Long gone are the days where a simple print run in the local daily newspaper will get the phone to ring. The old adage: The first exposure to a consumer is to familiarize them with your company, the second exposure is to get them to recall your company, and the third is to get them to respond.
Unfortunately, the formula isn’t even that simple anymore. Both in training and in practice, marketers rely on the marketing mix, getting the right blend of attention-getting creative into the right media channels to drive consumer action. It’s not just marketing speak, it truly is what will trigger conversions.
Drip Marketing is the process of building consumer touchpoints that a customer receives on a strategic timeline. For example, they may first receive a direct mailer from you (to familiarize) followed closely by an email blast with relatively the same information (to recall). But what is the right blend of scheduling a reminder system that won’t annoy your consumer and possibly cause them to…GASP!…unsubscribe from your contact list?
Here are my two pieces of advice: start conservatively and test. While you don’t want to just throw the ball in their court and expect them to convert, you also don’t want to hit them with five reminders. That will surely get them to hit that “Unsubscribe” button. Create a campaign that includes several different kinds of media rather than only a series of emails or direct mail. Utilize paid search ads to bring the item they viewed on your website or an upcoming deadline back to the front of their mind. Drip with a followup phone call from a sales rep if your development team can take that on. Just make sure you test your strategy. Carefully note your benchmarks of your retail funnel when you start your drip campaign and make sure that as you do get more targeted to your potential sales pool, that you are also not forcing people out by messaging or fatigue.
The downside of drip marketing is that the whole channel is hard to measure. Most media sources are becoming more and more trackable by online click through rates or impressions, but for the foreseeable future, there are some inherently untrackable channels. Billboard performance, for example, can be guesstimated through monitoring web traffic or phone calls while the board is up (based on the Call to Action used) but really, for entire campaigns, it will need to be judged as whole and how it affected your company’s intake of interest.