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Top of Mind Networks

Is Drip Email Marketing the New Spam?

I recently learned from a couple of really smart guys about a concept called the hype cycle.  It’s actually a cool visual meant to illustrate the adoption rates of various technological advances.

Photo by Steven Davies

Photo by Steven Davies

That got me to thinking about email marketing as a component of a mortgage CRM system.  Sure, most of us are comfortable communicating via email these days.  Some of us even prefer a quick email vs. a not-so-quick phone conversation.  With the advent of automated email management solutions like aweber, it’s getting easier to build automated “drip” email campaigns.  In fact, our new contact management solution will also give clients the ability to create customized activity series – right within the Surefire System.
 
But the reason for my article today is to emphasize one critical point:  technology should be used as the means to an end.  In other words, your drip marketing efforts ought to deepen relationships through valuable content.  Many marketers use the term “stay in front of” a contact.  That’s not going to get it done these days.  The bar has been raised.  With advancements in technology come new challenges.  With email marketing, your #1 challenge is breaking through the clutter.
 
I always counsel clients to ensure they have a reason for calling a client before they pick up the phone.  The same should hold true with email.  If you’re finding that your subject matter is more about you and less about the contact, hold off until you can find a better angle.  For example, our Surefire campaign entitled “Neighborhood Home Sales Report” educates homeowners about home sales in their neighborhood.  I like this approach because it meets the parameters set out in this article:
 
1)  Is it about you or the client?
2)  Is the content timely and relevant?  Does it serve a purpose?
3)  Would the client be likely to pay attention to future messages based on the value proposition I’m bringing to the table?
 
In summary, don’t simply leverage email because it’s quick, cheap and easy.  Put some thought into your approach.  Better yet, objectively ask yourself if you’d see the value in the communication you’re about to send out if the roles were reversed.  It’ll make a big difference in your readership and response rates – and your success.
 

July 28, 2009 by · Leave a Comment

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About Mark

Mark is President of Top of Mind Networks, specializing in turn-key CRM solutions for mortgage professionals.

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No Responses to “Is Drip Email Marketing the New Spam?”
  1. David Orsini says:

    I think drip email marketing always seems like a good idea at first; even to the people who are getting the emails. Why wouldn’t a buyer want to receive their broker’s newsletter? They just bought their dream home and the broker helped make that happen. However, if that newsletter is completely canned, pointless, and has no value to it, then it starts to fall more and more into the SPAM category for the recipient; and eventually they will opt out. Like you said Mark, your emails have to add value and break though the clutter. Grandma’s meatloaf recipe and stupid criminal stories of the month do not do that.

  2. David – You are completely correct that a great concept can be commoditicized and made so sterile that its effectiveness is nuetralized. That is why one must (a) develop a marketing plan (something EVERY month) that is focused and personalized (b) strategize the execution of the plan, (c) decide who and what your target market is, (d) create consistency by developing your USP, slogan or phrase pinpointed to your target niche and then (e) place it on every promotional and marketing piece in your drip marketing.

    It is important the emails and collateral material not appear canned nor generic with as David stated “Grandma’s meatloaf recipe and stupid criminal stories of the month.”

  3. Bob Rutledge says:

    A drip campaign and a relationship management campaign are two seperate items, going to two seperate groups of potential business sources.

    A drip campaign should be used with in your developing leads pool, leads that have raised their hand to you, invited you into their home purchasing process but are not your clients. Here you stay in consistant, relevant, and valued communications with them. Provide real call to actions, valuable information, and your opinions. Your campaign should consist of automated email, snail mail, and telephone contact, the idea is to insure that they want to keep that door open to you after they have invited you in.

    Your Relatinship Management Campaign, should be much more personal, these are your past clients, spheres of influence, and referral sources. These are not leads but people who know you by name, have and are willing to do business with you, have and are willing to refer to you. The information you send them is more of a subject expert material but needs to get read so you much sprinkle in the odd recipe, or stupid criminal story, because if our material reads like a lecture we will soon be turned off because the information we are trying to deliver is not timely nor interesting. Less emails, more snail mail and personal contact is key here. If this group is providing you with 50 to 70 percent of your closed loans every year then you should consider re-examining this groups membership and your content and delivery systems.

    Mark Green, you owe me a phone call to talk about this exact subject, 😉

  4. Mark Green says:

    Precisely Bob, however the spirit and delivery mechanisms of both campaigns are typically fumbled by most loan originators.

    Your point is well taken, it’s all about the right content delivered at the right time.
    However, such variables such as the level of personalization, look & feel, etc. are becoming more and more critical as clutter increases.

    Remember, w/ a drip campaign to an “unmet” you’re likely not the only one dripping on that prospect. Talk to you tomorrow!

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