists going at the same time, one with buyers, and one with non-buyers.
Photo Credit: Ian Munroe