Business email marketing began in the mid 1990s. It remains one of the most powerful marketing tools today, although the way we utilize the tool has evolved. Email marketing pioneers started off by sending out ad hoc emails when the need arose (such as when there was a sale, special offer, or something new to say). That strategy still occasionally works for some retailers, even if it is not recommended. Regardless, you are not selling widgets, yarn or marbles. When your goal is to establish a long-term relationship in order to secure additional estate planning business, the decision-making process takes a little longer and nurturing your intended audience on a regular, consistent basis becomes a vital component of your marketing plan.
To successfully fill your pipeline and keep it flowing, you need to guide prospects through the buying life cycle by giving them the most relevant information at the right time. Cultivating your leads involves multiple, credible communications.
Enter drip marketing.
By implementing smart, strategic and sensitive drip campaigns, you can help move prospects through the emotional buying process and dramatically increase the effectiveness of whichever email marketing strategy you already have in place (such as email newsletters).
A brief history of drip marketing
The term “drip marketing” originated from the irrigation process of dripping water on crops over a period of time. Farmers recognized that dousing crops didn’t produce the results they wanted, so they tested and adjusted the frequency and quantity of water until they found the most effective watering system. Suppose you dump a bucket of water on a tomato plant. The plant will drown and die, without ever growing a fresh, juicy tomato. But if you sprinkle the plant with enough light drops of water over time, the plant will absorb the water it needs without becoming oversaturated, and will eventually sprout juicy tomatoes ripe for the taking.
Drip marketing follows the same logic. By sending relevant messages at consistent intervals, your prospects won’t drown in your messaging or become oversaturated. Meanwhile, you will successfully nurture each one until they’re ready to buy what you’re selling. If you have the right tracking tools in place, you’ll know when it’s time to harvest your home-grown, drip campaign leads.
Effective email drip campaigns
Regularly-launching estate planning email newsletters comprise one type of drip marketing. The newsletters you send out full of informative content on topics of interest to your recipients are fantastic for maintaining brand recognition, staying top of mind, and identifying potential leads.
But the best way to truly nurture prospects and develop new business is to supplement those newsletters with personalized, customized and targeted drip emails.
There are dozens, maybe hundreds, of drip campaign subjects, topics, methodologies, strategies and objectives. Here are just a few examples of commonly-used, yet highly effective, email drip campaigns that are appropriate for attorneys to send out – each as its own series, or as a strategic combination of into one much larger series of emails:
- Welcome letters and campaigns for new opt-in subscribers
- Event promotions, from initial invitation through post-event recaps
- Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about your services
- Client testimonials, case studies, interviews and reviews
- Estate planning, elder care, and other legal updates
- Social media activities and invitations to join in and participate
- Surveys, polls, crossword puzzles and other interactive content
- Blog posts, articles, whitepapers or other engaging content
- Team member profiles (professional, personal or both)
Drip campaigns that demonstrate personality are most effective in establishing rapport as quickly as possible with your prospects and maintaining and growing that bond over the course of the campaign (and beyond).
An email drip campaign can be an excellent business development and lead generation tool to help you grow your estate planning practice. Implement drip campaigns to promote value-added service offerings, thought leadership, expertise, or simply to reinforce your brand and remain top of mind. Do it right, and watch your pipeline of warm leads grow fertile and flourish.
Becca Fieler is an Online Marketing Specialist for the BizActions | PDI Global brands from Thomson Reuters. She provides strategic planning and oversight for our online and email marketing initiatives. Becca also helps clients develop comprehensive marketing and lead generation programs. She is a prolific writer when she has time. Read more of Becca’s blog posts here.
Academy Guest Blogger
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
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San Diego, California 92123
Phone: (800) 846-1555