Using Email Drip Promotions

10 Reasons to Follow Up with Prospects

By Dr. Ralph Elliott, Ph.D.
© Ralph Elliott, 2007. Reprinted with permission

Many providers are using a combination of direct mail, Google AdWords, space ads, banner ads, exhibits, and clearinghouse links to drive visitor traffic to their web sites. Web-site visitors typically enter the web site through special landing pages that providers create for each marketing channel. Having arrived at the landing page, web site visitors convert into inquiries. Once web site visitors have inquired, a provider needs to have a strategy for converting these prospects into seminar attendees. One way to convert seminar/conference web-site leads into registrations is through “drip marketing.”

Drip marketing is like drip irrigation, where farmers and gardeners apply small amounts of water to plants over long periods of time to maximize growth. Drip marketing is the process of sending repeated, relevant e-mail messages to inquiries until they convert into seminar/conference attendees.

For many providers, drip marketing is automated, and relies heavily on sending a series of pre-planned email promotions to inquiries or opt-in subscribers. The series of pre-planned e-mails would typically vary according to the messages and landing pages that converted the prospect at the web site.

Drip marketing is effective because it helps providers stay in touch with the people who are not ready immediately to book on their programs during their first visit to the website. It keeps the provider’s brand in the top of the inquirer’s mind. Drip marketing also ensures that providers follow up with every inquiry in a organized and consistent way.

How many drips before the prospect is “washed out?” Conversion data will drive this decision. Providers typically track e-mail open, click-thru, and conversions rates for each inquiry segment. The percent converting from inquiries into customers should increase at first and then eventually decline. Opt-outs, single page visits, less then one minute web site visits would be indicators that the prospects are now beginning to see the provider’s drips as water torture.

Providers usually segment their inquiries into different “water buckets” as they plan their drip strategy. “Bucket” segments might include the web site inquiries from a post card to a rented direct mail list who came to special landing page. Other buckets might be landing page inquiries from Google AdWords. Inquiries from general web traffic, rented e-mail lists, and space ads should all have their individual buckets.

To get maximum conversion into customers, providers should give each “bucket” of inquiries its own special sequence of offers. Some offer hooks might include:

  1. Register now, pay later.
  2. Only 10 seats left…assuming there is an enrollment limit.
  3. Preferred seating if prospects book by given date (this is the front row where attendees don’t usually want to sit).
  4. Breakfast with your big name speaker.
  5. Free best selling book, worth $95 (always impute value to the premium).
  6. Extend the early bird discount for the prospect.
  7. Free white paper as soon as they book.
  8. Free drawing for another seminar.
  9. Hotel room block is being released.
  10. Prospects get a free drawstring backpack as soon as they book.

Seminar and conference inquiries tend to forget providers who don’t stay in touch. Drip marketing helps providers show an sustained interest in their prospects until the prospects are ready to buy a seminar or conference.

guerrilla-marketerJenny Hamby is a Certified Guerrilla Marketer and direct-response copywriter who helps speakers, coaches and consultants fill seminar seats and make more money from their own seminars and workshops. Her on- and offline direct marketing campaigns have netted response rates as high as 84 percent … on budgets as small as $125.

For 31 of her most powerful seminar marketing secrets, click here.