Have you heard of the term “Drip Marketing”? It is a communication strategy that sends, or “drips,” a pre-written set of messages to customers or prospects over time. 

But do we really associate a drip as a good thing?

Dripping oil from your car = bad.

Faucet is dripping = bad.

Chinese water torture = bad.

Our communication shouldn’t drip either. In the world of digital communication and mass email, our prospects can detect “drips” much easier now.

As you can tell, I’m not a fan of drip marketing, 800-word email templates, or anything that seems impersonal. Have you ever been “dripped” on by a sales person? Did you enjoy it?

I am, however, a huge fan of sales automation. Just because we don’t send something personally doesn’t mean that message can’t have personality. So, what’s the difference between drip marketing and sales automation? Sales automation allows us to put a wide range of routine tasks—follow-up and customer management—on autopilot without removing the context that the customer cares about. We organize messaging to the common denominator while inserting our own unique tone. With the proper segmentation, you can target your messages and the prospect won’t feel dripped on.

The word of the day here is “context”. We can leverage high tech tools and still remain high touch if we include context. For example, an automated email message referencing this month’s big sale to a customer who just wrote a contract is out of context. Sounds crazy that this would happen, but it does—far more often than it should. When you make a slip like this, your drip turns into a big leak!

An example of context used correctly is sending a pre-written email to a prospect who requested information six months ago but has never responded to your messages. It could go something like, “In January, you requested information from our site. I want to make sure you have been receiving our emails, and to let you know I haven’t forgotten about you. How is your home search coming along?” Simple, reusable, but feels personal. Drip-free messaging!

Yes, it takes a little extra time to add context to your sales automation, but the return on that time investment is worth it. This approach is not artificial intelligence. It’s not “set it and forget it” like the Ronco Cooker. You need to stay on top of your communication to succeed, but the right segmentation will double open rates of your emails. Twice as many prospects will see your message! An email that is timely, targeted and relevant will get encourage that click and often create a response.

Put a plug in your leaky communication. Take the extra time up front and create your segments, add a sprinkle of context, and voilà, your dripping problem is solved.

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