Want a $96,000 Order? Be a Drip.


I’m leaning against the bar at La Comida, the gritty-cool restaurant that has become a regular hang in downtown Vegas during skucon, and I’m talking to a distributor. The distributor (who prefers to remain nameless because the project I’m divulging to you is still hot) is someone I respect: they’ve built a great brand, and they know the power of marketing. I tell him, “I’m running a series on Tiny Tasks for Ginormous Gain, do you have any stories that might be helpful?” He glances around, lowers his voice, then, floors me: “Last year, we landed a $96,000 order from a prospect with a simple drip campaign. A few months later, the customer turned around and placed an even bigger order of $150,000+, and we’re just getting started.” That get your attention? It got mine. He proceeds to tell me their method and tactics.

If you’re new to drip marketing, drip marketing is a marketing campaign built around a pre-written set of messages that you can deploy in a series of deliveries. Like a leaky faucet (but not annoying): Drip. Drip. Drip.
His drip marketing program was deployed like this:
  1. Hand-deliver (or mail) a self-promotion campaign to a qualified prospect on Monday (Where to find prospects? See our previous tip on LinkedIn.)
  2. Follow up with a call that same week (a few if necessary).
  3. Send a pre-written (but hand-tailored) email at the end of the week.
  4. 2nd week: same process.
  5. 3rd week: same process.
  6. 4th week: begin a nurturing (slower drip) campaign.
This successful distributor recently started incorporating the campaign into his CRM, Wishpond, for tracking. Tracking is crucial for a drip marketing campaign so that you can tabulate where you are in the cycle with each prospect.Here’s a bias you must get over: If you’ve been in the business for a while, you might yawn, and think, “Drip campaign? It’s not new. It’s not novel. It’s certainly not social!?”
This industry is cursed with a malady called “What’s new?” thinking, which leads us to an erroneous belief that old ideas are ineffective. But, why need something new when you can use something that works?
(And for you pros who were quick to respond, “been there, done that,” when’s the last time you deployed a campaign like this and for how long?) These campaigns are so effective that I know a three billion dollar corporation that uses them all the time (I know, because, in my previous life as a distributor, we used to build their campaigns) and, I know a rep who landed a million-dollar account with the same method. (For campaign inspiration, check out our friends at Axis Promo, they’re constantly winning awards for their mad creative skills).

3 Secrets to Successful Drip Campaigns

  • Product: This is easy for us but a warning: Don’t use a self-promotional item because it’s on sale, the product selection is crucial, and there are tons of options. Define your budget and do what you are best at: designing a campaign that kills.
  • Message: The message you convey in your campaign matters. Don’t just drop a logo on an item and call it a "campaign." Supplement it with a print piece or include clever copy on the item. The message must reflect your unique value proposition and solve a customer problem. Be fun, be clever.
  • Method of delivery: Your method of delivery (frequency, repetition) matter as much as product. Do you hand-carry? Ship overnight? Mail? Do you deliver one a week for seven weeks? One a day, five days-in-a-row? Don’t get too caught up in semantics about when or how, just do it, you'll adjust as you move along. One customer we built these for launched a 12 successive-day campaign, the components were delivered twelve days in-a-row (to multiple prospects) talk about exhausting!
Here’s the ultimate secret to success (and this separates the players from the pros):The magic is in the creative but the real power -the momentum, the energy, the action- is in the drip: get out from behind your desk and go do it. And in the spirit of our series, Tiny Tasks for Ginormous Sales Gain: Even if it's one a week, that's 52 new qualified prospect-touches a year! The pros know that those tiny tasks pay huge dividends.For inspiration, consider the words of our good friend Danny Rosin, co-president of Brand Fuel and PPAI board member:
Get away from your damn desk. Your PC. Your mobile device. Your routine. In the digital age, human to human relationships and interactions are changing – and it is not healthy … if you are honest with yourself, you do most of your selling through email or possibly phone. Carve out time to meet with your clients, even incremental time. Sounds obvious. But as Amazon and other online sales channels loom large and close by, visiting with your client is the new competitive advantage. Make the interaction meaningful with them and I promise you will be happy you made this adjustment.
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