Drip campaigns keep your company top of mind: 5 steps for success + an example

How do you stay top of mind when everyone is head's down trying to get their own jobs done?  How do you ensure that prospective customers think of you when problems arise?

The short answer:  you need to stay in touch,  talk about things that really matter to those you want to remember you, and remind them that your business is a valuable resource they can tap in each of the areas where you'd like to work with them.

Drip campaigns reinforce your brand

The problem is that you want them to think of you for multiple products or services, not just the one with which they currently associate your business.  To do so, you need to communicate a lot of information--but your audience are too busy to absorb much that isn't directly relevant to whatever is now top of mind.

You need to them to notice your communications--and to read them.  The solution is a "drip campaign":  a series of concise messages that together accomplish your objectives and reinforce your brand.

One advantage of a drip campaign is that the individual communications are brief and easy to absorb.  A second advantage is that even if your target audience misses one communication, you have multiple opportunities to make an impression.

Most important, however, is that a drip campaign creates the multiple impressions it takes to make an impact--and motivate others to change their behavior.  Here are 5 steps you can use to develop compelling drip campaigns:

1. Identify a pressing concern

One of the best ways to identify a pressing concern is to monitor news in your target audience's industry.  Is a new competitor entering the market?  Are there pending regulatory changes?  Has someone announced a disruptive technology?

In short, look for change, because change demands action.  Then, zero in on changes that offer opportunities for your company to add real value.

2. Make it personal

Share the news tip, but make it personal.  Let your correspondents know that when you heard what was going on, you immediately thought of them.

3. Create a sense of urgency

Tell them why you thought of them and how the market disruption will affect their business.  Point out opportunities you believe it will create for them--or consequences they may now face.

This step is essential, because this is where you add value.  Even if they were aware of the new circumstances, they may not yet have thought about what it will mean for them and their business.

4. Offer a solution

Strike while the iron's hot--and before they have an opportunity to consider alternatives.  Describe the solution you will provide to make the problem go away.  Offer enough detail so that they can visualize its impact and get excited about the results.  Consider using a case example of how others have benefited from a similar solution.

5. Add a call to action

Highlighting a problem, and even offering a solution, is just the beginning.  If you don't ask people to act right away, they often don't.

So, ask for an appointment.  Or, if you don't think they're ready to meet, offer to send them more information.  Once they accept, you can "drip" on them again--and create one more of the impressions you'll need to motivate action.

A great example of one drip in an ongoing campaign

Here's an example of a "drip campaign" (identifying details changed to maintain anonymity) that my colleague, Laura Duffy, Principal at Laura Duffy and Associates, sent to a client to motivate him to move forward with a campaign.  She sent this after learning that one of his competitors had merged with a larger medical practice.

The goal was to remind him that he needed to emphasize the unique benefits his own practice offers to retain the competitive edge--and that our team is uniquely qualified to help.  Tight and well written, I believe it will hit the mark.

"Jane's on vacation, Barbara's back, and I leave tomorrow.  But that doesn't mean we haven't thought about the shifting landscape of dermatology!

In response to the new world order, we suggest you increase your practice's visibility with a smart marketing initiative--perhaps a mailing every other month that presents a featured case on a nicely designed sheet, accompanied by a letter from you.

The featured case should be interesting--even intriguing--and might include the patient's presenting symptoms, the referring physician's name and preliminary thoughts, your recommendations, and the patient's outcome.

Maybe the designed sheet has room to tout what's going on at your practice--your new partners, your convenient location, the product lines you offer, etc., things that keeps your brand in front of readers and remind them that your practice is at the leading edge.  Your letter could provide interesting commentary on the state of dermatology, such as staff publications and news from professional meetings.

By hitting your universe of people on a regular basis and making the communication strategic--educational, interesting, useful, but also featuring the John Doe they know, love and trust--you'll keep them aware that your practice is first-rate, available, and dependable.

Please give this some thought.  If you want to sit down and discuss this, please let me know some good times for us to meet.

Enjoy the rest of the summer!

Laura"

What do you think?  Would a campaign like this work for your business?  If you're already using drip campaigns, what are your secrets to success?

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by Barbara Bix - In tough economic times, more and more clients are looking to their accountants to help them improve the bottom line. Often, the best way to do that is to start with the top line-since one can only decrease expenses so far. This blog discusses concrete actions you and your business-to-business clients can use to accelerate revenues.

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