What Is Drip Marketing?

Carrieanne Larmore

Drip marketing is a marketing strategy where businesses maintain constant contact with potential, current or past clients to pursue future sales. With this type of marketing, the result of each communication attempt does not count as much as the cumulative effect of all the communication efforts combined. This strategy is especially useful for businesses when customers are not ready to make a purchase in the near future, but the company does not want to lose this potential sale. Drip marketing requires having a solid database of people to sell to, a strong assortment of marketing messages, and continuous contact with those in the database.

Businessman giving a thumbs-up
Businessman giving a thumbs-up

Creating a strong database of people to communicate with is key to a successful drip marketing campaign. This database usually includes the contact information of potential customers that have inquired about the business’s services in the past, referrals, and current clients. The database should only include people who have a genuine interest in the business’s products or services, otherwise the drip marketing campaign may be ignored. Marketers should disregard offers to purchase clients lists or databases for drip marketing, since these names may not have been collected legally, making the people on them unlikely to be receptive to marketing efforts.

Marketing messages should be customized as much as possible to each person in the database. The more personalized the message, the more likely the customer will be open to future communications with the business. Drip marketing can include a mix of message types, such as letters, short email blurbs or long articles. The point is not to make an immediate sale, but for the customer to remember the business’s name when he finally decides it is time to make a purchase. Marketers should avoid strong advertisement pitches and lingo, as these types of communications will most likely be ignored.

Communicating consistently with potential customers is the main objective of drip marketing. This does not mean sending everyone in the database an e-mail on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Depending on the nature of the business, marketers should carefully determine what may be considered excessive. If members of the database are generally locked into one or two year contracts with competitors, then sending them quarterly communications will be sufficient. Sending too many emails can result in future communications being ignored or marked as spam.

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