Should Firms Use Educational Materials for Drip Marketing?by
If you are growing your practice by adding additional advisory services like wealth management or estate planning, you may find clients often make contradictory statements.
They might say: “You never call.” When you call to tell them about your new services, they say: “You only call when you want to sell me something.” You did not get into the accounting profession to “sell something.” You are offended.
Drip marketing with educational content provides a position on the middle ground. Here are the advantages:
- They Learn Something New – Tax law is complicated. You can target market, sending specific educational material addressing their specific situation. They make the connection: “When I hear from her, I’m always learning something new.”
- Raise Awareness of What You Do – Recall the earlier statement “People may want to do business with you for a long time…” Now you are gradually educating them on different ways you can help people. If an article highlights a problem, it’s assumed you can help them find a solution.
- Value – They are getting information they would otherwise need to take time to hunt down themselves or pay to get.
- Push Strategy – You drip market educational articles through your e-newsletter. There’s little or no cost involved. It can be sent to clients and prospects. People have the opportunity to also “sign up” for your newsletter. It doesn’t need to be long because links can direct them to larger articles.
- Pull Strategy – You frequently update the content on your website. Articles are also archived. You might send an e-mail or text when new articles are posted. The choice to visit the website is in their hands. Here’s another advantage: These messages are short.
- Collections of Articles – If the articles are written by you or provided through a service, it might appear to only show one point of view. If your drip marketing e-mail included links from several sources, you are seen to be providing different points of view.
- They Want to Know More – Again, taxation is complicated. These articles raise the client’s awareness. Now they have questions. The logical next step is to call you. Instead of you calling or contacting them about a new service you provide, you have highlighted a need, getting them to take the first step.
- Referrals – The article got their interest. They don’t have a need, yet they know someone who does. They ask the friend to call you or they suggest you reach out to their friend.
- No Advertising – Your material is strictly educational. Unlike many free websites the client might visit, your newsletter or website has no banner ads or popups. You make your living from services you provide to your client. You are not paid to put product in front of clients. (However, if you direct them to interesting articles published elsewhere, those sites might have ads.)
This sequence of events prepares them for your next face to face. You might suggest reviewing the articles as “homework.” During your meeting, when you introduce new services you will be offering, you can establish the need within the context of the articles you sent along.
Educational content is not intrusive, it serves as a “touch” or contact, without being seen as sales.
Bryce Sanders is president of Perceptive Business Solutions Inc. in New Hope, Pennsylvania. He provides high-net-worth client acquisition training for the financial services industry. His book, Captivating the Wealthy Investor, can be found on Amazon.com.